(r to l): Nigel Tonge, Ultimate Packaging; Andreas Kückelmann, BOBST Bielefeld GmbH; and Chris Tonge, Ultimate Packaging.
Ultimate Packaging, Grimsby / UK, is buying the BOBST F&K 20SIX drupa machine to produce flexible packaging. The company's decision to make the investment was influenced by the high productivity, flexibility and cost-efficiency of the innovative machine, as well as the outstanding print quality and significantly reduced waste. Ultimate Packaging has already installed three 8-colour flexo presses from BOBST. The company's experience with the dependability of the technology and the service were additional factors that encouraged the management of Ultimate Packaging to expand the long-standing cooperation with its partner BOBST. The F&K 20SIX – which is celebrating its world première at drupa 2012 – is scheduled for installation in June 2012.
"With its performance and innovative features, the F&K 20SIX is the ideal answer to the demands encountered in the production of flexible packaging, e.g. for fresh and chilled foods. It will help us to further expand our leading position in this market in the UK," says Ultimate Packaging's Managing Director Nigel Tonge, explaining the decision to make the investment.
In addition to offering a high production capacity of up to 600 m/min with web widths of up to 1,300 mm, the F&K 20SIX also has significantly lower makeready times. The print jobs for the innovative central-impression (CI) flexo press with smartGPS and smartCOL can be prepared off the press. While smartGPS sees to offline registration and printing pressure setting, smartCOL likewise operates offline to check the colour before going onto the press, adjusting it and setting the required colour tone. "With the F&K 20SIX, we can re-duce the makeready times from the previous two hours to about 20 minutes in the future. All in all, the F&K 20SIX offers a substantial increase in productivity," commented Chris Tonge, Sales and Marketing Director at Ultimate Packaging. And because the press no longer has to print in order to set up the individual print jobs, there is a minimum amount of waste. In addition to which, neither ink nor energy is wasted. Moreover, no extensive machine capacity has to be blocked for makeready. "All that decisively reduces our production costs, another important argument in favour of the machine," says Nigel Tonge.
The F&K 20SIX is based on the FP 16 Series, but features a host of innovative compo-nents that were developed in close collaboration with BOBST customers. These innovations permit not only the high printing quality, but also the particular user-friendliness and flexibility of the machine. All the modules of the F&K 20SIX are characterised by extraordinary stability. The excellent register accuracy achieved thanks to the high-quality servo drives makes an important contribution to the particularly high printing quality. Says Chris Tonge: "In our eyes, the F&K 20SIX delivers the best print quality of all comparable CI flexo presses."
The decision to buy was preceded by tests at BOBST Bielefeld. "Using identical production data, we aim to obtain exactly the same colour values on both our digital printing press and the F&K 20SIX," reports Nigel Tonge, adding a further criterion in favour of installing the machine.
Ultimate Packaging has past experience of the reliability of the machines from Bielefeld, and the company additionally welcomes the creation of the new BOBST Services department, which increases the availability of BOBST machines around the globe by providing innovative solutions, e.g. for remote maintenance. In addition, the reorganised, global Spare Parts Logistics department is targeting a processing time of less than a day and 95% availability for all spare parts.
"Ultimate Packaging traditionally imposes especially high demands on its production systems. Against that backdrop, we're all the more pleased that this particular company, the leader in the UK, has decided to buy the first F&K 20SIX in the world," stated Andreas Kückelmann, Managing Director of BOBST Bielefeld GmbH, on the occasion of signing the contract on the BOBST exhibition stand in Hall 10 at this year's drupa on 10 May.