case study - folding carton die life
A large folding carton manufacturer experienced blade breakage during production runs. This was an ongoing problem and their current vendor offered no solution. The firm reached out to Midway for the first time. The Plant Manager remembered meeting a team from Midway at Pack Expo the prior year and was impressed with their familiarity and trouble-shooting knowledge of folding carton design.
The team at Midway went to work, seeing only a picture of the die that broke. Evaluating the die layout, the technical team recommended modifying the design in two ways:
- Revising the standard reverse tuck with a radius to aid material separation and relieve a known pressure-point on folding carton dies.
- Revising from 4-across layout to 3-across, because the 4-across width created difficult scrap removal areas that slowed production speed. Midway indicated the press speed could be increased from 350 ft/minute to 500 ft/minute – more than making up for the loss in width because of the better-running radius tuck design.
Based on the high-volume, long-running nature of the job, the Midway engineering team recommended the die be made with the firm’s Max-Life D2 Tool Steel with its exclusive deep-cryogenic treatment. Midway’s sales guys were mindful that the deep-cryo treatment would raise the price about 15% over a die without it, and this customer had no experience with Cryo dies or Midway. They quoted the job and described the rationale for the layout and material changes vs. the spec provided.
Because this customer records all tool performance statistics, Midway offered the deep cryo treatment with the promise that if they did not experience exceptional performance gains, the cost of the cryo treatment would be refunded.
The customer purchased a replacement die from their original die supplier, because getting the line up and running quickly with a new die was mission critical. But, they also purchased the Midway die for a side-by-side comparison. Midway’s “guarantee” is what convinced them to give it a try. Midway guarantees* your satisfaction or they will repair, replace, or refund. Period.
“We found the Midway die ran about twice as long as the die we had been using. We’re a Midway convert,” the firm’s Plant Manager said when he called to ask about the first Retool, which was processed and returned in about a week. The Plant Manager shared a few additional statistics:
- 65% faster line speed than before, close to 600 ft/minute, with no hang-ups or downtime
- 30% more finished product per shift
- 15% lower tooling cost over a year (dies, retools, shipping)
- 23% lower cost per thousand cartons
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