Contemporary technology in spotlight at Bobst Innovation Seminar on Corrugated Packaging

Leading folding carton and corrugation box packaging equipment suppliers in the region, Bobst AME held its second ‘Bobst and Partners Leading Innovation Seminar’ in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates from 6-8 November 2017.

The packaging industry across the MENA region is growing, with the UAE within, being one of the fastest growing. The growth is largely attributed to the country’s growing domestic consumption and diversified exports market.

The packaging sector has its influence on all industry, directly or indirectly. A growing economy and a flourishing food and beverage and retail segments have raised the demand for corrugated packaging and created new avenues.

Speaking to Packaging MEA, Samir Khoudja, Managing Director of Bobst Africa & Middle East, said: “ Bobst is a leading player in the packaging industry acting in different solutions: for Folding Carton, Corrugated Board, Flexible Materials, Label and Digital Print.

Bobst Africa & Middle East chose to be as close as possible to its customers by having branch offices and local qualified technicians in different regions: United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and recently Nigeria. This type of get-together is certainly a great opportunity for a better understanding of the priorities of our customers in the corrugated field, helping us to further develop this activity with our stakeholders (partners, customers and customers’ customers) in the pursuit of excellence”.

The Seminar was attended by 38 participants comprising of owners of converting companies, general managers, plant, production and operations managers from 13 countries including Jordan, UAE, Tunisia, Iran, Pakistan, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Kuwait, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Syria.

The 19 sessions at the Seminar presented an exclusive and excellent opportunity for the players in the corrugated segment of the region to understand the corrugated packaging chain, covering the gamut from corrugated box-making machinery, printing machinery, ancillary equipment, design, paper from a host of speakers belonging to the manufacturing as well as the buyer perspective. These included specialists from Bobst, Asahi, Simec, Siegwerk, Laserbox, Delta Neu, Ndigitec and Saica, with the valuable participation of the packaging design specialist, Mr. Lars Wallentin from Packaging Sense. A representative from Nestle was also invited to present the packaging trends and needs a packaging consumer.

Naoufel Ghezal, Business Manager Corrugated Board, Bobst Africa & Middle East, said, “The North Africa and Middle East region is performing very well in packaging despite the turmoil associated with it. We estimate an annual growth rate of 4-5%. Algeria and Morocco have a higher growth rate that can sometimes reach 2 digits. In terms of corrugated board in 2015-16 our region, we performed extremely well and beat all the records of machine sales. This isn’t enough. We now need to bring to our customers, all the support and the necessary solutions.

Our customers need to utilize our equipment in the best way and we help them to produce the best possible packaging with the lowest possible cost. This 3-day seminar has been aimed to bring all what we have, our knowledge, experience and expertise to our customers.

“Changing regional trends demand top-end solutions from Bobst. This seminar helps our customers provide solutions to their customers – the brand owners. Therefore we’ve invited Nestle, a global consumer of packaging, to explain their needs in terms of design, costing and lead times for their packaging. We also invited our customers to understand what the challenges are for the coming years and how Bobst can help them overcome those challenges.”

Speaking about their latest machine, the Bobst FFG 8.20 EXPERT – Flexo folder gluer, the objective behind its development and its success in the region, Naoufel said, “The Expert Line 8.20 was developed 5 years ago in answer to the American market demand of a simple yet fast and efficient machine with the lowest cost of production. It has been a huge success since its introduction to the AME market. We’ve installed 2 machines in Egypt, one each in Algeria and Saudi Arabia and another in Oman. This month the latest installation is happening in Universal Carton Industries in the UAE and at Asan Pack, Iran.”

This seminar has certainly helped our existing customers and potential ones to understand this machine and how to bring out its maximum efficiency.” said Ghezal.

The Seminar concluded with two workshops where thought-provoking presentations were given on how to master a corrugated plant and how to find the big idea and communicate it.

Packaging MEA will run a Corrugated packaging supplement in its upcoming edition covering the highlights of the seminar and an overview of the sector.

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