During a highly successful drupa 2012 exhibition, BOBST verified with visiting customers that plans for future equipment and service developments, including those for sheet-fed digital printing and finishing, are on track to satisfy the production challenges that clients' expect to face in the future.
Emilio Corti, Head of Sales for the Business Unit Sheet-Fed at BOBST, said, "Drupa was a great success for us. In particular we presented our high-end technology for die-cutting, foil blocking, and folding & gluing, along with our new service packages, and the reaction from customers was great - something which has been reflected in the large number of firm orders we have in hand. But almost as important was that we were able to use drupa as an opportunity to have dialogue with our users. We listened to them talk about what they expect to need in the future when it comes to quality, reliability, and productivity - and we are now feeding that information back into our research and development programmes. At the same time we were able to check with them that the projects we already have in development are in line with their expectations - and the answer was a definite yes, both for conventional equipment and for digital."
Prior to drupa 2012, BOBST had announced its intention to share with customers the first results of its feasibility study into digital printing for packaging, along with the company's vision for digital developments in the industry. Emilio Corti said, "We showed many customers the output from our digital printing study and we got very good feedback from them. Their overall opinion was that we are on the right path and that the solutions we are developing are exactly what they are going to need in the future. We have now committed ourselves to presenting our first industrialised digital concept machine at an open house that we will hold in the second half of next year. This won't just include digital printing equipment but will also address digital post-press."
Full order book
Printers from emerging markets accounted for a large percentage of visitors to the BOBST stand, with one in four being from BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China). Emilio Corti said, "The technological developments that we presented at drupa 2012 met with our customers' needs, especially in emerging markets where there is a clear trend towards higher quality packaging. Despite the difficulties in the world economy, two thirds of visitors to our stand had live projects they wanted to discuss with us and from these discussions many sales have already been closed. In fact we have completely filled our manufacturing pipeline for many months to come."
BOBST's sheet-fed business unveiled a wide range of innovations at drupa 2012 including:
• A new version of the EXPERTCUT 106 PER flat-bed die-cutter, utilizing intelligent systems throughout the press to create additional uptime for profit generating production along with new systems which increase the operational life of tooling.
• Announcement of a brand new, large format foiling press, the EXPERTFOIL 142, which will be the only dedicated foil stamping press available in the size VI format.
• New systems for BOBST folder--gluers to reduce waste and improve the quality of the final product, including SPEEDWAVE GT, which improves the on-machine performance of complex cartons such as crash-locks, ACCUBRAILLE GT which allows in-line Braille embossing of up to 8 lines, on 4 panels, as well as across the blank, and ACCUCHECK which inspects every carton blank in the run for print and substrate defects.
Alongside new equipment launches, the BOBST stand also featured new developments from BOBST's Business Unit Services. These included new remote services such as the MOBILE PORTAL app for machine monitoring using Smart Phones and tablets, as well as the Boost my BOBST program which offers a web-portal for users to identify up-grades for older machines.
Emilio Corti said, "Visitors to the show really appreciated our new service approach. We are very willing to listen to the problems and challenges they face and our proactive attitude and new service packages were clearly of great interest to them. I think they were able to see that we are well on the way to becoming the benchmark provider when it comes to services."