The Future of the Flexographic Package Printer’s Workflow, According to BOBST CEO Jean-Pascal Bobst

Strategic platforms… Smart factories… Job recipes… Integrated workflows—together, they are defining the efficiency of print production floors, starting today and gaining momentum as the future unfolds.

“We are living through a period of profound transformation in our industry and our approach is to embrace that transformation and provide new opportunities for our customers,” said Jean-Pascal Bobst, CEO of Bobst Group. “The solutions we provide mean converters and brand owners can cope with the shifting pressures and rapidly-changing environment that they face.”

He admitted that brand owners are demanding more and more diverse jobs, multiple SKUs, shorter production time and lower cost in a very competitive market. As a result, he said, “New business models (e.g., web-to-print) are getting more and more important and cannot be addressed with a pure analog or a pure digital machine.”

BOBST MASTER DM5 label press offers all-in-one/all-inline, single-pass production.
All photos courtesy of BOBST

At a June 9 online press briefing, attended by FLEXO Magazine, the CEO proclaimed, “We have set out to shape the future of the packaging world by actively driving industry transformation: from a mechanical to a digital world and from manufacturing machines to process solutions along the entire workflow.” He immediately promised that the new business model will “define efficiency and increases profitability while investing in digitalization.” The goals: “Improve machine synergies, optimize the production footprint, increase flexibility and reduce fixed costs.”

Significant objectives of Bobst Group’s plan, as outlined, included:

  • Prepare jobs allowing more efficiency and agility
  • Produce more efficiently, quantitatively and ensuring a safe production process
  • React to unexpected events or special challenges, for enhanced agility
  • Maintain the highest equipment readiness and protect your investment
  • Optimize productivity and the entire production floor by providing insights and recommendations

Customer Demands

Jean-Pascal Bobst

Changing consumer behaviors and new technologies are disrupting the industry, according to Bobst Group’s CEO, who observed:

  • Brand owners of every size are under increasing pressure to deliver the ideal packaging blend of design, substrates and quality
  • For converters, new business opportunities are on the rise
  • Industry 4.0 principles are entering into the packaging industry
  • Smart factories will become a reality
  • Connecting the dots between Packaging 4.0 and Industry 4.0 is of great strategic importance for converters and brand owners alike

It is in this context, the CEO reported, “Bobst Group has developed its industry vision to shape the future of the packaging world, based on four cornerstones—connectivity, digitalization, automation and sustainability.”

Supporting the vision and driving new developments are several product introductions and updates that were briefed at the June event. They included BOBST Connect, acquisition of Mouvent and its technology, development of a complete oneLABEL portfolio—the MASTER DM5 and Mouvent LB702-UV, plus smart central impression (CI) presses—Vision CI and Master CI—and cost-effective production. Bobst Group described them as “new proof points of several new solutions to help packaging converters to shape a better future.”

BOBST Connect

The oneLABEL portfolio—Bobst Group has aimed to lead the next chapter of digitalization of label production and stepped beyond digital printing by offering fully digitalized solutions in flexography, digital inkjet and the combination of both.

Bobst Group believes that the entire packaging value chain can be connected. By linking up every single step of the process, BOBST Connect heightens efficiency, control and data knowledge. It can provide machine and process knowledge to customers, to make a real change in their way of working, which is in line with today’s fast-paced world. Accurate and actionable data is said to allow customers to improve performance and monitor machine and production health, thereby trimming waste and increasing productivity
Machine-specific dashboards provide:

  • Key metrics that highlight the health of the machine
  • Shopfloor view indicating production status
  • OEE tracking by job, shift and time period
  • Identification of the root cause behind common losses in availability, performance and quality
  • Predictive and maintenance management

Digitalizing Labels

With the oneLABEL portfolio, Bobst Group has aimed to lead the next chapter of digitalization of label production and stepped beyond digital printing, by offering fully digitalized solutions in flexography, digital inkjet and the combination of both.