Bobst UK & Ireland Limited today confirms that it has closed numerous folder-gluer sales during 2013, reflecting the confidence of UK packaging manufacturers in BOBST performance, quality and after-sales support. The latest purchase, of two EXPERTFOLD lines by Firstan Limited for its state-of-the-art factory at Godmanchester, will see that company standardising on BOBST post-press equipment.
Since January, BOBST UK and Ireland Limited has agreed the sale of numerous folder-gluer lines to packaging manufacturers in the UK. The majority of the sales have been of the highly flexible BOBST EXPERTFOLD gluer, but have also included sales of VISIONFOLD and MASTERFOLD lines.
Craig Moran, Zone Business Director for BOBST sheet-fed products, said, "Customers trust our folder-gluers to deliver the innovation, performance and quality that they need to succeed in the market. But more than that, they trust us to give them expert advice and professional back up. It's like a sandwich really - if you don't have a filling of superb support services then the sandwich isn't very palatable and customers won't buy it."
Among the companies investing in BOBST lines is Firstan Limited, the UK's leading independent packaging manufacturer, which has recently ordered two BOBST EXPERTFOLD lines for its facility at Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire, where it produces over 500 million cartons each year.
Paul Hartwig, Production Director at Firstan, said, "We always look to ensure that our technology is the latest to maintain a competitive edge. We produce large quantities of high added-value cartons for our customers, which means a lot of complex gluing - so we are investing in machines that will help speed up the make-ready of that type of work, guaranteeing the service levels that our customers expect. We looked at another manufacturer's machines, but the BOBST lines were the perfect fit for our business."
Firstan moved to its state-of-the-art plant in January 2010, at that time installing its first ever BOBST lines, an EXPERTFOLD folder-gluer and three VISIONCUT die-cutters.
Paul Hartwig said, "Over the three years since we moved here we have seen our existing BOBST gluer deliver the high productivity and quality our customers expect and BOBST have given us a very positive experience in terms of service and speed of back up. Having two similar machines will be perfect for us and, along with their performance and quality, we see standardisation as an important factor in achieving high productivity. Our presses are all the same and our die-cutters are all BOBST, but our gluing department has been the odd one out for a while. Alongside the three year old BOBST we currently have three machines from another manufacturer and the two new BOBST's will replace two of these. Standardising on BOBST will help us improve make-ready times, running speeds and consistency and we can also rationalise our spare parts stock holding."
The two new BOBST folder-gluer lines at Firstan will be versions of the best selling EXPERTFOLD 110, one configured for straight-line and crash-lock applications and the other incorporating multi-point capabilities. The lines will be installed separately, in November and January, to minimise disruption during the company's busiest time of year.
The other lines sold by BOBST in the UK during the year to date have been purchased by a range of customers including major packaging manufacturing groups as well as small, medium and large independent folding carton and corrugated box manufacturers.
Craig Moran said, "We're not done yet as far as this year's sales of folder-gluers are concerned. We are at an advanced stage with a number of other packaging manufacturers, so it looks like confidence is returning to the market, especially where converters are making complex, added-value work and need the right equipment to produce it."