Paul Spronken: Cut’it!™ EVO is the next generation in packaging solutions

June 8, 2022 by
Frank Calviño

Ranpak presented its next generation of Cut’it!TM EVO in-line packaging machine during the LogiMAT 2022 at Stuttgart during this past 31st – June 2nd.

The International Trade Show for Intralogistics Solutions and Process Management was a perfect scenario for Ranpak to showcase their most recent technological advancement in logistic solutions: the Cut’it!™ Evo in-line packaging machine. And we had the opportunity to interview Mr. Paul Spronken, Ranpak’s product manager for Automation, to learn more about the Cut’it!™ EVO technology.

Cut’it! TM EVO, a new generation filled with possibilities 

Ranpak's next-generation machines present a combination of upgrades and new functionalities aimed at one objective: to make logistics easier and more efficient. In this sense, Mr. Sproken explained to us the in-detail capabilities and possibilities offered by the Cut’it!TM EVO technology. 

Let’s start by defining what is the Cut’it! TM EVO in-line packaging machine and how long has it been in the market?

Paul: Cut’it!TM EVO has been installed at customer sites for several years. The version we are demonstrating at LogiMAT is the completely redesigned next-generation solution, designed to meet ever-changing market trends.

Once products are packed, Cut’it!TM EVO determines the highest filling point of the carton, cuts excess cardboard, folds it to reduce the height, and automatically applies a glued lid resulting in a box ready for palletizing and shipping. 

The result is a smaller box; faster, leaner operations; and lower shipping costs with optimized box sizes. Easy-to-open parcels with tear-off strips further enhance the customer unboxing experience.

Cut’it!TMEVO is a flexible and highly efficient solution that enables companies to accelerate their sustainable packaging journey, which includes the ability to pack an average of 25% more boxes per truckload, thereby reducing the number of trucks needed by as much as 25%.

Paul Spronken

And what is new in this generation of Cut’it!TM EVO?

Paul: In this completely redesigned next-generation solution, a number of overall performance improvements have been made to the system to improve reliability and productivity. Additionally:

  • Online access to real-time performance data for insights into the operation is now available, and online assistance enables technical support to directly access the system when needed.
  • Integrated, laser-based measuring devices detect bulky, overfilled boxes, handling them selectively to prevent the system from jamming.
  • The updated, modern design, including its large sliding doors, provides transparency and easy access to all areas of the machine for optimal maintenance.
  • The 12-inch color user interface, which can be operated from either side of the system, and integrated cameras also make it easier for operators to manage the operation of the equipment and ensure optimum quality.
  • For problem resolution and quality assurance purposes, the camera system can store up to 40 hours’ worth of video.

Can Cut’it!TM EVO be operated as a standalone component, or does it need to be part of a larger integrated system?

Paul: Cut’it!TMEVO is part of a typical end-of-line setup in a packing operation. The end-of-line configuration begins with Ranpak’s Form’it! TM packaging machine which erects the box. 

Conveyors then transport boxes to the packing area and box closing machine. Automatic printing and affixing of a label to the box completes the packing process, and the box is now ready to be moved to the shipping module. 

A unique Ranpak technology 

Is the Cut’it!TM EVO is a technology developed exclusively by Ranpak, or is it a new industry-wide technology? 

Paul: It is exclusively ours. The Cut’it!TM EVO in-line packaging machine was developed leveraging Ranpak’s 50 years of experience in packaging together with ongoing feedback from customers using our equipment in the field. 

This information enables our engineering team to ensure ongoing improvements to performance and to be able to adapt each machine exactly to customer requirements. This often includes recommendations about third-party components that can be integrated for improved performance, including a variety of conveyors, robotics solutions, and more. 

One good example is our partnership with Caja Robotics, which provides complimentary technology for order fulfillment. Together, these two solutions optimize fulfillment processes starting when e-commerce orders are placed and received for picking, to packing and shipping when the order is ready, thereby combining depalletization, picking, and packing capabilities. 

Other partners are engaged as needed or as dictated by the customer’s unique requirements or integrator preferences. This approach positions Ranpak as the preeminent end-of-line expert for distribution centers of all types and sizes.

In a perfect packing world, what would be the ultimate Ranpak automated packing line configuration? How much is provided by Ranpak and how much by partners? Does Ranpak act as the integrator for the final installation?

Paul: There is no perfect solution that meets the needs of every customer. Each Ranpak solution is configured based on an in-depth examination of each customer’s requirements which can range from single to multi-line configurations in any type of facility. The final configuration is implemented in close cooperation with the customer’s integrator of choice. 

Decisions are based on throughput, cushioning needs, and types of orders being fulfilled, in consideration of which Ranpak will select the right type of solution, including Form’it!TM, AutoFill, Cut’it! or Flap’it, among others.

Can you explain how lids are sourced and whether the zip strip is included in the preconfigured top or something added by Ranpak?

Paul: Ranpak works together with local corrugated suppliers in order to create this packaging concept. Zip strips, or other easy to open solutions, can be part of the implementation, depending on customer requirements. In order to facilitate the easy return of shipments, a lid with a tear strip and a glue strip can also be used.

Are boxes limited to one size?

Paul: No. The search for the customer’s perfect box size is part of our consultation process. We can supply machines that process boxes ranging from 150x230mm up to 450x650mm with our Cut’itTM EVO. For larger boxes, our Cut’it! XXL is the machine of choice.

What maintenance is needed?

Paul: Cut’it!TM EVO is easy to operate and maintain. Daily maintenance is limited to the cleaning of the machine. The operator also needs to refill the lid blanks, while the autofill option on our hot glue melter keeps glue at the precise level. 

Glue refill and knife change need to be performed from once a week up to a few times per week, depending on the usage level. For longer maintenance intervals, Ranpak offers full preventive maintenance contracts to keep the machine in perfect condition. These are based on 1, 2, or multiple visits per year, depending upon the machine usage.

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