Mechanized Blanking with MBM Offers Reduced Labor Costs in Post-Processing

Honda Shouji Co., Ltd.

Yasuhiro Honda
President and CEO

Honda Shouji Co., Ltd. was founded as a wholesale paper seller. Fuji City, where the company office is locate, is a paper town, and it is that environment in which the company was born. Now celebrating nearly 60 years from its establishment, Honda Shouji handles a wide range of packaging, printing, surface processing, foil, embossing, punching, and paper boxes, all with a thorough, integrated production system that manufactures, stores, and delivers its products completely in-house.

Realization of Post-Process Labor Reduction Through Blanking Automation; The Decisive Factor in MBM is in its Backup and Support

The company handles many jobs,
from surface processing to post-press.

Honda Shoji introduced the Multi Blanking Machine (MBM) and the Automatic Lift Hand Fork into their Post-Press Workflow. The MBM is a machine designed for punching of short run projects such as packaging, cards, mounts, and labels, and does not require a blanking die for punching.

The company had its beginnings with many paper manufacturers and container companies as its customers, and while responding to the requests of each company individually, it has also introduced various strategies for adjustment and improvement of the business. We interviewed President and CEO, Mr. Honda, about the current situation, three months after the introduction and installation of the MBM to their company.

Please Tell Us How You Found the MBM.

Mr.Honda:"Until now, blankers were mainly automatic machines designed for large runs, so I had the impression that they would not be used efficiently and therefore did not buy one. In recent years, blanking solutions for smaller production runs have appeared, so we compared competing solutions and decided on the MBM. At that time, we had to consider various points such as ease of use and price. However, I got the impression that with MBM you can look at each aspect clearly such as ease of setup, not requiring a blanking die, and the processing speed.

MBM’s pin extrusion method means
blanking forms or dies are unnecessary.

One important point in particular is that MBM uses a pin extrusion blanking system, so there is no need to create a separate blanking die. It is a very balanced machine in terms of price, speed, and labor cost reduction. This is important to consider because blanking as a post-press process, cannot be considered in wage calculation.

So to speak, that is the mechanical part. However, man-hours at the factory are required and must be considered. Because the cost for blanking cannot be taken as part of the product cost, unlike other processes, it is not worth paying a large price for a blanking machine in our case. This was a major factor in our purchasing decision, as we felt that the MBM fits our budgetary strategy.

In addition, we emphasized the after-sales support after the installation. All machines have trouble from time to time. If there is no support when a problem occurs, your business will get stuck. In the past, I have had bitter experiences with choosing machines based only on price and no technical support, so having a domestic technical support system was important to us.

NSK has a track record of handling other machines from overseas, and I felt that because of this their domestic support system was solid. In addition, the sales staff visiting our company also taught us in great detail about the machine, so we decided to introduce MBM and knew with confidence we had strong support when we needed it.

What Effect Has Introducing the MBM Had on Your Business?

MBM's pin extrusion method means
blanking forms or dies are unnecessary.

Mr. Honda: "The most obvious changes are reducing both blanking time and labor costs. Up until now, two staff members performed stripping, which was time-consuming due to nesting and impositions in the sheet.

After MBM was put into operation, the blanking work can be completed by just one person, regardless of the product arrangement. The second worker has been freed up to work on other projects. By using MBM, not only has the overall work speed increased, but work that required two staff can now be done by one, and the work that took an hour now takes 30 minutes. The effort required is now a quarter of what it was before.

The MBM also helps reduce the burden of physical labor on our employees. Many of our employees have been working hard for many years at the company, but now they are aging and will not be able to continue at the same level as before. Blanking is very physically demanding work in and of itself, and it hurts the hands of those who remove the waste paper. MBM reduces this labor and helps to relieve this burden on our staff.

Working with MBM, I have been able to change specifications of the die board patterns and eliminate cuts for waste removal because it would get in the way. I think that this design change is also a positive improvement.

However, since there are precautions for operating the machine, there will be a transitional period in which the job specifications at the site are being adjusted accordingly.

What Will Your Company Focus on Going Forward?

The Automatic Lift Hand Fork,
introduced together with the MBM.

Mr. Honda: "Rather than selling what we have created, we believe that it is more important to achieve the highest quality of product according to what is ordered by out customers.

We plan to continue to provide products that satisfy our customers by making good use of our labor capacity, which has been created through procuring on-site automation solutions such as MBM and striving to improve product quality.

Solutions Introduced

Multi Blanking Machine
For short-run production

More Info A punching machine released as a solution for short-run for extruding packaging, cards, mounts, labels and more. There is no need to create a blanking die, and it can handle a wide variety of product sizes and shapes.

Automatic Lift Hand Fork

More Info A hand fork with an automatic lifting function that anyone can easily operate. The automatic lift brings materials to the height of the work station, allowing a reduction of the burden of manual labor on workers and saving on time allocated to movement. It can easily be introduced as a compliment to existing equipment.

Return to Top