Installations News
Ellis Paper Box adds KBA Optima K die cutter

March 6, 2018  By PrintAction

Tom Fitzgerald, KBA-Iberica manager (left to right); Mike Gibson, Ellis Paper Box plant manager; and Dave Ellis, Ellis Paper Box president with the Optima K die cutter.

Ellis Paper Box, a member of the Ellis Group, Canada’s largest privately held manufacturer of folding cartons, is providing produciton details from its recently installed Optima 106 K die cutter from KBA-Iberica. The purchase is part of Ellis Group’s investment in new automated high-speed die cutters across its three facilities, with another new die cutter purchased from KBA North America set to be installed at its Ellis Packaging facility later this year.

The Optima 106 K die cutter installation at Ellis Paper Box will be targeted at the demanding standards required by the pharmaceutical industry. “We’re successful due in part to our commitment to the industry, commitment to our employees, and our relentless pursuit to remain the most progressive carton company in Canada,” said Dave Ellis. “We offer a total in-house capability to control all aspects of structural design, electronic proofing, and die making. Our three-phase electronic verification is critical to our assurance of full responsibility for product quality and compliance to Good Manufacturing Practices.”

Over the past several years, Ellis Paper Box explains it has detected a number of important trends in terms of production throughput at its 60,000-square-foot facility in Mississauga, Ontario. By investing in new equipment, Ellis explains it has become a one-stop shop producing as little as 500 cartons with spot colours to five million eight-colour specialty work with inline inspection. The facility holds 100 percent inline carton inspection systems to handle its international clientele, requiring a variety of languages imprinted on the boxes.


Recently, KBA explains new legislation enacted in Canada has deemed that all pharmaceutical boxes must be redesigned to include additional compliance information for plain English text. Ellis has been instrumental in working with its clients to increase the size of the folding carton or add a fifth panel to existing styles to accommodate this legislation. In addition, the packaging producer reports its over-the-counter packaging is being designed with more value-added properties, such as inline cold and hot foil, embossing, inline Braille, and specialty coatings such as matte and high gloss.

“The KBA-Iberica Optima 106 K die cutter has become our workhorse in the die cutting department,” said Ellis. “It is capable of handling production of paper, cardboard, plastic and corrugated boards up to 1.5 mm. It is running at 8,000 sheets per hour. We currently operate it two to three shifts per day, five days a week. Our preference is to schedule all jobs containing detailed embossing and critical print to cut registration on this new machine.”

Not only is Ellis receiving these benefits but it has also recorded the machine’s efficiency and savings. For example, the firm has witnessed a 63 percent increase in throughput and a 32 percent increase in run speed compared to the last six running months over the previous machine. This allows Ellis to provide faster speed-to-market and get its product to its customers in two weeks or less. It has also recorded a 20 percent to 40 percent reduction in makeready due to the Optima 106 die cutter. Ellis is also blanking more difficult jobs thereby reducing its stripping costs by $35,000 per year.

“The improvements to our die cutting department have been staggering,” said Ellis. “Due to the Optima 106 K’s increased automation, there are less tools involved and our employees are pleased with its push button automation. Our quality has improved due to this new die cutter and we have no downtime because the machine is so dependable. Improvements to uptime and quality have resulted in improved bottom line. The new die cutter from KBA-Iberica has had a fantastic impact on our company.”

Founded in 1946, the Ellis Group is comprised of over 250 employees at Ellis Packaging, Ellis Paper Box and Ellis Packaging West servicing and specializing in the food, confectionary, pharmaceutical, neutraceutical and beverage industries.

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