VERPACKEN-AKTUELL

Informations from the Packaging Industry

An insight into the Bobst industry vision

The backbone of packaging production

02. April 2020, von Susanna Stock

Helpline Plus Smart Headset: overlay-manuals providing the right informations on time and hands free to work.

Quelle: Bobst

„The pack­ag­ing busi­ness com­mu­ni­ty is deal­ing with the un­prece­dent­ed Coro­n­avirus (COVID-19) sit­u­a­tion with both ur­gency and a deep sense of care. It will come to an end. With many peo­ple work­ing from home, we want to pro­vide con­tent about the equip­ment, sys­tems and process­es that we were due to show­case in the com­ing months, let­ting you know what is new and ex­pect­ed so that you can plan ahead for your own busi­ness,“ Bob­st is in­form­ing via press in­for­ma­tion.

„Brand own­ers and con­vert­ers will con­tin­ue to stay un­der pres­sure like nev­er be­fore. A lot of chal­lenges are shak­ing our in­dus­try, such as faster time-to-market, e-commerce, and sus­tain­abil­i­ty. Each of these chal­lenges also means a va­ri­ety of op­por­tu­ni­ties for pack­ag­ing pro­duc­tion. Sup­pli­ers of pack­ag­ing equip­ment and pack­ag­ing ser­vices are lead­ing a nec­es­sary trans­for­ma­tion in the in­dus­try. We built this trans­for­ma­tion around four main pil­lars: con­nec­tiv­i­ty, dig­i­tal­iza­tion, au­toma­tion and sus­tain­abil­i­ty.

The en­tire pro­duc­tion chain needs to be­come more ag­ile and flex­i­ble. Across the whole pro­duc­tion work­flow, more fact-based and time­ly de­ci­sions will be re­quired. We are en­ter­ing a pe­ri­od where con­nect­ed sys­tems will share data across the en­tire pro­duc­tion process for faster and pre­cise op­ti­miza­tion.

From the ini­tial de­sign file to the fi­nal pro­duced la­bel or box, all steps of the pack­ag­ing pro­duc­tion will be­come in­ter­linked. A change at the de­sign stage, whether lay­out or struc­tur­al, will au­to­mat­i­cal­ly be com­mu­ni­cat­ed to all next steps down­stream. The spe­cif­ic tasks at each stage of the process, such as print­ing, cut­ting and fold­ing, will be au­to­mat­ed with dig­i­tal­ized so­lu­tions, en­abling a much faster turn­around time.

How far have we come – and where do we still need to go?

Digitalize, automate and connect: The Bobst vision for coming years.

Quelle: Bobst

The dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion is hap­pen­ing at dif­fer­ent speeds across the pack­ag­ing in­dus­try. There is a con­sen­sus that la­bels have led the way and, af­ter a slow ini­tial start, there are now more dig­i­tal la­bel press­es sold than con­ven­tion­al print­ing ma­chines. This is be­cause in the la­bels in­dus­try, we have reached the stage where the dig­i­tal so­lu­tions can de­liv­er re­sults at a sat­is­fac­to­ri­ly com­pa­ra­ble qual­i­ty, pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and cost lev­el to con­ven­tion­al press­es. More­over, and im­por­tant to ap­pre­ci­ate, la­bels are less com­plex to pro­duce than flex­i­ble pack­ag­ing, fold­ing car­ton and cor­ru­gat­ed box­es. The la­bel in­dus­try has set the tone for the oth­er in­dus­tries to fol­low, each of them with the re­spec­tive com­po­nents.

"In the la­bel in­dus­try the con­nec­tiv­i­ty and the dig­i­tal­iza­tion has en­abled real progress,"" said Chris­t­ian Zeller – Mar­ket­ing Di­rec­tor for the La­bel and Flex­i­ble Pack­ag­ing so­lu­tions. "Among oth­er things, you can now track the qual­i­ty of every sin­gle la­bel pro­duced com­par­ing the out­put with the orig­i­nal PDF and this on any tech­nol­o­gy – dig­i­tal, hy­brid or flexo."

Towards a fully automated workflow

The dig­i­tal­iza­tion of print­ing process­es is the most vis­i­ble el­e­ment in the pack­ag­ing in­dus­try, com­ment­ed Jean-Pascal Bob­st, CEO Bob­st Group. The com­ing years will like­ly see a ma­jor ac­cel­er­a­tion of dig­i­tal print­ing. While the so­lu­tions are be­com­ing avail­able, the biggest chal­lenge for print­ers and con­vert­ers is not the in­di­vid­ual print­ing ma­chines, but rather the en­tire work­flow en­com­pass­ing con­vert­ing.

At BOB­ST we have a ful­ly au­to­mat­ed and con­trolled work­flow from file to the fi­nal la­bel, pouch or box, and this so­lu­tion an­swers brand own­ers’ and con­vert­ers’ needs. With the in­no­va­tions com­plet­ed to date and oth­ers to come from BOB­ST and oth­er in­dus­try part­ners, we are mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion, added Jean-Pascal Bob­st.

Packaging production 4.0 will require mindset changes

Digitalization: innovating the value chain

Quelle: Bobst

In a more au­to­mat­ed world, the fo­cus will be less on the how and more on the what. This will mean a fun­da­men­tal change in the types of per­son­nel and skills re­quired through­out the work­flow. The data re­port­ed back by the ma­chines will re­quire the op­er­a­tors to have the glob­al view of the en­tire process and no longer to spe­cial­ize on a giv­en tech­ni­cal task. BOB­ST is very aware of this fun­da­men­tal change and of­fers train­ing and a pow­er­ful suite of ap­pli­ca­tions to help op­er­a­tors.

Hu­man knowl­edge and prox­im­i­ty will al­ways be re­quired. But rather than fo­cus­ing on repet­i­tive man­u­al or tech­ni­cal tasks, the hu­man in­put will be more on the val­ue-adding con­tri­bu­tions to more au­toma­tion and bet­ter pack­ag­ing pro­duc­tion.

The be­low is just a sam­ple of the Bob­st dig­i­tal so­lu­tions en­abling bet­ter au­toma­tion and con­nec­tion. For la­bel and flex­i­ble pack­ag­ing pro­duc­tion, Bob­st Digi­Flexo tech­nol­o­gy now en­ables the au­to­mat­ic con­trol of col­or qual­i­ty and con­sis­ten­cy, the abil­i­ty to print across nu­mer­ous sub­strates and con­sume less ink and gen­er­ate less waste than con­ven­tion­al flexo process­es. The Digi­Flexo press­es op­er­ate on the ba­sis of a con­nect­ed au­toma­tion work­flow by hav­ing a data ex­change from ma­chine to ma­chine. The com­plete au­toma­tion of the print­ing process avoids ma­chine stops, and the hands and eyes of the op­er­a­tor are re­placed by the ac­cu­ra­cy of a dig­i­tal­ized data ad­just­ment sys­tem.

In 2019, Bob­st in­tro­duced Digi­Col­or – the very first closed-loop col­or con­trol sys­tem in the flexo in­dus­try. Col­or is mea­sured in-line and ad­just­ed on each print unit to match the tar­get col­or val­ues. Digi­Flexo is the per­fect so­lu­tion for brand own­ers need­ing cus­tomiza­tion, col­or con­sis­ten­cy con­trol and faster time-to-market.

At La­bel­ex­po 2019, Bob­st also in­tro­duced the Mas­ter DM5, a hy­brid la­bel press en­com­pass­ing a dig­i­tal print­ing mod­ule with the Mou­vent Inkjet clus­ter, which pro­vides the best pos­si­ble com­bi­na­tion of dig­i­tal and Digi­Flexo print­ing in a sin­gle press. It is the most dig­i­tal­ly au­to­mat­ed press in the la­bel mar­ket, with the high­est print qual­i­ty, pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and re­li­a­bil­i­ty for all kind of print jobs – from short to long.

For fold­ing car­ton, the Ac­cucheck in-line in­spec­tion sys­tem in­spects car­ton blanks for de­fects and guar­an­tees com­plete qual­i­ty con­sis­ten­cy. This en­ables brand own­ers to pro­vide per­fect box­es to their pack­ers, re­duc­ing waste and down­time in the sup­ply chain. An­oth­er ma­jor in­no­va­tion is the Dig­i­tal In­spec­tion Ta­ble. It al­lows the proof­ing of print­ed sheets and die-cut blanks, whilst pro­vid­ing real-time vi­su­al rep­re­sen­ta­tions to match real prod­uct with dig­i­tal proofs. It is a nov­el tech­nol­o­gy de­signed to dri­ve pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and vir­tu­al­ly re­move print pro­duc­tion er­rors, in­creas­ing brand own­er sat­is­fac­tion.

For the cor­ru­gat­ed board in­dus­try, the Bob­st THQ tech­nol­o­gy en­ables un­matched high graph­ics qual­i­ty at low­er cost than con­ven­tion­al off­set and flexo process­es and in ad­di­tion of­fers anti-counterfeit print­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties. Pre­mi­um Gap Con­trol mean­while, en­sures re­li­able and pre­cise con­trol of 100% of fin­ished box­es at rat­ed pro­duc­tion speed, pro­vid­ing op­ti­mum pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and to­tal fold­ing qual­i­ty.

And com­ple­ment­ing all of this is the Con­nect­ed Ser­vices of­fer. For ex­am­ple, our Helpline Plus ser­vice al­lows cus­tomers to con­nect with Bob­st ex­perts im­me­di­ate­ly as the need aris­es, mean­ing that around 80% of all tech­ni­cal is­sues are re­solved re­mote­ly with­in two hours. Oth­er el­e­ments of Con­nect­ed Ser­vices in­clude apps to make pro­duc­tion- and ma­chine data avail­able by us­ing a mo­bile, tablet or by us­ing a brows­er.

Re­mote Mon­i­tor­ing is a com­pre­hen­sive pro­duc­tion re­port­ing tool de­signed to quick­ly ac­cess de­tailed ma­chine pro­duc­tion, process and tech­ni­cal data, while Down­time Track­ing makes it easy to get ac­cu­rate root cause stop­page analy­sis for a spe­cif­ic ma­chine or an en­tire shop floor.

"The feed­back we have had from cus­tomers around the Con­nect­ed are unan­i­mous," said Raphael In­der­muehle – Bob­st Ser­vices Sales & Mar­ket­ing Head. "They have seen sig­nif­i­cant en­hance­ments in pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and qual­i­ty, with few­er er­rors and ma­jor up-time gains. The ben­e­fits of these con­nect­ed ser­vices are con­sid­er­able."

Conclusion

Brand own­ers and con­vert­ers are al­ready see­ing the sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits of more au­toma­tion, dig­i­tal­iza­tion and con­nec­tiv­i­ty and more to come soon. Our vi­sion is sim­ple and clear. We want to shape the fu­ture of the pack­ag­ing in­dus­try. Across la­bels, flex­i­ble pack­ag­ing, fold­ing car­ton and cor­ru­gat­ed board, we dri­ve with pas­sion and com­mit­ment. We in­tend to con­nect all stake­hold­ers to a dig­i­tal­ized and au­to­mat­ed work­flow, ac­cess­ing in­for­ma­tion any­time any­where for a flex­i­ble and ag­ile col­lab­o­ra­tive op­er­a­tion.

(st)

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