Bobst has announced its latest innovations in printing, converting, services and performance to help converters and brand owners to take a big step towards the digitalisation of the packaging supply chain. Based on four key pillars – connectivity, digitalisation, automation and sustainability, the solutions are in line with the company’s overarching ‘Connect’ vision.
Bobst Connect is a cloud-based digital platform that enhances and improves packaging productivity. New to the market is the Tool Management solution which offers unprecedented control over TooLink-equipped dies, integrating tool makers, tracking tool performance, feedback, maintenance and orders.
Another addition is Recipe Management for AccuCheck which allows users to remotely prepare and set up an inspection recipe based on the artwork file, and to save recipes and retrieve parameters, anytime, anywhere, offering the beginning of the closed-loop solution.
To reinforce its automation and connectivity streams Bobst has acquired 70% of the equity of Dücker Robotics, a world leader in the use of robots in both loading and palletising in the corrugated board sector, while offering opportunities in the folding carton industry.
For the flexible packaging sector, Bobst is introducing three new machines, including the Vision K5 HS metalliser, Nova MW laminator and Vision CI for paper applications, which are scheduled to be launched in June, July and in the fourth quarter of this year, respectively.
For the labels industry, Bobst has expanded its portfolio of die-cutting solutions. In addition to the 370 mm version, a 530 mm High-Performance semi-rotary die-cutter with automatic plate change is now available. Both modules include the Digi-Gap feature for even faster job changeovers. Quick Change rotary die-cutting has also been introduced, which provides a 50% time saving to change magnetic cylinders.
An enhancement package is on its way for the Digital Master series which includes new features such as Connect, third-party integration and new AccuCheck functionalities.
A totally re-designed user interface – the Bobst Sphere for flexo and digital – is coming first to the Digital Master series and in-line flexo M6, with gradual implementation to other platforms. It combines in one single point of control for all flexo and digital processes to ensure Bobst’s most user-friendly HMI yet.
In addition, Bobst’s colour management engine (DFE) and print results are validated by Pantone – giving customers complete peace of mind.
There is increasing demand for more sophisticated folding carton packaging to stand out on the shelves and engage with consumers in new ways. Latest Bobst developments in this sector include NovaFoil updates offering an advanced cross-foiling option and hologram modules; a Digital Make Ready Tool to connect prepress with production; and new generations of ExpertFold, VisionFold and NovaFold. These come equipped with a host of new features to increase their productivity and move closer towards the Bobst Industry Vision of a fully digitalised and connected converting process with maximum automation and sustainability.
With e-commerce still the major driver for the corrugated packaging market, converters need to respond to the growing demand for more sophisticated types of packaging to be produced in large quantities.
Latest Bobst developments in this sector include ExpertFlex which combines the post-printing power with the die-cutting precision of the ExpertCut 1.7 I 2.1 flat-bed die cutter to form a single, highly automated ExpertLine packaging production line, and new strapping solutions for Speedpack to increase the machine’s versatility, enabling the bundling of boxes with 5-15 mm plastic straps commonly used in the corrugated board industry.
Bobst continues to provide best-in-class 24/7 remote support to its customers, including video and new augmented reality support, remote connection to machine and data analysis. Around 33,000 remote sessions are now conducted each year with dedicated Technical Support Specialists.
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG)
Bobst is deploying an active strategy on sustainability. It has clearly formalised the company’s targets and is evaluating decarbonisation options for its operational activities to reduce its carbon footprint. Other key ESG-related activities include the ongoing development of recyclable substrates, the development of water-based inks, and the reduction of its machines’ electricity consumption by 10-20% by the end of 2030.
Bobst Group CEO Jean-Pascal Bobst noted: “The packaging industry is in the midst of a digital revolution, which is forcing every company to innovate, challenge their approach, think end-to-end and digital, and leverage networks and platforms to deliver new business models for their clients.
“At Bobst, we pride ourselves on having a deep understanding of what our customers need, thanks to very close partnerships. These latest enhancements to our portfolio all resolve specific pain points that our customers have raised. And collectively, they take us closer to more automated, connected, digitalised and sustainable packaging production.”
Bobst Group CEO Jean-Pascal Bobst addresses a press conference introducing the new solutions