Me & my: Kolbus DA 270

Generally making the choice to swap out an previous little bit of equipment for a brand new one is usually a tough name. New tools might be costly and may take some time to mattress in. You may expertise downtime and it’ll take employees some time to rise up to hurry on the tools.

You’ve additionally acquired the added problem of filling the brand new machine. These are all elements that Kevin Lee, manufacturing director at Stockport-based printer and print finisher Deanprint, took into consideration when the corporate determined to improve a casemaker.

Lee says the prevailing machine, a Kolbus DA 260, which had been purchased secondhand round eight years in the past, had been a loyal servant. Nevertheless, the corporate wanted a more moderen piece of equipment that provided extra automation and higher efficiencies.

“On our previous casemakers for our three-part instances for hardback ebook manufacturing, we have been reducing out the entrance piece of board, the backbone and the again piece of board,” he explains. “So that you had a guillotine operator who was completely supplying that machine. We additionally had slight variation. If you’re reducing spines you would solely minimize on the guillotine eight or 10 at a time otherwise you’d begin to get barely angled mitre edges, so you’ll have extra jams and extra stops [on the casemaker] due to the inaccuracy of the substrate you have been placing in it.”

It was clear that what Deanprint wanted was the most recent technology of casemaker. Step ahead the Kolbus DA 270, which the corporate put in in January this 12 months after a brief choice course of.

Once we purchased our present [Kolbus] machine I regarded across the market on the totally different choices, however there was no person new come to {the marketplace} lately so I used to be mainly trying on the similar choices. Having already performed that analysis this time round we knew what we wished.”

Lee went out to Germany to have a look at the machine and he additionally checked out some used choices, however in the long run he determined to plump for a model new one and traded within the previous DA 260. What he notably favored in regards to the DA 270 was its familiarity.

“The precise carcass of the machine and all the actions concerned within the machine are precisely the identical because the DA 260. The software program is acquainted to our operators as effectively so it was a really acquainted machine and we have been two-thirds of the way in which there by way of coaching from a standing begin, which from a manufacturing standpoint is at all times helpful.”

Set up ran easily with the previous machine shipped out in round a day and a half and the brand new one put in over 4 days with a few days coaching for the operators.

“We didn’t have a lot downtime in any respect,” says Lee. “Additionally we’ve got a few CMC LPA [casemakers] that we might make instances on by hand on in order that provided again up if it have been vital. Fortunately we’ve acquired redundancy for almost every thing – we’ve acquired 110 items of equipment.”

Throughput increase

The DA 270 is the most recent addition to this armoury and it one of many investments that Lee is most happy about because of the elevated productiveness it gives. On the DA 260 the corporate might produce round 35 instances a minute, however on the brand new mannequin this has virtually doubled to 65 cycles/min on instances as much as 670x390mm in dimension, fabric as much as 708x428mm and boards as much as 328mm broad, 390mm excessive and 4mm thick.

A lot of this bump in velocity is as a result of DA 270’s inline board cutter, which implies guillotining is now not vital. “It takes a single piece of board and cuts it into the three items of board for a 3 half case or two items of board if it’s going to take a two half press certain case. So it adjustments our world,” says Lee.

The machine can be able to producing wire-bound covers. This versatility has been a boon for the enterprise.

“For the primary time I’ve truly been in a position to catch up,” says Lee. “Beforehand I used to be at all times chasing myself, however we might be forward of the sport now and we’ve got the capability to tackle different purchasers.”

In addition to being simpler to make use of than the previous machine the standard of labor it produces can be higher, which implies there may be much less downtime. “The inline board cutter is persistently reducing precisely so that you don’t get the problems that you would have if you happen to’re making instances by hand or by a much less automated machine, as a result of tolerances are so tight and good on the brand new one. Consequently, you possibly can management it extra and also you don’t have crooked spines or boards which can be barely twisted or have dishevelled corners that may all provide you with issues additional down the road in ebook manufacturing.”

The board cutter additionally mechanically feeds the board into the machine, in contrast to on the DA 260, the place it needed to be fed in by hand. Different efficiencies provided by the DA 270 embody pre-melting of the glue so it’s at all times feeding forward of the machine needing it. “On the 260 we have been fast sufficient that we’d usually outpace the glue tank,” says Lee. “Now we don’t must cease to attend for the glue.”

And the duvet feeder feeds from the underside so you possibly can add extra covers whereas the machine is working. “The previous machine used to take covers from the highest of the stack so that you needed to bodily cease the machine so as to add extra covers,” says Lee.

Though the machine is now absolutely bedded in he admits that there have been a number of teething issues. “Kolbus has responded effectively to any of our calls,” says Lee. “If in case you have any model new machine there are going to be a number of points, it’s par for the course.”

Any minor points have been greater than offset by the velocity the DA 270 gives the corporate. “The standard is just like the 260, however we are able to obtain it at twice the velocity,” says Lee. “It provides us the power to handle the remainder of manufacturing extra effectively as effectively as a result of we are able to provide the covers and the instances for issues in good time forward of different parts of manufacturing. Beforehand we’d generally have just a little little bit of a backlog of labor, which by no means basically affected last supply to clients, however it may give you points throughout the manufacturing cycle by way of you would have performed it extra effectively if you happen to might have gotten these instances off earlier. Now we’ve got the aptitude to try this.”

Though Lee loves the brand new DA 270 he admits that in an excellent world he would have stored the Kolbus DA 260 as effectively. “However that’s a manufacturing utopia and you may’t have every thing,” he says. With the most recent addition to the corporate’s spectacular array of kit it feels like the corporate is fairly near paradise already.


Deanprint was established in 1890 and operates in three key markets: authorities contracts, academic useful resource manufacturing and conventional print ending. Over the previous few years the corporate has invested within the newest print expertise; final October it put in an MBO Okay80 B1 mixture folder, which adopted shut on the heels of the set up of a Rilecart B-535 wire-binding machine. The corporate’s 4,650sqm base is residence to greater than 100 items of equipment, together with two Heidelberg Speedmaster presses that are used for the manufacturing of its personal book-related merchandise. Deanprint turns over slightly below £3m and employs 42 members of employees.

Why it was purchased

The corporate wished to spend money on a extra automated casemaking machine to switch an ageing mannequin and enhance productiveness ranges.

How has it carried out

The standard of the work it produces is “very goodin accordance with Lee, who says the one smartest thing in regards to the machine is its velocity coupled with the power to chop the boards inline.” The accuracy of the cutters additionally makes for “fewer stops and extra environment friendly runs”.

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