"COMPETENCE 15 - Inspiring Business Solutions" drew close to 300 packaging makers from around the globe to the BOBST Competence Centre in Mex, Switzerland for a very different type of event. Along with a host of machine premières and innovations from BOBST, COMPETENCE 15 also featured a parallel conference program offering valuable perspectives on a number of business topics. These ranged from boosting business performance to the latest trends, opportunities and challenges facing different 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. These perspectives came from our own experts, as well as from brand owners and business thinkers."
Held from the 23rd to 25th June 2015, COMPETENCE 15 was a platform for the world premières of a number of new BOBST developments including: Foil Unwinder+, a new foiling solution offering considerable savings in foil use; VISIONCUT 106 LER, a new highly productive blank separating die-cutter; and EXPERTCODE, a new digital serialization machine addressing the increasing needs of packaging makers worldwide for coding and customization. The event also included the European debut of NOVACUT 106 ER, a blank separating die-cutter already giving customers around the world very cost efficient entry into high quality in-line blanking. NOVACUT had its world première last summer at ExpoPrint Brazil.
Emilio Corti, Head of Sales for the BOBST Business Unit Sheet-fed, said, "The number of premières we presented at COMPETENCE 15 shows that we are maintaining our 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. On top of this, EXPERTCODE is the first of a new product line for us. 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."
Equipment, systems and services premières
Foil Unwinder+ is a system which sets new industry standards for foil use optimization, and hence cost reduction. Available from July as an option on MASTERFOIL 106 PR hot-foil stamping presses, the unit features a number of intelligent processes that together ensure the most accurate foil advance with the least possible stress on the web. By constantly self-adjusting during production, 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. By doing this, Foil Unwinder+ can reduce foil consumption by as much as 50%, depending on the layout of the job.
As pressure grows on packaging manufacturers to be more efficient, carton makers are increasingly interested in options for the automated in-line separation of cartons. The new VISIONCUT 106 LER die-cutter helps users cut labor costs, enhance product quality and increase productivity by removing the need for the hand stripping of waste. This completely 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 8'000 sheets per hour. This not only increases productivity, but also frees up the machine operator to concentrate on quality, rather than on getting sheets through the machine.
Launched last July, the 7'000 sheet per hour, IIIB format NOVACUT 106 ER blank separating die-cutter complements the VISIONCUT by giving carton makers worldwide a way to access in-line blank separation technology. The BOBST Angle Lock® blanking tool system incorporated into the NOVACUT 106 ER means that, regardless of where they are in the world, users can blank separate jobs. This is because Angle Lock® blanking tools can either be supplied directly by BOBST, or made in-plant using standard components. By providing customers with first class tooling technology that enhances the performance of the NOVACUT, BOBST is supporting those markets where access to good quality tooling is difficult, if not impossible.
Both the NOVACUT 106 ER and VISIONCUT 106 LER can be converted from blanking mode to full sheet delivery in a matter of minutes, giving users who are 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 customization and versioning of packs. EXPERTCODE gives packaging manufacturers the ability to digitally print individualized 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 the extensive BOBST 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.
Visitors to COMPETENCE 15 also saw a number of BOBST service products designed to increase productivity, reduce costs or ensure safety. These included a new Platen Conditioning service which 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%.
Complimenting the premières were a number of new product and finance solutions from BOBST partners, including Deutsche Leasing, Hunkeler, H.B. Fuller, Marbach GmbH, Henkel, Kurz, Hinderer+Mühlich GmbH, Lasertec, Baumerhhs, SGM and UEI Group. Formatted as a trade show within COMPETENCE 15, having access to these partners meant that visitors were able to get the latest information and exchange ideas with leading suppliers to the industry.
Complementary conference program
Among the presentations in the conference program 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. A review of upcoming requirements impacting pharmaceutical packaging was given by Patrik Merckell of Novartis; while a look at the food safety challenges facing digitally printed packaging was presented by Steven Klump of Nestlé. 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 Alvise Cavallari of Nestlé outlined some of the many opportunities offered to the packaging industry by developments in digital printing.
Visitors to COMPETENCE 15 were enthusiastic about the event's novel format and the new technology on show.