Founded in Grand Rapids, Michigan, DeWitt Packaging Corporation specializes in cartons, partitions, die cuts, pads, laminated corrugated/foam products, pallet packs, kits, displays, and many other specialized products . With a growing demand for specialized and variable packaging options, DeWitt faced the challenge of increasing throughput without compromising on lead times or product quality.


Challenge DeWitt originally purchased their first KOLBUS AutoBox machine equipped with a DL300 digital inkjet printing module in 2018. As customer requirements evolved, DeWitt needed a solution to handle smaller, more complex jobs efficiently, thereby freeing up other converting equipment for larger orders. Additionally, the lack of skilled machine operators in the corrugated industry prompted the need for a user-friendly solution that could be quickly adopted by the workforce.


Solution In November 2021, DeWitt Packaging Corporation expanded its capabilities by installing a second KOLBUS AutoBox machine, the ultra-compact AutoBox Boxer. This machine was chosen specifically for its versatility and ease of use. The AutoBox Boxer, installed in January 2022, is equipped with optional upgrades including the DL200 digital print module and TF200 Table Feed for auto-feeding and a stacking unit. The machine's design includes ¼ inch slotting blades that ensure high-quality box output, comparable to those made on a die cutter.


Implementation and Usage Upon installation, the AutoBox Boxer was immediately put to use at nearly full capacity, running up to 10 hours a day, primarily for slotting work. The Boxer's ability to produce one panel folders (OPFs) in a single pass, along with trays, covers, HSCs, and five panel folders, made it an ideal choice for taking on smaller jobs that were previously challenging to accommodate.


Support and Training The installation and integration of the AutoBox Boxer were smoothly facilitated by the KOLBUS team. Luke Steffes, General Manager at DeWitt, highlighted the exceptional service provided by Tobias, Wes, and Jim from KOLBUS. "The KOLBUS team was very knowledgeable and great with training, which really helped us maximize the capabilities of our new machine efficiently," Steffes stated. This support was crucial in helping DeWitt staff quickly adapt to the new technology.


Performance and Feedback Luke praised the construction and functionality of the AutoBox Boxer, noting, "The machine is well built, with no maintenance issues to date. It’s intuitive and durable, which makes it a reliable part of our production line." The straightforward design and robust build minimize downtime and maintenance, which are essential for maintaining productivity in high-demand environments.



The AutoBox Boxer has significantly impacted DeWitt's production capabilities:

  • Increased Throughput: By handling low-volume assembled kits and other small jobs, the Boxer allows other converting machines at DeWitt to be reserved for larger, less complex orders.
  • Enhanced Product Offering: With the ability to handle a wide range of designs and specifications, DeWitt can now offer more versatile packaging solutions to meet the specific needs of their clients.
  • Operational Efficiency: The Boxer's one-minute setup, simple controls, and built-in safety features streamline the production process, making it accessible to operators with varying levels of experience.
  • Maintain Short Lead Times: The addition of the Boxer helps maintain short lead times essential for customer satisfaction and competitive advantage.


Conclusion The strategic decision to install the AutoBox Boxer has proven to be a success for DeWitt Packaging Corporation. The increased flexibility and capacity have enabled DeWitt to not only meet the growing demand for custom, short-run packaging but also to improve operational efficiency and expand their market reach. As DeWitt continues to innovate in the packaging industry, the role of advanced machinery like the AutoBox Boxer will be crucial in sustaining and expanding their business operations.