Bobst gives Competence debut to coding line

Bobst took an innovative approach to introducing the Gulf region to its latest products by organising Competence 15 – an event where printers and converters could also pick up advice and information on business and other professional topics.
Delta Printing Press Dubai, Four Films Group Kuwait, Hala Print Saudi Arabia and Merit Packaging Pakistan attended the maiden Competence presentations and conference, held at Bobst Competence Centre in Mex, Switzerland, on 22 June.Bobst competence 15
Competence 15 hosted the world premieres for Bobst developments including: Foil Unwinder+, a new foiling solution offering designed to save on foil use; Visioncut 106 LER, a new highly productive blank separating die-cutter; and Expertcode, a new digital serialisation machine addressing the increasing needs of packaging makers worldwide for coding and customisation.
The event also provided the European debut for Novacut 106 ER, a blank separating die-cutter that was unveiled at Brazil’s ExpoPrint last year and is already giving customers a cost-efficient entry into high-quality in-line blanking.
Samir Khoudja, Bobst managing director for the Middle East and Africa, said Competence 15 is a very important event for Bobst’s MEA regional customers “especially in demonstrating to our Gulf regional and also customers from Pakistan how we can help them improve the quality of their output while at the same time reducing their costs”.
“This exercise shows our commitment to supporting the development of the packaging industry in our region,” he told Packaging MEA.
Competence 15 attracted almost 300 packaging producers, who gained insights through presentations and a conference into how to meet brand owners’ growing demands, especially in special applications, and how to raise their productivity and cut wastage.
A conference programme parallel to the product premieres gave perspectives on business topics such as boosting business performance to the latest trends, opportunities and challenges for various sectors of the packaging industry.
Philippe Milliet, head of Bobst Business Unit Sheet-fed, said Competence 15 was “carefully designed to be different to a typical launch event”.
“The idea of the ‘Inspiring Business Solutions’ theme was to showcase not only the latest Bobst developments, which are designed to help solve specific problems our customers face, but also to present them with ideas and perspectives that will help them tackle the challenges that will affect them over the coming years,” he said. “These perspectives came from our own experts, as well as from brand owners and business thinkers.”
Emilio Corti, head of sales for the Bobst Business Unit Sheet-fed, said the number of debuts at Competence 15 shows how the company is maintaining its commitment to continuous innovation. “Each new piece of equipment has been designed to help our customers worldwide improve their profitability in the increasingly competitive commercial landscape of the packaging manufacturing sector,” he said.
He spotlighted Expertcode as the first of a new product line for Bobst. “It speaks directly to a need that our customers have expressed for technology which can help their brand owner customers, for example in pharmaceutical industries, track, trace and protect their products,” he said.
Foil Unwinder+, which is available as an option on Masterfoil 106 PR hot-foil stamping presses, uses intelligent processes to ensure the foil advance places the least possible stress on the web. By constantly self-adjusting during production, Foil Unwinder+ allows the press to run with a gap as small as 2mm between impressions on the foil, regardless of running speed, reel size or reel width, said Bobst. By doing this, Foil Unwinder+ can halve foil consumption, depending on the layout of the job, according to the company.
Responding to a desire to raise efficiency in carton making through automated in-line separation of cartons, the new Visioncut 106 LER die-cutter helps cut labour costs, enhance product quality, and increase productivity, according to Bobst. The new IIIB format press has a cam-driven platen and dynamic optical lateral register control for exceptional accuracy and production consistency. The fully automatic Smart Feeder on the Visioncut 106 LER delivers “incredibly reliable” sheet feeding, even at its top speed of 8,000sph. This not only increases productivity, but also frees up the machine operator to concentrate on quality, rather than on getting sheets through the machine, said Bobst.
The 7,000sph IIIB format Novacut 106 ER blank separating die-cutter complements the Visioncut by giving carton makers a way to access in-line blank separation technology. The Bobst Angle Lock blanking tool system incorporated into the Novacut 106 ER enables users to always blank separate jobs, as the tools can either be supplied directly by Bobst or made in-plant using standard components.
Both the Novacut 106 ER and Visioncut 106 LER can be converted from blanking mode to full sheet delivery in minutes, giving users new to blank separation the ability to build up a portfolio of blanked work while running existing jobs.
Expertcode is the first full market launch from the Bobst digital printing initiative and addresses anti-counterfeiting and traceability as well as the customisation and versioning of packs. Expertcode gives packaging manufacturers the ability to digitally print individualised codes, text or graphics, off-line onto blanks or onto already folded and glued cartons, and to do so with high resolution, at high speed and with instant verification.
The system brings together Bobst’s extensive research and development into digital printing, its experience in high-speed, high-accuracy optical recognition systems gained through Bobst Registron systems, and innovative technology from trusted industry partners.
Competence 15 also showcased Bobst service products designed to increase productivity, reduce costs or ensure safety. These included a new platen conditioning service that removes the oxidation that can build up on beams, chases and platens, and protects the machine against further corrosion. The service can reduce makeready times on die-cutters by between 25% and 50% and the cutting force needed to run a job by up to 30%, said Bobst.
Complementing the premieres were a number of new product and finance solutions from Bobst partners, including Deutsche Leasing, Hunkeler, H.B. Fuller, Marbach, Henkel, Kurz, Hinderer+Mühlich GmbH, Lasertec, Baumerhhs, SGM and UEI Group. Formatted as a trade show within Competence 15, providing access to these partners meant that visitors were able to get the latest information and exchange ideas with leading suppliers to the industry.
Among the presentations in the conference programme at Competence 15 was a talk by Charlotte D’Aulnois, of coaching and consultancy company Saphir-DNS, on how to boost business performance using neuroscience and sports coaching. Patrik Merckell of Novartis gave a review of upcoming requirements impacting pharmaceutical packaging, while Steven Klump of Nestlé spoke on food safety challenges facing digitally printed packaging.
The conference also included sessions by François Hosotte of Ferring on the secondary packaging challenges facing pharma brand owners and their suppliers, a review of packaging trends in the cosmetics industry by Bobst’s Alex Volery, and a presentation by Alvise Cavallari of Nestlé on some of the many opportunities offered to the packaging industry by developments in digital printing.

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