Realizing their company was on pace for a record year and projecting a fast start for the first quarter of 2015, Tom Eubanks and Ted Varberg did what smart businessmen do. Figuring the best way to improve back-end operations at American Converting in Lincolnton, North Carolina was to increase productivity, Tom placed a call to Colter & Peterson. It led to him exchanging his old 110” Lawson for a reconditioned one the same size, and with the newest electronics. The company has since exceeded their first quarter projections.
“Our industry is very busy right now. With the improvement in the economy, manufacturing has increased and created a higher demand for packaging,” said Eubanks, who serves as American Converting’s www.americanconverting.com Vice President and General Manager.
“From the food industry to furniture, all of our segments are busy. With the consolidation of the larger paper manufacturers and more focus on larger runs, it has created more opportunities for converters like us. Most of those larger paper manufacturers have backlogs of at least three weeks with larger minimum run requirements. That’s allowing us to take advantage of filling customer needs faster and handle the small specialty runs.”
American Converting has grown tremendously since Eubanks and Varberg formed the company in 2003. Paper industry veterans, they moved American Converting to Lincolnton, a small town near Charlotte, and its present location with 100,000 square-feet of space in 2005. They employ 30 people and service customers coast-to-coast, and have a warehouse in Ontario, California to house work done for customers out west. Sister company Badger Paperboard provides additional manufacturing and warehouse capability for them north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Eubanks made a connection with Colter & Peterson, www.papercutters.com North America’s largest independent distributor of paper cutters and paper handling equipment, the year American Converting first opened.
“We bought our first cutter, an 85” Seybold, from them 12 years ago. It fit our needs and what we could afford,” chuckled Eubanks, whose father was a papermaker and got him started in the industry in the 1970’s, and made it his livelihood ever since.
“At the time, we needed a heavy duty cutter like the Seybold to cut pads and custom sizes. It has worked out well, we expanded the business, and the Seybold is still running and producing for us. All we need to do is regular maintenance on it.”
Eubanks says purchasing the Lawson with a Microcut® computer guided back gauge system and a custom “Flying Carpet” table system similar to the one at sister company Badger Paperboard, has exceeded their expectations.
“The older Lawson had mechanical issues. The new one is very strong and user-friendly, and rebuilt like a new machine. It can handle a truckload of paper a day; that’s 20 tons of material,” he exclaimed, indicating they run the cutters for 10-hour shifts, usually four but sometimes five days a week.
“We cut laminated board up to ¼” thick, and with a 6” lift at 225 pt., we can cut as many as 26 boards at one time. Typically, we keep our sheet size in the 48” x 48” range, but occasionally we get an order where it needs to be 100” wide. That’s no problem for the Lawson.”
Microcut memorizes cut sequences and automatically guides the back gauge into positon for each action. In American Converting’s case, Eubanks cuts his material within 1/32” tolerance and the “Flying Carpet” lift table allows his operators to cut material faster.
“The crew sets up paper behind the cutter, slide and load the pallets and push a button. They don’t have to pick up any of the material, the air nozzles float it right off the table and it comes out the other end. Our guys don’t have to lift much so they’re not fatigued, so the Lawson is great as a time-saver and for safety issues.”