For nearly 20 years, Newman Paperboard in Philadelphia has taken advantage of cutting edge technology that makes counting sheets more accurate than ever – an especially critical issue with a North American customer base that reads like a Who’s Who list. Since installing its fourth Function Control optical sheet counter, the P7, in 2013, the family owned paper mill has improved its sheet counting accuracy to within one-half of one percent, a huge statement considering they produce over 65,000 tons of paperboard products annually.
Colter & Peterson, North America’s foremost authority of paper cutters and paper handling equipment, became the U.S. distributor for Function Control, a leading European company, in late 2014. The circle is complete since Newman Paperboard www.newmanpaperboard.com, according to Mike Ferman, VP Operations, has entrusted C&P to service the company’s seven mill trimmers that range in size from 69” to 126”, for over 50 years.
“Since adding our latest sheet counter in 2013, we are using three of these machines on a daily basis. We have supreme confidence our shipping bills and invoicing accurately report shipping quantities for each and every job we do,” informed Ferman, whose operation uses 100% recycled material and runs 24 hours a day. A 30,000 square-foot warehouse currently supports a sophisticated rack system which can hold more than 5000 tons of paperboard, as well as an automated packaging line.
Ferman claims when Newman Paperboard purchased their first Metro IV counter in 1995, they were the first domestic paper mill in the U.S to employ this revolutionary sheet counting technology.
“Paperboard mills at the time primarily sold by weight, and we researched ways to more accurately count and ship our board. When one of our customers – Hasbro – bought their sheet counter, we bought ours. This was after we traveled to The Netherlands to thoroughly evaluate the machine.”
The P7 is the newest version of the optical sheet counter and offers a compact footprint and upright design. Available in two speed versions and with an LED indicator to indicate when a paper stack is in the correct range, door panels can open on multiple sides and a touchscreen panel can be fitted on three sides at different working heights. Once the counting phase is completed with the push of a button, a label can be printed or data can be uploaded to an external database.
“The optical sheet counter has come a long way in 20 years,” said Ferman. “The first one was fully manual and somewhat tedious to work with. The second one was developed to integrate into our automated packaging line. It was mounted on a telescoping base that would extend, position at the optimum distance from the pile, and retract automatically. The newest version has permitted us to eliminate the telescoping base as it has a more sophisticated aperture and focusing mechanism.”