Skip to main content


Innovating Efficiency: Insights from Jordi de Gracia on the FlipFlow XY (Stack Flipper)


Jordi de Gracia, Chief Mechanical Engineer at SERRA, brings over two decades of pioneering innovation to the corrugated board industry. With an illustrious career spanning 20 years, Jordi has been at the forefront of revolutionizing manufacturing processes, consistently pushing the boundaries of technological advancement in corrugated board production. Through his visionary leadership and deep expertise, Jordi continues to drive SERRA's commitment to excellence, shaping the future of the industry with innovative solutions that redefine efficiency, quality, and sustainability.

Innovation Inspiration: 

What inspired you to create the FlipFlow XY? 

My inspiration stemmed from observing the paper industry's process, where flipping and maneuvering pallets is a common task. Extensively researching both in-person and online, I delved into the intricacies of the industry to inform the design process thoroughly.

Were there specific challenges or needs in the industry that drove its development?

Transitioning from flexographic to digital printing presented a significant shift. With digital printing, the cardboard's printing surface must face upwards, whereas for subsequent processes like die-cutting, it needs to be flipped. Hence, there arose a critical need to flip sheets post-corrugation (before digital printing) and post-printing to facilitate seamless integration into the die-cutting line.

Market Impact: 

How has the FlipFlow XY been received by corrugated board converting manufacturers and OEMs of digital printers?

The OEMs of digital printers tend to focus primarily on their machine's individual performance rather than considering the broader workflow between production lines. They may overlook the holistic perspective.

Conversely, corrugated board converting manufacturers are intimately familiar with the daily challenges of seamlessly linking production processes. This understanding has fueled their enthusiastic embrace of the FlipFlow XY, particularly its latest iteration featuring enhancements like vibration and air blower functionalities. They recognize the necessity of flipping sheets both pre- and post-digital printing, tasks that would otherwise require manual intervention.

Can you share any success stories or feedback from clients?

Absolutely, one standout success story comes from a client based in Saudi Arabia. Their team, particularly the workers, experienced a notable improvement in their workflow. Previously, they had to manually transport pallets to a separate flipper station across the factory, or even flip them by hand. With the integration of the FlipFlow XY into their production line, everything became streamlined. They could now manage the flipping process directly from the main console, programming it for each order as needed. Essentially, the FlipFlow XY seamlessly aligned with their existing conveyors, leading into and out of the digital printing process. This not only enhanced productivity and efficiency but also significantly eased the workload for machine operators.

Versatility Unveiled: 

The Stack Flipper XY 's ability to deliver stacks in any direction is quite impressive. How does this feature revolutionize workflow efficiency and storage optimization within manufacturing facilities?

The Stack Flipper XY leverages cutting-edge technology, including hidden and pop-up belts seamlessly integrated into the system. This integration enables the conveyor to effortlessly receive or deliver stacks from multiple directions, both along the X and Y axes. This unique functionality empowers manufacturing facilities to operate either linearly or at 90-degree angles, offering unparalleled flexibility to adapt to diverse workflow requirements. 


Integration Insights: 

You mentioned that the FlipFlow XY is compatible with various conveyor systems. Can you explain how seamless integration with existing systems has been achieved, and what benefits this offers to manufacturers?

The FlipFlow XY is designed for effortless integration with all conveyor systems preceding and following the digital printing process. Customized to fit the specific width of each client's production line, it ensures a perfect match for streamlined operations. By utilizing a pit for height adjustment, it seamlessly aligns with existing infrastructure. This compatibility not only simplifies installation but also offers manufacturers the flexibility to enhance their workflow without the need for extensive modifications.

User Experience

Ease of use is often a crucial factor in adopting new equipment. How does the FlipFlow XY prioritize user-friendly design, and what feedback have you received regarding its ease of operation?

The FlipFlow XY has been meticulously engineered for user simplicity. It offers a straightforward operation where users can opt to flip all piles continuously until instructed otherwise. There's no need to input sheet dimensions or other parameters manually, as the system autonomously calculates everything required. Alternatively, it seamlessly integrates with the main software of the production line, allowing users to program each order's flipping requirements with ease. Once set up, users can trust the system to handle the task automatically, eliminating the need for constant manual intervention.

Feedback from users confirms its user-friendly nature, with clients praising its intuitive controls and the hassle-free automation it brings to their workflow.

Automation Advantages: 

The FlipFlow XY’s fully automatic flipping capabilities are undoubtedly a game-changer. 

How does automation not only boost productivity but also enhance safety standards in manufacturing environments?

In addition to its remarkable productivity benefits, the FlipFlow XY prioritizes safety through innovative automation features. Equipped with a protective fence and a muting system at both the entrance and exit points of the pile workflow, it actively detects the presence of objects or personnel. If a worker inadvertently steps onto the production line conveyors, the muting system triggers an immediate halt to all movements, preventing accidents and ensuring employee safety. This proactive safety measure not only safeguards workers but also contributes to a more secure and reliable manufacturing environment.

Quality Assurance: 

Maintaining product integrity during the flipping process is crucial. 

Could you shed light on the precision mechanisms employed by the FlipFlow XY to ensure that corrugated board stacks are flawlessly flipped without compromise?

The latest iteration of the FlipFlow XY incorporates advanced features such as vibrators and an air blower, which play pivotal roles in achieving impeccable alignment of the piles on two sides. These mechanisms not only ensure precise flipping but also contribute to overall product quality. The powerful vibration and aeration system effectively separate sheets and remove dust, drastically reducing stops in sheet feeding processes such as printing or die-cutting caused by sheets sticking together. This meticulous attention to detail minimizes the risk of errors and defects, ultimately enhancing the integrity of the finished product. Additionally, the introduction of an air layer between the corrugated board sheets further reduces friction, preventing scratches on the printable surface and facilitating smoother feeding into the production line. Overall, these precision mechanisms ensure seamless workflow continuity and elevate the quality standards of corrugated board production.

In terms of maintenance, the FlipFlow XY is designed for utmost user convenience. Routine maintenance involves periodic checks of the vibration system bolts and replacement of the blower if signs of wear are detected. Additionally, applying grease and oil to specified points, as outlined in the manual, helps ensure optimal performance. Overall, the maintenance requirements are minimal, reflecting the machine's robust design engineered to withstand the rigors of industrial operations for a lifetime.


Future Forward: 

Innovation is a continuous journey. Are there any forthcoming enhancements or features in the pipeline for the FlipFlow XY ? 

Yes, indeed. We are currently in the development phase of the next generation FlipFlow XY, which will revolutionize pile alignment by enabling simultaneous alignment on all four sides.

How do you envision it evolving to meet the ever-evolving demands of the industry?

This advancement will significantly enhance pile stability and further streamline the feeding process into the production line. By addressing these key aspects, we anticipate the new generation FlipFlow XY will not only meet but exceed the evolving demands of the industry, setting a new standard for efficiency and precision in corrugated board manufacturing.


Sustainability Stance: 

With sustainability at the forefront of many agendas, how does the FlipFlow XY contribute to eco-conscious practices or resource efficiency in corrugated board production?

With sustainability at the forefront of many agendas, the FlipFlow XY contributes significantly to eco-conscious practices and resource efficiency in corrugated board production. This machine demonstrates a commitment to sustainability through its innovative approach to energy generation.

During the flipping process, the FlipFlow XY naturally generates energy as the pile descends. This generated energy is harnessed and can be redirected to supplement the factory's electric power supply or to directly power other SERRA machinery within the production line. For instance, in the case of our Stackers, the energy is fed back into the same Stacker to move the belts.

By efficiently utilizing this self-generated energy, the FlipFlow XY reduces reliance on external power sources and minimizes waste. This not only supports eco-conscious practices but also promotes significant resource efficiency, making the production process more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Global Perspective: 

As a globally recognized solution, how does SERRA's FlipFlow XY cater to the diverse needs of manufacturers across different regions? 

As a globally recognized solution, SERRA's FlipFlow XY is designed to cater to the diverse needs of manufacturers across different regions. The FlipFlow XY has been successfully installed in various countries, including Canada, Belgium, and Saudi Arabia, demonstrating its adaptability to a wide range of environments and climates.

The machine is engineered to perform optimally regardless of environmental conditions or temperature variations, ensuring consistent performance worldwide. Additionally, the FlipFlow XY features user-friendly controls with visual identification for buttons and screens. While the default interface is in English, the design ensures that operators without English proficiency can still operate the machine effectively and achieve perfect results. This thoughtful design makes the FlipFlow XY a versatile and accessible solution for manufacturers globally.