Back in 2020, BOBST revealed an industry vision based on four key pillars – connectivity, digitalization, automation and sustainability. Recent world events have accelerated the need for these as never before. Now, these four pillars have become the cornerstones not only of the BOBST strategy, but the entire packaging environment.
“While it was impossible to predict world events of recent years, like the pandemic, global conflicts, and subsequent consequences for our industry such as shortages of materials and manpower, we did correctly identify the overall packaging industry trends,” said Jean-Pascal Bobst, CEO, Bobst Group. “While these trends have undoubtedly been accelerated, BOBST has implemented a strategy and built a portfolio of solutions and services that enables converters and brand owners to thrive even in this new packaging world.”
At BOBST, we believe the future will be driven by even more connectivity and proximity, more digitalization and flexibility, more automatization and productivity and more sustainability and responsibility. Here are some of the newest innovations to complement the BOBST portfolio.
More connectivity and proximity
BOBST believes that the entire packaging value chain can be connected, giving clear visibility of the production process to converters and brand owners.
The key enabler of this vision is the new, updated BOBST Connect, which provides digital solutions to prepare, produce, react to, maintain, and optimize the production workflow of a job. The newly launched version of BOBST Connect offers a host of features and functionality to help customers optimize their packaging at every stage. By linking up every single step of the process, BOBST Connect heightens efficiency, control, and data knowledge, improving quality and efficiency across the value chain.
A great service experience is ensured through proximity to our customers. The new BOBST Helpline Essential for non-connectable machines is a remote assistance service that allows customers to have access to video streaming and high priority connection with BOBST Technical Services Specialists for quicker trouble shooting and issue solving. It is estimated that around 50% of cases will be solvable via streaming.
Meanwhile, to further improve parts logistics services, BOBST is opening a new logistics hub for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions. The new EMEA hub – located in Genk, Belgium – joins existing hubs in the US and Asia Pacific. The logistics center, with 100 000 parts for all product lines are available for immediate dispatch, and it will significantly improve the service level to our EMEA customers with faster delivery times including a 24/7 dispatch service.
More digitalization and flexibility
The need for digitalization is growing as it continues to enable reduction of steps and waste.
In folding carton, BOBST is announcing the new ACCUCHECK RECIPE EDITOR for folder-gluers. Introduced in 2020, the new functionalities “inline inspection system” with ACCUCHECK, carefully checks carton blanks for defects and guarantees complete quality consistency. The new Recipe Editor allows users to create and edit ACCUCHECK recipes remotely within the BOBST Connect platform and to send these recipes to several ACCUCHECKs on the production floor. Leveraging the PDF data of the packaging artwork, this solution simplifies and significantly shortens set-up. As a result, it enables higher shop floor productivity, while also increasing quality and reducing waste by limiting the potential for human errors.
The BOBST All-in-One DIGITAL MASTER 340 and DIGITAL MASTER 510 label presses were also launched in March, which fundamentally change the way label production is set up – fully digitalized from the PDF, with 100% inline inspection as a closed loop, to the final embellished and finished labels across one unified workflow.
More automation and productivity
In an era where converters and brand owners are facing higher demands than ever due to the booming e-commerce market, while simultaneously facing challenges such as shortages in skilled manpower and raw materials, automation and productivity have never been more important.
In the corrugated board sector, the new EXPERTLINE – consisting of the EXPERCUT 1.7 I 2.1 and the EXPERTFLEX – is a large format converting line combining flatbed die-cutting and post-print flexo process, ideally suited to producing e-commerce solutions. It offers great flexibility and is available in a standard and mirror version. With unbeatable registration precision and perfect print register, the line provides unmatched box quality. Short setup times combined with TooLink technology ensure maximum uptime and a productivity of up to 20 million square meters per year. With its low TCO (Total Cost of Ownership), it is the perfect solution for any business to process the ultimate variety of e-commerce and FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) boxes.
In the folding carton sector, BOBST is announcing the new SPEEDSET, an enhanced set up time reduction pack available on all flatbed die-cutters. This pack considerably reduces changeover times and increases output. SPEEDSET includes improved ergonomics, such as an additional 15″ screen at the feeder for faster setup of the optical registration system. Increased automation is also part of the pack, like pallet lifting for each new job setup and a motorized micrometric system to perfectly center die and counter plate to ensure perfect matching between cut and creasing positioning. TooLink is included to digitally connect the tool with the machine to exchange job data within seconds.
Other highlights from this year include MASTERLINE DRO, a new rotary die-cutting solution that offers more performance, more value, and which equips converters in the corrugated industry with the most versatile, most automated, connected and highly ergonomic solution on the market; MASTERCUT 1.65 PER, the only flatbed die-cutter able to process folding carton, corrugated and litho-laminated board, from 0.5 mm to 2,000 g/m2, single or double flute; EXPERTFOLD 165 e-commerce, a new folder-gluer designed specifically to meet the demands of digital retail; and NOVAFOLD 50 | 80 | 110, a new folder-gluer for guaranteed reliability and performance.
More sustainability and responsibility
At BOBST, we believe that sustainability is not tomorrow’s challenge – and we are ready to launch sustainability solutions today.
BOBST – together with its partners – continues to make great progress. As part of the CEFLEX (Circular Economy for Flexible Packaging) initiative, we have recently introduced an exciting new high barrier flexible packaging solution designed for recyclability – a metallized, high barrier, mono-material, flexo printed new recycled polypropylene (rPP) pouch. It is the first surface printed pouch with barrier, produced using rPP household collected recycled material on the market.
We are also working on a home compostable packaging solution in partnership with Tipa – a specialist developer of sustainable packaging – and a fully paper based, high barrier, recycle ready solution, called FibreCycle. The latter is part of oneBARRIER – a family of new alternative and sustainable solutions that BOBST is developing with its partners.
Finally, as part of our commitment to the cross-industry consortium R-Cycle and its mission to ensure the traceability of single-use plastics through Digital Product Passports (DPP), BOBST has completed a pilot at its Competence Center in Manchester, where a demo machine is R-Cycle ready. This project will now be extended to other product lines (Coating, Laminating, Ci Flexo printing, Gravure printing).
We believe that BOBST is in a strong position to help converters and brand owners to transform the way packaging is produced.
“While there is no question that the challenges we face in today’s packaging environment are greater and more varied than ever, at BOBST we know we have the portfolio, services and partnerships in place to help converters and brand owners navigate successfully through them,” says Jean-Pascal Bobst, CEO, Bobst Group. “We have chosen the right strategy back in 2020 and now converters and brand owners can really benefit from that. Together, we can embrace a better future with confidence.”