Core Cutter a Boon to Independent Tube Company

Jason Erdie, president of Erdie Paper Tube Co., proudly describes his 20-year-old Lorain, OH, operation as “one of the largest independent paper tube companies in a consolidated world.” And, he adds, “we look forward to staying that way.”

“We optimize our production capabilities and make them flexible, and we design our manufacturing processes to put customer needs ahead of Erdie Paper Tubes' needs,” says Erdie. “The big companies just don't seem to think that way.”

The pride that Erdie takes from his company's independence is matched only by its dedication to customer service and product quality. Those are the variables that have helped the converting facility not only survive but thrive as a relative munchkin in a land of paper converting giants.

“It's a good market niche,” Erdie says of his company's independent streak, “because as these big companies continue to consolidate, they get kind of clumsy, and they are more balance-sheet oriented and maybe not as customer-driven. Nobody is really working for themselves anymore. They have to answer to other people, like shareholders.

“Here, it's a lot more personal,” Erdie says of the company's 30 employees and its single 50,000-sq-ft operation in Lorain. “The level of intensity is much greater, because it's such a personal thing. There's no bureaucracy, so decisions can be made quickly, easily, and efficiently instead of going through chains of command. We feel it gives us an advantage in the marketplace.”

That independence, in part, allows Erdie to offer its customers — who encompass a wide variety of industrial and commercial applications — the fastest speeds and highest quality possible. Erdie Paper Tubes converts a wide range of cores, in inner diameters (I.D.s) from 0.135-12 in. and wall thicknesses from 5,000ths of an in. to 0.5 in.

One Core Cutter Replaces Three
The company's dedication to customer service is stated boldly in one of its slogans, which promises “tubes and cores in 24 hours,” compared to what it says are competitors' delivery times of as much as a week. And, underlining Erdie's emphasis on delivery speed is its recent purchase of a CoreTech CM 21 core cutter.

Erdie says the CM 21 replaced three older cutters that each handled a specific range of core thicknesses. The CM 21, Erdie reports, is a heavy-duty, high-throughput, automatic, multi-knife machine designed to deliver top quality output with repeatable close-tolerance cutting accuracy. According to Erdie, it delivers clean, burr-free cuts with up to 20,000 cuts/hr.

The CM 21 handles parent tubes (paper or plastic) from 6-60 in. wide and core I.D. sizes from ¼-4 in., specs that can be changed in less than 15 min. Cut widths (with tolerances of ±0.005-in.) can be changed in less than 10 min.

The CM 21, Erdie says, is highly automated, featuring automatic positive trim separation while it cuts, automatic parent core loading from a core cart, and automatic off-loading conveyor options.

Erdie notes that the CM 21 is easy to use: The operator simply stacks several parent tubes on the inclined feed assembly, then presses the cycle start button. One at a time, the cores drop into place for cutting. The drive mandrel slides into position through the I.D., spins the core, and a rotating knife arbor bears down to make the cuts. The knife arbor retracts and, as the mandrel withdraws, the cut cores drop down for collection. Adjustable chutes separate end trim pieces.

For his part, the operator simply loads tubes from time to time, and the machine continues to cycle automatically until the interlock system detects an absence of incoming cores, suspending operation. Production resumes when tubes are loaded and the cycle button is pushed. Hopper feed systems produce cut cores continuously with minimum operator tending.

“We like the CM 21 because it's flexible,” Erdie sums up. “It's a machine that offers fast setup, and it gives us cleaner cut quality, particularly when cutting on the nylon mandrel. We get good throughput on the machine, and it's very easy for our operator to load. It's been a great addition to our facility.”

And just one more way Erdie keeps ahead of the giants.

Erdie Paper Tube Co.
, Lorain, OH; 440/288-0166

CoreTech Inc.
Easton, PA; 610/252-9000; 800/232-2673;

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