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News - Bobst Mex SA

Newsgrafik #120839
 15.08.2018

BOBST lands big order with CPC Packaging  (Company news)

CPC – the European packaging solutions company – has just invested in four top-of-the-range machines from BOBST, one of the world’s leading suppliers of equipment and services to packaging and label manufacturers.

Photo: NOVACUT 106 ER Autoplaten® die-cutter

CPC Packaging was founded in 1986 and has 650 employees across nine factories in France and Germany. With sales of 140 million Euros across Europe, CPC has successfully provided a one-stop-shop offer of cartons, flexibles and labels for many years.

“We help our customers to anticipate key trends and changes in the industry – whether those are consumer-driven or key technology developments – and help them to adapt accordingly, by upgrading or evolving their packaging specifications from one product to the other,” said Jonathan Schor, the CEO of CPC Packaging. “For example, if they want to move from folding carton to flexible packaging, or from cut labels to self-adhesive labels, we can help them to achieve this by ensuring a seamless transition in terms of design and supply chain management.”

The company needed new die-cutters and a rotogravure machine. After considerable research of potential suppliers, CPC finally turned to BOBST.

“I knew from the beginning it would make sense to buy the three die-cutters from one company, especially in terms of training, maintenance and servicing of the machines, but also in terms of the back-up between our plants,” explained Schor. “Following extensive market research and technical assessments of the various machines, it became clear that BOBST was the only supplier offering a reliable high-speed 145 cm die-cutter for our big runners – MASTERCUT 145 PER running at 9,500 sheets per hour – and there were only limited alternatives to EXPERTCUT 145 PER for our large sheet average-sized runners. Whilst there were several competitors for the smaller-sized NOVACUT 106 ER well suited for our short runs, it made no sense to buy this format from a competitor. It was clear that BOBST had the most comprehensive range addressing our needs, as well as a proven track record in die-cutters compared to later market entrants. Throughout our decision-making process, I relied heavily on our technical and operational team and there was unanimous agreement between us all to choose BOBST.”

CPC is acquiring four machines, three of which are flat-bed die-cutters: NOVACUT 106 ER, EXPERTCUT 145 PER and MASTERCUT 145 PER for its Cartons Business Unit. All these machines are equipped with latest BOBST die-cutting technology. Based on over 75 years’ experience, these technical innovations include clever features such as state-of-the-art register systems, intelligent feeders and quick-change tooling, all complemented by excellent ergonomics and automation.

Also part of the investment is a RS 6003C HS high speed gravure printing press. The machine features several leading-edge technologies, including BOBST’s unique TAPS (Total Automatic Pre-register Setting) system, which completes the pre-register procedure of all print units in just a few minutes at the touch of a button, whether it is a new or repeat job. During printing the machine has superior register performance, achieving register correction several times faster than conventional systems, especially at the critical phase of machine speed variations. Meanwhile the press enables fast make-ready operations and quick changeovers and automatic splice operations can be performed at maximum production speed.

Schor said: “I am impressed by the rapid growth of BOBST web-fed technology, which I can only applaud as web-fed products now account for 50% of our sales, up from 0 in 1995. We had bought a ROTOMEC press in 2009 just after BOBST had acquired the company. After extensive vetting of various rotogravure press-makers, we concluded the best deal would be to buy the new BOBST RS 6003C HS along with a retrofit of the existing machine, which I thought was a very relevant and attractive offer made by the Bobst Italia’s team in San Giorgio Monferrato, Italy.”

The machines will all be installed in different CPC Packaging plants during the 2nd half of 2018.

“We are delighted to extend our partnership with CPC, and we are confident that the addition of these four machines will have an almost immediate benefit for the company,” said Jean-Pascal Bobst, CEO Bobst Group SA. “Both companies share similar values in that we both place a heavy emphasis on quality and putting our customers first. We look forward to a long and exciting partnership.”
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #120759
 06.08.2018

2018 first half-year results - Bobst Group reports 19% higher sales with 10% lower net result ...  (Company news)

... compared to first half of 2017

-Sales up 19% compared to H1 2017
-EBIT decreased to CHF 35.2 million from CHF 39.8 million in 2017
-Net result was CHF 24.9 million compared with CHF 27.7 million in 2017
-Order entries increased by 13% and backlog by 14% compared to previous year.

Bobst Group recorded very good first half-year sales of CHF 762.5 million for the first six months of 2018, compared to CHF 643.2 million in the first half of 2017. The operating result (EBIT) decreased by CHF 4.6 million to CHF 35.2 million. The net result reached CHF 24.9 million, down from CHF 27.7 million in the previous year. Order entries increased by 13% and the order backlog is 14% higher than in the previous year. The Group has lowered its 2018 full year profit guidance and expects to achieve an operating result (EBIT) of higher than CHF 90 million for the full year 2018 (compared to slightly higher than CHF 119 million in 2017).

During the first half of 2018, consolidated sales amounted to CHF 762.5 million, representing an increase of CHF 119.3 million, or +18.6%, compared with the same period in 2017. This evolution was mainly driven by a high backlog at the beginning of the year and an overall good level of activity in all three Business Units. Volume and price variances had a positive impact of CHF 93.2 million, or +14.5%. An improvement of CHF 0.2 million came from the creation of two new entities in Vietnam and in the Netherlands.

The exchange rates had an overall positive impact on sales of CHF 25.9 million. The evolution due to the conversion of foreign currencies for consolidation accounts for CHF 19.7 million, or +3.1%, and the transactional impact on sales volume from our Swiss operations accounts for CHF 6.2 million, or +1.0%.

The operating result (EBIT) reached CHF 35.2 million compared with CHF 39.8 million for the same period in 2017. An unfavorable product mix, the ramp-up of the digital printing activities as well as further investments to strengthen the Group’s sales and service network, and capabilities in growing markets, more than compensated the positive contribution from higher sales, leading to the reduction of the operating result (EBIT).

Business Unit Sheet-fed increased its operating result (EBIT) by CHF 17.1 million to reach CHF 29.7 million due to the strong increase in sales in the first half of the year and an optimal utilization of the industrial capacities. Business Unit Web-fed continues to have an unfavorable product mix and high pressure on margins. The ramp-up of the new site in China and of the product lines structure, as well as higher than expected restructuring efforts at one of our German entities, had also a negative impact on the Business Unit’s profitability. The operating result (EBIT) was CHF -20.2 million in the first half of 2018 compared to CHF -5.3 million in the first six months of 2017. Business Unit Services has significantly increased the number of field service technicians and technical support people, according with the Group’s strategy. The induction and training costs have a negative impact on the Business Unit’s operating result (EBIT), which was CHF 27.4 million in H1 2018 compared with CHF 33.2 million in the same period in 2017. All three Business Units have higher costs due to the ramp-up of the Group’s digital printing activities (Mouvent) which have been part of BOBST since June 1st, 2017.

Net result reached CHF 24.9 million, compared to CHF 27.7 million in 2017. The decrease in net result is mainly due to lower operating result (EBIT) and lower result from associates.

Net cash reduced to CHF 31.8 million from CHF 132.9 million at the end of 2017. This is mainly due to dividends paid and temporarily higher inventories for machines to be invoiced in the second half of the year. The consolidated shareholders’ equity reached 35.0% of the total balance sheet, compared to 35.6% at the end of 2017.

BUSINESS ACTIVITY AND OUTLOOK BY BUSINESS UNIT
Business Unit Sheet-fed
Total bookings follow a positive trend with an increase of 13% compared to the same period in 2017 and a continuous good performance in the corrugated board industry, with 17% increase; folding carton is at a similar level with good potential for the rest of the year. Mature markets continue to lead the growth, with North America showing better result than last year, with 25% increase. China has improved bookings by more than 35%, due to the new China 4.0 strategy implemented in the first quarter of this year, and expects good results for the months to come, with the last successful Open House held in June at the Shanghai premises.

Thanks to the opportunity to ship machines very early in the year, the first half of 2018 was very strong, with an improvement in sales of 29% versus last year, in both corrugated board and folding carton industries, mainly in the mature markets with North America ahead by more than 50% in comparison with last year. In the emerging markets, only China is doing better than last year, due to the new China 4.0 strategy.

Overall the outlook for the full year is promising, based upon the current backlog and an expected solid second half. There will of course be challenges still to meet, especially for the hot foil stamping products and part of the emerging markets, especially Middle East and Africa.

Business Unit Web-fed
Business activity in flexible materials remains at a good level with regards to bookings, with an increase of 13% compared to the previous year. There were no significant changes in the market compared to 2017. Mature countries remain in line with the expected volumes. In the emerging countries, except for a slow start in South-East Asia, Africa and Middle East, the remaining countries are at a good level of activity.

Business Unit Web-fed participated in numerous international exhibitions, such as Plast India in Ahmedabad, Plast Print Pack in Karachi, Expo Print in São Paolo, amongst others. The roadshows with partners organized in Europe, Middle East, Asia, Central and South Americas were well attended and welcomed by prospects and customers.

In May, the new China plant and Competence Center in Changzhou was inaugurated. This new infrastructure will allow Business Unit Web-fed to increase its footprint in Asia and to better serve the local market.

First half-year sales increased by 12% compared with the same period in 2017 but with a completely different, and less favorable product mix. The Business Unit expects a very busy second half of the year leading to an even more unbalanced situation than in previous years.

In order to reach an ambitious growth plan until 2020, the overall structure of the product lines was reinforced to support the future growth.

Business Unit Services
First half-year sales for the Business Unit Services were 7% above the same period in 2017. In the European markets, the business volume increased, mainly through more maintenance programs, machinery inspections and contracts for remote troubleshooting and monitoring.

The emerging markets, such as Middle East and Africa (MENA) and India, recorded the highest growth rates. It reflects the efficiency of the new organization’s implementation and the standardization of business processes, which have increased customer satisfaction. While MENA and India grew by more than 25% compared to 2017, North America showed only a slight increase in service business. In Japan and South East Asia, overall service business is stagnating compared to 2017. We expect to see normal business development for the second half of 2018, if no major changes in the world economy or exchange rates occur.

The Business Unit Services will continue to increase in competencies to support the worldwide growth of machine installations and increasing demands of customers. The focus for the remainder of 2018 will therefore be to ‘hire, train and retain’ service technicians, to further optimize the distribution centers in Asia and in North America, and to continue to further improve customer satisfaction.

OUTLOOK FOR THE SECOND HALF OF 2018
The Group expects to see continued good demand for its products and services, leading to a very active second half of 2018 in nearly all plants. Based on the strong sales growth and a good overall market situation, the Group has accelerated some measures to:
-Invest in quality upgrades on some new products launched in recent years;
-Launch a range of digital printing products;
-Strengthen its activities in Internet-of-Things (IoT);
-Increase its sales and service network, and capabilities in growing markets.

All these measures, combined with an unfavorable product mix in Business Unit Web-fed, and higher than expected restructuring efforts at one of our German entities, have a significant negative impact on the Group’s 2018 profitability.

At current exchange rates, and barring unforeseen circumstances, the Group expects to improve its full year 2018 sales by 5-7% compared to 2017, which is at the higher end of the guidance issued at the end of February 2018. The guidance for the full year operating result (EBIT) which was “slightly higher than previous year (CHF 119 million)”, has to be reduced due to the aforementioned reasons. The Group expects to achieve an operating result (EBIT) higher than CHF 90 million for the full year 2018.

The mid- to long-term financial targets of at least 8% operating result (EBIT) and a minimum 20% return on capital employed (ROCE) remain unchanged.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #120534
 06.07.2018

A triumph: BOBST's Open House COMPETENCE 18 shows the future of printing and converting ...  (Company news)

... is here and now

COMPETENCE 18, this year’s Open House event at BOBST, attracted over 600 visitors, including many of the leading packaging and label manufacturers and converters in the industry. The event, which took place June 5-8, 2018 at the Competence Center of Bobst Mex, Switzerland, promised to show the “Solutions for the challenge of tomorrow,” addressing key trends facing packaging converters, such as the need for shorter runs, greater versatility, e-commerce and constant innovation.

“We develop our solutions with our customers in mind and all the direct feedback we receive at events like this helps us to improve even further,” said Philippe Milliet, Head of Business Unit Sheet-fed. “Many attendees were surprised by the pure breadth of what BOBST offers. BOBST is an expert in substrate processing, converting and printing, and it was very rewarding being able to demonstrate several of the company’s most innovative solutions first-hand, and to talk with visitors about the very tangible difference we can make to their businesses, now and in the future.”

Attendees were able to see live demonstrations of selected key BOBST machines, and to hear from BOBST Services on some exciting developments.

Highlights included the live demonstration of folder-gluer EXPERTFOLD 165 with the automated packer SPEEDPACK, the natural extension of a corrugated folder-gluer. SPEEDPACK bundles a large range of box formats and types, from solid board up to double wall corrugated board boxes, delivering perfect and smooth high-speed packing.

There were live demonstrations of MASTERCUT 106 PER and MASTERCUT 145 PER: the most automated and productive die-cutters on the market. These high-speed machines deliver fast, uninterrupted production – indeed, unbeatable productivity in size IIIb and size VI respectively – with a superb quality of the finished product. The MATIC system on the MASTERCUT 106 PER drew a lot of attention – it allows the highest degree of automatic operation available on any die-cutter.

In addition, attendees had the chance to see EXPERTFOIL 142 in action, the only genuine size VI hot-foil-stamper in the world, and the only one with 600 tons of embossing pressure. It allows users to put more blanks on every sheet – up to six in format VI instead of only two in format IIIb - meaning margins can be increased on a whole range of jobs.

MASTERFOLD 230 with its modular design, single box set-up and superb reliability, was another popular machine demonstration. With GYROBOX XL, it can rapidly produce complex designs in a single pass, particularly e-commerce boxes.

On the printing side of things, a static module of M8 LEMANIC inline flexo printing press was available at the event. Folding carton converters who attended were pleasantly surprised with its heavy-duty manufacturing and advanced technologies, and recognized the extreme convenience of in line printing and converting, from a web substrate. The high level of digital automation was commented upon, and converters saw the technology as ideal for both web to sheets and web to diecutting, for short, medium and long runs.

With printing samples available at the event, there were many questions from converters about the simplicity of the flexo process vs offset, and how it is possible to achieve the print quality on display. Visitors were impressed by the sheer ease of using flexo technology compared with offset, and the greater consistency in the end result. Visitors heard more about recent evolutions in pre-press, plate and anilox technologies and the improvement in the performances of printing presses, which today are able to deliver these consistent results with limited intervention of operators. Visitors learnt more about THQ FlexoCloud, a fixed color palette solution for corrugated board post print applications, considered a quantum quality shift in post-print flexo. For post-print flexo on corrugated board, THQ brings unmatched quality at lower cost in one pass.

The Extended Color Gamut (ECG) process was a hot topic, in particular the digitization of color matching. Converters were surprised that flexo could achieve what offset in the past years had tried for years with limited success. They recognized the immediate advantages in flexibility and time-to-market when using the ECG technology in combination with Digital Automation in flexo presses.

Several of BOBST’s unique service offerings drew a lot of attention as well, in particular the new Digital Inspection Table, a novel technology designed to drive quality assurance, productivity and virtually remove print production errors. The Tooling solutions on show were also a constant attraction for die-makers and converters alike, with continuous demonstrations of the various pieces of equipment that optimize productivity on any die-cutter.

“These Open House events really do feel like inviting guests into our home,” said Philippe Milliet. “It is such a privilege for us to be able to demonstrate our passion and innovation to people who can really benefit from it, and we are thrilled with the positive comments we have heard from all the attendees.”
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #120504
 04.07.2018

BOBST launches revolutionary Digital Inspection Table to offer superior print quality control   (Company news)

BOBST has unveiled its pioneering Digital Inspection Table – a novel technology designed to drive productivity and virtually remove print production errors.

The Digital Inspection Table incorporates digital projection for the proofing of printed sheets and die-cut blanks, whilst providing real-time visual representations to match product with digital proofs. It uses HD projectors to illuminate the product sample with quality control imaging, enabling the operator to easily see if quality standards are matched or compromised. In addition, the layout file can also be projected on to the sheet so that print registration can be checked and adjusted, removing the need for overlays and print minis and moving the process from paper to digital.

Raphaël Indermühle, Head of Sales and Marketing Business Unit Services at BOBST, said: “The Digital Inspection Table is at the leading-edge of quality control technology and is another step in the development of digital innovation and services at BOBST.

“The table has been specifically designed to help drive efficiency along customers’ entire production lines and deliver outstanding final product quality, whilst increasing productivity and enhancing operator skills. This is a game-changing technology and will undoubtedly bring significant added value to our customers.”

The Digital Inspection Table offers a range of features, including warp analysis, automated quality tracking and performance management. These features are designed to provide a sophisticated methodical system, enabling and promoting higher quality production.

Orders for the new table have already been taken from BOBST customers in Europe.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #120125
 23.05.2018

BOBST to inaugurate new production site and Competence Center in Changzhou, China, ...  (Company news)

... with grand open house event

BOBST has announced the official opening on 16 May 2018 of Bobst Changzhou Co. Ltd, BOBST’s second production facility in China. Titled “China 4.0 – Beyond your packaging future” the formal inauguration will be followed by two days of Open House events on 17 and 18 May.

The new site is a state-of-the-art greenfield facility located in Changzhou, in the Jiangsu province, and is dedicated to web-fed printing and converting technologies for flexible materials. BOBST has been manufacturing web-fed gravure printing presses since the early years of 2000 at Bobst Shanghai, but the requirements of increased production capacity and a news thrust in the activities of R&D focused on local needs in terms of equipment, processes and available services, have led to the setting up of a dedicated facility.

“The opening of the new plant brings is a major step in the next phase of the development of our activities in China for the Chinese market” comments Erik Bothorel, Head of the Business Unit Web-fed and Member of Bobst Group Executive Committee “It is the embodiment of our long-standing commitment to the highest BOBST manufacturing standards and to the local development of gravure printing and lamination solutions, while we continue consolidating our leadership in Asia”.

The success of the RS 3.0 gravure press owes to the fact that it combines the unrivalled quality of the BOBST engineering and the reliable and efficient manufacturing experience and capabilities of BOBST plants in China. The other factor, which is a distinctive feature of BOBST technology worldwide, is the flexibility of the equipment in terms of options, such as the inking system and the drying, that can be customized for geographically located consumable types and process preferences.

“China being such a huge market, we are focusing on the country’s requirements in terms of application demands and collaboration with suppliers” explains Lubin Lu, Zone Business Director of the Business Unit Web-fed for Greater China. “Opening a Competence Center dedicated to web-fed printing and converting technologies for flexible materials in the Changzhou plant, exemplifies our commitment in this respect: being at the forefront of technological research and innovation as machine manufacturer as well as process innovator. We are planning to support Chinese converters with new, innovative product developments and with extensive training courses on our processes: flexo and gravure printing, lamination, coating and vacuum metallizing”.

“Leading companies choose leading technology, and converting companies that choose BOBST will gain an advantage on competition because our leading technology is developed exploiting not only the advantages of our Group’s global synergies but also in cooperation with local competences. This means that we can deliver converters equipment and services that fulfil the specific requirements of the Chinese packaging market now, and are also ready for the future of the industry”, concludes Lubin Lu.

After the official opening ceremony on 16 May, the inaugural open house that will take place on 17 and 18 May will present an overview of BOBST printing and converting technologies, as well featuring in demonstration in the in-house Competence Center the RS 3.0 gravure printing press and the CL 750D compact multi-technology laminator. Both machines are entirely manufactured in China according to BOBST international quality standards.
(Bobst Group SA)

Newsgrafik #119543
 21.03.2018

Unique solutions from BOBST at Print4All and Bobst Italia Open House   (Company news)

The 2018 Print4All exhibition takes place from 29th May to the 1st June in Milan, Italy, with a new extended format offering a wide showcase of printing and converting technologies in all market segments. The BOBST stand E23/D24 in hall 18, will impress visitors with the vast number of innovative and highly efficient solutions and applications in the flexible material, folding carton, and corrugated board industries.

This includes the very latest developments in the series of new BOBST web-fed technology products and process solutions introduced since last year. For example, there is the very latest 20SEVEN CI flexo press, which was launched in February 2018 and brings the advantages of process consistency and repeatability to a new level with both conventional or Extended Color Gamut printing.

In the narrow-web segment, the unique process performance of BOBST inline UV flexo printing presses and the Digital Automation concepts will be highlighted. In coating and vacuum metallizing the solutions presented will highlight the wide range of market segments and applications served by BOBST equipment. These include the extended portfolio of CO coating solutions, the new K5 VISION vacuum metallizer and dedicated processes like the AluBond® for enhancing substrate functionalities.

For gravure and lamination, visitors will be able to see live the advantages of BOBST technologies for flexible packaging from the actual machines in operation, by visiting the Competence center of Bobst Italia’s production plant in San Giorgio Monferrato.

In the sheet-fed sector, BOBST will emphasize the latest equipment and systems delivering the highest performance in manufacturing productivity and quality in die-cutting, folding-gluing and hot foil stamping. These include the exceptionally productive MASTERCUT 106 PER 3.0 die-cutter with a production speed up 11,000 sheets/h - all day, every day - and the MASTERFOLD 75/110. Both are a new generation of machines, leading innovation in die-cutting and folding-gluing respectively. The MASTERFOIL 106 PR, the latest generation of high performance hot foil stampers, will be included in this group of machines combining efficiency and quality. In-line systems such as the ACCUCHECK for zero fault packaging, the ACCUBRAILLE GT for Braille embossing and SPEEDWAVE 3 for high-speed production of crash-lock bottom boxes, will also be part of the products highlighted in the sheet-fed sector.

Also showcased at Print4All will be the extensive range of BOBST equipment service packages and connected services for remote monitoring and troubleshooting, designed to enable users to maintain installed equipment in the best condition and at optimum production levels.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #119451
 07.03.2018

Bobst Group reports a further significant increase in performance  (Company news)

-Sales increased by 5.7% to CHF 1 529 million
-Operating result (EBIT) up 14.5% to CHF 119 million
-Net result up 26.8% to CHF 107 million
-High cash inflow from operating activities of CHF 150 million
-Net cash position increased to 133 million from CHF 51 million in 2016
-Dividend increase proposed to CHF 2.60, up from CHF 1.70 in 2016
-Order entries increased 17% and backlog more than 20% compared to 2016

Bobst Group, a Swiss-based worldwide leading supplier of equipment and services to the packaging and label industries, achieved consolidated sales of CHF 1 529 million in 2017, an increase of CHF 82 million, or 5.7%, compared to 2016. The operating result (EBIT) was CHF 119 million (CHF 104 million in 2016), while the net result was CHF 107 million (CHF 84 million in 2016). Net cash position increased by CHF 82 million to CHF 133 million. The return on capital employed (ROCE) increased to 23.2% compared to 19.9% in 2016 and the shareholders’ equity ratio increased to 35.6% from 33.9% in the previous year.
The Board of Directors proposes to the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders the payment of a dividend of CHF 2.60 per share (CHF 1.70 in 2016).

Order entries and backlog
The Group started 2017 with a lower machine backlog than the year before and order entries during 2017 have been higher than in the previous year for both of the machinery Business Units and particularly for Business Unit Sheet-fed. Globally, order entries increased by nearly 17% compared to the previous year, driven by very high activity in Europe. The Americas, Asia and Africa remained stable. The Group finished the reporting year with a more than 20% higher machine backlog than in 2016.

Sales
For the full year 2017, consolidated sales increased by CHF 82 million, or 5.7%, to CHF 1 529 million. Adjusted for currency effects and acquisitions, organic sales were up CHF 68 million, or 4.7%, in 2017. Boxplan GmbH acquired in 2017 and the new company Mouvent (digital printing) created in June 2017 contributed CHF 3 million to the sales increase. Exchange rate variances increased sales by CHF 11 million.

Sales reached CHF 885 million in the second half of 2017 compared with CHF 643 million in the first six months of the year, and to CHF 847 million in the second semester of 2016.
Sales of Sheet-fed products increased by 4.4% to CHF 745 million. This growth was once more driven by a very strong demand for products for the corrugated industry. The demand for products for the folding carton industry remained stable. Sales of Web-fed products increased by 6.9%, reaching CHF 330 million for the year 2017. The growth came mainly from gravure printing and coating equipment. The demand for special machines and complex lines remained at a similarly low level as in 2016. Sales of Services and spare parts increased by 7.1% to CHF 453 million.

Results
The operating result (EBIT) was CHF 119 million, or 7.8%, of sales compared to CHF 104 million, or 7.2%, of sales in 2016. The increase in operating result (EBIT) was driven by higher sales, optimal utilization of the Group’s industrial capacities as well as by improvement measures to continuously increase our competitiveness.
Significant investments to sustain the growth and digital printing activities, pressure on margins, and the costs for restructuring measures in a German plant decided at the end of the year had a negative impact of more than CHF 10 million on the operating result (EBIT) of Business Unit Web-fed, resulting in a CHF 7 million loss for the year 2017, compared to a CHF 11 million positive operating result (EBIT) in 2016. Business Unit Services further improved its profitability. Operating result (EBIT) reached CHF 63 million compared to CHF 54 million in previous year. 2017 was an excellent year for Business Unit Sheet-fed. Operating result (EBIT) reached CHF 64 million compared to CHF 40 million in 2016.

The net result reached CHF 107 million (CHF 84 million in 2016). The increase came from a higher operating result (EBIT) as well as from lower tax expense, mostly thanks to the impact on the evaluation of deferred tax assets and liabilities of lower future tax rates in Canton Vaud, Switzerland, and the new tax law approved in the USA at the end of 2017 (a net impact of CHF 15 million).

Balance sheet
The higher net result, as well as continued efforts to optimize net working capital, resulted in a high cash inflow from operating activities of CHF 150 million (CHF 108 million in 2016). This contributed to a net cash position of CHF 133 million in the reporting year compared to CHF 51 million in 2016. The return on capital employed (ROCE) increased to 23.2% compared to 19.9% in 2016, and the shareholders’ equity ratio increased to 35.6% from 33.9% in the previous year.

Dividend Proposal
The Board of Directors proposes to the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders the payment of a dividend of CHF 2.60 per share (CHF 1.70 in 2016). This proposal is in line with the Group’s dividend policy which recommends a payout ratio between 30-50% of the net consolidated profit after tax.

Outlook 2018, updated mid- to long-term financial targets
We are living in a fast moving world and the markets are challenging. The packaging and label industries keep good perspectives and will support the growth of BOBST markets in the coming years. We are tailoring our Group for the future as we adapt and innovate continuously to keep our place at the top, with the best products and services, while expanding our innovation in digital printing and software offering. To support our strategic ambition, we have developed a program called Ambition 2020 with the following priorities and focus:
-Increase customer satisfaction. We will recruit and train technicians to support growth and customer satisfaction initiatives. Effective design to cost, good installation, fast snag list clearance and improved time to market will be our focus to reach our target.
-Expand the Group’s presence. We will increase market share and profitability through investments to build up an enlarged product portfolio and increased services capabilities, to implement our Group strategy in South-East Asia, Africa and North America and to give our business in China a new impulse. We are setting up new Competence Centers by technology in 2018 in Lyon (France), in China, and in 2019 in San Giorgio (Italy).
-Improve business processes. We are developing a common business process / IT backbone called Bobst Business Systems (BBS) which is establishing the Group business blueprint for processes and applications. Once fully deployed, it will run all our local entities across the world in an efficient and harmonized way, whether they are production sites or local sales and service entities.
-Digitalization development through Mouvent. We aim to play a leading role in the fourth emerging printing technology in packaging after offset, flexo and gravure, and increase our offering in connectivity and software.

Both machine Business Units enjoy promising order backlogs and the increasing number of field service technicians allows us to grow our service offering. Based on today’s evaluation of the overall business environment and prospects, the Group expects for 2018 to slightly increase sales and operating result (EBIT), in line with our updated mid- to long-term objectives which are sales of CHF 1 600 to 1 700 million, with an operating result (EBIT) margin of at least 8%, and a return on capital employed (ROCE) of at least 20%.
(Bobst Group SA)

Newsgrafik #118541
 17.11.2017

BOBST launches SPEEDPACK - The ultimate packer  (Company news)

BOBST announced the launch of SPEEDPACK, an innovative automatic packer for corrugated packaging that will allow users to realize the full potential of their BOBST folding-gluing lines. With the highest possible number of batches per hour and very short set-up times, it drastically increases productivity.

“SPEEDPACK is a revolutionary corrugated-box packer that gently picks up boxes as they exit the folder-gluer and batches them up in exactly the right way – quickly and reliably, while preserving the quality of your boxes,” said Jacques Reymond, Head of Product Marketing of Business Unit Sheet-fed. “We have listened to what our clients say they most need to optimize their folding-gluing machines and SPEEDPACK delivers exactly that. We believe it sets a new benchmark in this space.”

Thanks to its exceptionally fluid operation, its minimal footprint and optimal ergonomics and accessibility — which render set up times for repeat orders negligible — this robust packer can process literally any type of box, while maintaining irreproachable levels of quality. What’s more, the machine is completely modular, making it a future-proof investment that can grow with your business.

“The machine will help to reduce costs and optimize quality and line efficiencies, enabling a rapid return on investment,” said Emilio Corti, Head of Sales of Business Unit Sheet-fed. “As the most productive packer on the market, we believe SPEEDPACK will become the natural extension of your corrugated folder-gluer.”

BOBST presented SPEEDPACK for the first time at a FEFCO technical seminar in October 2017, publically demonstrating the significant added value it can generate.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #118414
 02.11.2017

BOBST receives FEFCO 2017 Gold Award for Innovation  (Company news)

BOBST has been presented with the coveted FEFCO Gold Award for Best Innovation 2017 for its Premium Gap Control at this year’s European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers (FEFCO) Technical Seminar 11-13 October 2017 in Vienna.

Photo from left to right: Yves Bletterie (BOBST Area Sales Manager), Angelika Christ (FEFCO Secretary General) and Thomas Murr (BHS Area Sales Manager)

The BOBST Premium Gap Control is an independent unit positioned after the counter ejector on the Flexo Folder Gluer. It ensures that 100% of delivered boxes are folded with total quality and to exact specifications, bringing total control of the folding process and major resource savings. It removes non-compliant packaging, therefore reducing waste, cost and operator time dedicated to control and compliance.

“We are extremely proud that the FEFCO jury recognized the significance of this innovation and the huge benefits it will bring to customers,” said Yves Bletterie, Area Sales Manager for Bobst Lyon. “It allows complete control of every single finished box without the slightest compromise on speed, while simultaneously generating savings. These are very meaningful outcomes for our customers and for their own clients, and we are delighted to have been recognized in this way.”

A competitive advantage
With the BOBST Premium Gap Control, folding quality becomes a competitive advantage. The quality control is carried out automatically, so the operator is free to concentrate on other tasks, such as preparing the next job.

Each bundle is scanned on both sides; the front and back gaps of every single box are displayed on a user-friendly screen. If it is green, it is within specification, if it is red then the bundle is ejected. The system displays the statistics of the last jobs produced, letting the operator know how many boxes were ejected, if any, and why. This information enables the operator to optimize the machine’s settings and see the benefits immediately.

“This really is the first ever system guaranteeing 100% of delivered boxes to be within a customer’s specific requirements,” said Dominique Ravot, Sales and Marketing Director for Bobst Lyon. “What this means in real terms – as well as improvements in efficiency, waste and cost – is an end to customer complaints. We believe that the Premium Gap Control represents a leap forward in this industry and want to thank FEFCO for recognizing the innovation involved.”
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #118233
 10.10.2017

BOBST reveals game-changing innovations to be showcased at FEFCO 2017  (Company news)

Visitors will have the opportunity to learn all about the new technology at the BOBST stands.

BOBST – one of the world’s leading suppliers of equipment and services to packaging and label manufacturers – announced that it will feature innovations in post-print flexo and automatic packer technology for folder-gluers at this year’s European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers (FEFCO) Technical Seminar 11-13 October 2017 in Vienna.

THQ FlexoCloud is a major leap forward in post-print flexo, bringing unmatched quality on corrugated board at lower cost in one pass. The THQ FlexoCloud technology – first revealed at a recent private seminar at its Lyon Competence Center – is promising significant improvements over existing post-print flexo technology, with a large color range, perfect color density with solid printing and outstanding quality on a large range of liners.

SPEEDPACK meanwhile, is a new automatic packer that will allow users to realize the full potential of their BOBST folding-gluing line. With the highest possible number of batches per hour and very short set-up times, it drastically increases productivity. This robust and ergonomic packer can process literally all types of boxes, while preserving their quality, thanks to particularly smooth movements and other patented solutions. As the most productive packer on the market, SPEEDPACK could soon become the natural extension of your corrugated folder-gluer.

PREMIUM GAP CONTROL ensures total quality folding to your exact specifications, on 100% of your boxes. This is an extremely easy-to-use and reliable system, bringing total control of the folding process and major resource savings, with removal of non-compliant packaging, waste and customer complaints, as well as operator time dedicated to control and compliance. Come and find out more about the first 100% Gap Control on finished boxes on the market.

We will be demonstrating all three of these technologies at the stand, along with some other surprises. Come to the BOBST stands – 079, 080, 081 and 082 – to talk to us and find out more!
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #117691
 08.08.2017

2017 first half-year results - Bobst Group reports higher sales and more than doubled results ...  (Company news)

... compared to first half of 2016

-Sales up 7% compared to H1 2016.
-EBIT has improved to CHF 39.8 million from CHF 18.0 million in 2016.
-Net result was CHF 27.7 million compared with CHF 9.7 million in 2016.
-Order entries increased by 20% and backlog by 5% compared to previous year.

Bobst Group recorded a very good first half-year in 2017. Sales amounted to CHF 643.2 million for the first six months of 2017, compared to CHF 600.4 million in the previous year. The operating result (EBIT) increased by CHF 21.8 million to CHF 39.8 million. The net result reached CHF 27.7 million, up from CHF 9.7 million in the previous year. Order entries increased by 20% and the order backlog is 5% higher than in the previous year. Mouvent, our new start-up company, will become the digital printing competence center and solutions provider of BOBST, focusing on innovation, with the objective to gain new markets in this area.

During the first half of 2017, consolidated sales amounted to CHF 643.2 million, representing an increase of CHF 42.8 million, or +7.1%, compared with the same period in 2016. This evolution was mainly driven by an overall good level of activity in all three Business Units and a slow start of Business Unit Web-fed in 2016. Volume and price variances had a positive impact of CHF 48.9 million, or +8.1%. An improvement of CHF 1.3 million, or +0.2%, came from the acquisition of the German company Boxplan.

The unfavorable exchange rate evolution due to the conversion of foreign currencies for consolidation accounts for CHF 4.4 million, or -0.7%, and the transactional impact on sales volume from our Swiss operations accounts for CHF -3.0 million, or -0.5%.

The operating result (EBIT) reached CHF 39.8 million compared with CHF 18.0 million for the same period in 2016. The increase in the operating result (EBIT) is mainly due to the positive contribution from higher sales and a very good utilization of our industrial capacities.

All Business Units improved their operating results (EBIT) with higher sales. The biggest increase comes from Business Unit Sheet-fed, where we are benefitting from the transformation measures implemented in recent years, but also from Business Unit Services, which continues to improve its processes. Business Unit Web-fed continues to have a less favorable product mix and high pressure on margins.

Net result reached CHF 27.7 million, compared to CHF 9.7 million in 2016. The increase in net result is mainly due to higher operating result (EBIT).

Net cash reduced to CHF 7.6 million from CHF 51.3 million at the end of 2016. This is mainly due to temporarily higher inventories for machines to be invoiced in the second half of the year. The consolidated shareholders’ equity reached 32.5% of the total balance sheet, compared to 33.9% at the end of 2016.

BUSINESS ACTIVITY AND OUTLOOK BY BUSINESS UNIT
Business Unit Sheet-fed
Business activity in the first half-year of 2017 was strong and followed the positive trend of 2016, with solid performance in both the corrugated board and in folding carton industries. Total bookings for the first half year of 2017 were 30% better than the same period in 2016.

Demand is good in both mature and emerging markets which, compared to last year, are reporting increased business activity that is reflected in H1 order intakes. Encouraging results are coming from China, where orders of H1 2017 have more than doubled in volumes and value compared to the first half of 2016. This is mainly due to a more positive economic situation, while increased pressure on prices and margins for customers is driving them to invest in highly productive equipment and automation.

On average all business zones are reporting double-digit percentage booking improvements compared to the same period of last year. The only exceptions are Africa and Turkey, which are underperforming due to political and economic factors that are slowing down investments.

Sales in the first half of the year were 5% above the same period in 2016. The positive volume imbalance which historically has marked the second half of the year has now been decreasing since 2015.

Business Unit Web-fed
Business activity in flexible materials remained in line with the previous year, although sales for the first half of 2017 have been slightly higher than last year.

In the market there have been no significant changes compared to 2016. Our performance in mature countries remains in line with the volumes demanded. Emerging countries, including China, Russia and Brazil, remain at a very low level of activity. Exceptions are India and South-East Asia which show increased activities. Total bookings for the first half-year of 2017 were 2% lower than the same period in 2016.

Construction work for the new China production site and competence center in Changzhou started in May 2017 and will be completed by year end. This new infrastructure will allow BU Web-fed to increase its footprint in Asia, to better serve the local market.

Sales in the first half of the year were 18% above the same period in 2016. This is mainly due to a slow start in 2016. The sales distribution between the first and second halves of the year remains still quite unbalanced. A good level of order backlogs and the so far positive trend in the packaging industry will allow us to increase sales, compared to the previous year’s volumes in local currencies.

Business Unit Services
First half-year sales for the Business Unit Services were 5% above the same period in 2016. In European and North American markets the business volume increased, mainly through more contract business such as maintenance programs, machinery inspections and contracts for remote troubleshooting and monitoring. While Europe and North America grew by more than 10% compared to 2016, Greater China and India showed stagnation in service business. In Asia, after an acceptable sales level in 2016, the South-East Asia and Japan service business was slightly below 2016.

The Business Unit Services expects to see normal business development for the second half of 2017, if no major changes in the world economy or exchange rates occur.

The Business Unit Services will continue to increase in competencies to support the worldwide deployment of products. The focus for the remainder of 2017 will therefore be to ‘hire, train and retain’ service sales managers and service technicians, to further optimize the spare parts warehouse in Asia Pacific, and to continue to work on customer satisfaction.

OUTLOOK FOR THE SECOND HALF OF 2017
The Group expects to see continued good demand in Europe and North America. Asia should further improve but South America and Turkey will remain low due to their slow economies. The Group expects a very busy second half of 2017 in nearly all plants. At current exchange rates, and barring unforeseen circumstances, the Group is confident of achieving slightly higher full-year sales and a slightly higher operating result (EBIT) compared to 2016.

The mid- to long-term financial targets of at least 8% operating result (EBIT) and a minimum 15% return on capital employed (ROCE) remain unchanged.
(Bobst Group SA)

Newsgrafik #117666
 03.08.2017

BOBST Labelexpo preview: taking innovation to the next level… again  (Company news)

Anyone who has visited a BOBST stand at a Labelexpo Europe exhibition will know they will experience the technology of tomorrow, heralding new business opportunities. This year is no different.

The event – taking place in Brussels between the 25th and 28th of September – will feature a BOBST stand that will be one of the largest of the exhibition, featuring equipment in operation, exciting presentations and connectivity displays. As many as three narrow- mid-web in line UV flexo printing presses will be in demonstration: the M5X, the M1 and the M6 lines, all in their latest configuration and fitted with enhanced features, will print and convert “live” label and flexible packaging production.

As well as the inline flexo presses showing incremental innovations to continuously increase the equipment performance, BOBST also has a brand new development in store. “It relates to packaging and we are keeping it under wraps,” jokes Matteo Cardinotti, Managing Director of Bobst Firenze and Head of Narrow & mid-web multi-process Product Line. ”But mum’s the word until Labelexpo, when all will be unveiled during a dedicated event that will take place on the BOBST stand on the evening of the first show day, on 25th of September”.

Visitors to the stand will also learn about the very wide and comprehensive range of web-fed solutions BOBST offers in the different segments of the label industry. These include the latest developments in CI flexo, gravure printing and lamination, which are especially suited for customers looking for efficiency in short run production. In addition, visitors can hear more about the BOBST range of silicone, adhesive and pre-/post- metallizing coating lines and vacuum metallizing solutions, including the new K5 EXPERT and AluBond® process for high adhesion.

"Alongside all this technology, BOBST can offer preventive maintenance and service packages that help the equipment to deliver extraordinary levels of performance at all times. During the show some of the latest connected services will be demonstrated," said Cardinotti.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #117514
 17.07.2017

BOBST and Radex announce launch of Mouvent, a new company focused on digital print ...  (Company news)

... using pioneering digital technology

BOBST – one of the world’s leading suppliers of equipment and services to packaging and label manufacturers, and Radex – a startup company owned by multiple stakeholders with a long track record in the field of DOD inkjet digital printing, announced the launch of Mouvent, a joint venture that will become the digital printing competence center and solutions provider of BOBST. Mouvent, which is comprised of 80 employees in Switzerland, will focus on inventing and delivering the future of digital printing.

Central to the digital innovation at Mouvent is an ingenious digital printing technology developed by Radex, which is based on a highly integrated cluster and represents a quantum leap for the industry. Thanks to its intelligent and compact design, it will be the centerpiece of revolutionary new machines developed by Mouvent for a wide variety of markets such as textile, labels, corrugated board, flexible packaging, folding carton and more.

“We truly believe this is a watershed moment for the future of digital printing independent of the industry or market,” said Jean-Pascal Bobst, CEO of Bobst Group SA. “Current industry trends – including high demand for digitalization, short runs, fast availability, promotion and versioning, personalized and seasonal products, and increasing sensitivity towards cost and environment – are driving demand for high quality and affordable digital printing machines. Through Mouvent we aim to initiate a quantum leap in this area, ultimately providing the market with what it needs most; highly reliable industrial digital printing on different substrates at a competitive cost.”

As well as the digital printing presses, Mouvent offers a fully integrated, complete solution – it develops, engineers, tests, and industrializes digital printers based on the MouventTM Cluster, it writes the software around the printers, develops inks and coatings for various substrates, as well as providing a full servicing offering. The company is promising a new standard in inkjet label production cost and quality, in ink pricing, head durability, quality and machine performance. Its first machine that has been launched is an innovative, highly productive digital printer for textiles, which prints with up to 8 colors, and there is a full product pipeline to follow.

The innovative cluster design is the base building block for all systems, current and in development. “Our radical new approach is to use a base cluster which is arranged in a modular, scalable matrix instead of having different print bars for different applications and different print width” explains Piero Pierantozzi, Co-Founder of Mouvent. “The Mouvent Cluster is the key technology behind the Mouvent machines, resulting in high optical resolution for a crisp, colorful, very high printing quality, as well as a never-seen-before flexibility and possibilities in terms of machine development. Simplicity is our engineering philosophy.”

Mouvent printers are the smallest digital printers in their category – closer to desktop printing than to traditional analogic printers like flexo – making them very compact, light-weighted and easily accessible. The modular, compact system allows easier settings and start-up with less fine adjustments required resulting in a productivity boost. The compact design has many other benefits, including smaller footprint, faster change-over, simple implementation and low cost.

“We are very excited to start rolling out the pipeline in the months ahead,” said Simon Rothen, CEO of Mouvent. “Today is the announcement of an exciting journey of bringing large-scale digital printing to various industries. The digital printing solutions offered by Mouvent will present new opportunities for all sorts of companies, bringing more flexibility, unmatched productivity, shorter time to market and infinite variation, all with a very compact and energy efficient design. This will revolutionize the digital printing world.”

The Mouvent Team welcomes you to visit their stand A60 Hall 3 during Labelexpo 2017 for the launch of the new digital printing presses for the label industry.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #117399
 03.07.2017

75 years of passion for folding-gluing  (Company news)

In 2017, it will be seventy-five years since BOBST started designing and producing folder-gluer machines for the packaging industry.

One of the very first such machines, a PCR382, was set up in 1942 at the Zeiler company near Bern, Switzerland. This same company, which under its current name, Limmatdruck Zeiler, is now an extremely successful part of one of Europe's leading manufacturers of folding boxes — the RLC Packaging Group — is, to this day, still a BOBST client.

What began in 1942 is very much a success story. Thanks to their reputation for consistently high box quality and outstanding performance, BOBST folder-gluers have imposed themselves as the benchmark for the folding carton and corrugated packaging industries. And today’s client can purchase complete folding-gluing lines. They combine highly configurable machines with top-of-the-range peripherals to provide integrated and automated solutions for anything the customer might need.

BOBST has consistently invested around 6% of its annual turnover into research and development. This has allowed the company to develop innovative new systems, equipment and processes — many of which are still patented and unique to the sector. For all of those 75 years, BOBST folder-gluers have continually evolved through the roll-out of ground-breaking new technologies such as, the blank aligner, the crash-lock module, four-corner box folding systems, the flipper-ejector, as well as GYROBOX for the production of complex boxes in a single run, Braille embossing and zero-fault quality checks, in-line and at full running speed.

Philippe Milliet, Head of Business Unit Sheet-fed, explains, “The success of our folder-gluer equipment over the past seventy-five years is the proof that passion and innovation are part of our DNA. Over the years, customers have demanded equipment that runs faster and faster, is more and more efficient, and can deliver boxes that meet increasingly stringent quality requirements across a whole range of packaging markets. We are continually developing the sophisticated materials and technologies that allow us to deliver all this, while maintaining the same reliability and longevity as those very first machines.” It is this ability to respond to client needs through constant innovation that has earned BOBST its dominant position in the folder-gluer market, such as the sector of e-commerce.

Today, BOBST folder-gluers are sold worldwide, often locally produced for different markets. BOBST understands, however, that technology alone is never enough, so the company — now present in fifty countries around the world — also invests generously in local services.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #117211
 08.06.2017

Bobst Group reports strong 2016 results with sales up 9% and net result up 26%  (Company news)

-Sales increased by 8.7% in 2016
-Operating profit was CHF 103.7 million compared with CHF 83.9 million in 2015
-Net result was CHF 84.3 million compared with CHF 67.1 million in 2015
-Continued strong cash inflow from operating activities of CHF 108.2 million
-Net cash position of CHF 51.3 million
-Order entries same as in 2015 and backlog down 4% due to higher sales

Bobst Group, a Swiss-based worldwide leading supplier of equipment and services to the packaging and label industries, achieved consolidated sales of CHF 1.447 billion in 2016, an increase of CHF 116 million, or +8.7%, compared to 2015. The operating result (EBIT) was CHF 103.7 million (CHF 83.9 million in 2015), while the net result was CHF 84.3 million (CHF 67.1 million in 2015). Cash increased by CHF 46.3 million contributing to a net cash position of CHF 51.3 million compared to net debt of CHF 1.7 million in 2015. The return on capital employed (ROCE) increased to 19.9% compared to 16.0% in 2015 and the shareholders’ equity ratio increased to 33.9% from 31.1% in the previous year.
The Board of Directors proposes to the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders the payment of a dividend of CHF 1.70 per share (CHF 1.25 in 2015).

Order entries and backlog
The Group started 2016 with a slightly higher backlog of orders than the year before. Order entries during 2016 have been higher than in the previous year for the Business Unit Web-fed, while entries for the Business Unit Sheet-fed ended 2016 somewhat lower. Globally, order entries were at same level as last year. As we had expected and communicated, Asia improved significantly, while Central and North America improved once again on the previous year. Not surprisingly, Europe experienced a slowdown and activity remained low in South America. The Group finished the reporting year with a slightly lower backlog than in 2015.

Sales
For the full year 2016, consolidated sales increased by CHF 116 million, or 8.7%, to CHF 1.447 billion. Adjusted for currency effects and acquisitions, organic sales were up 6.7% in 2016. Nuova Gidue Srl which was acquired in 2015, and the new subsidiary opened in Turkey at the beginning of 2016 contributed CHF 16.1 million to the sales increase. Exchange rate variances increased sales by CHF 10.8 million.

Sales reached CHF 847 million in the second half of 2016 compared with CHF 600 million in the first six months of the year, and to CHF 806 million in the second semester of 2015. Sales of sheet-fed products increased by 8.5% to CHF 714 million. This growth was driven by a very strong demand for products for the corrugated industry. The demand for products for the folding carton industry remained stable. Sales of web-fed products increased by 4.0% reaching CHF 309 million for the year 2016. The demand for special machines and complex lines remained at a similarly low level as in 2015. Sales of services and spare parts strongly increased, up 12.8% to CHF 423 million. This represents the best year since the creation of the Business Unit Services in 2010.

Sales in Europe increased by CHF 9 million. A significant improvement in countries including Italy, Switzerland and Ukraine was partly eroded by lower sales in Poland, Germany the UK and Austria. Sales in the Americas increased by CHF 42 million. This improvement was mainly driven by growth in the US and Mexico. Sales in Asia & Oceania increased by CHF 42 million, mainly in countries including Japan, Turkey, Australia and Vietnam. The general slowdown in China led to a further decrease in sales in that country. Africa increased by CHF 23 million with Morocco and South Africa contributing most to this growth.

Results
The operating result (EBIT) was CHF 103.7 million, or 7.2%, of sales compared to CHF 83.9 million, or 6.3%, of sales in 2015. The increase in operating result (EBIT) was due to higher sales which led to a good utilization of the Group’s industrial capacities, as well as to improvement measures to continuously increase our competitiveness.
The net result reached CHF 84.3 million (CHF 67.1 million in 2015). The increase came from higher operating results as well as from reduced financing costs. Income taxes increased, as the Group had a one-time CHF 8.1 million positive tax effect in 2015 which did not occur in 2016.

Balance sheet
The successful business operations, as well as continued efforts to optimize net working capital and capital employed, resulted in an increase in cash of CHF 46.3 million in 2016. This contributed to a net cash position of CHF 51.3 million in the reporting year compared to a CHF 1.7 million net debt in 2015. The return on capital employed (ROCE) increased to 19.9% compared to 16.0% in 2015 and the shareholders’ equity ratio increased to 33.9% from 31.1% in the previous year.

Transition from IFRS to Swiss GAAP FER
As a consequence of the transition from IFRS to Swiss GAAP FER, results in the income statement for the year 2015 were restated. Changes were primarily due to the adjustment of employee benefits and acquisition related charges. In the balance sheet, the biggest changes concern employee benefit liabilities as well as goodwill and other intangible assets from acquisitions, which have been offset with equity. This leads, together with other effects, to a reduction in total assets of CHF 93.1 million and an increase in equity of CHF 8.2 million on the balance sheet as at 31 December 2015. As a consequence of these changes the shareholders’ equity ratio on 31 December 2015 improved from 28.6% to 31.1%.

Outlook and financial targets
Change is all around and 2017 will be another “unpredictable year”. The way that countries are run under new political leaderships may influence global trade and change its dynamics. Although the markets will remain unpredictable, there will still be plenty of opportunities.

Our journey, and our targets, embrace innovation and the development of new machines, new services and an increase in market share. In support of our strategy, we re-emphasize our focus on customer satisfaction, which is a vital source of the company’s well-being. We aim for growth in all business units and some targeted markets, demonstrated by the future opening of our third Chinese production site in early 2018. We continue to invest in innovation through the future development of a competence center for digital printing technology and we will continue to streamline our operation, be it looking for synergies within the Group, implementing lean processes or developing common practices.

Since its creation 125 years ago, BOBST has continuously adapted and innovated to keep its place at the top, with the best products and services. Our strategy for 2017 will unfold as follows:
-Continue to invest in a strong presence in large markets
-Continue to deploy our values and culture of Trust, Respect, Passion and Performance
-Consistently generate financial and human value for our stakeholders
-Learning from our successes, and mistakes, we will develop and innovate in new fields, thus generating mid- to long-term additional revenue streams.

The Group confirms the guidance published on December 20, 2016, that it expects to reach sales similar to the level achieved in 2016. Barring unforeseen circumstances the Group expects to achieve an operating result (EBIT) similar to that achieved in 2016.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #116776
 19.04.2017

BOBST at Interpack 2017 is all about Leading Innovation  (Company news)

Interpack 2017 will see BOBST highlight its leading technology and services for the food, beverage, pharma and cosmetics packaging sectors, among others. BOBST innovations cover both web-fed and sheet-fed printing and converting equipment, along with developments in substrate production and functionality, quality assurance and environmental compliance.

During Interpack, BOBST will host an Open House for show visitors at its Competence Center in nearby Meerbusch, where some of its innovative technology will be demonstrated live.

Other BOBST Competence Centers throughout Europe will also be available during Interpack for customer demonstrations and a Gravure Innovation Technology Forum and Open House Event will be held at Bobst Italia immediately after the show.

Erik Bothorel, Head of the Business Unit Web-fed at BOBST, said, “Interpack is an opportunity for us to talk directly to people involved throughout the entire supply chain of the food, beverage, confectionery, bakery, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, non-food and industrial goods sectors. We have a comprehensive range of innovative equipment that meets the demands of all these segments, from flexo and gravure printing, through coating, laminating and metallizing, to converting and finishing. Just last year alone we launched multiple new products that pushed forward what packaging manufacturers can achieve: from opening up new markets with Digital Flexo, the UV flexo printing of food packaging, and new barrier coatings, to substantially increasing the productivity of processes such as die-cutting and folding & gluing.”

Along with its ranges of web-fed CI & in-line flexo printing, multi-process printing, gravure printing, coating, lamination and vacuum metallizing equipment, BOBST is also leading innovation in process development. This includes driving the development of high barrier functionality in packaging substrates, making them industrially viable solutions in terms of machinability, and ensuring their properties are maintained unaltered even during the more complex conversion processes required by some flexible packaging applications. Mr Bothorel said, “We support our customers in achieving excellence in process performance so that they can profitably manufacture the highly functional substrates the market increasingly demands.”

In the sheet-fed sector, as well as being the premier innovator in equipment such as those that will be in demonstration at Bobst Meerbusch, the company is also known as a force in the development of printing and post-press processes that deliver the productivity and functionality that packaging manufacturers need, from high-performing equipment to intelligent quality control systems and the ability of packaging manufacturers to achieve food-grade compliance. During Interpack 2017, the BOBST Competence Center at Meerbusch will run daily live demonstrations of the VISIONCUT 106 LER blank separating die-cutter and EXPERTFOLD 110 high-performance folder-gluer for folding carton applications, a FOLIOSTAR litho-laminator, and a high-productivity MASTERCUT 2.1 die-cutter for corrugated packaging manufacture.

Mr Bothorel said, “After a successful show last time, we’re returning to Interpack so that people from throughout the industry can again talk directly to our team. Whatever role visitors have in the supply chain, we directly participate in the quality of the products they produce because, today, the packaging is very much part of the product. Our solutions help solve many of the production issues they find themselves facing.”

Interpack 2017 will run from 4th -10th May at Messe Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany. BOBST can be found in the Swiss Pavilion - Hall 11, stand C31. Show attendees are invited to visit the BOBST Competence Centre in Meerbusch throughout the event. Other BOBST Competence Centers throughout Europe will be in on available during Interpack for customer visits.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #116483
 16.03.2017

BOBST at ICE Europe 2017   (Company news)

As a dedicated converting event, ICE Europe (21- 23 March 2017, in Munich) is the ideal platform for BOBST process specialists to take visitors through the displays and samples dedicated to functional substrate excellence. The information available and the samples produced in BOBST’s Competence Centers in Europe will reflect the equipment capabilities to satisfy the global market demand for added value applications aimed at increasing substrate functionalities.

These include vacuum web coating and metallizing processes: from the very latest AluBond® breakthrough in advanced metal adhesion technology, through to the processes for the production and the conversion of AlOx clear high barrier films, to the well-established SelectMet® system and DarkNight® process. Information will also be available about the new K5 EXPERT, the highest productivity metallizer in the world.

In coating, the solutions presented will also spotlight the increasing demand for high performance substrates, for example lacquered aluminum foils, coated and barrier films, release liners, consumer and industrial tapes and labels. The latest BOBST developments in the field of coating, featured on its range of ROTOCOAT, ROTOMELT and ROTOSIL lines, include the optimization of the pressurized doctor blade chamber used for the production of no-label-look labels, a high performance dryer for air temperatures up to 350°C and a modular coating head for hot melt applications.

The advanced range of BOBST technology and process solutions for printing and laminating, including CI and inline flexo printing, and gravure printing, as well as BOBST service and support packages will also be represented on the ICE Europe stand.

BOBST will be attending the ICE exhibition in Munich Germany, 21- 23 March 2017 on stand 1166 in hall A 5.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #116291
 01.03.2017

BOBST: Creating Excellence in Competition - Looking Forward to SinoCorrugated 2017  (Company news)

As a global pioneer in the printing and packaging industry, BOBST is a professional in folding carton, corrugated boxes and flexible packaging materials with first-class production equipment and excellent service. In 2015, BOBST’s consolidated annual sales revenue was 1.331 billion Swiss francs; compared to 2014, they experienced a 2% increase of around 30.9 million Swiss francs. The Sheet fed and web fed businesses units both have reached the high level. From the aspects of regional analysis, BOBST product reservations have reached Europe’s level of excellence. Business developments in Central America, North America and Africa are quite successful, while sales in South America, Asia and China are developing more slowly. Generally 2016 will be a turbulent year, however, a BOBST executive has said; but we still believe that BOBST will produce real growth in China and Asia despite this forecast. BOBST has also planned to provide new customers with upgraded services to simplify workflows and improve efficiency.

It is worth mentioning that in France, BOBST technology is mainly used in food packaging (high resolution graphics, high-dimensional packaging and wine box packaging), e-commerce and automotive packaging. Currently, its French market share had reached more than two-thirds. By contrast, in China, many companies face a variety of business problems such as slow growth; target markets; rapidly changing customer requirements; the excessive pursuit of product performance and service; fierce competition in price, speed and innovation; higher costs; and B2C and B2B sales selections.

In order to take on competition in the market, BOBST has introduced more equipment ranging from separate machines, fully integrated solutions, tailor-made printing lines, with strict quality control for high performance packaging manufacturers. BOBST executives have said that the equipment strength is mainly reflected in the innovation, automation, and latest technology. Overall, the main aim is to provide customers with the highest-level of productivity.

Technological Innovation to Meet the Customers’ Needs
Healthy competition will inspire infinite power. Compared with the same level of products, BOBST’s machines can provide customers with the best ROI (return on investment). Currently more and more companies are starting to focus on how to improve mechanical automation. BOBST thinks this is a future market trend, and also a unique opportunity. Technical innovation is the driving force of development. Most recently, at the Barcelona FEFCO technical meeting, BOBST’s corrugated innovation digital printing press was awarded the gold medal. A BOBST representative briefed the participants on the design, as well as further technical studies, namely two Beta testing corrugated box plants in Europe.

When it comes to the newest BOBST equipment, the representative said that at present BOBST has released two new flexo printing lines: FFG 8.20 EXPERTLINE flexo folder gluing machines and MASTERFLEX-XL off-line or in-line with flat-bed die-cutting. This new equipment is the perfect expression of the BOBST flexographic printing technology in the era of high productivity and excellent quality.

Additionally, BOBST actively takes new measures to meet the needs of the highest-level end users of the packaging industry with graphics printing, high performance printing, high performance printing processes, in-line quality control and convenient maintenance. It is anticipated that the launch of new equipment will fully comply with these new requirements.

Exhibit in 3-in-1 Mega Expo to Gain Market Share
BOBST has exhibited at SinoCorrugated in the past 10 years to enhance market position in China. Through partnership with Reed Exhibitions for many years, the company fully trusts Reed and looks forward to creating a common growth, achieving a win-win relationship.

SinoCorrugated 2017 is doubling down on its preparatory phase. SinoCorrugated 2017 will be held at Shanghai New International Exhibition Centre on April 11-14, 2017, concurrently held with SinoFoldingCarton 2017 and China Packaging Container Expo 2017. Spanning 110,000 sqm, the exhibition will converge more than 1,100 leading brands, showcasing 1,800 high-end and cost-effective equipment and thousands of consumables. Around 65,000 local and international professional visitors will visit, including 8,000 visitors from over 110 countries and regions.

In the face of new challenges and opportunities, BOBST is making efforts in mature markets, offering mechanized machines to replace old machines, meeting the needs of emerging markets and the development of corrugated automation. We look forward to creating and driving excellence through competition!
(Reed Exhibitions (Shanghai) Co. Ltd)

Newsgrafik #115784
 30.12.2016

Bobst Group SA confirms 2016 guidance and first outlook for 2017   (Company news)

For 2016, Bobst Group SA is currently expecting, according to the announcement dated 11 November, sales slightly exceeding CHF 1.40 billion, a higher operating result (EBIT) reaching around 7% of sales and a net result which will no longer be lower than the restated net result for 2015 (CHF 67.1 million, as previously announced), but that will exceed this level. Barring unforeseen circumstances BOBST is currently assuming for 2017 stable sales comparing with 2016, thus slightly exceeding CHF 1.40 billion and an EBIT margin also similar to 2016 reaching around 7%. This outlook is in particular subject to market conditions, the development of the overall economy in the various geographies and currency fluctuations.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #115533
 29.11.2016

BOBST ‘Solution Masters’ steal the show at K 2016  (Company news)

Simultaneous launch of the K5 EXPERT introduces the world’s highest productivity vacuum metallizer for the packaging industry.

Photo: Interactive station and sample displayer dedicated to vacuum web coating & metallizing technology on BOBST stand at K 2016

On its stand at the K Show, BOBST focused on excellence in substrate functionality and process performance – in particular spotlighting the unique know-how of its dedicated team of process specialists, aptly named Solution Masters. Additionally, just a few months after premièring six web-fed machines and a host of new functionalities at the drupa show, the BOBST stand at K’2016 was buzzing with more new developments and must-have information on new products and services, while BOBST Competence Centers in Italy, Germany and the UK welcomed numerous customers who made the journey to see machines in live demonstration. These included the new K5 EXPERT vacuum metallizer, launched to coincide with the show.

Federico D’Annunzio, Strategic Products Marketing Director of BOBST Business Unit Web-fed, said, “K being the major international show for the plastics industry we decided to make it an opportunity for flexible materials converters worldwide to enjoy an all-round BOBST experience. Given the level of activity on the stand, and the number of visitors welcomed by our Competence Centers, it proved to be a winning proposition, especially with those converters travelling from afar. The quality of our innovative solutions, delivering both functional substrate and operational excellence, and of the services offered by BOBST to the film printing and converting industry, made a huge success of our participation to the K Show. We signed new contracts, achieved additional handshake sales and started negotiations on new projects, while other projects were finalized at the show or during visits to our Competence Centers. A good 60% of the visitors to our K stand were new prospects and their interest was spread across all of the leading-edge technologies and processes for printing and converting film substrates that BOBST provides.”

BOBST Solution Masters, who are specialists in vacuum web coating and metallizing, coating, extrusion coating, laminating, CI or inline flexo printing, or gravure printing, were on-hand during every day of the show to assist visitors interested in exploring their options within these processes. Extensively trained and developed over many years, the Solution Masters reflect the BOBST commitment to providing world-leading support both to customers and prospective customers, across all of its product ranges. As well as ‘picking the brains’ of BOBST Solution Masters, visitors to the stand particularly appreciated the flawless quality of the reels of printed and converted samples displayed on the stand - which also reflected a growing market interest in high barrier functionality for packaging substrates, machinability, sustainability, and ways of exploiting new applications.

Federico D’Annunzio said, “The wheels of innovation and customer satisfaction never stop spinning at BOBST. Alongside showing more conventional types of printed and converted work, including the quality that can be achieved with Extended Color Gamut printing or triplex lamination, we also displayed applications that are very topical in the industry. These included clear-on-clear labelstock, a technically demanding coating process for the production of “no-label-look” labels, as well as showcasing how the safety of UV ink printing onto food flexible packaging can be guaranteed when delivered by BOBST narrow- and mid-web inline flexo presses.”

Further samples on display at the show reflected the BOBST collaboration with leading suppliers to the film industry – especially with a view to assisting converters facing process performance challenges. One such was a new, fully integrated, process for the conversion of high barrier AlOx coated films. Developed by BOBST this process not only protects AlOx films produced on BOBST vacuum meetallizers, but also provides additional barrier functionalities while keeping other barrier properties unaltered, even during the more complex conversion processes required by some flexible packaging applications. Another example - a full PE laminate sample - showed the ability of BOBST gravure printing and laminating machines to process MDO (Machine Direction Oriented) films at high speed. In particular this showed the web handling performance of BOBST gravure presses in printing onto thin PE-based films and highlighted the opportunities for BOBST customers to extend their gravure operations to include PE packaging applications.

While the BOBST stand at K welcomed a continuous flow of visitors, including delegates from over 60 countries worldwide, BOBST Competence Centers across Europe put on machine demonstrations. In the UK, Bobst Manchester premièred the K5 EXPERT, the world’s highest productivity vacuum metallizer for packaging applications. Equipped with features that are unique, innovative and new to the industry, such as Automatic Sequential Control (ASC), the K5 EXPERT also incorporates other well-known BOBST waste-reducing technical solutions to deliver a total cost of ownership (TCO) that is 25% less than that of other vacuum metallizers on the market. BOBST also used the Manchester events to present its new AluBond® process, which provides high metal adhesion and surface energy levels.

At Bobst Italia, in S. Giorgio Monferrato, demonstrations were carried out using two new BOBST gravure printing presses. The RS 6003C HS is a high speed line which offers a wide range of printing and converting options through dedicated configurations. The RS 6002C line is a shaftless press that provides ‘best-in-class’ print quality and features, as standard, the integration of electronic shaft and BOBST Registron® register control, along with the TAPS system for automatic pre-register setting at the touch of a button. For lamination, the new CL 750D compact laminator and CL 850D laminator showed the operational efficiency and product quality which make them the best choice for converters in their respective classes of equipment.

The BOBST Competence Center for CI flexo printing at Bobst Bielefeld, Germany, presented in demonstration its newest machines. These included the MW85F, minimized waste, mid-web CI flexo press, which delivers high quality printing and can handle a mix of job lengths, from ultra-short to long, in the most cost-efficient way. Also presented was the new 40SIX, designed to meet the demands of large format and large volume production.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #115247
 25.10.2016

Coburger Kartonagenfabrik installs the world's first BREAKER 2 FLAT TRACK automatic ...  (Company news)

... blank separator from BOBST

Mid-2016 saw Coburger Kartonagenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG put the world's first BREAKER 2 FLAT TRACK from BOBST into operation. The automatic blank separator was installed together with a MASTERCUT 1.7 flatbed die-cutter at the company, which has its headquarters in Dörfles-Esbach, near Coburg, Germany. The sheets to be processed come from the unique latest generation of high-performance in-line laminators – MASTERFLUTE – which was put into operation at Coburger Kartonagenfabrik in parallel with the BREAKER 2 FLAT TRACK and the MASTERCUT 1.7. This has enabled Coburger Kartonagenfabrik to open up all possibilities at the highest technical level for the manufacture of high-quality packaging made from laminated corrugated board, including double-wall corrugated board. The new machines are a key component of the company's comprehensive new investment program involving sums in excess of 20 million euros. As part of this project, the company will also expand its production and storage area, including common rooms, by 10,000 m2 to 40,000 m2.

Photo: Coburger Kartonagenfabrik is the first company in the world to combine a MASTERCUT 1.7 flatbed die-cutter with the new automatic BREAKER 2 FLAT TRACK blank separator from BOBST for manufacturing high-quality packaging made from laminated corrugated board, including double-wall corrugated board

"Under the central idea of Packaging 4.0, we are consolidating our market position in offset-printed single-corrugated and multi-corrugated sales packaging for manufacturers of consumer goods in virtually all industries," says Marcus Gebler, Managing Director of Coburger Kartonagenfabrik (one of Europe's largest family-run production companies for high-quality, offset-printed and litho-laminated sales packaging) explaining the most important reasons behind the company's decision to invest: "We installed the MASTERFLUTE and the MASTERCUT 1.7 with the world's first BREAKER 2 FLAT TRACK automatic blank separator in order to be able to continue to reliably produce top-quality packaging made from all types of corrugated board, from FF to BB, for our customers in the consumer goods industry."

Gebler describes the benefit of the new systems as follows: "With their innovative technologies and performance characteristics, the integrative MASTERFLUTE and MASTERCUT 1.7, including the BREAKER 2 FLAT TRACK blank separator, completely fulfil the requirements of even our most demanding customers." For instance, the Smart Feeder high-performance sheet feeder and the Power Aligner progressive sheet alignment system in the MASTERFLUTE as well as the Power Register in the MASTERCUT 1.7 ensure that all corrugated board materials are fed in perfectly. This is an important requirement for ensuring that the materials are transported through the machines cleanly and are processed accordingly.

Given that the quality of sales packaging is gaining increasing significance for the company's customers, in the brand segment and in the sub-brand segments, Mr. Gebler believes that the new BREAKER 2 FLAT TRACK is taking on a key role already: "While conventional automatic blank separators work with clamping boards and transport rollers, special transport belts on the new BREAKER 2 FLAT TRACK reduce the surface pressure. This significantly reduces the risk of marks when manufacturing the packaging and guarantees perfect quality of the finished products." Jörg Liebold, Head of Production at Coburger Kartonagen, adds: "A further advantage of transport belts is that the blanks are now transported from the die-cutter through the two BREAKER 2 FLAT TRACK modules to the PALLETIZER automatic palletization system in a completely level and therefore completely smooth and steady manner."

In addition, the new automatic blank separator is considerably more ergonomic in comparison to other systems. The settings for the individual jobs can be configured extremely easily via its user-friendly color touchscreen. "Work has become much easier for our operators," states Liebold.

Furthermore, the space required has been reduced by around half and the BREAKER 2 FLAT TRACK, which processes up to 300 bundles per hour, has low power consumption. The bundles can range from 50 mm to 300 mm in height and can be composed of up to 10 x 5 blanks. This provides packaging manufacturers with flexibility in automatic layer preparation.

And since the MASTERCUT line offers all options, including rotating, turning or separating, thanks to the BREAKER 2 FLAT TRACK, it is now easier than ever for Coburger Kartonagenfabrik to meet its customers' specific requests. Last but not least, the palletization system in the production line forms perfect stacks on the pallets, therefore increasing safety and convenience when placing them into storage or during transportation, according to Liebold.

The logistics involved in the new production technology are consistently adapted to ensure high performance and also have an innovative degree of automation.

The packaging manufacturer from Coburg forms the Coburger & Bergische Kartonagenfabriken Group together with Bergische Kartonagenfabrik Fritz Nießen GmbH & Co. KG from Velbert. It has been working in close partnership with BOBST at both sites for decades and uses many of the Swiss manufacturer's machines, including those in the fields of die-cutting and folding-gluing.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #115151
 13.10.2016

Model's robot-assisted FFG 618  (Company news)

With orders for smaller sizes of shelf-ready packaging growing, but the average length of each run falling, Model Zagreb has installed a highly automated BOBST FFG 618 - a casemaker known for its shelf-ready capabilities.

Over the past five years the Model Group plant in Zagreb, Croatia, has more than doubled its output thanks to a program of continuous improvement that has seen substantial investments in equipment and changes in processes. The most recent equipment investment has been the installation of a highly automated FFG 618, which has made the company better able to exploit the growing market for smaller sizes of shelf-ready pack.

“We needed a new flexo folder gluer to increase productivity and to continue to improve quality,” says Franjo Skok, Production Manager and a member of the board of Model Pakiranja d.d., the Model Group plant located in the industrial zone of Zagreb, the Croatian capital. “We produce a lot of shelf ready packaging on white coated papers, with three colors, perforations and tabs. It is the new trend and it is important that we can produce them efficiently, so that is why we needed the FFG 618.”

Although the plant already had a BOBST FFG MIDLINE 924, two BOBST flexo die-cutter lines and a pair of multipoint BOBST folder-gluers, the trend towards smaller, but more frequent, orders of smaller -sized packs created a need for a high performance machine with fast changeovers and a reduced labor requirement. “Model always invests in quality machines with high levels of automation,” says Mr Skok. “Every machine must produce quality boxes and have good productivity.”

The Group’s decision was to install the latest FFG 618 and to compliment it with an in-line Dücker robotic pre-feeder and robot palletizer. “This is a fully automatic line. It is the first use of robots like this in the region and the pre-feeder is only the fourth in Europe,” explains Mr Skok. “We have five FFG 618’s in the Model Group, so we know the machine well. We investigated other makers, but BOBST had the best machine in the market. We also like the service support, spare parts and, training. When you install new machines it is important to get this sort of support.”

Fast changeover
Despite being able to run at up to 26,000 boxes per hour, it was the job changeover capabilities of the FFG 618 that were particularly important, says Mr Skok. “We often have quite short runs, so it is important to have fast changeover. We also use many different types of board, so we have to do a lot of knife changes. It is important that this is fast too.” With all of the plant’s smaller three-color work now processed on the FFG 618, the line is producing almost double the amount of boxes per open hour that was possible on the same work using its FFG MIDLINE 924. Mr Skok expects to see further increases over the next six months.

Along with its higher productivity on short run, smaller boxes, the new BOBST FFG 618 is also a very energy efficient machine. Mr Skok says that for every square meter of packaging produced, the FFG 618 uses only about 50% of the energy of the FFG MIDLINE 924, due to its size and its more modern, more efficient drives. In times of increasing energy prices, such savings are important to profitability. As part of its continuous improvement program the plant has also recently installed an intelligent lighting system in its stock and production areas. Detectors in the stock area monitor movement and turn off lighting when there is no activity. In the production areas the system monitors outside light levels and adjusts the internal lighting accordingly. “We have made a 72% saving on lighting energy costs with this new system from Reflecta,” says Mr Skok.

Change of approach
Such initiatives are driven by the Model Group’s continuous improvement program, MTS, which is championed by the Group’s CEO, Dr. Daniel Model. “Since 2011 we have been running the Model Top System, or MTS, and we have made a total change in the philosophy of Model Zagreb,” explains Mr Skok, whose background in the automotive industry made him ideally placed to implement the program when he arrived at the plant four and a half years ago.

MTS brings together best practice in continuous improvement, principles found in Kaizen, 5S, six sigma and lean manufacturing. Staff at each Model plant are responsible for the process and are aided by an external company which audits implementation. Mr Skok believes that, for success at a plant level, inter-departmental co-operation is vital. “Each department has Key Performance Indicators to achieve and each has to be a supplier and a customer to the other departments if they want to meet them.”

With investment in the new FFG 618 and a reorganized layout the plant now has a better workflow within its 20,000 square meters. The reorganized layout is also feeding into a project which will see the plant install a new full BHS corrugator line in 2016. Thanks to the relocation project, and some remodeling of the plant, the company will be able to run its present corrugator until the BHS line is at full production. “When the new corru-gator is installed we will have logistics before and after it, so we will have better flow again,” explains Mr Skok.

Running at a hundred meters per minute faster than its current corrugator, the BHS line will not only give the plant higher productivity, it will also be more efficient, delivering 22% more square meters of board for the same energy input. Vitally, at 2.5 meters, it will also be wider than the plant’s current line; giving more flexibility in the products it produces and helping the plant achieve its ambitious aims for output growth. “We are focused on the market and on our customers. We aim to be partners of the customers by offering a large range of products,” explains Mr Skok, for who meeting customers’ delivery dates is key. “Model is a quality producer and we deliver when we say we will. Of course, price is always important, but Model has a philosophy of ensuring quality and on-time delivery. That’s one reason our sales have doubled in the last four years.”

Indeed, in the first 10 months of 2015, the plant sold 52 million square meters of board, compared to 29 million in 2011, the year a new management team arrived and the MTS program began in earnest. This doubling of output has required some additional staff - the plant now employs 157 - but Mr Skok says that most of the increase has been as a result of new equipment and a new management approach, a key part of which has been the MTS program. This growth will continue, he maintains. “Model Zagreb has more potential and I think we are only halfway there. This year we will start up the new corrugator, and by 2018 we aim to sell 80 million square meters a year.”

Growing with customers
The plant traces its roots back to 1948, and represents a long tradition of corrugated box manufacture in the region. At one time spread across three locations in Zagreb, including one right in the city centre, operations were consolidated at its present site in the mid-1990’s. In 2001, Model Group bought the business and it now serves customers throughout Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia, Bosnia, Serbia, and, for the last year, Austria. Much of the plant’s output is for the region’s dairy industry, but packaging for meat products, beverages, confectionery and electronics are also important sectors. Half of the plant’s production is destined for clients within Croatia, with Hungary being its next largest market. Slovenia is an important market when it comes to packaging for white goods while, in the newly opened up Austrian market, sales of food packaging is soaring. Entering the Austrian market has benefitted the plant in several ways, explains Mr Skok. “It is a high quality standard. It’s good for us because it means we have to keep developing the quality of our production. We develop boxes with our customers. That’s very important. We have people here who can design packaging for them and, as they grow, we grow with them.”

Local support
Making the transition from an older, largely manual, machine to a modern FFG complete with robotics at both ends, required a substantial mindset change from the plant’s operators. They were, Mr Skok says, wide-eyed at the prospect. “It was a totally new concept for them, both with the machine and the robots. They feared the new technology, but now they do not fear it any more. We put young operators on the machine because, although they don’t have so much experience, they don’t have history, so they are open to new ideas.”

In such a situation, the support that the operators receive is an important factor in a new machine’s success. On-site training was provided by instructors from both Bobst Lyon, where the FFG 618 is designed and manufactured, and from the BOBST Regional Services Center in Brno, Czech Republic. Having five such machines in the Model Group also meant that operators could swap with those in other plants to broaden their experience.

The two large Groups, Model and BOBST, have a very good partnership, says Mr Skok, and by understanding what Model Zagreb wanted to achieve, the BOBST team on the ground were able to deliver a suitable program of training and instruction. “They helped us make a big change in mentality. This machine has a lot of electronic systems, but now the operators are confident,” explains Mr Skok who also praises the spare parts and technical support from the Brno Center. “We don’t really have any problems with the BOBST machines, so except for regular service we don’t need to call Brno much. But when we do, it is important to have good support. We do not keep many parts, we call BOBST in Brno and the parts arrive very quickly. Our contact there also speaks Croatian, so that is helpful.”
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #115086
 06.10.2016

BOBST to focus on functional substrate excellence at K 2016  (Company news)

Solution Masters will support converters live.
New K5 EXPERT metallizer to be presented

The BOBST stand at K 2016 will be dedicated to providing inspiration to plastic film converters on how to achieve excellence in process performance and substrate functionality. The benefits of doing so include better product quality, new substrate functions to offer clients, and improvements in the economics of plastic substrate production. BOBST Solution Masters will be live on the stand to advise visitors about their options. The show will also see details presented of the new K5 EXPERT metallizer.

Solution Masters
With a view to displaying functional excellence alongside equipment performance excellence, it is the process specialist teams from BOBST’s four Competence Centers dedicated to flexible materials technology who will take center stage at K. With their know-how and experience, these Solution Masters are the perfect guides to take visitors through their options for achieving process performance excellence, whether it be in vacuum coating & metallizing, coating, extrusion coating and printing & laminating.

New K5 EXPERT
For vacuum metallizing applications, the K 2016 exhibition will coincide with the launch of the new BOBST K5 EXPERT metallizer.

Capable of running at speeds of up to 1'200 m/min, this machine will be the most productive vacuum metallizer in the world. Information about the K5 EXPERT will be available on the stand, whilst the actual machine will be premiered during an Open House at the BOBST Competence Center in Manchester, UK, on the 18th October 2016. This live demonstration of the new machine will also allow visitors to see the full advantages of the new AluBond® process - the latest BOBST breakthrough in advanced metal adhesion technology. Details of the AluBond® process will also be presented on the BOBST stand at K 2016.

BOBST technical and commercial specialists will bring visitors to the K show up to date with the latest customized configurations and industry segment applications in extrusion coating and laminating. They will also be on hand to discuss coating solutions for aluminium lacquering, hotmelt, film coating, labelstock and release liners, adhesive tapes and pre/post metallization.

High quality samples and details of the latest additions to the BOBST range of CI flexo printing, gravure printing and laminating machines - presented in demonstration at drupa earlier this year - will also be available, alongside those of the unique BOBST Digital Flexo process. This provides for fully digitized press operation and non-stop production on BOBST inline UV flexo presses equipped with the system and includes REVO Extended Color Gamut technology.

Finally, BOBST equipment service packages will also be represented on the K stand to show customers how their installed equipment can always provide extraordinary levels of performance.

BOBST can be found on stand #A39 in hall 4 of the 2016 edition of the K exhibition, which will take place in Düsseldorf from the 19th to 26th October.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #114617
 09.08.2016

Bobst: 2016 first half-year results - Higher sales and operating result (EBIT) compared to ...  (Company news)

... first half of 2015

-Sales up 14% compared to H1 2015.
-Half-year EBIT up to CHF 18.0 million from CHF 14.7 million in 2015.
-Stable bookings and slightly higher backlog than in previous year.
-The drupa 2016 exhibition was a real success for BOBST, launching six new products.

Bobst Group recorded a good first half-year 2016. Sales amounted to CHF 600.4 million for the first six months of 2016, compared to CHF 524.7 million in the previous year. The operating result (EBIT) increased by CHF 3.3 million to CHF 18.0 million. The net result reached CHF 9.7 million from CHF 14.8 million in the previous year, when the Group had a one-time CHF 8.1 million positive tax effect which did not occur in 2016. Bookings are stable and the backlog is slightly higher than in the previous year.

During the first half of 2016, consolidated sales amounted to CHF 600.4 million, representing an increase of CHF 75.7 million, or +14.4%, compared with the same period in 2015. This evolution was mainly driven by a good backlog at the beginning of the year and an overall good level of activity. Volume and price variances had a positive impact of CHF 46.7 million, or +8.9%. An improvement of CHF 14.9 million, or +2.8%, came from the full impact of the Nuova Gidue acquisition which only affected one month in the first half-year 2015.

The favorable exchange rate evolution, due to the conversion of foreign currencies for consolidation, accounted for CHF +10.8 million, or +2.1%, and the transactional impact on sales volume from our Swiss operations accounted for CHF +3.3 million, or +0.6%.

Bobst Group has changed its accounting standard from IFRS to Swiss GAAP FER as from fiscal year 2016 onwards. The 2015 figures have been restated whenever applicable, in order to ensure a correct comparison with 2016.

The operating result (EBIT) reached CHF 18.0 million, compared with CHF 14.7 million for the same period in 2015. The increase in the operating result (EBIT) was mainly due to the positive contribution from higher sales. This improvement was partly offset by higher costs, particularly for the launch of new products and for exhibitions.

The net result reached CHF 9.7 million, compared to CHF 14.8 million in 2015. Financial expenses reduced further in the reporting year, but the Group had a one-time CHF 8.1 million positive tax effect in 2015 which did not occur in 2016.

Cash inflow from operating activities was CHF 11.6 million, compared with CHF 48.9 million in the first six months of 2015. This was mostly due to high activity levels in the first half of the year leading to higher receivables than in the previous year, and temporarily higher inventories for machines to be invoiced in the second half of the year.

Net debt increased to CHF 20.2 million from CHF 1.7 million at the end of 2015. This was mainly due to the usual increase of net working capital during the year. The consolidated shareholders’ equity reached 30.7% of the total balance sheet, compared to 31.1% at the end of 2015.

Transition from IFRS to Swiss GAAP FER
As a consequence of the transition from IFRS to Swiss GAAP FER, results in the income statement for the year 2015 have slightly improved, primarily due to the adjustment of employee benefits and acquisition related charges. In the balance sheet, the biggest changes concern employee benefit liabilities as well as goodwill and other intangible assets from acquisitions, which have been offset with equity. This leads, together with other effects, to a reduction in total assets of CHF 93.1 million and an increase in equity of CHF 8.2 million on the balance sheet as at 31 December 2015. As a consequence of these changes the shareholders’ equity ratio on 31 December 2015 improved from 28.6% to 31.1%.

BUSINESS ACTIVITY AND OUTLOOK BY BUSINESS UNIT
Business Unit Sheet-fed
Compared with the exceptionally active first half of 2015, activity in the first six months of 2016 was slightly below expectations.

Drupa was a clear success, with strong activity throughout the show, resulting in significant handshakes on deals across all geographical areas.

Both the MASTERCUT 106 PER and new MASTERFOLD 110 premiered at drupa surprised customers with their advanced technical solutions which make them the most productive machines in the market. Higher running speeds, much faster make-readies, less waste, increased uptime, and technology that makes ‘zerofault’ production achievable, all addressed users’ needs for increased automation and the ability to change jobs quickly and accurately.

As in 2015, overall demand continues to be driven by mature markets, in particular North America, but also Western Europe. Emerging markets are performing better in 2016 thanks to South East Asia and Africa & Middle East, however South America continues to underperform. India has seen a slow start to 2016 and China is still impacted by the country’s current economic situation.

Despite total bookings for the first half-year of 2016 being 6% down on the same period in 2015, sales for the half-year were 22.6% up, particularly due to the good backlog available at the beginning of the year. The result is that the outlook for the full year is promising, based upon the current backlog and the usual stronger second half. There will, of course, be challenges still to meet, especially for the die-cuttingstamping and folding-gluing product lines.

Business Unit Web-fed
The first half of the year was in line with 2015 with regards to bookings, largely due to customers putting investments on hold until the drupa 2016 exhibition, which ran from the end of May into June.

The drupa 2016 exhibition was a success and led to a large number of handshakes on deals during the show. The exhibition allowed the BU to show new facets of the integration of its product lines, while simultaneously presenting many new machines. The gravure product line exhibited printing units from the new 6002 and 6003 rotogravure presses, while the flexographic product line showed the new MW 85 F, a machine designed for short runs and minimized waste. The lamination product line presented the new CL 750 solvent and solventless compact laminator, which completes the product range for converters looking for non-automatic machines, particularly for medium run production and emerging markets. The label product line premiered the M6 in-line flexo press in two configurations, one for flexible packaging and one for folding carton applications. Both machines were demonstrated using extended color gamut printing, which maximizes the efficiency of the printing process and avoids the need for Pantone colors.

Overall market trends are in line with last year. Mature countries and the US showed a good level of activity, even as consolidation continues among customers. Activity in emerging markets, China and South America has been slow, while India, the Middle East and Africa have shown good levels of activity despite political instability in some areas.

Sales for the first half of 2016 are behind, compared to the first half of 2015. Despite this, the backlog and the good performance at drupa mean that the BU should meet its objectives for the year.

Business Unit Services
The first half-year of 2016 saw Business Unit Services sales 16.6% above the same period in 2015.

In the European and North American markets, volumes rose, mainly through increased contract business such as maintenance programs, machine inspections and contracts for remote troubleshooting and monitoring. Thanks to newly hired field service technicians, the number of service hours delivered was increased. While sales in Europe and North America grew by almost 20%, and Africa & Middle East grew by 8%, South America showed stagnation. Asia, after a slow 2015, saw customers increasingly asking for BOBST Services support and the BU recorded a 20% growth here, largely due to machine overhauls and relocations.

The Business Unit Services expects to see normal business development for the second half of 2016, if no major changes in the world economy or exchange rates occur, and the BU will continue to follow its vision of becoming the service benchmark in the packaging industry.

OUTLOOK FOR THE SECOND HALF OF 2016
The Group expects to see continued strong demand in Europe and North America. Asia should further improve, but demand in South America will remain low due to a slow economy. Most of the handshakes from drupa will transform into orders in the third quarter, which will lead to a very busy second half of 2016 in nearly all plants. Due to the strength of business in the first half-year, at current exchange rates and barring unforeseen circumstances, the Group is confident of achieving full year sales of CHF 1.35 to 1.40 billion in 2016 (previous guidance CHF 1.30 to 1.35 billion). For the full year 2016 the Group expects a similar operating result (EBIT) as the restated operating result (EBIT) for 2015 (CHF 83.9 million). The net result will be lower than the restated net result for 2015 (CHF 67.1 million), as the Group benefitted from a one-time tax credit in 2015.

The mid- to long-term financial targets of at least 8% operating result (EBIT) and a minimum 15% return on capital employed (ROCE) remain unchanged. Feedback received from customers and visitors at drupa confirmed the success of the Group’s strategy – which is to innovate and to increase the performance of its services.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #114556
 04.08.2016

GRUPO GONDI SECURES EXPANSION AMBITIONS WITH LARGE ORDER FOR ...  (Company news)

... BOBST AND BHS CORRUGATED LINES

Eduardo Posada, CEO of Grupo Gondi, said “These investments will support the rapid expansion we are undertaking by updating and expanding our production capabilities with state-of-the-art technology and by adding the extra capacity we need for the near future. It means that we will continue to provide the market with the best possible packaging solutions while we also support the investments that our major clients are making in new plants in the region.”

Emilio Corti, Head of Sheet-fed sales at BOBST, said, “With this third multi-machine deal, we continue to prove that our equipment and services are the right ones to support the ambitious growth plans of Grupo Gondi. The combination of our state-of-the-art machinery, which is capable of meeting Grupo Gondi’s high standards for productivity and efficiency, with our strong local service provision, backed by our worldwide centers of excellence, has allowed us to continually support Grupo Gondi’s business. We are delighted to be the preferred supplier of one of the world’s fastest growing packaging groups and we will continue to work hard to warrant their business.”

Lars Engel, Managing Director of BHS Corrugated, said, “We are honored to be the prime supplier of corrugator equipment to Grupo Gondi and proud to be part of their impressive expansion program. Following the successful start-up of their latest corrugator designed by BHS Corrugated, at Piedras Negras earlier this year, the order for two further lines reflects our ability to supply our customers with both performance and reliability. Through our local organization we are able to ensure the best service and spare parts support for Grupo Gondi and all of our customers in Mexico.”

World leading pre-print
The BOBST 90SIX has become the best-selling press in the pre-print market worldwide by delivering the highest performance available for the CI (central impression) flexo printing of pre-printed linerboard and coated box board. The success of the 90SIX reflects BOBST’s position of leadership in this market, held since the 1980s. Grupo Gondi’s new 90SIX will feature repeats of up to 2060 mm and speeds of up 500 meters per minute. Its CI architecture makes it ideal for printing on low grammage paper while delivering graphics close to offset quality, and helps to considerably lower box makers’ production costs. The press will join two other 90SIX presses in the group and will be installed at an undisclosed Grupo Gondi plant by the end of 2017. Like the two presses bought by Grupo Gondi before it, the new 90SIX will be equipped with smartGPS™, BOBST’s unique off-press impression setting system that reduces set-up waste to almost zero and allows users to produce even the smallest of orders. Another special feature of the press is a downstream unit designed for the application of both water-based and UV curable inks. This allows the machine to be used for all types of pre-print carton applications, including the production of premium beer packaging.

Performance and flexibility in corrugating
Designed by BHS Corrugated, the corrugators being supplied to Grupo Gondi feature a 2.5 meter working width, double-wall capabilities and a running speed of 400 meters per minute. The lines have been specified to give Grupo Gondi the highest performance and maximum flexibility in production, especially when running pre-print. The line includes an Advanced Facer AF-P and a belted Modul Facer MF-B, which is the only single facer in the industry to run pre-print paper as the inner liner. The Duplex Dry Ends are equipped with HQ-M drives and Carbon Fiber Knife bars to enable high speeds, especially when running short sheets. The exclusive BHS Corrugated pre-print equipment will be installed on both levels of the Dry End with pre-print marks detected from both sides. In addition, special BHS Corrugated high speed pre-print cameras will control the pre-print cut, allowing online correction of the cut-to-mark and reducing set-up waste to a minimum. A Duplex Stacker AS-M, with the combination of one upstacker and one downstacker, will deliver very fast change-over times for small stack heights and allow several orders to be managed on the belts at the same time.

High performance in-line die-cutting
By incorporating features such as intelligent feeders, vacuum transfer and register control, along with high performance dedicated peripherals, the MASTERLINE 2.1 die-cutting lines ordered by Grupo Gondi will deliver the high net output, shorter make-readies and matchless quality that the company requires. Taking in sheets through its fully automated LOADER - which can handle almost any material from carton board and micro-flute to corrugated board as thick as double-wall – the line’s integral MASTERCUT 2.1 die-cuts with high precision even the most complex shapes at up to 7,000 sheets per hour. A BREAKER FLAT TRACK unit then forms complex layers of boxes ready for the PALLETIZER 2.1, which frees up operatives to concentrate on maximizing performance and ensuring quality. Using MASTERLINE, just two operators, covering two shifts, can process over 20 million square meters of board a year., yet because of its total integration of every element, MASTERLINE is very easy to set and run.

Folder-gluers with exceptional versatility, control and productivity
The five folder-gluer lines to be installed in Grupo Gondi plants represent the most versatile, creative and productive available for carrying out this process. The MASTERFOLD 110 GNB lines not only process carton board packaging at speeds of up to 450 meters per minute, but can rotate the product through any angle, allowing packaging that in the past required a second pass, or a dedicated ‘right-angle’ machine, to be processed in-line at full running speed. The GYROBOX module which enables this opens up all sorts of opportunities to pack designers, while giving packaging manufacturers a unique advantage over their competition. At the end of the two MASTERFOLD lines will be new CARTONPACK 4 high performance packers, which were launched at Drupa 2016. These units automatically fill shipping containers with folded and glued cartons. All of the settings and movements of the CARTONPACK 4 are motorized and MATIC for repeat orders and its additional case erector unit can handle up to ten cases per minute, allowing the CARTONPACK 4 to handle more than 200,000 boxes per hour and run for up to 30 minutes without an operator.

Thanks to a large number of design and technology innovations, the EXPERTFOLD 165 A2 folder-gluers in the order will give Grupo Gondi true control of the folding and gluing process. Able to handle substrates from N- to A-flute, including double-wall and litho-laminates, the EXPERTFOLD 165 can process blanks up to 1700 x 1100mm in size and up to 25mm thick when folded. Control of the blank as it enters, travels through and leaves the folder-gluer is the forte of the EXPERTFOLD 165 and is achieved thanks to ACCUFEED blank alignment that ensures precise folding; a high accuracy pre-breaker which ensure excellent performance on machine-erect lines; and a folding process that minimizes fishtailing and gap. The latter is aided by an extra-long folding section which creates smoother folding. Along with newly developed creasing units at the entry, this ensures the high folding quality that manufacturers need today. The EXPERTFOLD lines will also feature Virtuo automatic packers which are particularly suited to medium to large runs of micro flute, litho-laminated or heavy solid board cartons.
(EMG Empaques Modernos de Guadalajara S.A. de C.V.)

Newsgrafik #114268
 05.07.2016

BOBST wins EDP Award with its Digital Press for Corrugated Board  (Company news)

BOBST is pleased to announce that its Digital Press for Corrugated Board has won the 2016 European Digital Press Association (EDP) award in the category “Best corrugated printer/solution.” The award was presented at a ceremony during an EDP reception in the drupa cube at the 2016 drupa exhibition.

The EDP awards honor the best developments in print production tools, software, substrates, inks, materials and finishing systems for digital print and production. Jakob Bovin, Product Marketing Director Digital Press for Corrugated Board said, “The jury recognized the radical capabilities of this new press, which opens up a vast range of markets to corrugated packaging makers, from long runs of boxes featuring variable data to very short runs of bespoke packs and displays.”

The BOBST Digital Printing Press for Corrugated uses KODAK Stream Inkjet Technology and aqueous based food compliant inks, to continuously deliver over 50 billion ink drops per second from its four, CMYK, print units. The press can match a very broad range of the Pantone gamut and print at speeds of up to 200 meters per minute. The press delivers very high print quality, with a resolution of 600 x 900 dpi, aided by its brand new patented vacuum belt sheet transport system. The press also incorporates the BOBST iQ400 quality control system and an ejection process for any non-conforming products. The press is a stack-to-stack solution ideal for integration into corrugated plants’ existing logistics systems. The pre-coating unit allows the press to print onto a wide range of corrugated substrates, giving the converter maximum flexibility in production.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #114232
 30.06.2016

Sales beat expectations as visitors show enthusiasm for BOBST innovation solutions  (Company news)

The BOBST range of equipment and services, and in particular the world premiere lines it revealed, resonated extraordinarily well with visitors to drupa 2016, resulting in sales at the show exceeding both expectations and the total recorded at BOBST’s record breaking drupa four years ago. Buyers were attracted to all aspects of the BOBST portfolio, and showed particularly strong interest in the new M6 Digital Flexo press, as well as in mid- and high-range converting for sheet-fed carton manufacture and in services such as online troubleshooting.

By starting from the end packaging application and working back to the ideal manufacturing solution, BOBST is unique in the industry. Its solutions at drupa addressed the concerns visitors expressed regarding how to profitably manufacture when run lengths are constantly reducing and labor costs increasing.

Drupa 2016 also offered an opportunity for BOBST to celebrate its 125th anniversary with customers from all over the world.

Jean-Pascal Bobst, CEO of BOBST said, “The industries we serve today are searching for drastic productivity improvement through innovations, services and people relationships. Moreover, the digitalization of the packaging supply chain is paving the way for the future. This year´s drupa has again been a great platform for us to demonstrate that we deliver the right solutions for our customers´applications – be they folding carton, flexible material, labels or corrugated board.”

Web-fed success
The M6 press impressed visitors with its automated systems that change jobs in under a minute, produce virtually no waste and need little operator intervention. The press gives users the speed advantages of a digital workflow along with the cost advantages of the flexo process and an Extended Color Gamut ink set. The M6 press can run flexible packaging or folding carton and, when used with a sheeter unit, allows carton makers to take advantage of Digital Flexo while continuing to use their existing sheet-fed conversion equipment.

The range of flexo solutions BOBST offered at drupa were a particular success with board, label and flexible packaging manufacturers. Visitors showed considerable interest in the new MW 85F flexo press, which delivers high quality, low waste production and is particularly suitable for short-run printing. The interest from visitors confirmed that the MW85F, and the larger MW 125F, are the right solutions for the market. In the super-wide CI flexo arena, the new 40SIX model, designed for print widths over 1650mm and up to 2250mm, delivers fast and fully automatic job change-overs with safe and easy sleeve handling.

Visitors interested in the gravure process offered very positive feedback on the high speed, high quality printing solutions BOBST offers, especially the new RS 6002 and RS 6003 presses announced during the show. The RS 6002 is an eco-friendly press that handles short and long run production of flexible materials applications equally efficiently. The RS 6003 is an evolution of the very successful 4003 platform and is ideal for medium-to-long run lengths, while accommodating both shafted and shaftless printing cylinders.

Converters were particularly interested in the new CL 750D laminator which premiered at the show, and which offers them a way to access new markets such as that for ultra-short run laminating. The CL 750D is the result of many decades of experience, making BOBST quality lamination solutions available in a compact, easy to use and competitively priced machine.

Highly productive sheet-fed equipment
Both the MASTERCUT 106 PER and new MASTERFOLD 110 premiered at drupa surprised customers with their advanced technical solutions which make them the most productive machines in the market. Higher running speeds, much faster make-readies, less waste, increased uptime, and technology that makes ‘zero-fault’ production achievable, all addressed users’ needs for increased automation and the ability to change jobs quickly and accurately. The industry’s most productive MASTERFOIL 106 PR hot foil stamping press on show, which features a new module, FOIL UNWINDER+, made a successful drupa debut as well. Along with these high productivity solutions, mid-range solutions such as EXPERTCUT die-cutters, and EXPERTFOLD and VISIONFOLD folder-gluers were in considerable demand by visitors to the BOBST booth.

Focus on services
The very center of the BOBST booth at drupa 2016, which itself was described as having a ‘great design’, being ‘very user friendly’, and delivering a ‘high-class display of technology yet with a human touch’, was reserved for service and innovation products. This position for services reflected the BOBST commitment to become the benchmark for service provision in the industry.

Customer interest resulted in a large number of handshakes on services investments that increase uptime, including Helpline+ remote troubleshooting installations, Maintenance+ programs for peak equipment performance, and Platen Conditioning programs that reduce make-ready time by up to 50%. Further substantial sales included transformations to food-compliant lubricants, Impact CAD systems that allow customers to create tooling more quickly, and oil cleaners that extend oil life and reduce the need for oil changes.

Creating fresh ideas
Reflecting its ability to take customer applications and produce highly productive systems to manufacture them, BOBST and a group of partners came together to create the Elevated Drink Box - an innovative new ‘bag in box’ concept that was demonstrated for the first time at drupa 2016. This easy and convenient way for consumers to enjoy beverages was created by combining the expertise of BOBST, Metsä Board, Kodak, Henkel and Marbach, and was featured during drupa’s Touchpoint Packaging sessions.

Beyond drupa
More than 500 customers visited the Bobst Germany Competence Center at nearby Meerbusch, where additional equipment was on display, while several customers also undertook visits to the beta sites for the BOBST Digital Press for Corrugated Board. The feedback received was very positive and customers see BOBST as very much progressing in this technology.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #113653
 11.05.2016

India’s 'love affair' with BOBST gravure printing presses for flexible packaging is stronger ...  (Company news)

...than ever

2015 results for sales of its gravure printing presses in India confirm the continuing appeal of BOBST technology to leading Indian flexible packaging manufacturers.
Last year the Indian industry invested in eight printing lines from BOBST’s range of gravure solutions, including 4003, 5002 (photo) and 888 models. These machines join a total of 70 existing BOBST gravure printing presses for flexible materials already installed in India, these being made up of well over 500 individual print units.

What makes BOBST gravure printing technology so appealing is that each solution in the comprehensive range delivers what customers wants in terms of the applications to be run on the line, their flexibility, sustainability, print quality, and operational efficiency - that is to say an ideal product/customer fit.

“Given the fact that rotogravure is the predominant printing process for flexible packaging, and is such a buoyant segment of the industry, it has been a matter of pride for some years now that BOBST has maintained a market share of 70% of all imported Electronic Shaft gravure presses sold and installed in India,” says Nilesh Pinto, Senior Sales Manager, Bobst India. “And even more so, when you consider that our market share is as high as 50% of the aggregate sales of both foreign and Indian Electronic Shaft gravure presses.”
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #113408
 07.04.2016

Bobst Group and WIFAG-Polytype Group have entered into exclusive negotiations  (Company news)

Bobst Group SA, Mex/Switzerland, and WIFAG-Polytype Group, Bern/Switzerland, have entered into exclusive negotiations regarding a potential acquisition of WIFAG-Polytype’s coating technology business, as part of the BOBST strategy to successfully drive and continuously expand its existing product portfolio. With this acquisition, BOBST intends to leverage the strengths of both companies and to continue growing its coating technology business internationally.

The proposed transaction is subject to the parties reaching a definitive agreement, with the closing of the transaction expected to occur at the end of the second quarter of 2016. Even if a definitive agreement is reached, the transaction may be subject to customary regulatory approvals and potentially other conditions. There is no assurance, however, that any definitive agreement will be reached or that the closing of the contemplated transaction will occur.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #113207
 22.03.2016

Food grade first for Kingston   (Company news)

With concern increasing about the mineral oil contamination of food products by packaging, the Kingston Carton Company is the first UK carton maker to implement mineral oil free manufacturing using BOBST’s food-grade lubricant transformation programme.

“It wasn’t the cost of replacing the clients’ packaging that worried us. It was the cost of replacing the food that goes in it,” says Arend Buitendam, Managing Director of The Kingston Carton Company, explaining why the company has implemented a BOBST programme to migrate its conversion equipment from lubricants based on mineral oils to solely food grade synthetic lubricants.

Ensuring the production of hygienic packaging is a must for all producers of food packaging whether there is direct or indirect contact. However, all packaging production machines, from printing presses to folder-gluers, and from corrugators to die-cutters, occasionally shed lubricants from moving parts onto the packaging they are producing. While manufacturers aim to spot and remove any affected products, there is always the possibility that contaminated packs will reach the clients’ packaging lines. If the packaging manufacturer’s equipment uses mineral oil based lubricants, this then makes it possible for dangerous chemicals to migrate from the packaging into the food itself. Converting to the use of food-grade lubricants in packaging production equipment removes this risk, says Mr Buitendam. “If you look at the investment needed to convert your equipment, compared to the potential cost of a claim from a brand owner for mineral oil contamination, well, it pales into insignificance. A single job that earns you a few hundred pounds in profit might potentially cost you hundreds of thousands in claims.”

On top of such worries, Mr Buitendam says that there is also the risk of damage to a company’s reputation. “You could lose all sorts of business because of something like that, and it could have an effect on more than just profits. We’re privately owned, but for a listed company it could decimate their share price, which could have all sorts of implications.”

Kingston Carton is the first UK carton manufacturer to take advantage of the BOBST programme and has migrated two VISIONCUT die-cutters, which handle all its food packaging, as well as its entire folder-gluer department, to food-grade lubricants. Production Manager Alan Smith says that migrating this equipment has been on his wish list for over two years. “We first risk assessed the areas where mineral oil contamination of our customers’ cartons might be an issue. Clearly print was the most vulnerable area so, when we bought our Roland 700 direct drive litho press, we had it supplied with a food grade lubrication system so now all our printing presses run with food grade synthetic oils. With that we started looking at other areas of risk. Our analysis showed that conversion, in particular die-cutting, was the next process we needed to look at. Once BOBST had a solution for that, we jumped at the chance of using it and we decided to migrate our folder-gluers at the same time.”

What’s the problem?
Any mineral oils present in packaging materials can contaminate food products if that food is not protected by a barrier layer. Derived from crude oil, mineral oils have been identified as a source of two different types of contaminants that have been found in food products, says Foodwatch, the European consumer rights organization. Mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH) are suspected of being carcinogenic and mutagenic, leading the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to rule that any exposure to aromatic hydrocarbons in food presents a potential risk. The other identified contaminant, mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH) are known to accumulate in the body and can damage numerous organs.

Analysts working for Foodwatch identified that, when it comes to food products, one source of these dangerous hydrocarbons is mineral oil lubricants used in the packaging manufacture process. Lubricants can be ‘shed off’ by equipment as a pack is processed or the pack might touch a greased or oiled element in the machine. The resulting residue on the packaging may come into direct contact with the food product, or can migrate through a ‘clean’ layer into the food. So, for example, mineral oils present in secondary packaging could pass through primary packaging to contaminate the food product.

While mineral oil contaminated packaging presents a threat to humans, the use of non-mineral oil based lubricants can seriously damage production equipment. This is why the BOBST programme to develop food-grade lubricants suitable for machines such as die-cutters and folder-gluers has taken a while, so says Mike Rice, BOBST’s Regional Services Manager covering the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia. “Our research and development teams have spent thousands of hours testing different food grade lubricants to be sure that their use doesn’t damage the machines they are put into. Oil has to be tested, not just in one type of machine, but in a whole range of machines. It has to be as safe to use in an SP102E running at a few thousand sheets an hour as it is in an EXPERTCUT that runs at 9,000. Likewise, we had to assess whether a particular food grade lubricant was suitable, say, for use on a set of die-cutter gripper bar chains. Does it have the right tack qualities as well as the right lubrication properties?”

BOBST food-safe range
The result of this research and development has been the launch by BOBST of a range of lubricants and cleaning products classified as grade H1 by NSF International, the globally-recognised independent accreditation body. The H1 grade is that suitable for incidental food contact and is a prerequisite for use in the food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics industries. Fully synthetic, the range covers every type of lubricant needed to migrate a die-cutter or folder-gluer to safe alternatives and away from mineral lubricants, including gear and lubricating oils, spray lubricants, creep oils and greases.

BOBST NSF-H1 lubricants are based on synthetic oils containing a food grade poly alpha olephine (PAO) base-oil, augmented with high performing food grade additive packages, depending on the application. The specification of these lubricants is such that they ensure equal, or better, performance levels compared to the mineral oil based products they replace. And, along with ensuring the safety of the consumer, Mike Rice says that the development of the range also reflects the continuing BOBST focus on fault-free packaging. “Ensuring that their cartons cannot be contaminated by mineral oils removes the risk to the carton maker of having a consignment rejected. It’s another one of our BOBST developments designed to help our customers work towards ‘zero fault’ packaging.”

BOBST now offers a complete migration programme which converts customers’ equipment from mineral oil based lubricants to BOBST NSF-H1 food grade products. The programme can be used to migrate BOBST folding carton equipment and its corrugated machinery. The process involves an initial audit of the lubrication on the machine and a laboratory analysis of its oils. “We do this to ensure that there are no unseen problems within the machine,” explains Mike Rice. “It wasn’t really an issue on Kingston Carton’s VISIONCUT, because they are pretty new machines, but if we had found that the oil was burnt, or contaminated, or contained metal residues, we’d have to investigate further before carrying out the oil migration.”

As the analysis reported no problems, BOBST technicians carried out the migration on Kingston Carton’s equipment, which involved emptying all of the machine’s lubrication systems and introducing flushing products, which were then left overnight before being removed and replaced by BOBST NSF-H1 lubricants. The transformation programme also involved replacing all mineral oil based greases used in the machines, for example those lubricating stripping units, as well as cleaning and re-lubricating chain guides and gripper bar chains, and cleaning or replacing all of the filters in the affected systems.

Oil changes not needed for some time
With environmental regulations requiring the safe disposal of all lubricating oils, whether mineral based or synthetic, Kingston Carton took the opportunity to add BOBST Oil Cleaners to the migrated machines. These units continuously filter out contaminants such as water and particulates from the machine’s main oil circuit, in most cases removing the need to carry out oil changes for years on end. “Oil never wears out really, the problem is the contaminants,” explains Alan Smith. “So, twice a year we carried out oil changes on our die-cutters as part of our regular preventative maintenance. That meant that twice a year we had to buy new oil, take the machines out of service for several shifts and also pay for the disposal of the old oil. Now, with the Oil Cleaners, it could be years before we need to do that again.”

In fact, says Alan Smith, the time needed to carry out the whole migration process, including fitting the new Oil Cleaners, was less than the company sets aside for a six-monthly oil service. “We didn’t lose any time on the day, and we’ll be saving time every six months from now on.”

Able to retain particles as small as 3 µm, the Oil Cleaner not only maintains the lubrication properties of the oil, but also its cleaning properties. Regular checks of the Oil Cleaner filters allow the company to see what contaminants are being trapped, while analysis of the oil will give an early warning of any potential problems. “From the converters point of view, by having the Oil Cleaners and doing the analysis, you get longevity of your equipment,” adds Arend Buitendam. “In essence it is preventative. You are saving time and money while also pre-empting a major breakdown. If I was buying a new machine from BOBST today, I would be specifying food grade lubricants and Oil Cleaners from the beginning.”

Mineral oil products banned
Now that the BOBST food grade lubricant range has become available, Alan Smith says that Kingston Carton has been able to ban the use of mineral oil lubricants from all of its equipment involved in processing food packaging, from print right through to folding and gluing. “Sixty percent of our work is packaging for food, a lot of which is for direct food contact. So it’s a very significant proportion of our turnover and we have to safeguard that. We run our machines at the fastest possible speeds and lubricants can splash onto the product, particularly when you are running a full-sized sheet. We are always very thorough in checking and removing any affected sheets. But when you’re producing six million units a day, it’s a lot of units to be checked. Even with food grade lubricants in the machines we still have to do that, but we know that if any do get through then it will be simply a cosmetic problem and there will be no risk to consumers’ health - or to the financial wellbeing of our company. It makes me sleep better at night.”

The dangers of ‘white oil’
While there are several types of food safe lubricants on the market, Mike Rice says that, unlike the BOBST NSF-H1 range, most do not have the lubrication or cleaning properties needed for today’s manufacturing equipment. “We have seen some real horror stories where customers have started using untested lubricants in their die-cutters, they have overheated and seized up. That can cause hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage to a machine, not to mention the cost of the down time incurred.”

Such lubricants are often based on ‘Medical White Oil’, which is derived by cracking crude mineral oil to remove all the dangerous components. “Unfortunately it’s these same dangerous components that provide the lubricating characteristics,” explains Mike Rice. “So an additive package is needed to regain its lubrication ability and to fulfil the H1 requirements. Unfortunately the characteristics of the White Oil base are inferior to those of the PAO synthetic oil base that we use in our BOBST NSF-H1 lubricants.” Other base oils, such as poly-glycols, have good lubricating properties, but can attack seals and protective paint, says Mike Rice. “That causes blocked valves, blocked lubricating pipes and very severe damage.”

Along with migrating their BOBST die-cutters and folder-gluers to food grade lubricants, Kingston Carton has also banned the use of mineral oil derived cleaning products such as WD-40, and a range of other aggressive cleaning products. “We were worried about what potentially toxic chemicals we were using that might come into contact with a board or a carton,” explains Arend Buitendam. “Rolling out the use of food-grade cleaners through the whole factory was, as far as I was concerned, a no-brainer. And it was easy to do. BOBST have all the food-grade chemicals as well as all the lubricants. It made perfect sense to us. Along with the crews we looked through the COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) sheets for all the cleaning chemicals we were using and then we showed them what we were going to replace them with. They were all on-board straight away. Then I marched through the factory removing all the stuff we had just banned!”

Alan Smith says that Kingston Carton made a point of involving the machine operators in the migration process as well. “When the BOBST technicians came in, the operators got to see parts of the die-cutters that they never normally see and they got to clean things they can never normally get at. They all realise that the old ways are no longer fit for purpose in today’s manufacturing environment and by carrying out this migration, and only using food safe cleaning agents throughout production, they are safeguarding their own jobs.”

First in the UK
Mr Buitendam says that while many of Kingston Carton’s customers are already insisting on the use of food grade outers and hygienic, plastic pallets, any requirement for mineral oil free manufacturing environments is not particularly on packaging buyer radar. “I don’t think it will be long though. As more stories come to light about mineral oil contamination of food by its packaging, consumers will start to put pressure on brand owners, and that will soon push back down the supply chain.”

Nonetheless, Arend Buitendam sees their mineral oil free production environment as a selling point for The Kingston Carton Company. “We’ve recently had two audits by potential new customers and it becomes a talking point because all the machines have BOBST NSF-H1 stickers on their lubrication units and we have a BOBST ‘Green’ certificate on the wall recognizing our contribution to the environment by implementing the programme. Those buyers are now going back to their current suppliers to find out what they are doing about mineral oil contamination. There is a real issue here for packaging buyers to be aware of.”

Regardless of what may happen in the future, for Arend Buitendam, the main driver behind the migration programme was to give his customers a high level of reassurance that there is no risk lurking in the packaging they receive. “They know that we take responsibility for the products they ask us to produce and they can be sure that there are no nasties infiltrating the manufacturing process. It’s all about good manufacturing practice, and to me this programme has taken us to a different level. I’m really surprised that not more people are doing it. As far as I’m aware we are the only folding carton maker in the UK to implement food grade lubricants and cleaning products throughout their food packaging production.”
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #113176
 18.03.2016

BOBST is leading innovation at drupa  (Company news)

BOBST, the world’s foremost supplier of equipment and services to packaging and label manufacturers, will use drupa 2016 to showcase innovation solutions that will drive customer productivity higher, open up new capabilities and protect customers’ global investments.

Jean-Pascal Bobst, CEO of BOBST, said, “2016 will be a milestone year for BOBST as we celebrate the 125th anniversary of the formation of our company. This drupa will see us clearly demonstrate that we are going forward with the same dynamism and commitment that first won us our reputation in the industry. The Group continues to expand technologies and services to continuously improve its performance supporting our increasing customer base in their variety of applications. We will unveil innovations that will address the needs of brands and their suppliers for maximum efficiency, reduced time to market and optimized printing processes. Our Services offering will continue to expand and new customers features will be unveiled covering the entire product portfolio.”

drupa 2016 highlights
BOBST delivers technology to the industry that is based on its extensive in-house ‘savoir-faire’ and on continuous polling of both its customers and brand owners about the challenges facing them. As a result, BOBST leads the way in innovation, leveraging state-of-the-art technologies to deliver the solutions that the industry needs, in both the conventional and digital arenas.

Among the highlights that BOBST will present at drupa 2016 will be:
-The world premiere of a brand new MASTERCUT 106 PER. This new model will be the most productive die-cutter ever available to the industry, thanks to a range of ground-breaking innovations that will set new standards in die-cutting.

-A new MASTERFOIL 106 PR hot-foil stamping press that incorporates FOIL UNWINDER+, a system which delivers up to 30% more press productivity and a reduction of up to 50% in foil use.

-A new folder-gluer to be launched at the show, along with the new MASTERCUT and new MASTERFOIL, feature increased automation, shorter set-up times, lower running costs, easier use, and will allow packaging manufacturers to realize ‘zero fault’ production.

-A brand new version of the M6 UV flexo press, configured with folding carton production in mind, which will challenge offset printed carton production by offering job changeovers in under a minute - thanks to Digital FlexoTM technology; high running speeds; and high-speed in-line sheeting. Cartons produced on the line can then be converted using the BOBST die-cutting and folding & gluing equipment available to most carton makers. The seven-color M6 offers what no other press in the market can – the cost benefits of purchasing board on reels, allied to the production benefits of the no-water, no-solvent, fast changeover UV Digital FlexoTM process.

-Innovative and effective alternatives to offset printing for the production of folding cartons and flexible packaging. Using new low migration UV curable inks and Digital FlexoTM automation, BOBST will show solutions that offer comparable set-up times to digital, allied to the highest productivity.

-Extended color gamut (ECG) printing, using four or seven fixed colors, on new ECG optimized presses, taking full advantage of substantial developments in ECG printing technology.

-New CI flexo, in-line flexo, gravure and new digital printing presses; laminators; coaters; and metallizers, many featuring digital automation technologies for easy, repeatable and reliable operation in a digital printing and converting workflow.

-New tooling software for the production of high-performance die-cutting formes, using BOBST branded precision die-board wood, ejection rubber and rules.

-Enhancements to BOBST maintenance and helpline services, and a new generation Pick&Pay solution which will increase operator safety and reduce machine downtime by making first emergency and wear parts available on the machine.

-Presentations by a specialized team of the breakthrough high-output Digital Printing Press for corrugated board and Digital Printing Press for folding carton, paper and film.

Innovation compass
Visitors who pre-register online to visit the BOBST booth at drupa 2016 will get a BOBST Innovation Compass sent to their Smartphone which will give them quick and easy guided access to those solutions on the booth they have expressed an interest in. Visitors can pre-register in this way at www.bobst.com/leading-innovation.

Stephan März, worldwide head of the Services Business Unit, said, “At BOBST we have always been at the forefront of innovation. We aim to be a guiding partner, helping our customers succeed whether it is by providing services that help them make the most of their existing equipment, by supplying highly productive new solutions for conventional processes, or by offering disruptive new technologies such as digital print. The BOBST booth at drupa will be a ‘must see’ for anyone involved in packaging or label manufacture.”

VISIT US AT DRUPA
May 31 to June 10, 2016, Düsseldorf
Hall 10/A60
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #113121
 14.03.2016

Bobst Group reports solid results in face of currency headwinds  (Company news)

-Organic sales in local currencies increased by 6.8% in 2015
-Operating profit was CHF 75.4 million compared with CHF 81.7 million in 2014
-Net result was CHF 59.2 million compared with CHF 53.0 million in 2014
-Continued strong cash inflow from operating activities of CHF 104.8 million
-Net debt close to zero
-Order entries up 6% and backlog 8% higher compared to previous year

Bobst Group, the Swiss-based worldwide leading supplier of equipment and services to the packaging and label industries, achieved consolidated sales of CHF 1.331 billion in 2015, an increase of CHF 31 million, or +2.4%, compared to 2014. Adjusted for currency effects and acquisitions, organic sales were up 6.8% in 2015. The operating result (EBIT) was CHF 75.4 million (CHF 81.7 million in 2014), while the net result was CHF 59.2 million (CHF 53.0 million in 2014). Net debt reduced from CHF 17.7 million in 2014 to CHF 0.9 million in 2015. The return on capital employed (ROCE) reached 12.3% (12.6% in 2014) which is above the Group’s cost of capital.
Measures taken in the first quarter of 2015 to mitigate the impact of the Euro’s depreciation against the Swiss Franc were successful, and compensated in large part for the negative currency impact on the Group results. The Group’s strategy to strengthen its technological lead and to enhance customer satisfaction has made BOBST more resilient to external influences.
The Board of Directors proposes to the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders the payment of a dividend of CHF 1.25 per share (CHF 1.25 in 2014).

Order entries and backlog
The Group started 2015 with a slightly higher backlog of orders than the year before. Both machine business units recorded higher order entries in 2015 than the previous year, which supported the increase in sales. The Group finished the reporting year with a higher backlog than in 2014. The Business Unit Sheet-fed will start 2016 with a good backlog, whereas the Business Unit Web-fed will start slightly below the previous year.

Sales
For the full year 2015, consolidated sales increased by CHF 31 million, or 2.4%, to CHF 1.331 billion. Adjusted for currency effects and acquisitions, organic sales were up 6.8% in 2015. The acquisition of Nuova Gidue Srl contributed CHF 27 million to the sales increase. Negative currency effects reduced sales by CHF 84 million.

Sales reached CHF 806 million in the second half of 2015 compared with CHF 525 million in the first six months of the year, and to CHF 740 million in the second semester of 2014. Sales of Sheet-fed products increased by 3% to CHF 658 million. Demand for products for the corrugated board industry was very strong, supported by a satisfying demand for products for the folding carton industry. Sales of Web-fed products increased by 4.9%, reaching CHF 297 million for the year 2015, including the acquisition of Nuova Gidue Srl which contributed CHF 25 million. The demand for special machines and complex lines remained at a low level. Sales of services and spare parts reached CHF 375 million, or a decrease, due to the negative currency impact, of 0.7% compared to 2014.

Sales in Europe increased by CHF 51 million. A significant improvement in some countries, including the UK, Spain, Germany and Italy, was partly eroded by lower sales in Eastern Europe. Sales in the Americas increased by CHF 5 million. The positive momentum of growth in the US continued, but sales in Brazil decreased again. Sales in Asia suffered mainly from the general slow-down in China and decreased by CHF 17 million.

Results
The measures taken in the first quarter of 2015 to mitigate the impact of the Euro’s depreciation against the Swiss Franc were successful, and compensated in large part for the negative currency impact on the Group results. The operating result (EBIT) was CHF 75.4 million, compared to CHF 81.7 million in 2014. This solid achievement was due to the commitment and dedication of our employees to continuously improve our competitiveness, as well as to very good utilization of the Group’s industrial capacities.
The net result reached CHF 59.2 million (CHF 53.0 million in 2014). The increase comes mainly from reduced financing costs and a one-time tax credit.

Solid balance sheet
The successful business operations, as well as continued efforts to reduce net working capital, resulted in a strong cash inflow from operating activities of CHF 104.8 million. This cash has been used mainly for the repayment of the CHF 190 million in bonds which matured in June 2015. Net debt reduced from CHF 17.7 million in 2014 to CHF 0.9 million in 2015. Despite the positive net result for the year, the consolidated shareholders’ equity decreased by CHF 40.9 million. The reduction of the equity was mainly due to the impact of a further reduction of interest rates related to the accounting of employee benefits (IAS 19R)*, as well as to currency translation differences largely caused by the weakening of the Euro. The equity ratio improved due to the repayment of bonds, and amounts to 28.6% in relation to the reduced total balance sheet for 2015 (27.9% in 2014).

Outlook and financial targets
Bobst Group continues to strengthen its technological lead and to enhance customer satisfaction. Price pressure remains, but thanks to nine product novelties that will be presented during the Drupa and K exhibitions in June and October, we are confident of creating strong demand in the market.
The Group confirms the guidance published December 3, 2015, that it expects to reach sales of CHF 1.300 to 1.350 billion in 2016. Barring unforeseen circumstances the Group expects to achieve an operating result (EBIT) similar to that achieved in 2015. The net result might slightly decrease, as the Group benefitted from a one-time tax credit in 2015.
The mid- to long-term financial targets of at least 8% operating result (EBIT) and a minimum 15% return on capital employed (ROCE) remain unchanged. The Group confirms the commitment to create value for its stakeholders.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #113093
 11.03.2016

BOBST & industry partners highlight latest technologies for flexible packaging at roadshow in ..  (Company news)

.... Cairo, Egypt

BOBST and its industry partners convened in Cairo, Egypt, to meet representatives of the Egyptian flexible packaging and label converting industries who attended the roadshow on 26 January 2016 at the Fairmont Heliopolis & Towers hotel.

Co-hosted by the BOBST agent in Egypt, Sidhom Co., the event gathered around 100 participants, who braved a day of inclement weather to be present, as did representatives of local financial institutions. The event provided the opportunity for delegates to hear from world-leading equipment and consumables manufacturers about the advantages and opportunities provided by the latest technologies and processes for the production of flexible packaging and labels, as well as enjoying the networking sessions that the day also offered.

The equipment presentations spotlighted the performance and technologies of printing and converting equipment throughout the production chain, for both flexible packaging and labels, from film extrusion to slitting-rewinding, by way of vacuum metallizing, flexo and gravure printing, lamination, extrusion coating and coating. These were complemented by the latest updates on new generation high performance adhesives and on food contact legislation, flexo plate technology, printing sleeves and rollers, the future of flexo with fixed palettes, and solvent recovery systems for flexible packaging.

“Despite the economic and political uncertainties, demand for flexible packaging is growing and the local industry continues to make progress,” commented Roy Obeid, Zone Business Director, BOBST Business Unit Web-fed. “This seminar illustrated ways that enable our customers to unlock hidden profit potential within converting and printing operations, while still ensuring the highest levels of output quality. This was not only true for equipment, peripheral devices and systems, but also, and very importantly so, for services. The timeliness, efficiency and quality of services must support the installed equipment in order to make it always perform at its very best. The capabilities of BOBST services to keep machines at full efficiency were clearly illustrated by Nitin Ashar, Regional Service Manager, Bobst Africa & Middle East.

Sherif Sidhom, CEO of Sidhom Co., co-hosts of the roadshow, said “For many years we have been the BOBST agent in Egypt for their range of web-fed equipment and we have a solidly established position in the printing and converting market for wide-web equipment. Further to their acquisition last year of the Italian company Nuova Gidue, which is now Bobst Firenze, BOBST has extended its solutions in the different segments of the label industry to now encompass narrow-web printing and converting equipment. The roadshow has provided us with a tremendous opportunity to touch base with narrow-web and label converters, along with existing BOBST customers, which is invaluable for the development of our business in this sector of the industry.”
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #112690
 28.01.2016

Grupo Gondi places second large order with BOBST in under a year  (Company news)

Less than a year after agreeing a seven-machine deal for its new, green field site in Nava, Mexico, Grupo Gondi has placed a further large order for state-of-the-art BOBST printing and conversion equipment, as well as for upgrades to existing equipment. The order reflects Grupo Gondi’s commitment to investing in innovative production equipment and its trust in the equipment manufactured and service support provided by BOBST.

The deal includes the installation of Grupo Gondi’s second BOBST F&K 90SIX high-performance CI flexo press (photo) for pre-printed linerboard and coated boxboard applications, a BOBST Asitrade VISIONFLUTE litho-laminator dry end, a BOBST EXPERTCUT 145 PER large format die-cutter, and two Impack VIRTUO automatic packers. As part of the purchase, BOBST will also carry out a major upgrade of Grupo Gondi’s existing F&K 90SIX press which will see it brought to the same level of technology as the new line, reflecting the ability of BOBST to offer world class after-sales support. With the installation of the new F&K 90SIX, Grupo Gondi will have three, latest generation, BOBST pre-print presses within their Group.

Emilio Corti, Head of Sales for BOBST Business Unit Sheet-fed, said, "We are very proud that Grupo Gondi sees us as the key supplier supporting their continued growth in Mexico. This multiple machine deal follows the one signed in December 2014 for equipment at the green field site in Nava, and proves that BOBST not only has the technology that customers need to maximize their productivity, but that we also have the proper pre- and post-sales support organizations to ensure they get the best out of their machinery."

Grupo Gondi is proceeding with their expansion plan for the new state-of-the-art green field facility at Nava near Piedras Negra in the north of Mexico. This plant is geared towards serving the substantial beer industry of the area and will be completed by the end of 2016. The F&K 90SIX, EXPERTCUT 145 PER and one VIRTUO packer are destined for this site, while the other VIRTUO will go to the Group’s EPM plant in México City. The VISIONFLUTE will be installed at Grupo Gondi’s PEOSA (EMP) facility in Guadalajara. The new installations will be accompanied by an upgrade to the latest technology of the F&K 90SIX press at the Group’s PCD plant in Celaya.

Eduardo Posada, CEO of Grupo Gondi, said, "We continue to invest in cutting edge technology in order to provide our customers with the best packaging solutions, together with innovation and the volume capacity the market requires. Our plants and equipment are constantly upgraded to keep up with our commitment to customers and in line with our dream to be the best option in our industry. The move Gondi is making toward "sexy boxes" is supported by the best technology available."

The BOBST F&K 90SIX is the best-selling press in the pre-print market, and the line at Nava will go into production in the second half of 2016. Featuring repeats of up to 2060 mm and running at speeds of up to 500 meters per minute, the F&K 90SIX is capable of printing on low grammages while delivering close to offset quality, which considerably lowers production costs. The press is equipped with F&K smartGPS™, BOBST’s unique off-press impression setting system, which brings production waste close to zero and which allows the user to profitably run even the smallest orders. Another special feature of the press is a downstream unit designed for the application of both water-based and UV curable inks. This special feature allows the machine to be used for all types of pre-print and carton applications, including the production of premium beer packaging. A downstream unit of the same type will be among the retrofits on Grupo Gondi’s existing F&K 90SIX.

The EXPERTCUT 145 PER is a workhorse format-VI die-cutter, ideal for the conversion of litho-laminated board. Designed with the direct input of BOBST customers, this EXPERTCUT features BOBST’s patented Power Register II system, which ensures perfect die-cut to print registration, something that is particularly difficult to achieve when die-cutting the litho-laminated products commonplace in the beverage industry. With an intelligent feeder system and quick-change tooling units, the EXPERTCUT 145 PER also has the versatility to handle paper, solid board and conventional corrugated, while delivering high productivity, easy operation, and excellent product quality. Die-cutting sheets of up to 1050 x 1450 mm, at speeds of up to 7,500 per hour, EXPERTCUT 145 PER can deliver 550 metric tonnes of force, making it ideal for even the most complex work.

The offline VISIONFLUTE laminator will be integrated with an existing Grupo Gondi module facer at PEOSA, and will replace existing litho-laminating lines at the plant. With centralized and automated process parameter control, VISIONFLUTE delivers substantial productivity gains and a reduced labor requirement. VISIONFLUTE is the market leading equipment for the high quality litho-lamination of offset printed, mechanically resistant packaging destined for market sectors as diverse as beer, footwear, toys and home appliances. The laminator has a throughput of up to 10,000 sheets per hour and can handle sheet formats as small as 550 x 550 mm and as large as 1630 x 1650 mm. Included in the Grupo Gondi purchase, as with the other equipment in the deal, is the training of the plant’s operators. Delivering such services is a cornerstone of the BOBST service offering and ensures high levels of local operating competences, optimal operational performance, and the highest possible productivity of the installed equipment.

In line with its agency agreement with Impack Packaging Equipment Design, BOBST will supply two of the Canadian company’s VIRTUO packing lines for Grupo Gondi’s new Nava plant. Particularly suited to packing medium to large runs of microflute, litho-laminated or heavy solid board cartons, the unit can handle a range of carton styles including straight line and 4/6 corner boxes, at speeds of up to eight cases per minute. Both lines will feature IN-3 Box Turners which can rotate the carton blanks by ninety degrees left or right, as required, or allow blanks to pass straight through the unit, when rotating is not required. One of the VIRTUO units being supplied to Grupo Gondi will incorporate a Case Feeder XL for large cases.

With volume sales of equipment for the printing and converting of folding carton, corrugated board, and flexible material packaging and of labels, BOBST holds a market leading position in Central America where its presence is backed by an extensive regional service team based in Mexico City.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #112629
 22.01.2016

Corrugated sheet plant Cartonnages du Dauphiné sees a 30% productivity uplift and enters ...  (Company news)

... new markets with the world's first BOBST EXPERTFOLD 165 folder-gluer

Cartonnages du Dauphiné, located in Champ Pres Froges, France, was the beta testing site for the BOBST EXPERTFOLD 165, taking delivery of the machine in November 2014. Compared to the folder-gluer it replaced, the EXPERTFOLD at the plant has raised productivity by 30% in its first year of production, with room for further improvement, and the company can now manufacture and sell a much wider range of box styles.

Pascal Olier, General Manager of Cartonnages du Dauphiné, says, "A big part of the increase in productivity was from the faster setting times of the EXPERTFOLD. On some jobs we have cut them by as much as half compared to the machine it replaced. That is important for a sheet plant like us because our folder-gluers have to makeready many times a day. Also this new machine runs more consistently, with better control of the box during the folding process, which improves quality and further increases productivity."

Several design elements of the new EXPERTFOLD deliver this faster makeready, improved consistency and higher quality. These include a Matic system for the automatic setting of carriers and job parameters, as well as an ACCUFEED blank alignment system that ensures precise entry of the blank to the folding section. The design of the folding section itself minimizes fishtailing and gap, its extra length creating smoother folding. This, along with innovative new creasing units at the entry, delivers the high folding quality that manufacturers need today. A high accuracy pre-breaker ensures excellent box performance on machine-erect lines, which many brand owners now demand.

"Having the EXPERTFOLD means we can satisfy the quality conformity requirements that our customers write into their contracts with us, and we can also better meet their deadlines. Along with this the EXPERTFOLD has given us the ability to offer our customers new box types and sizes such as four and six point boxes and special types of boxes. With the EXPERTFOLD our possibilities have reached new dimensions," explains Mr Olier.

Classic sheet plant
Cartonnages du Dauphiné serves the metalworking, electrical & electronic equipment, chemicals, food processing and distribution sectors and is a classic corrugated industry sheet plant, achieving a turnover of just over €7 million from its plant in the foothills of the French Alps. The company traces its roots back to 1931 when it was established as a family business in Grenoble. In 1986 the company was purchased by the French GIEPAC group and nine years later moved to new, 26'000 square meter premises in Champ Pres Froges, thirty kilometers away. In 1998 GIEPAC became part of SAICA which, in 2010, sold the plant along with two others - Cartembal, which is located near Montpellier, and Cartonnages du Beaujolais which is near Lyon. The purchasers created a new French packaging group, Carsudest. "With our sister companies we give the group excellent geographical, production capacity and product synergy. It means that Carsudest customers get access to the complete corrugated box product range and, because of our SME structure, we offer customers the flexibility and responsiveness they need today," says Mr Olier.

The specialties of Cartonnages du Dauphiné are small and mid-size boxes, self-erect boxes, die-cut packaging - either delivered flat to customers or folded and glued, Point of Sale (POS) packaging, POS displays, and promotional packaging. Aware that one of their existing folder-gluers was struggling to meet the demands upon it, Mr Olier contacted all the major suppliers of this type of equipment, but soon discovered that BOBST had the most complete and interesting solution, which was to install the first EXPERTFOLD 165 line, then approaching its beta development stage. "As well as the proposed technical features of the machine it was comforting to know that BOBST has an excellent image in the market for supporting its customers. It was a perfect experience, almost as if it was not a beta machine but a fully industrialized one. The machine performed beautifully and the BOBST technicians and their Research & Development team were always by our side, no matter the problem or challenge. That's all we could ask for."

Designed for sheet and integrated plants
The folder-gluer, which is available in two sizes - EXPERTFOLD 145 and EXPERTFOLD 165 - and in several variants, has been designed with the needs of both sheet plant and integrated manufacturers of fluted boxes in mind. In particular, the folder-gluer has been designed to be very robust, which means high levels of uptime and excellent control of the blank. Because it is modular in design, EXPERTFOLD can be specified to meet the customer's current needs but grow with their business. The EXPERTFOLD 165 model is able to fold and glue substrates from N-flute to A-flute, including double wall and litho-laminates, and can handle blanks of up to 1700 x 1100mm in size and up to 25mm thick when folded. The flexibility of the line means that it can process blanks as small as 296 x 60mm.

Easy to set and run
The feedback about the EXPERTFOLD 165 from the shop-floor has been very positive, says Mr Olier. "The operators think it is a real pleasure to work with. They were very motivated to get a latest generation machine and they are very happy by how easy and fast the machine is to set and to run. They say it's because of the intuitive way the machine has been conceived. Everything is very open when they makeready and everything is at a good working height. Then when they start running, the light barriers make it very safe."

Mr Olier adds that the EXPERTFOLD delivery unit has made packing easier. "The packers at the end of the line are especially happy with the delivery because the speed does not depend on the machine running speed, so they can pack without stress."

Mr Olier says that the EXPERTFOLD 165 has been a ‘big plus' for the company as a whole. "The integration went smoothly, we now have reliable production, higher productivity, better quality and we have been able to reduce our labor requirement. Smaller companies like us constantly need to improve our performance in terms of competitiveness, delivery times and quality. The EXPERTFOLD 165 helps us do that."
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #112398
 04.01.2016

BOBST is celebrating its 125th anniversary with dynamism and commitment  (Company news)

BOBST, a family company based in the Swiss Canton of Vaud, is launching a year of events to celebrate its anniversary. Dating back four generations, the company was founded in Lausanne in 1890 and has managed to build an ambitious international economic project while remaining true to its roots and human values.

BOBST is embarking on this anniversary with its sights focused firmly on the future. Until autumn 2016 it will hold a year of events running under the motto "125 YEARS: FOR THE NEXT GENERATION". BOBST has chosen this slogan first of all to thank its customers who have placed their trust in the brand for 125 years. It is also to pay tribute to its staff, whose enthusiastic work has given the brand’s products and services their renowned excellence. This anniversary is a reminder that everyone has a part to play in laying the foundations that the company intends to bequeath to future generations, the cornerstone of which resides in customer satisfaction.
In addition to the graphic elements which are the visible signs of this anniversary, three key initiatives will punctuate this program of celebrations.

Customer events
The 125th anniversary will also feature in the company’s trade exhibitions, customer days and open days. In particular, BOBST will be commemorating its anniversary at the drupa 2016 and K 2016 international shows, which will be held next spring and autumn in Düsseldorf, Germany.

"BOBST - One Group around the world"
On 23 March 2016 all BOBST staff will join together for a day celebrating BOBST’s 125 years. The celebrations will kick off in Japan and will end in Mexico, passing through each of the Group’s facilities during the day. This event, which is being organized in all subsidiaries around the world, will also be an opportunity to thank all who work there for their contribution to the success of the business.

Let us build our future together!
125 years of history and innovation are a great source of inspiration, influencing both the culture of the business and its development by the next generation. The Board of Directors is planning the implementation of collective projects at a local level, coordinated by BOBST staff. These long-term initiatives represent a joint commitment and offer employees the opportunity to build the future together.

WINNING OVER THE WORLD FROM LAUSANNE. BOBST: AN EPIC INDUSTRIAL ENTERPRISE
In 1890, Joseph Otto Bobst (1862-1935), a press operator-typographer by trade, set up a dealership in Lausanne for the graphic arts industry. A clever merchant, a few years later he set up a mechanical repair workshop for his customers’ machines, which added to the prosperity of his business.

Henri Bobst (1897-1975), his younger son, became the driving force in 1918 as the company went on to specialize in board converting machinery. A talented and visionary engineer, Henri Bobst was just 18 years of age in 1915 when he developed the first platen press for printing Braille embossing.

In the 1920’s however, the company came up against severe economic difficulties. After the end of the First World War, competition from German and French machine makers became overwhelming, as they benefitted from currency devaluation in these two countries. In 1924, to avoid bankruptcy, J. Bobst & Fils SA sold its board division to Marinoni, a French company. In 1936, fate offered the Lausanne-based company its comeback when the one-time buyer, having succumbed in turn to financial difficulties, sold the packaging operations business back. BOBST repatriated its industrial heritage to Switzerland and built a factory in Prilly two years later.

BOBST propels board converting into the industrial era
In 1940, Henri Bobst launched the AP 900, the world’s first Autoplaten® automatic die-cutter. This machine revolutionized paperboard die-cutting and creasing, processing over 4.000 sheets an hour compared with barely 1.200 for a manual press of the day. It marked the start of the Group’s awe-inspiring industrial growth.

In 1950, BOBST made its first sales in the United States, which was to become its leading market. Developing its operations on the other side of the Atlantic, it worked in partnership with The Champlain Company Inc., a US company specializing in rotogravure printing presses for high-volume packaging, which it acquired in 1965.

In 1970, BOBST, having run out of space at its Prilly industrial site, acquired 300.000 m2 of land at Mex, in the Lausanne region, on which to build new production facilities.

Building an international group
It was during the 1980’s that BOBST set itself up as an international group. The acquisition of S.A. Martin in France, Peters GmbH in Germany, and a 50% stake in the share capital of Italian machinery manufacturer Schiavi SpA, enabled it to become the world’s leading manufacturer of equipment for the corrugated board industry and to enter the flexible packaging market.

Up to the turn of the twenty-first century, the Group was still strengthening its position throughout the world. Having opened a facility in Germany in 1990, BOBST went on to establish subsidiaries in Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia and to set itself up in India. It put plants into operation in Shanghai, China and in Itatiba, Brazil, and also opened dealerships in Central Europe and Russia.

In 2004, BOBST acquired five converting equipment businesses from Metso, the Finnish group, thus strengthening its presence and market share in the flexible packaging industry, a sector accounting for just 7% of BOBST sales at that time. With this acquisition, the Group intended to achieve 20% of its turnover in this field and thus strengthen its position in this thriving market.

Strategic consolidation of the business: a single Group and Brand
Between 2009 and 2011, the Group, having been hit hard by the 2008 global financial crisis, launched an unprecedented turnaround program combined with a cost and headcount reduction plan. One of the key aspects involved consolidating its portfolio of brands, which continued to expand with the passage of time, under a single name: BOBST. In 2012, the strategic consolidation of the business into one Group and a single Brand was accompanied by the adoption of a new logo to identify all the products and services marketed by the company. The efforts expended, and the sacrifices made, enabled BOBST to resume sustainable profitability as of 2014. The Group is now capable of successfully meeting the challenges of a constantly shifting global economic balance.

In 2013, on completing the TEAM ("Tous Ensemble A Mex" or "all together at Mex") project, BOBST inaugurated the buildings at its new Mex facility, where the Group consolidated its two production facilities in the Lausanne area into a single one.

Since then the company has excelled with numerous technological innovations. In response to specific needs in growth markets, equipment offering excellent value for money in terms of performance has been launched and is now being manufactured in China, India and South America. In 2015, at the forefront of digital printing, BOBST has been successfully testing two digital presses for a year with its customers. Last spring, it acquired Nuova Gidue, an Italian company specializing in short-run printing machinery. Renamed BOBST Firenze, it strengthens the Group’s position in the label and flexible packaging markets.

Bobst Group today
The number one global supplier of machinery and services to the packaging industry, BOBST operates in three sectors: corrugated board, folding carton and flexible materials.

BOBST has a presence in over 50 countries, operates eleven production facilities and employs over 4.800 people throughout the world. The geographical proximity between its sales and services networks is one of the keys of its leadership.

The Group devotes the bulk of its resources and energy to strengthening its technological edge. Innovation is written into the company’s DNA, it is at the core of its strategy and has resulted in close to 1.350 patents. Today, BOBST offers equipment which provides a targeted response to its customers’ individual requirements. Its digital print systems open up new, highly profitable, outlets and give manufacturers as well as brand owners innovative solutions, especially in personalized production and short runs of packaging and labels.

BOBST places customer satisfaction at the centre of its operations and has been one of the first manufacturers to offer a complete range of services. This includes basic services such as supplying spare parts, remote services and various technical services, as well as maintenance packages, upgrade programs for previously installed machinery and expert assessment packages to optimize production processes. Every year its highly qualified technicians attend over 8.000 days of training.

The Group intends to keep on investing in its personnel and launching new products to meet the needs of the market and consolidate its long-term growth sustainably. The BOBST vision, based on strong human values, has always been the driver of its success and will remain at the core of the next generation’s business project.

Jean-Pascal Bobst, the Group CEO, is the great-grandson of the founder of the business. Since 2009, he has been at the helm of the company, whose headquarters are in Mex, near Lausanne, Switzerland.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #112382
 28.12.2015

Ostermöller Verpackungen commissions the world's first BOBST VISIONCUT 106 LER ...  (Company news)

... in-line separating die-cutter

In the first half of September, Ostermöller Verpackungen GmbH & Co. KG, which has its head office in Bünde, Germany, commissioned the world's first VISIONCUT 106 LER. BOBST had previously presented this completely new, 3B-format flat-bed die-cutter at the COMPETENCE 15 open house held at its headquarters in Mex, Switzerland in late June 2015, showcasing the in-line separation and 8'000 sheets per hour production speed of the new press. Alongside the VISIONCUT 106 LER's short set-up times and innovative technical features, it was the presence of the automatic separation capability at a competitive cost that won over Olaf Ostermöller, owner and Managing Director of the long-standing, medium-sized packaging company.

Photo: At the beginning of September 2015, Ostermöller Verpackungen, which is headquartered in Bünde in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany, commissioned the world's first VISIONCUT 106 LER with in-line separator. "With three months’ production experience of the VISIONCUT we are very happy with the results. It underlines how right we were to make this investment," says Olaf Ostermöller.

"In the fields of foodstuffs and technical products in particular, packaging is increasingly being erected and glued by machine. Given this background, we were absolutely determined to install a flat bed die-cutter with in-line separation to replace our existing system. This now enables us to meet our customers' quality demands without any compromise," explains Ostermöller, emphasizing the importance of replacing another manual operation in the production process. And he goes on to explain that the VISIONCUT 106 LER is also flexible enough to be converted quickly and easily to full-sheet output. "With three months’ production experience of the VISIONCUT we are very happy with the results. It underlines how right we were to make this investment," concludes Ostermöller.

To make sure it selected the right system, Ostermöller compared flat bed die-cutters from a number of manufacturers. "Ultimately, we could see no reason not to stay with the market leader."

The die-cutter was installed at the end of August and was up and running just a few days later. Since then it has been operating without the slightest problem. "Compared to our previous SP 104-E die-cutting machine, set-up times have become considerably shorter," says Ostermöller, turning to another important benefit of the new production technology. For example, Quick Lock frames permit rapid changeover of the die-cutting tools, while the unique tool frames, which are equipped with a high-speed clamping device and permit tool adjustments to micrometer precision, greatly simplify the task of adjusting the stripping and separating tools for the machine operators. The shorter set-up times are particularly advantageous when it comes to short runs. But for the moment, the Managing Director is unable to say exactly how much of a benefit this will be. "We are still in the introductory phase and getting to grips with the many different capabilities of the new machine," explains Ostermöller.

The optical, non-contact sheet register, the fully automatic Smart Feeder and the double-cam gripper drive, number among the other technical highlights of this innovative flat-bed die-cutter. Together, they guarantee reliable production during the processing of a wide range of packaging materials at sheet formats of up to 1'060 x 760 mm – including lightweight paper material with a grammage of 80 g/m2 or more, carton board up to 2'000 g/m2, as well as plastics and corrugated board up to a thickness of 4 mm – while ensuring outstanding quality and productivity.

"With the VISIONCUT 106 LER, we can achieve full production speed faster than with our previous die-cutter and accelerate it to its peak throughput of approximately 8'000 sheets per hour," continues Ostermöller, illustrating one aspect of the new machine's enhanced productivity that offers his company an extremely attractive price/performance ratio.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #112272
 17.12.2015

BOBST Large Format Hot Foil Stamping Days showcase new technology and economics for ...  (Company news)

... added value finishing in size VI

The Large Format Hot Foil Stamping Days held at the BOBST Competence Center in Mex, Switzerland, introduced visitors to the new economics of added value finishing brought about by the evolved EXPERTFOIL 142 size VI hot foil stamping press. Visitors from twenty of the foremost companies in Europe using hot foil stamping saw how getting extra products onto a sheet can dramatically change the profitability of the process, especially when margins are tight.

Held from the 16th - 18th of November, the event also allowed visitors to hear about, and exchange ideas on, the latest developments in the hot foil stamping process, especially at the large format size, from BOBST specialists and selected partners including Hunkeler Systems, Kurz Prägefolien AG, hinderer+mühlich GmbH & Co. KG, and UEI Falcontec.

Marco Lideo, Product Sales Director for BOBST BU Sheet-fed Folding Carton, “It doesn’t make a lot of sense for packaging makers or printers who print at size VI to then have to cut their sheets down to hot foil stamp them. It’s much more cost effective to work at size VI throughout the entire production process and it can make the difference between profit and loss on a job.”

Until the arrival of the EXPERTFOIL 142 only ‘bolt-on’ foiling solutions were available to finishers working in the size VI format. But with its range of ingenious features, such as a walk-in foil section for ergonomic foil handling, its completely new foil reel control system for smoother and better controlled foil unwinding, and its 360° one-level platform, EXPERTFOIL 142 is a complete work station allowing finishers to foil natively, and profitably, at size VI. Its pressure of up to 600 tons allows for excellent foil deposition, as well as for very deep embossing on even the thickest materials, which is of particular interest for those manufacturing champagne or liquor cartons etc. With a running speed of 5'000 sheets per hour and a format of 1'420 x 1'020 mm, on paper, carton or corrugated board, users could see almost double the sheet surface compared to other solutions.

Marco Lideo, said, “Depending on the layout, a machine like the EXPERTFOIL 142 can give users as much as double the number of blanks per sheet compared to a size IIIB machine, and much more output. We have customers who are already seeing the benefits. For example one of the clients who bought an EXPERTFOIL 142 has just ordered a second machine, to help them meet demand. I imagine visitors to our Large Format Hot Foil Stamping Days certainly went away with a lot to think about.”
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #112210
 10.12.2015

Bobst Group SA: update on 2015 guidance and first outlook for 2016 - Conference for ...   (Company news)

... financial analysts and the media in Zurich

Bobst Group SA held its annual analyst and media conference in Zurich.

For 2015, Bobst Group SA is currently expecting, subject to ongoing business, currency fluctuations and market conditions, sales in the range of CHF 1’310 million to CHF 1’330 million. The operating result (EBIT) and net result guidance is confirmed (EBIT-margin > 5% and net result-margin > 3%). The final 2015 full year results will be published on March 2nd 2016.

Barring unforeseen circumstances Bobst is currently assuming for 2016 sales in the range of CHF 1’300 million to CHF 1’350 million and EBIT- and net result-margins similar to 2015. This outlook is in particular subject to market conditions, the development of the overall economy in the various geographies and currency fluctuations.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #111995
 18.11.2015

BOBST at FEFCO 2015: Gold award for best innovation  (Company news)

At the recent FEFCO Technical Conference in Barcelona, the BOBST digital printing press for corrugated (photo) won the Gold Award for Innovation, the FEFCO jury recognizing the radical capabilities of this new press technology. At the show, BOBST revealed to delegates the design and further technical specifications of the press, which is currently being beta tested at two European corrugated box plants. BOBST also premiered two brand new flexo printing lines, the FFG 8.20 EXPERTLINE flexo folder gluer and MASTERFLEX-XL high quality post-printer, confirming its commitment to both digital and flexo printing technologies.

Emilio Corti, Head of Sales for BOBST Business Unit Sheet-fed said, “This award recognizes the ground-breaking nature of our radical new digital press. It is a highly innovative solution that has been conceived to open up a vast range of markets to corrugated packaging makers, from long runs of boxes featuring variable data to very short runs of bespoke packs and displays. It means that corrugated packaging manufacturers will be able to exploit all sorts of markets and I believe the jury recognized this with their award.”

During the Spotlight presentation that convinced the jury of the innovative nature of the new BOBST digital printing press for corrugated, Jakob Bovin, Marketing Director Digital Printing - Corrugated Board at BOBST, gave delegates a first look at the BOBST digital printing press for corrugated board, which features a modern design and ground-breaking capabilities.

Jakob Bovin said, “By using KODAK Stream Inkjet Technology utilizing aqueos based inks, our press can continuously deliver over 50 billion ink drops per second from its four, CMYK, print units. We can match a very broad range of the Pantone gamut and print at speeds of up to 200 meters per minute. The press delivers very high print quality, with a print resolution of 600 x 900 dpi. We have designed a brand new vacuum belt sheet transport system in order to guarantee the registration accuracy needed when printing at such high resolutions and high speeds. The press also incorporates our BOBST iQ400 quality control system and an ejection process for any non-conforming products.”

As previously announced, the press is a stack-to-stack solution ideal for integration into corrugated plants’ existing logistics systems. The pre-coating unit allows the press to print onto a wide range of corrugated substrates, giving the converter maximum flexibility in production.

The current beta testing phase of this new printing solution will continue in 2016 with the installation of two additional presses.

New flexo lines
Two other Spotlight sessions at FEFCO saw details revealed of two new BOBST flexo press lines.
The MASTERFLEX-XL is a high quality flexographic printing press than can be installed offline, or inline with either a BOBST rotary or flat-bed die-cutter. The press features BOBST’s Start and Go system, which sets and then maintains register in conjunction with its Registron™ S5500 register control and a new SC500 adjustment system; a no-crush feeder; iQ300 image control which ensures any out of conformance print is ejected; vacuum transfer; sheet cleaning; and an automated stacker. The press has an offline speed of 12,000 sheets per hour.

Gilbert Joux, Product Marketing Director Corrugated Board for BOBST, said, “MASTERFLEX-XL is about printing a quality product at high speed. Whether it is used offline, or inline with a MASTERCUT or DRO type die-cutter, the onboard systems ensure that consistently high printing quality is achieved, while at the same time delivering high productivity, superb flexibility and an attractive total cost of ownership. Flexo printing still has a huge amount to offer the corrugated industry and this new machine shows that at BOBST we are standing strong in our commitment to flexo technology development.”

The second line announced was FFG 8.20 EXPERTLINE, a fully automated line for box production, integrating a BOBST FFG 8.20 EXPERT with automated loading and end of line palletization.

Yves Bletterie, Area Sales Manager for BOBST Lyon, said, “The FFG 8.20 EXPERT has been a huge success, with over 45 machines installed since we launched it three years ago. Now, with the EXPERTLINE, we can offer a complete end-to-end automated production line which can deliver 24,000 boxes an hour, be set in just one or two minutes and which needs just two operators to run. It really boost the productivity of users and makes even low margin boxes profitable.”

FFG 8.20 EXPERTLINE uses sequential order change (SOC) to achieve ultra-quick set-up times. Each part of the line, EXPERTLOADER, FFG 8.20 EXPERT and FFG PALLETIZER, begins its set-up of the next job while sheets from the previous order are still clearing its downstream units. The FFG 8.20 EXPERTLINE has already seen record achievements by early adopters, including 144,013 boxes produced in an eight hour shift with 10 order changes at a plant in Florida, and 71 setups in eight hours at a plant in Minnesota, producing 59,500 boxes.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #111751
 22.10.2015

Bobst Group, owner of 65% of Gordon Ltd since 2011 will exercise its option to purchase the ...  (Company news)

...remaining shares and Gary Tseng, former owner, remains Managing Director

Bobst Group announces that it will exercise before the end of the year its option to purchase from Gary Tseng the remaining 35% of the Gordon Ltd shares, the Hong Kong based holding company of Shanghai Eternal Machinery Co. Ltd.
Gary Tseng will remain Managing Director in charge of the operations as before. Both parties have agreed not to disclose any information concerning the conditions of the transaction.

Philippe Milliet, Head of BOBST Business Unit Sheet-fed and Member of the Group Executive Committee, said: "We are very happy with the development of Gordon during the past 5 years. Gordon has developed new products and reinforced his market position under the strong leadership and vision of Gary Tseng. We are looking forward continuing to take advantage, under an adapted governance due to change in shareholding, of the huge experience of Gary."

On selling the balance of his stake, Gary Tseng, commented: "I am very happy with my decision of joining Bobst”, during the cooperation with BOBST along the last 5 years, Gordon has made significant improvements in product range and market presence. There are still great development possibilities ahead of us and I will be more than happy to contribute as Managing Director as before and for the coming years. At the same time, this cleared situation will give me more time and energy to concentrate on the further development of the Eterna and Brausse products and markets."

The BOBST and Eterna product ranges have a high degree of complementarity, and the two companies will each continue to develop technologically advanced products and services that answer the business needs of their respective customers. The brand identities, management teams, sales and service organizations of both companies will remain separate, thus ensuring continuity in the relationships between customer, BOBST and Eterna.
(Bobst Group SA)

Newsgrafik #111088
 13.08.2015

Bobst 2015 first half-year results - Stable volumes and implementation of profit improvement ...  (Company news)

...measures mitigate negative impact of weak Euro

-The weak Euro had a significant negative impact on sales, which were CHF 35.8 million lower than in the previous year, and on operating result (EBIT), which was CHF 9.8 million lower than in H1 2014.
-Net result improved to CHF 10.4 million, from CHF 3.9 million in 2014.
-Continued strong cash inflow from operating activities of CHF 48.9 million.
-Bookings up 11% and backlog 16% higher than in previous year.

Bobst Group recorded a good first half-year 2015 despite the weak Euro. Sales amounted to CHF 524.7 million for the half-year, compared to CHF 560.5 million in the same period last year. Adjusted for negative currency effects, sales remained stable. Operating result (EBIT) was down by CHF 9.8 million, at CHF 10.3 million, due to the impact of the weak Euro. The net result improved to CHF 10.4 million, up from CHF 3.9 million in the previous year. Bookings are up 11% and backlog is 16% higher than at the same stage year.

During the first half of 2015 consolidated sales amounted to CHF 524.7 million, representing a reduction of CHF 35.8 million, or -6.4%, compared to the same period in 2014. This evolution was mainly linked to the decision of the Swiss National Bank to no longer maintain a minimum exchange rate of CHF 1.20 per Euro.

The overall unfavorable exchange rate evolution due to the conversion of foreign currencies for consolidation accounted for CHF -23.7 million, or -4.2%, and the transactional impact on sales volumes from our Swiss operations accounted for CHF -13.7 million, or -2.5%. Volume and price variances had a negative impact of CHF -2.9 million, or 0.5%.

The operating result (EBIT) was CHF 10.3 million, compared to CHF 20.1 million for the same period in 2014. The reduction in the operating result (EBIT) was due to the unfavorable exchange rate impact. The additional efficiency measures launched after 15 January, 2015 delivered the anticipated effects and mitigated significantly the impact of the weak Euro. A very high utilization at all plants also had a positive effect on the operating result (EBIT) for the first half-year 2015.

The Sheet-fed and Services Business Units improved their operating results (EBIT) despite the unfavorable exchange rate impact. The Business Unit Web-fed could not offset the negative Euro-impact, as sales in the first half of 2015 were significantly lower than in the previous year. This was mainly due to a lower backlog at the beginning of this year compared to 2014.

The net result was CHF 10.4 million, compared to CHF 3.9 million in 2014. This improvement was achieved thanks to a favorable impact from currency hedging in place, as shown in the financial results, and to a one-time tax credit. The improved net result, as well as ongoing measures to optimize net working capital, again resulted in a significant cash inflow from operating activities, amounting to CHF 48.9 million, compared to CHF 49.3 million in the first six months of 2014. Net debt increased to CHF 26.4 million from CHF 17.7 million at the end of 2014. The weakening of the Euro against the Swiss Franc impacted net debt unfavorably, as nearly all the debt is in Swiss Francs and a large part of the cash is in Euros.

The CHF 190.0 million in public bonds which came to maturity on 22 June 2015 was reimbursed. The consolidated shareholders’ equity reached 24.8% of the total balance sheet, compared to 27.9% at the end of 2014. The reduction of the equity was mainly due to the impact of a further reduction of interest rates on the accounting of employee benefits (IAS 19R), as well as to currency translation differences largely caused by the weakening of the Euro.

BUSINESS ACTIVITY AND OUTLOOK BY BUSINESS UNIT
Business Unit Sheet-fed
Business activity in the first half-year of 2015 followed the same trend as last year, with strong performance in the corrugated board industry offsetting lower activity in the folding carton sector. Total bookings for the first half-year of 2015 were better than the same period in 2014.
Demand continues to be driven by mature markets, and particularly by the large countries in Europe. Bookings are slightly below expectations in North America, while Central America performed well above expectation. Overall, bookings in growing markets slightly improved compared to last year, especially in the Africa & Middle East zone. But South America underperformed and China had a slow semester – though better than the previous year.
The first digital printing machine installed at one of our customers’ sites has begun production activity. The second machine is being installed at a further customer and production will start on that line by the end of July 2015.
The decision of the Swiss National Bank to no longer maintain the Euro vs. Swiss Franc rate of 1.20 impacted negatively on overall sales; however sales for the first semester of 2015 were still above those of last year. Based on the current backlog level and the usual positive volume imbalance in the second half of the year, the Business Unit Sheet-fed is forecasting more sales for the full year than in 2014.

Business Unit Web-fed
While overall business activity in the flexible materials market remained in line with the previous year, sales for the first half-year of 2015 were significantly lower than 2014 due to the impact of the Euro vs. Swiss Franc exchange rate and a backlog at the beginning of the year that was lower than in 2014. A positive momentum in the industry should ensure that the Business Unit Web-fed will reach its targeted volumes, in local currencies, by year-end. As the largest element of Web-fed business (80%) is transacted in Euros, the fall in this currency in relation to the Swiss Franc significantly impacts sales when converted. However, as the Business Unit’s main costs are Euro-based, paying special attention to these will compensate for this effect and will help the Business Unit achieve its financial targets.
Volumes in mature countries remained in line with 2014. In the BRIC countries, with the exception of India which showed a good level of activity, China, Russia and Brazil remained at a very low level of activity.
The Flexo product line saw a strong increase in machine bookings during the first half-year, mainly due to the performance of the 20SIX product range. With regards to the Gravure product line, the new RS 3.0, which was shown for the first time in October last year, has already reached the number of sales the previous model achieved in a full year.

Business Unit Services
First half-year sales for the Business Unit Services were equal to those of the same period in 2014. However, while the exchange rate evolution of the US Dollar had a positive impact on Business Unit Services volumes, sales in Euros suffered a negative impact.
In the European and North American markets business volumes increased, mainly through more contract business such as maintenance programs and contracts for remote troubleshooting and monitoring. BOBST now has more than 3 000 machines under maintenance contracts and more than 1 200 machines connected through remote access. BRIC regions show stagnation in service business.
The Business Unit expects to see normal business development for the second half of 2015, if no major changes in the world economy or exchange rates occur.
The Business Unit Services will continue to follow its vision of becoming the service benchmark in the packaging industry. The focus for the remainder of 2015 will therefore be to ‘train and retain’ existing service technicians, to hire additional ones, to further optimize spare parts management, and to continue to work on customer satisfaction.

OUTLOOK FOR THE SECOND HALF OF 2015
The Group expects to see continued good demand in Europe and North America. Asia should improve after a slow beginning of the year and South America will remain low due to a difficult economic environment. However, market conditions remain volatile. At current exchange rates, and barring unforeseen circumstances, the Group is confident of achieving full year sales of CHF 1.25 to 1.30 billion in 2015. For the full year 2015 the Group expects to achieve an operating result (EBIT) margin of higher than 5% and a net result margin of higher than 3%.
As already communicated in March 2015, it will take more time to achieve the mid- to long-term financial targets, of at least 8% operating result (EBIT) and a minimum 15% return on capital employed (ROCE), due to the decision of the Swiss National Bank to discontinue the EUR/CHF 1.20 minimum floor. The Group continues to implement its strategy – which is to innovate, to increase its presence in growing markets, to increase the performance of its services and to improve its operational excellence – in order to create value for its stakeholders.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #110907
 27.07.2015

Inaugural BOBST & Partners Roadshow in Vietnam a great success  (Company news)

Over 130 participants and prospective customers attended the BOBST and Partners Roadshow held in HCMC, Vietnam on 23rd June to hear about the latest innovations and trends in flexible packaging.

The now well-established roadshow formula brings together leading equipment manufacturers and management of packaging companies. The conference opened with a welcome addresses from Mr Othmar Hardegger, Consul General of the Embassy of Switzerland in Vietnam and Mr Cao Hong Quang from the Vietnam Packaging Association.

Throughout the day, BOBST, along with partners discussed market trends and solutions in their respective fields, covering the areas of production, printing, converting and finishing.

Eric Pavone, Business Director of BOBST Business Unit Web-fed commented "Vietnam is an important market for us, due to the fast growing economy and the packaging sector gaining market share to become one of the most rapidly growing industries in the country with increased demand for consumer goods and in particular foodstuffs. The demand for innovative products is high and the BOBST range of solutions in flexo printing, gravure printing, laminating, coating and vacuum metallizing are ideal for meeting the requirements of the packaging industry in Vietnam".

Laurence Dy, Zone Business Director SEA, BOBST BU Web-fed said, "This, the first BOBST and partners roadshow to be held in Vietnam was a great success and the feedback received from attendees was overwhelmingly positive."

Eric Pavone concludes, "The roadshows were set up to provide a focus on new technology and most importantly how that technology can benefit the users. They are also a great networking opportunity as under one roof, packaging converters will find a range of companies giving highly specialised presentations in their respective field with plenty of opportunities for potential business discussions.

I believe that along with our roadshow partners we have succeeded in our goal of presenting value added processes and solutions aimed at helping to improve the quality and profitability of converters’ business. The excellent comments we have received from attendees supports this belief".
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #110850
 21.07.2015

Pakistan's flexible and carton packaging industries participate in BOBST & partners Karachi ...  (Company news)

... roadshow

The two-day BOBST & partners packaging print and converting roadshow, held in Karachi in May 2015, brought together over 140 prominent representatives of the Pakistani flexible and carton packaging industries. Together, delegates heard from world-leading equipment and consumables manufacturers about the latest technologies and processes for packaging printing and converting.
The focus of day one was on the latest innovations in flexible packaging solutions, from raw materials to finished products. These were presented by BOBST and its industry partners.

“We have important customers in Pakistan, with a number of BOBST gravure printing, laminating and metallizing equipment installations for converting flexible materials,” commented Eric Pavone, Business Director, BOBST Business Unit Web-fed, “In addition to illustrating the way our value-creating solutions can meet market needs, and supporting the drive among Pakistan’s converters towards higher performance and product quality, the roadshow provided us with the opportunity of personally giving them an in-depth look at the advantages of our very latest developments. Most notably among these was the brand new RS 5002 gravure printing press for flexible packaging which we launched earlier this year.”

Carton packaging was covered on day two of the roadshow. BOBST presented its latest solutions designed to help carton makers work towards “zero-fault” packaging, along with highlighting some specific process developments in hot-foil stamping, the die-cutting of in-mold labels, rotary Braille embossing, and litho-lamination. Industry partners also showcased their latest solutions, aimed at driving innovation through the corrugated board and folding carton packaging supply chain and giving converters a competitive advantage.

Mr. Samir Khoudja, Head of Zone, Bobst Africa & Middle East, said, “Pakistan in an important market for us. It already has a large number of BOBST folding carton installations and we expect further development in the corrugated board industry over the coming years.” He added, “This seminar brought a unique opportunity for us and our industry partners to demonstrate to customers in Pakistan how we can help them improve the quality of their output while at the same time reducing their costs. Our presence in Pakistan shows our commitment to supporting the development of the packaging industry in this key market.”

Complementing the technical presentations, very valuable insights on trends in both the flexible and carton sectors of Pakistan’s packaging industry were given by Mr. Rizwan Ghani, General Manager of Packages Limited, Lahore, and Mr. Ahmed Farooq, Corporate Packaging Services Manager, Nestlé Pakistan, who relayed the perspectives of a major converting company and a brand owner respectively.
Also of interest were the addresses given at the opening of each day of the roadshow. On the day dedicated to flexible packaging, Mr. Syed Aarij Iqbal, CEO of M/s Alpha Penta Pvt Ltd, spoke in his capacity as Executive Member of the Italian Development Committee (IDC) about the promotion of bi-lateral trade between Pakistan and Italy, as well as about the role of the IDC.

Mr. S. M. Naseeruddine, Member of the Board of PAPGAI, the Pakistan Association of Printing and Graphic Arts Industry, addressed the audience on the day dedicated to carton packaging. He highlighted the history and the mission of the association, and shared information about the organization of the PrintPak exhibition, which will be held in Karachi this November.

The event was co-hosted by Sal-Im International Company, the BOBST agent in Pakistan.
“We have been BOBST’s carton converting equipment representative in Pakistan for over thirty years and through very many successful installations in the country. From earlier this year we have also taken over the representation for BOBST flexible material printing and converting equipment,” explained Mr. Salman Hanif, Director of Operations, Sal-Im International Company. “The roadshow has provided us with a tremendous opportunity to touch base and establish a personal contact with the management of a great number of Pakistani flexible packaging converting companies, which is invaluable for the development of our activities in this sector of the packaging industry.”
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #110779
 13.07.2015

BOBST digital printing press for corrugated board - Schumacher Packaging becomes ...  (Company news)

...the second beta site

The second beta-testing site to receive a BOBST digital printing press for corrugated board is the Schumacher Packaging plant in Ebersdorf, Germany, where the installation is already well under way and where production will start at the end of this month.

The Ebersdorf site, in central Germany, is the central hub of Schumacher Packaging GmbH, which has thirteen sites across Germany, Poland and the Netherlands. Björn Schumacher, Managing Director of Schumacher Packaging GmbH, said, "We are very excited about the possibilities this BOBST press offers for opening up new market areas to us. We continuously invest in high-performance, state-of-the-art machines in all our production areas, which is one of the reasons we have been able to grow our business significantly over the past few years. Being a beta site for this digital solution gets us in on the ground floor of this revolutionary technology."

Designed and built in Switzerland, the BOBST digital printing press for corrugated board prints images, graphics, codes and text, which can vary from sheet to sheet. Production speeds can reach 200 meters per minute, with a maximum sheet width of 1.3 meters. Applications include serialization, personalized packs, versioned packaging, customized corrugated products, and medium to short-runs of conventional boxes and displays. Incorporating Kodak Stream Inkjet Technology, the BOBST press delivers four-color digital print directly onto corrugated board and print run lengths can be from a single sheet to several thousand. The collaboration between technology leaders BOBST and Kodak has produced a digital press which exhibits a combination of print quality, speed and versatility which will allow converters to better respond to an increasingly dynamic market.

Jean-Pascal Bobst, CEO of Bobst Group, said, "The print technology choices that corrugated packaging manufacturers have had available to them, up until now, have determined the markets they can serve. Our new solution changes all this because one printing press can open up a huge range of markets, from long runs of boxes featuring variable data to very short runs of bespoke packs and displays - as well giving access to a large number of mid-volume opportunities. And all this is delivered at high speed, with close to offset quality. It means that corrugated packaging manufacturers will be able to enter all sorts of existing and new markets."

The Kodak Stream Inkjet Technology used in the BOBST digital printing press has a number of characteristics that make it ideal for corrugated packaging production. This continuous inkjet printing technology provides greater throw distance compared to drop-on-demand inkjet enabling print on a wide range of substrate thicknesses; its high speed continuous jetting makes the press more responsive and so able to print variable data at faster speeds; and the technology uses water-based inks which are food compliant, compatible with a wide range of coated and uncoated substrates and more environmentally friendly. The jetting modules are self-maintaining and, when they need to be replaced, can be refurbished and recycled with minimal waste.

"This product represents the first generation of solutions from the Strategic Partnership we announced with BOBST in 2013," said Philip Cullimore, Sr. VP of Kodak, and President, Enterprise Inkjet Systems Division. "Kodak Stream Inkjet Technology fits well into the product vision of BOBST to provide production digital capabilities."

Philippe Milliet, Head of Business Unit Sheet-fed, added, "Brand owners want more flexibility, especially at the late stage, as well as equal or better print quality. They also aim to increase engagement with consumers, while at the same time keeping costs under control. Our digital solution gives our customers the ability to deliver all that using one machine."
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #110431
 10.06.2015

TRM installs latest technology flatbed die-cutter  (Company news)

TRM Packaging, the UK’s leading independent corrugated packaging manufacturer, has completed the installation of a £2.5 million state-of-the-art BOBST Mastercut die-cutter.

The 1.7m flatbed die-cutter features the latest generation camera controlled technology to achieve market leading print to die-cut registration accuracy of less than 1mm that complements the award winning high quality print being produced by the company’s seven-colour flexographic printer.

Trevor Maund, chief executive at TRM Packaging, said: “This investment means we will provide corrugated packaging with an exceptional on shelf appearance that will boost our customer’s in-store presence.”

The new machine also increases the flat bed die-cut capacity of TRM’s factory by 50% thanks to its automation and exceptional processing speeds, providing the company with the ability to produce even more packs for its customers.

The completed installation of the Mastercut is part of a year-long £4m investment programme to raise the overall capacity of the site by 25%.

Mark Ryan, TRM innovation manager, added: “I am excited by the potential of the new die-cutter which gives me the opportunity to come forward with a new generation of ideas for our customers.”
(TRM Ltd)

Newsgrafik #110390
 05.06.2015

Revolutionary digital printing solution - BOBST starts beta site program  (Company news)

BOBST is known for driving innovation in the packaging industry, and for the technological leaps that allow packaging manufacturers to reach new markets and better exploit existing ones. Today, BOBST is proud to announce one such leap, the first beta site installation of the highly anticipated BOBST digital printing press for corrugated board.

Designed to deliver four-color digital post-print directly onto a broad range of uncoated and coated corrugated media, the BOBST digital printing press is unique in that it offers both personalization and speed, on short-run and high volume work. This sheet-fed press delivers superb quality, variable-data printing at exceptional speeds - up to 200 meters per minute - and can handle sheets up to a maximum size of 1.3 x 2.1 meters.

Jean-Pascal Bobst, CEO of BOBST, said, "We promised the packaging industry a series of revolutionary digital printing solutions. Now that the corrugated version is in beta testing, the industry can see that we are making good on that promise. This press will start a revolution in the corrugated packaging industry because it opens up such a huge range of possibilities to box makers, and to their clients - the brand owners."

The site chosen for the first beta installation is the Model AG plant in Weinfelden, Switzerland, which is also the production and management hub of the CHF 700m turnover Model Group. Dr. Daniel Model, CEO of Model Group, said, "We are very excited and proud to be the first beta customer for this revolutionary press. We firmly believe that the technology this BOBST solution brings will permanently transform the corrugated packaging industry." Philippe Milliet, Head of Business Unit Sheet-fed, added, "Model have been our partners on many such pioneering projects and we tremendously value their input because of their forward-looking philosophy."

Working with Stream Inkjet Technology supplied by imaging technology leader Kodak, BOBST has produced the first credible digital solution for industrial scale corrugated box printing. The Kodak Stream Inkjet Technology not only delivers vivid color reproduction and one of the highest print resolutions available, it also utilizes food compliant inks, a key issue for packaging manufacturers in many sectors.

Philippe Milliet further said, "The BOBST digital printing press is unlike any other solution seen in the market. For corrugated packaging makers, it bridges the gap between high-volume flexo printing and the lower capacity digital systems available up until now. Furthermore, the press has been designed to integrate into the typical high-volume post-print production environments of the corrugated industry. For our customers, it means they can offer their clients more flexibility and the reactivity to meet dynamic consumer demands, by introducing new products with versioning, mass customization and personalization."

The beta press at Model AG will be shortly followed by a second installation in Europe.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #110320
 01.06.2015

Grupo Gondi trusts in BOBST for greenfield Mexican site  (Company news)

BOBST is to supply seven conversion lines for a greenfield site currently under construction by Grupo Gondi at Nava in Coahuila state, Mexico.

The lines include state-of-the-art MASTERCUT die-cutters and EXPERTFOLD folder-gluers. The order reflects Grupo Gondi’s commitment to investing in innovative production equipment and its trust in the equipment and world-leading service support provided by BOBST. The new plant will also feature a 400 meter per minute corrugator from BOBST strategic partner BHS, which will be the first of its type in Latin America.

Emilio Corti, Head of Sales for BOBST’s Business Unit Sheet Fed, said, "This deal is the continuation of a very long and successful business relationship we have with Grupo Gondi and proves that our advanced technologies meet in full the needs of high-end customers in North America."

Grupo Gondi is the leading paper and packaging business in Mexico and the new plant is being constructed to supply the present and future packaging needs of manufacturers in the Coahuila, Mexico area, as well as those in the southern states of the USA. Grupo Gondi supplies specialized packaging to the CCC Brewery in Nava, Mexico, and is supporting Constellation Brands, Inc. by building its new plant very close to its customer. The plant will feature corrugated, litho-laminated, micro-flute and folding carton production with high graphics capabilities.

Eduardo Posada, CEO of Grupo Gondi, said, "This investment in state-of-the-art BOBST and BHS equipment reinforces Gondi’s focus to respond properly and innovatively to the needs and challenges of our customers, and strengthens our commitment to efficient operations, innovation and the best service level."

In a deal closed at the end of 2014, BOBST will supply two MASTERCUT 2.1 die-cutters complete with pre-feeders and palletizers, two VISIONCUT 1.6 PR die-cutters, two EXPERTFOLD 145 folder-gluers and an EXPERTFOLD 165. All four die-cutters feature the unique BOBST Power Register system which provides dynamic, non-contact registration of die-cutting to the print on the sheet. Power Register represents the leading edge of die-cutting technology and is of particular use for the conversion of litho-laminated sheets, which traditional mechanical registration systems struggle with.

The three EXPERTFOLD lines represent the very latest in BOBST folding and gluing technology, the model having been launched just last year. EXPERTFOLD offers true control of each box as it goes through the machine, resulting in high performance allied to excellent final box quality. EXPERTFOLD also offers flexibility in the type and dimensions of the substrates that can be run. All three BOBST folder-gluers for Grupo Gondi’s new plant will be A2 versions, giving the client the ability to manufacture straight-line or crash lock cartons on any line.

The 400 m/min 98" BHS corrugator is a volume line with end-to-end automation, designed for filling large orders and achieving maximum delivery reliability. It comes with the technology to corrugate and laminate preprinted material at high speed.

Grupo Gondi’s Nava plant will be built in two phases, with the startup of phase one due in the final quarter of 2015. The eventual capacity of the plant is planned to be around 10'000 tons of corrugated and micro-flute packaging per month, and the company has set demanding efficiency targets of Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) in excess of 80%. Achieving these targets is substantially supported by the choice of BOBST die-cutting and folding & gluing equipment, which is noted for its high productivity and uptime, which is in part due to the extensive support available to customers from the local BOBST service center in Mexico City.

Emilio Corti, said, "As in the rest of the world, our customers in Mexico not only value the technology and productivity of our equipment, they also value the support we supply from our local service centers. We are able to deliver technical advice, spare parts and engineers very quickly because we have teams of people local to our customers. It’s part of our 360 degree support, which starts before they buy a machine and continues throughout its working life."
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #110238
 21.05.2015

Bobst Group reinforces its position in the converting industry by taking a majority stake in ...  (Company news)

...Nuova Gidue Srl

Bobst Group and the owner of Nuova Gidue Srl, an Italian manufacturer of narrow and mid-web printing presses, signed an agreement on 13th May 2015 by which Bobst Group acquires 65% of Nuova Gidue Srl, with the option to purchase the remaining shares.
The owner of Nuova Gidue Srl will remain in the company as CEO and shareholder. Both parties have agreed not to disclose any information concerning the conditions of the transaction.

Nuova Gidue Srl provides highly automated narrow and mid-web in-line flexographic and offset presses for the self-adhesive labels industry and short-run solutions for packaging converters. With the innovative technologies of Nuova Gidue Srl, BOBST will extend its already wide range of printing and converting solutions and the purchase confirms its strategy of expansion in the label industry.

Erik Bothorel, Head of BOBST Business Unit Web-fed and Member of the Group Executive Committee, said: "We want to grow in the label segment and establish our leadership in short-run packaging solutions. The innovative technologies of Nuova Gidue Srl in flexography and offset can be easily integrated into our existing product lines. BOBST today offers the widest range of printing and converting equipment for the packaging industry and confirms its commitment to innovation."

In 2014 Nuova Gidue Srl received the Global Label Award for innovation and in May 2015 received the FTA (Flexographic Technical Association) award for innovation. Its digital flexo technologies are a major breakthrough in flexography and Nuova Gidue Srl is also a driving force in the REVO Team for the introduction of the seven-color separation standard in packaging.

On selling the majority stake, Federico d'Annunzio, CEO of Nuova Gidue Srl, commented: "BOBST has a strong history and reputation, and a worldwide leadership position in the packaging market. We are proud to be part of a global organization and to bring in our established presence in the label market, as well as the recognized Nuova Gidue culture of innovation. Our partners, customers, suppliers and employees will take great advantage from the long term plans of Bobst Group."

Bobst Group expects strong growth in the labels and packaging industries, and plans to build on the expertise and dedication of Nuova Gidue’s existing management and employees at its location in Florence (Italy). Erik Bothorel concludes: "We are impressed by the innovation, performance and product range of Nuova Gidue Srl, which enlarges the product portfolio of Bobst Group in the narrow and mid-web market. We believe it is the perfect match, at the perfect moment."
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #109483
 30.03.2015

Bobst Group nearly doubles net result to CHF 53.0 million  (Company news)

Bobst Group, the Swiss-based worldwide leading supplier of equipment and services to the packaging industry, achieved consolidated sales of CHF 1.3 billion in 2014, a marginal decrease of CHF 54 million, or 4.0%, compared to 2013. The operating result (EBIT) reached CHF 81.7 million (CHF 60.3 million in 2013) and the net result reached CHF 53.0 million (CHF 27.7 million in 2013). These significant improvements were achieved due to the first full-year impact of Group transformation measures, and to very good utilization of the Group’s industrial capacities, which have been adapted to demand.
The strong operating result (EBIT), together with a further reduction in net working capital, resulted in a significant cash inflow from operating activities of CHF 129.4 million (CHF 83.2 million in 2013). This enabled the Group to further reduce net debt from CHF 109.0 million in 2013 to CHF 17.7 million in 2014. The return on capital employed (ROCE) reached 12.6% compared to 8.6% in 2013.
The Board of Directors proposes to the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders the payment of a dividend of CHF 1.25 per share (CHF 0.75 in 2013).
After the announcement made by the Swiss National Bank on January 15, cost reduction measures have been initiated to mitigate significantly the impact of the rise of the Swiss franc.
The Group confirms its strategy and will dedicate core resources and energy to keeping its technological lead and enhancing customer satisfaction. In 2015 the Group expects to achieve an operating result (EBIT) margin higher than 5% and a net result margin higher than 3%, at current exchange rates.

Order entries and backlog
The Group started 2014 with a slightly lower backlog of orders than the year before. Month-by-month, order entries were uneven, but with bookings at good levels for the last months of the year.


Sales
For the full year 2014, consolidated sales decreased by CHF 54 million to CHF 1.3 billion. Sales in the second half of 2014 reached CHF 740 million, compared with CHF 560 million in the first six months of the year and to the CHF 791 million of the second semester 2013. Sales of Sheet-fed products remained stable compared to the previous year, at CHF 639 million. Demand for products for the corrugated equipment industry was strong and this compensated for weaker demand for products in the folding carton industry. Sales of Web-fed products decreased by 15.8%, achieving CHF 283 million for the year 2014. This reduction was mainly due to lower demand for special machines and complex lines. Sales of Services and spare parts remained stable compared to the previous year at CHF 377 million.


Results
The significant improvements in both operating result, up 35% to CHF 81.7 million, and net result, up 91% to CHF 53.0 million, were achieved due to the first full-year impact of Group transformation measures and to very good utilization of the Group’s industrial capacities, which have been adapted to demand. The net result also benefitted from the strong contribution of associated companies, reduced financing cost and lower tax charges.

The Group’s results for the reporting year were negatively influenced by transformation costs and one-time events. Restructuring costs of CHF 6.2 million were partly offset by government grants of CHF 4.3 million, resulting in a net negative impact of CHF 1.9 million on the operating result and of CHF 1.2 million on the net result. The net impact of one-time events in 2013 amounted to CHF -12.3 million at the operating result level and to CHF -9.1 million at the net result level.


Group transformation program contributed CHF 163 million to operating result (EBIT) by end 2014
Between its launch in January 2010 and the end of 2012, the Group transformation program phase 1 generated CHF 85 million of recurring savings. The additional actions launched in November 2011 with the Group transformation phase 2 were implemented successfully and generated CHF 78 million of profitability improvements by the end of 2014, which is CHF 18 million more than the initial target of CHF 60 million.


Solid balance sheet
The successful business operations, as well as continued efforts to reduce net working capital, resulted in a strong cash inflow from operating activities of CHF 129.4 million. This cash has been used mainly for the repayment of the bonds which matured in May 2014, and to increase the cash position by CHF 69.1 million in the year-end balance sheet. Net debt was reduced from CHF 109.0 million in 2013 to CHF 17.7 million in 2014. Despite the positive net result of the year, the consolidated shareholders’ equity decreased by CHF 54.5 million and amounts to 27.9% in relation to the total balance sheet for 2014 (33.2% in 2013). This reduction is mainly due to the impact of IAS 19R* (CHF -91.3 million in 2014 compared to a positive impact of CHF 73.4 million in 2013).


Outlook and financial targets
In 2015, Bobst Group will focus its strategy on innovation and product launches. The Group will dedicate core resources and energy to keeping its technological lead and enhancing customer satisfaction – which is one of the Group’s main priorities. Moreover the Group will continue the implementation of measures to mitigate significantly the impact of the rise of the Swiss franc. The Group confirms the guidance published on February 11, 2015 that it expects to reach sales of CHF 1.15 to 1.23 billion in 2015. Taking into consideration the positive impact of the additional efficiency measures launched since January 15, 2015, and barring unforeseen circumstances, the Group expects to achieve an operating result (EBIT) margin of higher than 5% and a net result margin of higher than 3% for the current year. As interest rates have continued to decrease since the end of 2014, the equity ratio might reduce even further in 2015 due to the impact of IAS 19R*. This guidance is based on exchange rates of CHF 1.05 per Euro and CHF 0.92 per US Dollar.

On December 3, 2014 Bobst Group announced increased mid- to long-term financial targets of at least 8% operating result (EBIT) and a minimum 15% return on capital employed (ROCE). In light of the decision of the Swiss National Bank to discontinue the EUR/CHF 1.20 minimum floor, it will take more time to achieve the "mid- to long-term" financial targets and the Group confirms its commitment to create value for its stakeholders.

Board of Directors elections
At the forthcoming Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on April 29, 2015, the mandates of all members of the Board of Directors will come to an end. Alain Guttmann, Thierry de Kalbermatten, Michael W.O. Garrett, Ulf Berg and Jürgen Brandt will be proposed for re-election for a new period of one year. Prof. Dr. Gian-Luca Bona, CEO of Empa (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Science and Technology), will be proposed as a new member of the Board. His profile and experience will bring the company important added value in the field of new technologies, especially in the digital world. The Board proposes to re-elect Alain Guttmann as Chairman of the Board.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #108671
 23.12.2014

BOBST announces participation at ICE USA 2015  (Company news)

BOBST specialists will be on hand on BOBST stand #1121 at ICE USA to present the latest technology to serve the flexible packaging and converting industry. The main focus at this exhibition will be coating and vacuum metallizing.

For vacuum metallizing, the focus will be on two key innovations - the AlOx process and the BOBST General Hawkeye Pinhole Detector. The AlOx process produces clear film with a good water and oxygen barrier level and can be used for products including baked goods and microwaveable food where product visibility is required. Whilst the Hawkeye Pinhole Detector is a monitoring system which detects defects at full metallizer speed, resulting in increases in production speed and final product quality.

For coating, the product lines ROTOSIL, ROTOMELT, ROTOTACKY and ROTOCOAT are designed based on a modular concept for a tailor made process will be presented. The product lines provide a remarkable flexibility in the choice of the most suitable coating technology for coated and/or laminated products. This combined with an excellent process knowledge guarantees the highest final product quality.

In lamination, CL 850 and CL 1000 multi-technology laminators and the SL 850 and SL 1000 solventless laminators have an accuracy of web handling control which enables production of superior quality laminated structures with the widest combination of materials, including very thin aluminum foil.

A superior web handling performance is also one of the hallmarks of ROTOEXTRUDER extrusion coating & laminating machines which can produce composite structures of the highest quality for flexible packaging or handle a great variety of applications in the paper and board converting industry.

As for flexo printing the main focus will be on the F&K 20SIX which features print widths up to 1'650 mm, repeats up to 1'200 mm, and speeds up to 600 m/min. The models of the F&K 20SIX platform designed to cover the whole range of packaging printing demands and provide an array of technologies all aimed at enhancing productivity by minimizing waste, change-over time, and energy consumption.

The range of BOBST’s gravure presses is the most comprehensive in the industry. Its platforms of printing solutions, such as the Rotomec 4003 for flexible materials, provide different configurations and options to match the user’s specific requirements and applications in the most efficient and profitable way.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #108614
 12.12.2014

BOBST at ICE Europe 2015   (Company news)

BOBST will be present at ICE Europe in Munich, Germany from 10th-12th March 2015 in Hall 6, stand #237 where the latest technologies for the flexible packaging, printing and converting industries will be presented. Visitors to the stand will have the opportunity to meet with BOBST specialists to discuss the new technologies in more detail. Of particular interest at this exhibition are the fields of vacuum metallizing and coating.

BOBST answers the market needs for coating machines with the ROTOMELT, ROTOTACKY, ROTOSIL and ROTOCOAT (photo) production lines. They are designed based on a modular concept which allows for a tailor made process. These lines allow remarkable flexibility in regards to the choice of the most suitable coating technology for coated and/or laminated products. Combined with excellent process knowledge, this guarantees a final product of the highest quality.

In the field of vacuum metallizing, the focus will be on two key innovations - BOBST General Hawkeye Pinhole Detector and the AlOx process. The Hawkeye Pinhole Detector is a monitoring system which at full metallizer speed, detects defects which results in increased production speed and increases in the quality of the final product. The AlOx process produces clear film with good water and oxygen barrier levels and can be used for products including baked goods and microwaveable food where product visibility is required.

In lamination, BOBST CL 850 / CL 1000 multi-technology laminators and the SL 850 / SL 1000 solventless laminators produce superior quality laminated structures with the widest combination of materials which is possible due to the accuracy of the web handling control. The BOBST flexo coating system in particular ensures the best quality results in coating solvent-based adhesives directly on very thin aluminium foil at high speed.

A superior web handling performance is also one of the hallmarks of BOBST ROTOEXTRUDER extrusion coating & laminating machines. These machines can produce the highest quality composite structures for the flexible packaging industry and can also handle a large variety of applications in the paper and board converting industries.

The BOBST range of gravure presses is the most comprehensive in the industry. The platforms of printing solutions for flexible materials such as the Rotomec 4003 can match the user’s specific requirements and application in the most efficient and profitable way, due to the different configurations and options which are available.

As for flexo printing the main focus will be on the BOBST F&K 20SIX which features print widths up to 1'650 mm, repeats up to 1'200 mm, and speeds up to 600 m/min. Designed to cover the whole range of packaging printing demands, the models of the F&K 20SIX platform provide technologies all with the aim of improving productivity in order to minimize waste, change-over time and energy consumption.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #108527
 10.12.2014

New EXPERTFOLD delivers true control   (Company news)

At the COMPETENCE 14 Open House, held at the end of November in Mex, Switzerland, BOBST premiered a brand new folder-gluer for corrugated and litho-laminated box making.

Available in two sizes - EXPERTFOLD 145 and EXPERTFOLD 165 - and in several variants, the machine has been designed with the needs of both sheet plant and integrated manufacturers of fluted boxes in mind. This new EXPERTFOLD offers true control of the folding and gluing process thanks to a large number of new design features and technology innovations.

Emilio Corti, Head of Sales BU Sheet-fed, said, "We conceived the EXPERTFOLD 145 and 165 to reflect what customers told us they need from a folder-gluer. One feature they asked for was flexibility in the type and dimensions of the substrates that could be run. They also wanted good control of the blank as it goes through the machine in order to achieve high performance with excellent box quality. That control is particularly important these days with so much production being shelf-ready packaging or destined for auto packing lines."

The design elements of the new EXPERTFOLD which deliver these features include: ACCUFEED blank alignment that ensures precise folding; a high accuracy pre-breaker which ensure excellent performance on machine-erect lines; and a folding process that minimizes fishtailing and gap. The latter is aided by an extra long folding section which creates smoother folding. Along with revolutionary creasing units at the entry, this ensures the high folding quality that manufacturers need today.

Able to fold and glue substrates from N-flute to A-flute, including double wall and litho-laminates, the EXPERTFOLD 145 and 165 can handle blanks of up to 1'700 x 1'100mm in size and up to 25mm thick when folded. The flexibility of the models means that they can also process blanks as small as 296 x 60mm.

Jacques Reymond, Head of Product Marketing BU Sheet-fed, added, "We’ve designed these new EXPERTFOLD models to be very robust, which means high levels of uptime along with superb control of the blank. At the same time we’ve made them truly user friendly. For example they have open side frames for ease of access, but they also have light barriers to protect the operators. Video monitoring helps the operators see what’s going on, while ACCUEJECT and other BOBST quality assurance systems mean that they can keep on top of quality throughout the run. As you’d expect, these machines are also modular in design, so they can grow with the customer’s business."

The range of configurations and options available includes crash-lock capabilities, a 25'000 boxes per hour 4/6 corner unit and motorized/automatic setting versions. The high, 250 meters per minute, running speed of the new EXPERTFOLD means that end of line handling can become a bottleneck without automatic packing. This is why BOBST offers Impack solutions for straight-line, crash-lock and 4/6 corner carton packing which allow users to maximize the performance of the EXPERTFOLD.

Also making its debut appearance at COMPETENCE 14 was ACCUCHECK XL, the world’s first in-line, zero-fault, quality checking device for corrugated folder-gluers. Shown as a concept version, in-line with the EXPERTFOLD 165, ACCUCHECK XL uses a high speed camera and the latest image processing software to inspect every box in the run for color variations or other defects. Working with the new ACCUEJECT box rejection device on the EXPERTFOLD, this new concept creates a quality assurance system that allows manufacturers to meet today’s demand for faultless packaging, while still delivering the high speed production they need. Well received by visitors to the event, ACCUCHECK XL is a development which further reinforces BOBST as a leader in the provision of equipment which can deliver ‘zero fault’ packaging.

COMPETENCE 14 was attended by over 150 companies from around the world, with positive feedback being received on the new EXPERTFOLD models, as well as on the other equipment and services on display. These included a MASTERCUT 2.1 with POWER REGISTER, MASTERFOLD 230 with GYROBOX XL and LOGIPACK, FS POLYJOINER 400 and the wide range of BOBST services solutions.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #108513
 09.12.2014

BOBST announces participation at ICE USA 2015   (Company news)

BOBST specialists will be on hand on BOBST stand #1121 at ICE USA to present the latest technology to serve the flexible packaging and converting industry. The main focus at this exhibition will be coating and vacuum metallizing.

For vacuum metallizing, the focus will be on two key innovations - the AlOx process and the BOBST General Hawkeye Pinhole Detector (photo). The AlOx process produces clear film with a good water and oxygen barrier level and can be used for products including baked goods and microwaveable food where product visibility is required. Whilst the Hawkeye Pinhole Detector is a monitoring system which detects defects at full metallizer speed, resulting in increases in production speed and final product quality.

For coating, the product lines ROTOSIL, ROTOMELT, ROTOTACKY and ROTOCOAT are designed based on a modular concept for a tailor made process will be presented. The product lines provide a remarkable flexibility in the choice of the most suitable coating technology for coated and/or laminated products. This combined with an excellent process knowledge guarantees the highest final product quality.

In lamination, BOBST CL 850 / CL 1000 multi-technology laminators and the SL 850 / SL 1000 solventless laminators have an accuracy of web handling control which enables production of superior quality laminated structures with the widest combination of materials, including very thin aluminum foil.

A superior web handling performance is also one of the hallmarks of BOBST ROTOEXTRUDER extrusion coating & laminating machines which can produce composite structures of the highest quality for flexible packaging or handle a great variety of applications in the paper and board converting industry.

As for flexo printing the main focus will be on the BOBST F&K 20SIX which features print widths up to 1'650 mm, repeats up to 1'200 mm, and speeds up to 600 m/min. The models of the F&K 20SIX platform designed to cover the whole range of packaging printing demands and provide an array of technologies all aimed at enhancing productivity by minimizing waste, change-over time, and energy consumption.

The range of BOBST’s gravure presses is the most comprehensive in the industry. Its platforms of printing solutions, such as the Rotomec 4003 for flexible materials, provide different configurations and options to match the user’s specific requirements and applications in the most efficient and profitable way.
(Bobst Mex SA)

 

New video helps the world get to know BOBST   (Company news)

As a leading supplier of equipment and services to the packaging industry, BOBST spends a lot of time and effort getting to know its customers. Now, both existing and potential BOBST clients, as well as the general public, can find out more about BOBST, thanks to a short video.



Showing the history, global reach, range of products and values of a company that serves more than 50% of the worldwide packaging industry, the five minute video also highlights the innovation, knowledge and passion of the 5'000 strong global BOBST team.

Jean-Pascal Bobst, CEO of BOBST, said, "The packaging produced by our equipment is found everywhere in our daily lives. Yet something that can appear to be so simple actually needs increasingly complex processes to produce it. This new video gives a snapshot of how we go about providing the machinery and services that the flexible materials, folding carton and corrugated board industries need, as well as showing who we are and how we came to be the world’s leading supplier to these industries".
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #107989
 17.10.2014

BOBST & Partners' packaging roadshow conferences draw huge audiences in Indonesia  (Company news)

The first Asian Conference of the BOBST and Partners’ 2014 World Roadshow went with a bang in August 2014 in Indonesia. Held at the Shangri-la hotel in Jakarta over two days dedicated to flexible packaging and folding carton packaging respectively, the event welcomed 273 guests from the local industry.

“The level of interest and participation of Indonesia’s printing and converting industry surpassed our expectations”, commented Eric Pavone, Business Director of BOBST Business Unit Web-fed. “This speaks volumes about it becoming a premier industry event where technology updates meet networking”.
The now well-established Roadshow formula provides a value added forum that brings together leading equipment and consumables manufacturers and top management of packaging companies. Both the flexible and carton programmes dedicated to the presentation of innovative technology were completed in Jakarta by the insightful presentations of the guest speaker from Nestlé Indonesia who spoke about packaging needs and trends from the brand owner perspective.

The focus of day 1 was on the latest innovations in flexible packaging converting solutions from raw materials to finished products. The event was co-hosted by Rotokemas Indonesia and Mr Felix Hamidjaya, Chairman of the association that groups the country’s flexible packaging companies, delivered a welcome address.
“The flexible packaging market is one of the most dynamic in Indonesia” explained Laurence Dy, Zone Business Director SEA, BOBST BU Web-fed “The higher disposable income of Indonesian consumers’ fuels demands for better quality packaging and different packaging formats. This relates to both the food-industry, as well as other segments that are rapidly growing in popularity such as beauty & personal care, and pet food where flexible packaging solutions are on the increase.”

The enhancement of carton packaging through value added processes was covered on the second day of the Roadshow by BOBST and partners with industry and product insights from Nestlé Indonesia.
Indonesia being the 5th largest tobacco market in the world, the morning sessions were dedicated to this premier segment of the packaging industry.
“The local tobacco industry requirements are very exacting and target superior quality output and productivity. By bringing to the industry advanced solutions that meet the continuously evolving needs of this high-end market, BOBST has established itself as the benchmark in the region for the quality of equipment performance” said Eric Pavone.

The second part of the day started with BOBST superior technical solutions in CI flexo printing and continued with technology around the value added processes, this time involving sheet-fed methods. The graphic and tactile enhancement of packaging in the cigarette, cosmetic and heath care industries as well as well established and new technologies are always well received.
Various aspects of offline converting solutions were explained keeping in mind technical complexities of multistep processes as well as viability of investments in the context of developing economies. A thought provoking presentation with a tag line of “ What drive competitiveness, lower investment or better efficiency“ by Subhasis Roy, Zone Business Director SEA, BU Sheet-fed, was well appreciated by the audience as it put the whole discussion in the right perspective.

With the largest range of both sheet and web-fed equipment and services to cover the requirements of flexible packaging and folding carton packaging manufacturing, BOBST has built a large customer base in Indonesia and numbers hundreds of installations.

“Based on the complimentary comments we have received from the participants, I trust that together with our industry partners we succeeded in presenting value added processes and technical solutions aimed at optimizing the quality and profitability of converters’ operations through both new equipment or upgrading of installed machines and systems for all the different end-users market segments” concluded Eric Pavone.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #107812
 01.10.2014

Brand new NOVACUT 106 ER sells well on its world premiere  (Company news)

Strong visitor interest at ExpoPrint reflects growing demand for automated production.

The BOBST NOVACUT 106 ER in-line blank separating die-cutter made its world debut at ExpoPrint 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil in July and created strong interest from visitors attracted to automating their carton manufacturing processes. This interest in the newest member of the NOVACUT range was crowned by the sale of the exhibition machine to Argentinean carton maker Guedikian Impresores SA on the first day of the show. A significant number of further NOVACUT 106 ER’s were ordered during the show and will go to, amongst other places, Asia. A large number of promising projects were initiated at the exhibition, with sales being imminent. Visitors to the BOBST booth were also impressed by an EXPERTFOLD folder-gluer line running at 115'000 boxes per hour with simultaneous in-line Braille embossing.
As pressure grows on packaging manufacturers to be more efficient, the feedback from visitors to the BOBST booth at ExpoPrint 2014 was that carton makers are increasingly interested in options for the automated in-line separation of cartons. Making its debut at the exhibition, the new NOVACUT 106 ER represents a way for carton makers to access in-line blank separation without the production or investment headaches that users often expect from this process.

Emilio Corti, Head of Sheet-fed Sales for BOBST said, "We were particularly delighted by the visitor response to the debut of the NOVACUT 106 ER at ExpoPrint, which resulted in several machines being sold during the show and in many projects being launched that will result in machine purchases by customers in Asia, Europe and the Americas. It's clearly the right machine for today's market, not least because of the substantial savings it can bring to carton makers. By delivering perfectly stacked bundles of blanks, without the need for hand stripping, it meets in full the production needs of our customers for fully automated and integrated processes. On top of this it also enhances the performance of downstream processes, since automatically blanked cartons run more productively on equipment like folder gluers."

At ExpoPrint 2014, the NOVACUT 106 ER was shown blank separating both double-cut and single-cut cartons at its full speed of 7'000 sheets per hour, but the press also allows users to run conventional 'non-blanked' work using their existing tooling. This flexibility comes courtesy of the machine's delivery section, which can be converted from single/double cut blank separating to full sheet delivery, and back, in a matter of seconds. NOVACUT can process a wide range of substrates from light paper and cartonboard, through to synthetics and corrugated.

The BOBST Angle Lock® blanking tool system means that users can blank jobs which previously would not have been cost effective - and regardless of where they operate in the world - because Angle Lock® blanking tools can either be supplied directly by BOBST or made in-plant using standard components. Referring to this, Emilio Corti said, "By providing customers with first class tooling technology that enhances the performance of the new NOVACUT, we are supporting certain markets where access to good quality tooling is difficult, if not impossible."

Philippe Milliet, Head of the Business Unit Sheet-fed at BOBST, said, "Our strategy is to help carton makers worldwide supply cost-effective packaging, so in each market segment we offer innovative equipment that meets their production, quality and budget requirements. This NOVACUT completes our range of die-cutters for the world market. Alongside its state-of-the-art technology, it also offers access to our tooling solutions, which means that it will be the best solution across a wide range of markets."

To help users get over any apprehension about the in-line separation process, BOBST delivers unmatched customer support from its worldwide network of service support centers. Each center offers: pre- and post-sales advice from process specialists; training; technical support; remote diagnostics; access to field service technicians; and spare parts/consumables supply.

The NOVACUT 106 ER also features:
-full size IIIb sheet size - 1060mm x 760mm
-quick change upper frames in the blanking and stripping sections
-automatic locking/unlocking of tools
-automatic pressure setting, and
-non-stop production

Also on show at ExpoPrint 2014 was a BOBST EXPERTFOLD line featuring the latest generation ACCUBRAILLE GT Braille embossing unit and a CARTONPACK GT automatic packer. Processing cartons that had been blank separated on the NOVACUT 106 ER, the line was shown folding, gluing and Braille embossing the boxes at speeds of up to 115'000 per hour. This configuration of line is particularly suited to pharmaceutical packaging manufacture and ACCUBRAILLE GT not only ensures the consistency of Braille embossed dots throughout the run, but also means lower tooling costs - because one ACCUBRAILLE tool replaces several die-cutter embossing dies. A further benefit is that, with no need to carry out the time-consuming make-ready of such embossing dies, changeover times on the upstream die-cutter are reduced, improving plant efficiency overall.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #107086
 21.07.2014

BOBST sharpens focus in coating operations and announces the appointment of Head of the ...  (Company news)

... Product Line Coating

In recent years BOBST has committed major investments to infuse new strength and resources dedicated to the development of coating equipment, achieving successful global growth in a number of key specialty applications. The latest project for the supply of a new aluminium lacquering line to a major European converter has matured BOBST’s decision to create a Product Line Coating within its Business Unit Web-fed. The latter supplies world leading technology in web-fed printing and converting equipment for the flexible materials and folding carton industries.

Picture left to right: Messrs Detlef Merklinger, new member of the BU Web-fed management team and Head of the Product Line Coating and Erik Bothorel, Head of the Business Unit Web-fed and member of the Group Executive Committee.

The appointment of Mr Detlef Merklinger as Head of the Product Line Coating and the strengthening of the team of specialists dedicated to this market sector underline the continuity of BOBST’s commitment to provide solutions of excellence also in the field of Coating. The strategy is to expand capabilities and product offering to further develop additional segments, including paper coating & laminating, labelstock, tape production, siliconizing, aluminium lacquering, and printed electronics.
Detlef Merklinger has held a number of senior management positions during his 20-year career in the converting industry, with special expertise in all aspects of label stock production and markets. Joining BOBST can be considered a home coming experience for him, having been responsible for the Coating & Laminating operations of Valmet Rotomec in the late 90s, prior to BOBST acquisition in 2004.
“I am pleased to welcome back Detlef Merklinger and wish him well as he joins the management team of the Business Unit Web-fed. The deep knowledge and international experience of the converting market that he has developed and brings along is the ideal background for heading our Product Line Coating” said Erik Bothorel, Head of the Business Unit Web-fed and member of the Group Executive Committee. “We are confident that he will leverage our leading-edge technology through his market knowledge to strengthen our leadership rank and achieve our growth objectives in the Coating sector”.
BOBST’s core competences in coating are based in the production plant of Bobst Italia in San Giorgio Monferrato, in northern Italy. With more than 50 years of know-how in gravure printing, coating methods, drying systems and web substrate handling, the facility is BOBST’s Centre of Excellence for gravure printing, laminating and coating technologies.
“I have been very impressed by the engineering excellence and operational efficiency of BOBST coating solutions. I look forward to building on the momentum behind the growth of recent years to further expand our hold in the global market”, commented Detlef Merklinger. “Planned investment in Bobst Italia’s Technology Centre will also enable widening of the range of applications available for R&D testing and trial runs for new developments in coating technologies”.
(Bobst MEX SA)

Newsgrafik #107074
 17.07.2014

Societé Tilwel, France, impressed by versatiliy of its BOBST F&K 20SIX  (Company news)

Picture: Societé Tilwel production hall

It is more than a year now that Societé Tilwel’s 1100 mm wide 8-colour F&K 20SIX has been on duty, and ever since it was comissioned, it has fully met Tilwel’s high expectations. In particular, the responsible persons at Tilwel are impressed by the versatility, the new press is offering: “We print on all types of substrates, from 330 g/m² carton board to thin OPP film. We print on 20 microns, and we have even printed on 12 micron PET "says Laurent Parolari, production manager who is also much impressed by the process consistency and efficiency that smartGPS™ provides.

As Arnaud Barbedet, Tilwel site director, points out, the F&K 20SIX does not only allow Societé Tilwel to target new markets, but thanks to its performance and capacities also serves well a back-up for the other companies of the group. According to Mr. Barbedet, what made Societé Tilwel opt for the F&K 20SIX, were three major reasons: the performance of the press, the quality of service that BOBST provides, and the trust in the manufacturer’s people they met during the buying process.

Apart from the extraordinary flexibility with substrates and web tension, another specialty of the press is its tailored capability of printing water-based inks. Water-based flexo has a long tradition in the family-owned Brodard Packaging group which Societé Tilwel is part of and reflects the group’s concern for the evironment. Running 5 production sites with 210 employees in total, the group of companies achieves a turnover of 45 Mio €. With their wide range of products, Brodard Packaging serves both the food and non-food industry, including dairy, convenience food, coffee, personal care and cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #106994
 14.07.2014

BOBST to debut new blank separating die-cutter at ExpoPrint 2014  (Company news)

BOBST will premiere the NOVACUT 106 ER - its brand new die-cutter for in-line die-cutting with blank separation - at ExpoPrint 2014 in July, as well as showcasing a folder-gluer line with Braille embossing capable of producing up to 115,000 boxes per hour.

By bringing together superb BOBST die-cutting technology, the Angle Lock® blanking tool system and the extensive BOBST process support network, the new NOVACUT 106 ER gives packaging makers access to integrated and automated production that also improves the productivity of downstream processes such as folding and gluing.
NOVACUT 106 ER is a value-for-money solution which offers in-line blank separation without the production or investment headaches that users expect from this process, delivering perfectly stacked bundles of blanks ready for downstream processing with no need for breaking out by hand. The BOBST Angle Lock® blanking tool system means that users can blank jobs which previously would not have been cost effective - and regardless of where they operate in the world, because Angle Lock® blanking tools can either be supplied directly by BOBST or made in-plant using standard components.
The NOVACUT 106 ER designed for in-plant flexibility, allowing users to build up a portfolio of blank separating work while they still run un-blanked jobs that are simply die-cut and stripped. This flexibility comes courtesy of the NOVACUT's delivery section, which can be converted from single/double cut blank separating to full sheet delivery, and back, in a matter of seconds.
To help users get over any apprehension about the in-line separation process, BOBST delivers unmatched customer support from its worldwide network of service support centers. Each center offers: pre- and post-sales advice from process specialists; training; technical support; remote diagnostics; access to field service technicians; and spare parts/consumables supply.

Also on show at ExpoPrint 2014 will be a BOBST EXPERTFOLD line featuring the latest generation ACCUBRAILLE GT Braille embossing unit and a CARTONPACK GT automatic packer. This configuration, which is particularly suited to pharmaceutical packaging manufacture, can produce folded, glued and Braille embossed boxes at speeds of up to 115,000 per hour. ACCUBRAILLE GT not only ensures the consistency of Braille embossed dots throughout the run, but also means lower tooling costs - because one AccuBraille tool replaces several die-cutter embossing dies. A further benefit is that, with no need to carry out the time-consuming make-ready of such embossing dies, changeover times on the upstream die-cutter are reduced, improving plant efficiency overall.

ExpoPrint 2014 will be held from July 16th to 22nd 2014 at the Transamerica Expo Center In São Paulo, Brazil. BOBST can be found in Hall C, booth 10C.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #106970
 10.07.2014

Machinery at Südwestkarton undergoes further modernisation  (Company news)

Upgrading of high-quality slotted-case production
The ambitious investment programme covering the whole of the Panther Group has included both the corrugated-board line newly commissioned in January and the current installation of a new in-line machine at the Illingen site.

As a reaction to the constantly increasing requirements of the market in terms of colour-printed slotted cases with high-quality finishes, the Panther Group has again invested in the latest technology. Südwestkarton is now producing with a new BOBST FFG 618, the so-called mini-line.
The machine is a flexo-folder-gluer with three printing units and among its additional features are a double die-cutter, glued-seam monitoring, a counting and ejection station and a rejection unit for defective products. The Posilock system permits fast installation of the cutting dies and therefore significantly faster re-tooling for order changes. Supplemented with a bundling machine, a pre-feeder and a fully automatic palletizing robot, the new line also boasts the very latest peripherals for the automatic manufacture of slotted cases. The machine's direct drives also render the process more environmentally friendly, as production can be carried out with considerably less quantities of operating consumables (lubricants and oils) than is the case with conventional machines.
With its three inking units and dust extraction, the new line configuration offers the option of producing register-true, elaborately designed slotted cases in a single pass. The required images can be printed over packaging grooves without interruption.
As high-quality, demanding printed images and error-free production are increasingly required for slotted cases used as transport packaging, the new machine configuration means that the company now boasts yet another production option to meet market requirements.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #106561
 04.06.2014

BOBST success at Interpack mirrors its leading market position  (Company news)

For BOBST, it was a premiere participation to Interpack, and it was a very successful one. “We were able to finalise projects, kick-off new ones, foster existing relationships and make new contacts with professionals of the industry,” comments Eric Pavone, BOBST Business Unit Web-fed Business Director, as he sums up the company’s participation in the exhibition. He also explains the reasons for the great interest in BOBST products: “Not only are we continuously improving the performance of our high-end solutions for mature markets, we are also extending our product offer for emerging markets. Last but not least, our customers appreciate our service capacities that have been expanded significantly over the last twelve months.”
The Business Unit Web-fed of BOBST offers printing presses, laminators, web coating and metallizing lines for flexible materials as well as web-fed folding carton printing and inline converting equipment. Its ongoing commitment to the packaging markets worldwide and the strength of its product portfolio are reflected in the Business Unit’s 2013 record performance (+ 8.9 % compared to the already excellent results of 2012).
The F&K 20SIX range of CI flexo presses recorded excellent market penetration in both mature and emerging markets, performing especially well in USA, Mexico, Middle East and China. Solid sales strengthened BOBST flexo leadership also in the pre-print and non-woven segments worldwide.
In the flexible materials gravure printing global market, BOBST maintained its premiership mainly with its comprehensive Rotomec 4003 platform. Strongest sales were recorded mainly in Eastern Europe and South East Asia. BOBST Web-Fed Solutions in folding carton over-performed against sales targets due to a high level of investments in South East Asia. This reflects the well-balanced positioning of its range of LEMANIC printing lines.
The portfolio of BOBST CL and SL laminating machines made progress in driving compelling sales in USA, Germany and Italy mainly for the high performance duplex and triplex converted products. In special coating, BOBST extrusion coating and lacquering equipment sales are growing for highly customized applications with high added value in Europe and the USA.
Leveraging on the performance of its latest innovative products such as General K4000 and K5000, the range of vacuum metallizing solutions continues to make strong inroads into the converting segment, further consolidating BOBST’s leadership in this market sector.
The level of business activity at Interpack has provided good evidence that sales should further increase in 2014 despite a challenging business environment and economic uncertainty.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #106220
 29.04.2014

KÖRTEL & HIEKE boosts capacity by 40% with a BOBST EXPERTCUT 106 in-line blanker  (Company news)

By installing a BOBST latest generation EXPERTCUT 106 LER flat bed die-cutter with dynamic in-line blank separation, KÖRTEL & HIEKE GmbH, Hainburg, has boosted production capacity for folding cartons and blister packs by about 40% since the end of 2013.
"Our folder-gluer productivity saw a significant improvement when we installed a BOBST EXPERTFOLD 110 two and a half years ago. The logical consequence of this investment was to replace the non-BOBST die-cutter, which had been installed in 2005, with a new BOBST flat bed die-cutter with integrated blank separation," says Jörg Körtel, managing partner of the packaging plant which was established in 1958, explaining the background to the latest addition to his equipment. "Die-cutting performance is vastly improved by maximising speed on virtually all orders, but the in-line blank separation of the EXPERTCUT 106 LER also plays a big part."
KÖRTEL & HIEKE was up and running at full capacity just three weeks after commissioning the machine – something that Jörg Körtel puts down to the expertise of the BOBST instructors: "The help we received in relation to minimising set-up times, especially in the blanking section, and in creating master tools was particularly effective". He also praises the extremely user-friendly design of the next-generation EXPERTCUT 106 LER with lateral register. This makes for quick turnarounds, not just with repeat orders but also for completely new jobs.
The quick-change concept means that the tools are changed in a very short time. BOBST has introduced various other innovations to further reduce the set-up times for the new EXPERTCUT model. For example, the stripping and separating station has additional controls on the side opposite the operator's side, as well as new full-sheet delivery functions and improved fine adjustment during tool setup. The highlight on the delivery side is the newly designed non-stop grid with quick-set function. All of the non-stop fingers can be locked and unlocked at the push of a button, with set-up possible without additional tools. To save even more time, the fingers can be positioned while outside the machine and while jobs are running. Last but not least, the delivery point can quickly be reset from single to double cut blanking and changed to full sheet delivery. As Jörg Körtel explains, "this complements our own process perfectly".
In day-to-day operations, KÖRTEL & HIEKE handles print runs of between 500 and 250,000 sheets, with average print runs of 30,000 sheets making up the lion's share of production. However, there are days in which up to five job changes take place. Here too, the EXPERTCUT 106 LER delivers supreme performance. For small jobs it is quick to set up. For large jobs it sometimes runs non-stop for days at its full speed of 9,000 sheets per hour.
The EXPERTCUT 106 LER is a highly versatile and supremely reliable flat bed die-cutter that delivers high performance on paper, carton board, heavy solid cardboard, certain plastics and corrugated cardboard, in sizes of up to 760 x 1,060 mm. Whatever the material, the independent Smart Feeder guarantees continuous sheet feeding. The feed table evens out sheet delivery and reduces the number of sheets lost during machine stops.
"With its innovative machines and accompanying service offerings, BOBST gave us an excellent price/performance ratio," says Jörg Körtel, summarising the investment decision.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #106061
 14.04.2014

Cellpack Packaging adds capacity with BOBST SL 1000 laminator  (Company news)

Cellpack Packaging, part of the Switzerland-based BBC Group, boasts over 80 years of expertise in the production of printed and laminated flexible packaging materials. With a turnover of 70 Mio. Euro and 400 employees, Cellpack Packaging prints and converts 15,000 tons of flexible material per year from four production sites located in Germany, Switzerland, France and the Czech Republic.
The most recent addition to Cellpack lamination equipment is a BOBST SL 1000 duplex laminator which was commissioned in September 2012 at the production site of Cellpack Lauterecken GmbH in Germany to replace a 20-year old machine and to increase the facility’s solventless lamination capacity.
BOBST laminators in the SL 1000 platform range are dedicated to solventless applications and benefit for the accuracy and consistency of the solventless coating system on the one hand and the performance of the web handling system on the other.
The materials’ web tension can be maintained at very low tolerances for a wide spectrum of flexible substrates with different physical properties and varying thicknesses which enables production of consistently high quality laminated structures.
"The web handling capabilities of the SL 1000 enable to run a broader range of substrates at high production speed, up to 450 m/min depending on the web combination and process conditions" commented Rainer Hellwig, Plant Manager at Cellpack Lauterecken "And the quality of the finished product we deliver to our clients is excellent" he added.
The user-friendliness of the machine is another point of satisfaction for Cellpack as fastest job setups and changeovers have brought about major improvements in turnaround times, whilst reducing waste at the same time.
"The SL 1000 laminator has been providing excellent performance and level of productivity. The technical solutions it features optimize the profitability of our investment", concluded Rainer Hellwig.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #104569
 10.04.2014

BOBST premieres at interpack 2014  (Company news)

BOBST announces its participation at interpack 2014, Düsseldorf, in hall 8A, stand C15. “For BOBST, participation is a premiere but with interpack being an exhibition that attracts worldwide visitors and exhibitors across the entire supply chain of the packaging industry we decided to take advantage of the opportunity of meeting industry professionals from the whole world and informing them about our cutting-edge technologies for printing and converting”, says Eric Pavone, Business Director Web-fed.

BOBST is offering state-of-the-art machinery and services for flexo and gravure printing, coating and laminating, and vacuum metallizing. With its comprehensive range of equipment, BOBSTcovers the demands of all segments of the food and non food packaging industry including pharma, confectionery, cosmetic, and industrial products.

Of particular interest for the packaging of food are the latest innovations in barrier coating. One such innovation is BOBST’s AlOx process which results in clear film with good water and oxygen barrier. AlOx also enables lower production costs as the process requires only a fraction of the thickness of the equivalent atmospheric coatings. The process can be used for goods where product visibility is required such as baked goods and microwaveable food.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #105947
 02.04.2014

Bobst Group achieves a significant improvement of its results  (Company news)

Bobst Group, the Swiss-based worldwide leading supplier of equipment and services to the packaging industry, achieved consolidated sales of CHF 1.354 billion in 2013, an increase of CHF 90 million or +7.1% compared to 2012. The operating result (EBIT) reached CHF 60.3 million compared to an operating result of CHF 19.0 million in the previous year. The net result reached CHF 27.7 million compared to CHF -5.0 million in 2012. The significant improvements were achieved due to a strong growth in sales, a favorable product mix and due to the successful implementation of the Group transformation program. The strong operating results (EBIT) together with a notable reduction in net working capital, resulted in a significant cash inflow from operating activities of CHF 83.2 million. This enabled the Group to reduce net debt from CHF 190.4 million in 2012 to CHF 109.0 million in 2013 and the cash position increased by CHF 11.8 million to CHF 317.2 million. For the first time since 2008, the Board of Directors will propose the payment of a dividend of CHF 0.75 per share to the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders. The Board of Directors will also propose to reduce the share capital of the company by CHF 1’291’524.- by way of cancellation of the corresponding number of registered shares, namely the treasury shares held by the company.

Order Entries and Backlog
2013 started with an improved backlog of orders compared to the beginning of 2012. Order entries showed an increase for the first seven months of the year, slowed down from August to October 2013 and increased again at year end.

Sales
Consolidated sales for full-year 2013 amounted to CHF 1.354 billion, an increase of CHF 90 million or +7.1% compared to 2012. Sales in the second half of 2013 reached CHF 791 million compared with CHF 563 million in the first six months of the year, and to CHF 731 million in the second semester 2012. All three Business Units and all geographical regions of the world had a positive contribution to the sales growth. Sales of Sheet-fed products increased by 7.6% compared to the previous year. Products for the folding carton industry as well as products for the corrugated equipment industry contributed to this improvement leading to a turnover of CHF 639 million for the year. Sales of Web-fed products increased by 8.9% and achieved CHF 336 million for the year 2013. This excellent result is very close to the all-time-high achieved in 2008, although exchange rates were more favorable in 2008. Sales of Services and spare parts increased by 5.7% to now CHF 377 million, demonstrating the successful implementation of the Group’s service strategy.

Results
The significant improvements of both operating result and net result were achieved due to a strong growth in sales, a favorable product mix and due to the successful implementation of the Group transformation program.
Without transformation costs and the influence of one-time events, the underlying operating result (EBIT) increased from CHF 8.3 million in 2012 to an underlying operating result (EBIT) of CHF 72.6 million in 2013.
The Group’s results for the reporting year were negatively influenced by transformation costs and one-time events.
In comparison to the above net negative impact on Net Result of CHF -9.1 million, in 2012, the net impact of one-time events was positive and amounted to CHF 10.7 million at the operating result (EBIT) level and to CHF 8.4 million at the net result level.

Group transformation program contributed CHF 161 million to operating result (EBIT) by end 2013
Between its launch in January 2010 and the end of 2012, the Group transformation program phase 1 generated CHF 85 million of recurring savings. The additional actions launched in November 2011 with the Group transformation phase 2 were implemented successfully and generated CHF 76 million of profitability improvements by the end of 2013, which is CHF 16 million more than the initial target of CHF 60 million.

Solid balance sheet
The successful business operations, as well as continued efforts to reduce net working capital, resulted in a significant cash inflow from operating activities of CHF 83.2 million. This cash has been used mainly for the repayment of the bonds which matured in July 2013 and to increase the cash position by CHF 11.8 million in the year-end balance sheet. Net debt reduced from CHF 190.4 million in 2012 to CHF 109.0 million in 2013. The consolidated shareholders’ equity for 2013 improved by CHF 97.9 million and amounts to 33.6% in relation to the total balance sheet (27.3% in 2012). The improvement is due to the positive net result of the year 2013 (CHF 26.2 million) and to a large extent due to the impact of IAS 19R (CHF 73.4 million).

Outlook and financial targets
In 2014 the business environment will be similar to 2013, unbalanced and challenging; with consolidation likely to occur among both our customers and competitors, particularly in Europe. We expect to have opportunities to leverage our competitive advantages and we will continue to reap the profitability improvement and value creation benefits of our Group transformation. On a global level the folding carton industry is regaining strength after a long period of recession, corrugated is expected to remain strong and flexible packaging will remain stable – based on positive economic indicators worldwide.
Regionally, Europe and South America are likely to remain fragile, North America and SEA are expected to maintain good levels of activity, while investment levels in India and AMEA will depend on local political confidence and exchange rates. China is expected to continue its good level of activity although tempered by increasing overcapacity and price wars. The investment mood remains volatile, but our markets are active and our product portfolio responds to a large extent to our customers’ demands. Some new products will be launched around mid-year 2014, keeping up the bookings momentum for the last quarter.
The underlying 2013 results demonstrate the robustness of the Group transformation strategy and 2014 profitability level will be in line with the Group financial targets set for 2015. Profitability increase, value creation and special investments in innovations will be the top priorities this year.
Bobst Group confirms the guidance published 12 February 2014 that it should reach sales of CHF 1.250 to 1.335 billion in 2014.
Bobst Group also confirms the following mid- to long-term financial targets: sales of CHF 1.3–1.4 billion due to organic growth at constant exchange rates; a return on capital employed (ROCE) of 9–12%; and an operating result (EBIT) of at least 7%. The equity ratio should be around 35% (excluding the impact of IAS 19R) and the dividend payout ratio between 30–50% of consolidated profit.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #105495
 25.02.2014

Leopold Verpackungen installs another BOBST MASTERCUT 145 PER  (Company news)

At the end of 2013, Leopold GmbH Verpackungen, headquartered in Ludwigsburg, installed another BOBST MASTERCUT 145 PER flat-bed die-cutter for large-format operations at its newest production site in Marbach. The company now has a total of four BOBST high-performance flat-bed die-cutters for size 6 operations - each complete with Power Register - in its state-of-the-art facility, which the company moved into in 2007. The further increase in capacity had become necessary due to the need to manufacture even more high-quality packaging for the highly competitive food industry market while ensuring maximum performance and availability.
“With the most recently installed MASTERCUT 145 PER we process the majority of orders at speeds of between 8,500 and 9,000 sheets an hour, in three-shift operation. In other words, we fully exploit its high production capacity. It was time for us to expand our capacity in this area, especially for high-volume orders from the food industry,” said Director Reiner Leopold, thus explaining the motivation behind the recent investment decision. Especially with these kinds of orders, maximum performance and availability of the machine technology, together with high production quality, are of utmost importance. “Further key factors that give us the flexibility we need for our everyday work are ease of use and fast changeover times between jobs.” All this contributed to the decision to install an additional MASTERCUT 145 PER. “Especially in the area of high-volume packaging for the food industry, I see no alternative to this cutter.”
The MASTERCUT 145 PER, which was designed by BOBST especially for high-production volumes, combines a state-of-the-art feeder system with intelligent sheet transport - the unique Power Register II system - along with automatic pallet transfer and the shortest possible setting-up times. These features are the secret of its extremely high productivity and reliability which combines with high-quality cutting of large formats. With a production speed of up to 9,500 sheets per hour, the MASTERCUT 145 PER is the fastest die-cutter for size 6 operations available on the market. What is more is its versatility: formats up to 1,450 x 1,050 mm are processed by the MASTERCUT 145 PER from paper with a grammage of at least 80 g/m2, cardboard of up to 2,000 g/m2 and corrugated board of up to 5 mm.
Leopold: “From our point of view, BOBST is a pioneer especially in the development of flat-bed die cutters and advancing technological development. This too was an important aspect for us. Because, obviously, with our investments we also aim at always being on the cutting edge of technology.”
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #105201
 28.01.2014

MASTERFOLD Helps Imballi Deliver  (Company news)

When you have contracts with nationally and internationally recognised brands, making sure that you can deliver is vital. This is why Imballi S.p.A chooses BOBST MASTERFOLD lines for its speciality folding and gluing work.
“We keep our customers by providing a very flexible service,” says Marco Ballan, Director of Imballi S.p.A, the Italian corrugated box and display company. “To achieve this we have to continuously invest in advanced technology. This state-of-the-art equipment, and the know-how we have, distinguishes us in the market. It gives us a flexibility to meet the needs of customers that other companies do not have.”
In 2011, the company installed a BOBST MASTERFOLD 350 A4 folder-gluer with a POLYJOINER unit and LOGIPACK packer. The line allowed the company to better produce large format, multi-point boxes with partitions - and to produce them highly efficiently. Thanks to the success of the investment, Imballi has just ordered a second MASTERFOLD line, along with a MASTERCUT die-cutter.

Exporters too
Based in the northern Italian town of Castelfranco Veneto, 30 minutes west of Treviso and 45 km from Venice, Imballi has a customer base that includes a number of nationally and internationally renowned brands, and even exports as far as France, Belgium and Poland. Growth, driven by this customer base, has led to Imballi reaching a turnover of €25 million, with the company’s target being to reach an annual figure of €30 million in the near future.
Established just over twenty years ago, Imballi S.p.A originally operated from two separate sites, but in 2006 moved to a single 11,000 square metre plant which also has room for expansion. The company employs 120 staff over two shifts, with extra shifts laid on in the busy autumn and spring periods.
The core business for Imballi is made up of mailing packs printed with integrated bar codes, boxes with apertures and large format displays. Among its box production, much consists of added-value products such as boxes with windows, paper handles, glued reinforcements, or inside printing, as well as boxes using special papers or treatments. The company also produces difficult-to-manufacture packaging such as boxes printed onto gold coloured surfaces using UV inks and varnishes.
Just over two years ago the company reviewed the market for folder-gluers as it searched for a machine that could help it expand its range of large-size boxes as well as boxes with one or two partitions. While BOBST was the only manufacturer offering the 350cm size that Imballi wanted, the Italian company was also very keen on what the MASTERFOLD would be able to do for them in terms of capability, flexibility and performance.
“We ran trails at the BOBST Competence Center in Switzerland, just with some plain, unprinted blanks,” recalls Mr Ballan. “We were very enthusiastic about the results. We produce a lot of 6-corner boxes and boxes made with two partitions here. The MASTERFOLD line with POLYJOINER could fold and glue all of this work, in all the sizes we wanted, and also produce packaging in three parts. Also, repeat jobs were much faster with the MASTERFOLD, they could be saved on the CUBE3 and we could see that work which we were running at 2,000 boxes an hour could run at double that speed with this line.” The company also noted improved quality of the finished products thanks to the MASTERFOLD’s rear stacker corrector.
The MASTERFOLD 350 A4 is capable of handling micro-flutes, litho-laminates, single and double wall corrugated, as well as heavy solid board, processing straight line, crash-lock, 4- and 6-corner designs. Its easy-to-set Accufeed section, with built-in blank aligner, provides the precise alignment that users need to run consistently at high speed, making the most of the MASTERFOLD's 250 metres per minute running speed.
With a potentially much faster line, Imballi S.p.A. needed to investigate how it would handle the end of line delivery of its products and opted for a BOBST LOGIPACK robotic packer. Fast enough to keep up with the MASTERFOLD, unlike human operatives, LOGIPACK also means that less people are required to run the line, saving money. When quality is as important as it is at Imballi, LOGIPACK delivers the quick and gentle packing required to batch boxes reliably without marking or scuffing.

New BOBST lines
Today, with the complete MASTERFOLD 350 line well established, Imballi has ordered additional lines from BOBST to help it reach its €30 million turnover target. In the next few months a MASTERFOLD 130 with a BOBST Palletizer will supplement the plant’s existing BOBST ALPINA folder-gluer of the same size, giving the company additional folding and gluing capacity in small to medium formats. Around the same time a MASTERCUT 1.7 will replace an existing SPO 160, giving the plant much needed additional width for its die-cut blanks. This machine will complement the plant’s two BOBST SP-162 CER blankers.
These new machines will join two BOBST ASITRADE lines which provide Imballi with its litho-laminated board, the top sheets having been printed on a six-colour Speedmaster XL 162, which was the first of its configuration in Italy. To ensure the high production flexibility needed to satisfy short notice customer orders, which can at times be for large quantities, Imballi operates a system that ensures the constant availability of paperboard in rolls from its warehouse.
"Like everyone in the industry we are facing the need to improve operational efficiency in many areas so that we can respond to the increasing demands of our customers," says Mr Ballan. "Technology like we get from the BOBST lines means we can keep ahead of the competition."
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #104029
 30.09.2013

BOBST ACCUBRAILLE GT - Proven around the world  (Company news)

The embossing of drug information onto pharmaceutical packaging by the use of Braille has been mandatory throughout Europe in one form or another since 2005. In the years following the advent of this legislation, large numbers of packaging manufacturers have changed the way they emboss Braille - moving its application from the time consuming and expensive die-cutting process to a rotary system on their folder-gluers. BOBST was at the forefront of this change of approach when it launched its ACCUBRAILLE unit in 2007 says Jacques Reymond, Head of Product Marketing Business Unit Sheet-fed. "ACCUBRAILLE led the way when it came to in-line rotary Braille embossing systems, giving pharma carton makers a faster, easier and more consistent way to get Braille onto their cartons. It was truly innovative technology at the time and now we have developed a second generation - the ACCUBRAILLE GT - which has even better performance and adds extra capabilities."
Jacques Reymond says that the BOBST ACCUBRAILLE is now proven technology and cites an installed base of around 200 machines worldwide as proof. "There are other solutions in the market, but the feedback from users is that ACCUBRAILLE is the solution to beat. Most of these other solutions are still in their first generation. With the ACCUBRAILLE GT we've taken a highly valued product and made it even more productive for the user."
Until ACCUBRAILLE became a popular solution, the majority of packaging Braille was applied using a flat-bed die-cutter and machined or etched dies. This approach not only involves a lot of skill on behalf of the operator, but is also time consuming and fraught with potential problems. For example, recycled or dry board, or board with a poor print surface, can lead the Braille to burst through, while the choice of dot shape (conical or domed) can result in problems of accelerated wear or poor definition.
Die-cutter embossed Braille requires one bespoke die for each carton on the sheet, something which may prove expensive on a multi-up pharmaceutical job, while the high tonnages needed can quickly lead to degradation of those tools, and so of the Braille dots. When applied using a die-cutter, Braille may require a separate run through a die-cutter if the text has to be placed close to the edges of the finished box.
"There is also a problem of alignment when repeating a job," explains Jacques Reymond. "The operator has a problem in that the die-board may have grown or shrunk a little due to environmental factors. While adjustment of the lower plate can get the crease and cut lines to correspond sufficiently for good die-cutting, the fine nature of the Braille alignment may be compromised. Most users get around this by remounting their Braille counters for each run of the job, which takes extra time."
Die-cutter embossed Braille can also affect the performance of downstream processes, specifically folder-gluers. In the feeder of the gluer line, Braille embossed cartons have a tendency to catch on each other which can cause machine stoppages, costing time and money.
Jacques Reymond says that the arrival of ACCUBRAILLE gave pharma carton makers a solution that was faster and easier than die-cutter applied Braille, delivering a more reliable level of quality, and also meant they could make their tooling cheaply, in-house.
Like its predecessor, ACCUBRAILLE GT is fitted after the Accufeed of the folder-gluer and work by bringing a pair of rotary tools to bear on the carton as it runs between them. The upper, male, tool is bespoke to the job and the lower, female, tool is universal. Compared to the setting of Braille embossing on a die-cutter, this approach is immensely quick, taking less than five minutes. Male tools for the system can be easily and inexpensively made by virtually any die making company, but BOBST also offers a Braille tooling unit. "Rather than ordering male Braille tools from a die-maker, making your own tools right alongside the folder-gluer is an idea that offers a lot of benefits," explains Jacques Reymond. "As well as the savings generated by making the tooling in-house there is an obvious benefit in terms of tool availability since you are no longer dependent on the lead time of your supplier. It puts the entire production process 100 % under your control."
The rotary nature of the ACCUBRAILLE process can double tool life, meaning that users suffer less waste and again lower their tooling costs. A further advantage is that, unlike on the die-cutter, Braille can be applied right up to carton edges or crease lines. "When we first launched ACCUBRAILLE it was a revelation for customers with new or existing ALPINA and MISTRAL lines."
Extending the capabilities of the process, ACCUBRAILLE GT now offers users the ability to emboss up to eight lines of Braille at a time, as well as the opportunity to apply transverse text. "It gives carton designers huge flexibility, allowing them to offer their clients a lot of different options and to include more information," explains Jacques Reymond, adding that the latest incarnation of the BOBST technology has also pushed achievable production speeds upwards. "We can now ensure the consistency of the Braille dots at speeds of up to 115,000 boxes an hour and the system delivers a tolerance of +/- 1mm all the times, even at these high speeds."
Strangely, ACCUBRAILLE was not the first BOBST machine for embossing Braille. Back in 1915 Henri Bobst produced a rotary cylinder press for the Blind Institute in Lausanne, Switzerland. The machine was designed for printed sheets that were a little longer than today's B3 format and could emboss Braille at thousands of sheets per hour. "It took the packaging industry nearly a hundred years to catch up, but today ACCUBRAILLE GT is delivering superb Braille onto cartons at high speed, and making it easy to do," says Jacques Reymond.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #103737
 30.08.2013

BOBST new equipment and services for printing and converting flexible materials at K'2013  (Company news)

BOBST announces details of the advanced range of technology and process solutions for flexible materials printing and converting which will be the focus of its stand # A55 in Hall 4 at the K’2013 exhibition, 16 - 23 October 2013 in Düsseldorf, Germany.
For vacuum web coating and metallizing, exhibits on stand will include the latest vacuum coating systems for clear barrier coating and pinhole detection in metallization for improving barrier properties and eliminating defects in packaging films and decorative applications. Information will also be available on the latest generation General K5000 metallizer which will be launched at Bobst Manchester Open House on October 15, 2013.
New solutions on display for CI flexo printing will feature automatic devices and systems that improve print quality, machine availability and operator’s ergonomics at job set up and changeovers. Details of the latest evolution of the best selling F&K 20SIX platform of flexo printing solutions will also be presented.
Multimedia displays and literature will bring visitors up to date with other developments, machines and services delivering major productivity gains in equipment operation. These include latest evolution of BOBST special coating machines range, extrusion coating & laminating lines, and duplex and triplex laminators. BOBST range of coating and laminating machines features different coating methods and drying systems to produce superior quality coated webs and composite structures with the widest combination of substrates. For gravure printing technology, with the new configuration Rotomec 4003MP press with shaftless cylinders, BOBST completes the options provided by the most successful Rotomec 4003 platform of gravure printing solutions.
BOBST service and support packages will also be represented on the K stand to show customers how it is possible to ensure that installed equipment always provide extraordinary performance levels.
Concurrently with the K exhibition, BOBST Technology Centers in the UK, Germany and Italy will be hosting Open House events or be available for demonstrations of latest generation machines during customer visits.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #103667
 23.08.2013

EXPERTFOLD - Versatility personified  (Company news)

"Virtually every top flight carton plants in the world will have BOBST folder-gluers in their machine park," says Jacques Reymond, Head of Sales and Marketing for BOBST’s folder-gluer product line. "And very many of them will have a machine from our EXPERTFOLD folder-gluer range.
"Since its launch five years ago this year, EXPERTFOLD has become the workhorse of the carton industry as far as folding and gluing is concerned, says Jacques Reymond. "That's largely because it can be configured to handle products as diverse as small pharma cartons, boxes made from plastics, general food cartons, high added-value packaging and large cartons made from litho-laminates."
Jacques Reymond says that whatever the need there is an EXPERTFOLD configuration to suit it because the range has been designed to offer a choice of widths, a large number of modules with differing functionality, and a choice of peripherals that add everything from automated packing to in-line quality checking of the print, surface and die-cutting of every single carton. "This variety of widths, the modularity and the large choice of peripherals create the very special attribute of the EXPERTFOLD range - huge versatility."

Flexibility matters
Most users configure the width of their EXPERTFOLD line to match their core business, with 50 cm, 80 cm and 110 cm versions being those most suitable for folding carton applications. The wide choice of modules available means that lines can be configured to precisely reflect what the customer needs. "That versatility of the EXPERTFOLD I spoke of really comes into play in the number of modules and peripherals that the user can choose from," says Jacques Reymond. "These allow them to process thousands of different styles, from straight-line cartons to immensely complex multi-point or double wall boxes and also to carry out a large number of extra processes such as embossing or QA."
As an example, Jacques Reymond explains that a pharma carton maker may need a folder-gluer capable of handling solely straight-line boxes, but may want to put a unit into the configuration that will allow them to quickly and effectively apply Braille embossing in-line. "By taking the application of Braille away from the die-cutting process you save time, reduce the number of stops downstream, and generally improve the consistency of your Braille dots." Applying up to eight lines of Braille, including in the transverse direction, the ACCUBRAILLE GT can handle folder-gluer speeds of up to 115,000 boxes per hour. "As well as the direct production benefits the tooling is cheaper and tools can also be made on-site and made very quickly," says Jacques Reymond. "At BOBST we pioneered this technology and the ACCUBRAILLE GT is the second generation of our rotary Braille embossing systems. Other suppliers with in-line Braille systems are still only just starting out but to date we have installed close to 200 ACCUBRAILLE and ACCUBRAILLE GT units worldwide."

Accurate folding comes as standard
All widths of EXPERTFOLD folder-gluers run at speeds up to 450 meters per minute and Jacques Reymond says that the EXPERTFOLD uses a variety of technologies to ensure that users can capitalize on this performance. "Our patented Accufeed unit is standard to the machine and reduces feeder setting time by 75%. Also we have designed the EXPERTFOLD so that 98% of the tooling stays on the machine, reducing make-ready times even further. The built-in blank aligner within the Accufeed unit ensures perfect alignment of the blank as it enters the folding process, which is a pre-requisite for consistent, high speed folding and gluing."
Adding to this performance are a range of peripheral units designed for getting blanks into, or finished boxes out of, the line. Jacques Reymond cites the HANDYFEEDER pick and place feeder as being a typical performance enhancing peripheral from BOBST. "It uses a gauge-less system and integrated cut-alignment module to deliver precise and careful feeding of materials into the folder-gluer, without friction, without risk of marking and without setting problems. That helps users run faster and to run more consistently." Alongside HANDYFEEDER, BOBST offers even more highly automated units designed to maximize outputs from the EXPERTFOLD. These include its EASYFEEDER GT pre-feeder with batch inverter and its CARTONPACK GT automated packer.
As Jacques Reymond notes, the modularity of the EXPERTFOLD and the range of peripherals available mean that users can tailor their line to the precise needs they have today, while also having the option to modify it in the future if their markets change. "As well as the modules and peripherals we also create special devices for customers for jobs that present them with particular challenges. So if they suddenly start getting large amounts of work for something like chip scoops or wallet fold boxes, we can supply a solution that will augment their existing equipment."

100% right
In today's demanding packaging market, ensuring that every carton you produce meets the customers' specifications is essential, especially as 'zero fault' packaging supply contracts and filling line performance clauses become more prevalent. EXPERTFOLD is perfectly placed to be the last line of defense against defective cartons reaching the customer says Jacques Reymond, both in terms of gluing and of processes further upstream. "To do this the folder-gluer has to be able to work hand in hand with systems that check glue patterns, bar codes and pharma codes etc. At BOBST we have worked with all of the main players in the field for many years, interfacing their systems with our folder-gluers. As well as working seamlessly with these systems the EXPERTFOLD has our 'flipper' ejector which can be triggered by the QA system, ejecting only the defective carton however fast the machine is running."
BOBST is constantly developing and innovating says Jacques Reymond, both in terms of new machines and in applying radical technology to existing products. "We have now made the ACCUCHECK in-line 100% inspection system available to EXPERTFOLD users. It checks every carton for defects such as missing print and color variation, as well as identifying die-cutting and board surface faults. As the folder-gluer is usually the last process that cartons go through before they are sent off to the customer this constitutes a valuable final check that can save users a lot of time and a lot of money."
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #103076
 14.06.2013

ACCUCHECK BOBST has won the Embanews award  (Company news)

For the third year in a row, BOBST has won a prestigious Embanews Award, this time for its ACCUCHECK in-line carton print and quality inspection system. BOBST has won previous awards with its ACCUBRAILLE and smartGPS systems.
Embanews is a Brazilian publication that specializes in reporting on packaging for the food, beverage, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals markets. The Embanews Awards are the most highly regarded in the Brazilian packaging industry, recognizing the best in packaging manufacture and the most innovative packaging technologies. The awards involve an in-depth examination and testing of entries by a committee of representatives from industry organizations.
Having won awards in 2011 for its ACCUBRAILLE in-line Braille embossing unit and in 2012 for smartGPS, its pre-makeready system for flexo printers, this year BOBST entered its ACCUCHECK in-line inspection system for folder-gluers.
ACCUCHECK is able to identify a range of print and print related defects including hickeys and spots, as well as colour variance down to a level of 1 Delta Ec, helping carton makers ensure consistency of product in-house and helping brand owners ensure consistency of image across all their packaging. The system also identifies missing or defective text, can spot print defects on codes such as EAN/UPC, colour or pharma codes, can recognise physical defects of the carton such as scratches or rubs, and can identify inaccurate die-cutting. ACCUCHECK has been designed for BOBST MASTERFOLD and EXPERTFOLD folder-gluer models to ensure that any non-conforming carton is ejected without reaching customers’ packing lines.
During the judging, the ACCUCHECK system was chosen as an award winner in the ‘Machines and Systems’ category and representatives of Bobst Group Latinoamerica do Sul Ltda were on hand at a ceremony in Sao Paulo on the 19th April to receive the award.
(Bobst Mex SA)

 

Satisfactory 2012 for Bobst Group  (Company news)

- Slightly improved results despite a difficult economic environment in Europe and a very unbalanced year
– Overall sales stable with strong Asia & Oceania compensating for reductions in Europe and the Americas
– Group Transformation is on track
– Strong reduction of working capital achieved along with a good level of cash generation.

Bobst Group, the Swiss-based worldwide leading supplier of equipment and services to the packaging industry, achieved consolidated sales of CHF 1.26 billion in 2012, a decrease of CHF 6 million or -0.5% compared to 2011. The operating result (EBIT) reached CHF 31.0 million with a net result of CHF 4.3 million. Both results are slightly higher than in the previous year and confirm the company’s continuing progress in implementing its new strategy. Significant progress was made towards improving the Group's balance sheet ratios. Cash flow from operating activities increased to CHF 114.2 million compared to CHF 32.6 million in 2011. This enabled the Group to reduce its net debt by CHF 65.8 million in 2012. The cash position increased to CHF 305.4 million from CHF 288.5 million in 2011. The Group transformation program is on track and the expected profitability improvements will be achieved.
Consolidated sales for the full year 2012 amounted to CHF 1.26 billion, a decrease of CHF 6 million or -0.5%, resulting from a volume decrease of CHF 16 million and a CHF 10 million increase due to exchange rate movements. The geographical distribution shows a positive sales trend for the Asia & Oceania zones, representing 25.2% of the total turnover (2011: 20.9%). Europe continued to suffer from the sovereign debt crisis and the Americas showed a decrease. Sales achieved by the Business Unit Sheet-fed declined due to lower activity in the folding carton sector, albeit partly compensated by stronger corrugated activities during the full year. Business Unit Web-fed sales remained at a good level with sales increases in Asia. Business Unit Services sales rose slightly, reflecting improved competitiveness over the later quarters of 2012.
Order entries were lower than usual before the drupa 2012 exhibition, but increased after May. Drupa was an accelerator of performance and the Group ended the year with 5% more backlog than in 2011.
The Group's 2012 results were heavily impacted by the very unbalanced year, leading to a sub-optimal utilization of production capacities, as well as by the major reorganization activities in Lausanne, Switzerland. Under the circumstances the Group's results are considered satisfactory.

Group transformation program contributed CHF 128 million to operating result (EBIT) by end 2012
Between its launch in January 2010 and the end of 2012, the Group transformation program phase 1 generated CHF 85 million of recurring savings. The additional actions launched in November 2011 with the Group transformation phase 2 are on track. CHF 43 million of profitability improvements were achieved in 2012 and another CHF 20 million should be added by the end of 2013, leading to a slightly better result than initially announced. BOBST's Swiss entity in Mex will continue to adjust its structure and industrial footprint as planned.

Solid balance sheet
Significant progress was made towards improving the Group's balance sheet ratios. Cash flow from operating activities increased to CHF 114.2 million, compared to CHF 32.6 million in 2011. This enabled the Group to reduce net debt from CHF 256.2 million in 2011 to CHF 190.4 million in 2012, while the cash position increased to CHF 305.4 million (CHF 288.5 million in 2011). The equity ratio improved to 33.9% in 2012 from 32.5% in 2011.

Outlook and financial targets
The economic and political situation in industrialized countries is expected to remain difficult while the strength of the Swiss franc will continue to put pressure on machine exporting industries, impacting profitability over the mid-term. The Group will nevertheless continue to invest in innovation and business excellence. In the client markets, America remains willing to invest while Europe needs clear direction to support the economy and restore confidence. Bobst Group is turning to key growth drivers in Asia, namely China and India, including potential acquisitions. Service business will mature and continue to improve its profitability.
The Group remains prudent regarding top line evolution and expects to reach sales of CHF 1.20 to 1.26 billion in 2013. The priority remains for this year to improve overall profitability. Some headwinds will be seen in 2013 due to the adoption of the revised accounting norm on pensions, IAS 19. There are also still some decisions to be taken in order to finalize the transformation of the Mex activities as well as the adaptation of the industrial footprint of the Group (Group transformation phase 2). The Group will communicate the decisions taken and their eventual impact as they arise. At present, a published profitability for 2013 stable compared to 2012 is expected.
Bobst Group confirms the following mid- to long-term financial targets: sales of CHF 1.3-1.4 billion due to organic growth at constant exchange rates; a return on capital employed (ROCE) of 9-12%; and an operating result (EBIT) of at least 7%. The equity ratio should be around 35% (excluding the impact of IAS 19R) and the dividend payout ratio between 30-50% of consolidated profit.

Board of Directors elections
At the forthcoming Annual General Meeting of Shareholders to be held on April 24, 2013, the mandate of the Chairman, Charles Gebhard, and the mandates of Hans Rudolf Widmer and Ulf Berg will come to an end. Charles Gebhard and Hans Rudolf Widmer will not present themselves for re-election, as they have reached the age limit for Board members. Ulf Berg will be proposed for re-election for a new period of one year. Jürgen Brandt (currently CFO of Sulzer Group) will be proposed as a new Board member for a period of one year. The Board intends to designate Alain Guttmann as Chairman of the Board.
(Bobst Mex SA)

Newsgrafik #101844
 28.01.2013

BOBST presents innovations in web-fed printing and converting equipment ...  (Company news)

... during ICE EUROPE 2013.

BOBST today announces details of the Web-Fed equipment which will be the focus of the ICE Europe exhibition stand (Stand No 638, Hall A6). The products that will be showcased are designed to improve productivity, product quality and sustainability for customers and converters in the flexible materials and folding cartons industry.
For lamination, the CL 850 / CL 1000 multi-technology laminators and the SL 850 / SL 1000 solventless laminators have an accuracy of web handling control which enables production of superior quality laminated structures with the widest combination of materials, including very thin aluminium foil.

A superior web handling performance is also one of the hallmarks of the range of extrusion coating and special coating production lines.

The ROTOEXTRUDER extrusion coating & laminating machines can produce composite structures of the highest quality for flexible packaging or handle a great variety of applications in the paper and board converting industry.

Production lines like the ROTOSIL, the ROTOMELT, the ROTOTACKY and the ROTOCOAT which relate to applications in the industry segments of labelstock and release liners, adhesive tapes and pre/post metallization, also provide a remarkable flexibility in the choice of the most suitable coating technology. This always combines with an excellent accessibility to all the machine sections which makes machine make-ready and changeovers easy and fast for the operator.

Information will also be available on gravure printing presses, including latest configuration of BOBST Rotomec 4003 gravure printing lines with shaftless cylinders. The range of BOBST’s web-fed machines covers the widest spectrum of printing applications, whereby each solution is the most productive and profitable for the user.

For flexo printing, the main focus will be on the F&K 20SIX which premiered at drupa and features print widths up to 1'650 mm, repeats up to 1'200 mm, and speeds up to 600 m/mi. The models of the F&K 20SIX are designed to cover the whole range of packaging printing demands. Fastest change-over capability and an array of technologies all aimed at enhancing productivity, make the F&K 20SIX an investment with an excellent return.
In the area of metalizing, a new product for this year, BOBST General Registron® Hawkeye will be presented. Hawkeye is a monitoring system that at full metallizer speed, detects, counts and categorizes pinholes and other defects from 0.1mm upwards. Hawkeye sets the benchmark for in-process control; bringing increases in speed and final product quality. Hawkeye is available for both the K5000 and K4000.
Additionally, information on the AlOx process will be available which results in versatility as one machine (the K5000 or K4000) can be used for two processes without compromise. BOBST’s technology uses the controlled injection of oxygen into the aluminium vapour stream causing a reaction between the two elements to produce aluminium oxide (AlOx). This compound can be transparent if the process conditions are correctly controlled. The application is available for coating a wide range of films including PET, BOPP, CPP, PLA and other types of plastic films. The coated film can be used for end products including baked goods and microwaveable products.
(Bobst Mex SA)

 

2012 first half-year results - Bobst Group transformation is on track  (Company news)

First half-year results for Bobst Group are in line with expectations, reaching similar levels to the first half of the previous year despite difficult market and currency environments. The Group transformation process is on track.

Order entries and sales for the first half-year 2012 are, as expected, below the levels of the same period in 2011. The reduction in order entries has mainly been influenced by the uncertain economic situation in the euro zone and to Drupa, which led to a postponement of orders until after the show. Sales are at CHF 532.9 million, 5.2% below the previous year, and have largely been impacted by a low backlog level at the beginning of the year and a different product mix than in 2011. The low level of sales and under-utilization of the industrial capacity in Switzerland have had a negative impact on the Group’s 2012 first half year results. This negative impact has been compensated by the profit improvement measures which have been implemented as part of the Group transformation program phase 2. As a result, the operating loss slightly decreased to CHF 23.4 million, compared with CHF 24.2 million in 2011.
The Drupa exhibition, which took place in May 2012, showed that there are very strong signs of activity in the packaging industry and the event was a real success for BOBST. The Group’s technological leadership was clearly recognized, which led to a record number of handshakes on deals, generating a very busy second half of the year.
Estimated sales are expected to exceed CHF 1.2 billion. Results similar to the year 2011 should be achieved for the full year 2012 at current exchange rates.

Results
The operating loss amounted to CHF 23.4 million compared with the operating loss of CHF 24.2 million for the same period in 2011.
The improvement in the operating result is due to the impact of the Group transformation program but has been offset partially through lower sales and an unfavorable product mix. The first half year includes the one-time cost of the Drupa exhibition which takes place every four years as well as one-time revenue of CHF 6.7 million granted by the Swiss authorities to financially support the Bobst Apprenticeship Center as well as on-the-job training.

For the first half of 2012, the operating results of the three Business Units (BU) amounted to:
-BU Sheet-fed: CHF -37.6 million (30 June 2011: CHF -29.3 million);
-BU Web-fed: CHF +7.6 million (30 June 2011: CHF -10.6 million);
-BU Services: CHF +6.7 million (30 June 2011: CHF +15.8 million).
The net loss amounted to CHF 31.2 million, favorably influenced by tax income in the amount of CHF 3.1 million. The decrease in the financial result from CHF -6.3 million in the first half-year 2011 to CHF -11.2 million in the same period in 2012 is mainly due to the impact of foreign currency variations on hedges in place.

Outlook for the second half of 2012
Most of the handshakes from Drupa 2012 have transformed into orders since June 2012. This will lead to a very busy second half of 2012 in most plants. Estimated sales are expected to exceed CHF 1.2 billion. Results similar to the year 2011 should be achieved for the full year 2012 at current exchange rates.

The Group continues to implement its strategy, which is to innovate, to increase its presence in growth markets, to increase the performance of its services and to improve its operational excellence, in order to ensure sustainable profitability.
(Bobst S.A.)

 

Bobst Group on track in 2011  (Company news)

Despite volatile currencies, sales up in local currencies and stable in Swiss Francs - Higher net income than announced - Further restructuring measures announced end 2011 are on track.
■ Bobst Group’s 2011 sales reach CHF 1.27 bn, up 8.5% in local currency terms
■ Higher sales in all packaging sectors: folding carton, corrugated board and flexible materials
■ Continued growth at constant exchange rates in all regions particularly Asia-Oceania
■ Transformation program showing positive results - operating result of CHF +27.5 million
■ Net result reaches CHF +2.5 million, better than previously announced
■ Group to pursue further significant action to address currency exposure

Swiss-based Bobst Group achieved consolidated sales of CHF 1.27 billion in 2011 (2010: CHF 1.28 billion). Sales volumes were up CHF 109 million, but exchange rate movements reduced the final figure by CHF 119 million. Sales increased by 8.5% in local currencies. Operating results confirm the company’s continuing progress in implementing its new strategy and transforming processes to sustainably improve efficiency. Costs of raw materials and services as well as personnel expenditures were reduced by more than CHF 52 million, leading to an operating result of CHF +27.5 million (CHF +35.8 million when excluding one-time items and restructuring). The consolidated net result came to CHF +2.5 million (CHF +8.9 million before one-time items and restructuring costs), confirming the progress of the turnaround.
Sales increased in all regions in local currency terms. Following the acquisition of Gordon Ltd , local-currency revenues in the Asia-Oceania region increased 11.8%, while in Europe and the Americas growth rates of 7.7% and 6.4% respectively were achieved in local currencies. Sales by the Sheet-fed and Web-fed Business Units continued to recover from the downturn. Both Business Units posted higher sales than last year. In the Services Business Unit, the increase in volume was offset by negative exchange rate developments.
Incoming orders decreased, mainly because of the European debt crisis and exchange rate volatility, resulting in a backlog decrease of 5% in December 2011, compared to December 2010.
Given the ongoing challenging market environment and capital expenditures relating to the transformation of the Group, the Board of Directors will not be proposing a dividend to shareholders at the Annual General Meeting on April 26, 2012.

Transformation program contributing to CHF 85 million to operating result by end 2012 plus CHF 60 million by end 2013
The Group transformation program initiated in January 2010 is showing positive results. However, the ongoing impact of the strong Swiss franc necessitates continued action within this initiative. Bobst's Swiss entity will continue to adjust its structure and industrial footprint very significantly. Functions with low added value will be outsourced. Research, innovation, development and the manufacture of high-end products will be concentrated in Mex/Switzerland and in the Group's European facilities. Customers will also be offered very competitive entry level equipment made in China, India and Brazil. The Group transformation program expects to generate CHF 85 million of recurring savings by the end of 2012, and the additional actions launched in November 2011 will improve profitability by another CHF 60 million by end 2013.

Solid balance sheet
Bobst's balance sheet remains solid with a stable equity ratio of 34% and a cash position of CHF 288.5 million. In May 2011, the Group issued a CHF 150 million, 2.75% bond maturing on May 5, 2014, refinancing the CHF 120 million, 4.125% bond which was due to expire in July 2011.

Outlook and financial targets
The economic situation in industrialized countries remains uncertain for the foreseeable future. While emerging markets will keep growing, the Swiss franc situation will continue to put pressure on exports. As a consequence, Bobst Group, though not neglecting traditional markets, is turning to key growth drivers in Asia, namely China and India. Within a few years the positive trends in these markets are expected to offset volume reductions in industrialized countries. Service business will mature and continue to grow.
Bobst Group has set itself the following mid- to long-term financial targets: sales of CHF 1.3-1.4 billion due to organic growth at constant exchange rates, a return on capital employed (ROCE) of 9-12%, and an operating profit margin of at least 7%. The equity ratio should be around 35% and the dividend payout ratio between 30-50% of consolidated profit.
(Bobst S.A.)

Newsgrafik #95311
 16.12.2011

BOBST revolutionises corrugated board packaging with GYROBOX  (Company news)

World’s first drives added-value to the production of corrugated board boxes

BOBST, the world’s leading supplier of quality machinery and services to packaging manufacturers, has today announced the worldwide launch of GYROBOX, the first device for the corrugated board industry which can turn a blank 90 degrees to fold and glue on all four sides in just one pass. The device will drive creativity, productivity and efficiency in the corrugated board industry by reducing the complexity of producing the boxes that are increasingly demanded by brand owners.

With the corrugated board packaging industry forecast to grow just 4.7 percent between 2010 and 2015 (1) , it is crucial for manufacturers to offer value-added services in order to retain a competitive edge and drive increased margins. As brand owners in industries such as food packaging, e-commerce and parcel logistics demand increasingly complex boxes with multiple compartments, BOBST’s new GYROBOX device for the corrugated board industry enables its customers to meet these creative requirements faster and more efficiently than ever before.

Jean-Pascal Bobst, CEO of Bobst Group comments: “For many years, the folding carton industry has benefited from our GYROBOX solution on folder-gluers – around 25 million boxes are produced every day on our GYROBOX-enabled machines. With over ten years’ expertise in this area, we’re delighted to now bring this innovation to the corrugated board industry. We believe GYROBOX will revolutionise corrugated board manufacturing, allowing designers to unlock their imagination and helping our customers to maximise productivity by simplifying the production of these creative solutions. The launch reaffirms our commitment to continued innovation which gives manufacturers the flexibility to do things they simply cannot do with other equipment – keeping our customers one step ahead of the competition”.

Currently available for BOBST’s MASTERFOLD 170 folder-gluer, the GYROBOX device can pivot a blank at any angle from 0° to 90° in the running direction, making it possible to complete boxes in a single pass which would have previously required two. With the GYROBOX module installed, BOBST’s customers will have the most productive corrugated board folder-gluer on the market. Alongside complex packaging, GYROBOX can also produce standard boxes with no loss of speed, providing the flexibility required in today’s competitive market. BOBST is also able to provide GYROBOX-enabled corrugated board folder-gluers as bespoke solutions to meet customers’ individual requirements.
(1) Source: Pira International Ltd.
(Bobst S.A.)

Newsgrafik #94803
 09.12.2011

Bobst Group appoints Philippe Milliet as Head of Business Unit Sheet-fed  (Company news)

Bobst Group, the world’s leading supplier of quality machinery and services to packaging manufacturers, announced the appointment of Philippe Milliet as Head of Business Unit Sheet-fed and as member of the Group Executive Committee.

Based in Lausanne, Mr Milliet will report to Bobst Group’s Chief Executive Officer Jean-Pascal Bobst and will be responsible for delivering the company’s global growth strategy in the Sheet-fed sector. He will oversee sales, marketing, research and development, supply chain, production and logistics across Business Unit Sheet-fed’s BOBST, ASITRADE and MARTIN brands.
Jean-Pascal Bobst, Chief Executive Officer of Bobst Group comments: “Through our Business Unit Sheet-fed, we are committed to help our customers in the folding carton and corrugated board industries maximise quality, performance and productivity. Philippe Milliet will play a key role in ensuring this, as well as demonstrate our industry leadership through a continued focus on research and development and innovation. We are extremely pleased that Philippe has joined us, and we look forward to him driving continued growth by working closely with our customers in the Business Unit Sheet-fed”.

“I am extremely proud to join Bobst Group at such an exciting time for the company,” says Mr Milliet. “Bobst Group is renowned as the world’s leading supplier to packaging manufacturers with excellent research and development programmes in place to ensure it continues to deliver the most innovative products to its customers. As Head of Business Unit Sheet-fed, I intend to continue to drive our market-leading position across the folding carton and corrugated board industries”.

Mr Milliet brings more than 25 years of experience to Bobst Group, including leadership roles in large, customer-driven organisations. He joins from Galenica, where as Head of the Health Division he implemented a restructuring programme which led Galenica to become the leading pharmaceutical distributor in Switzerland by market share with significantly increased revenues.

Mr Milliet holds a Pharmacy Diploma from the University of Lausanne and an MBA from the École des HEC, University of Lausanne.
(Bobst S.A.)

 

Bobst Group accelerates implementation of Group transformation   (Company news)

- Negative impact of strong Swiss Franc calls for drastic actions
- 8% reduction of global headcount by 2013 mainly in Lausanne, without redundancy plan due to discontinuation of temporary and fixed term contracts, early retirements and normal staff turnover
- Back to satisfactory profit levels by 2013

Bobst Group, a leading supplier of equipment and services to packaging manufacturers based in Lausanne/Switzerland, is responding to the pressure of low and stagnating worldwide demand and a strong Swiss Franc by accelerating the implementation of its ongoing strategic Group transformation. As part of this acceleration, non-core activities will be outsourced and the current global headcount of 5,300 employees will be reduced by 8% by Q2 2013. Most of this reduction will occur at Bobst Group’s Lausanne sites. Besides the outsourcing of non-core activities, the job reductions are achieved mainly by discontinuing temporary and fixed-term contracts, as well as through early retirements and normal staff turnover. By introducing short-time working of 15%-30% from January 2012 for 6 months, the company intends to keep on as many staff as possible until the expected improvement in demand occurs, thus retaining these jobs and know-how for the long term. All these measures were worked out in close contacts with Bobst's social partners including the local authorities, our workers’ representative and the union Unia. Neither the company’s 270 apprentices, nor innovation/R&D related activities are affected by the restructuring program. Agreement were found with the local authorities to financially support the collaboration between the CFVI, Centre de Formation du Groupement Suisse de l’Industrie Mécanique (GIM-CH) and Bobst apprenticeship center.
The Group strategy is based on two strong pillars: the solid fundamentals of the packaging industry, illustrated by increasing worldwide packaging demand and consumption and the Group transformation as of 2010. The ongoing withdrawal from the production site in Prilly and the concentration of activities at the state-of-the-art production facility in Mex near Lausanne are key parts of this transformation process. The consolidation will lead to a significant improvement in the Group's profitability from next year. "We regret the effect that changes in worldwide demand and the impact of the exchange rates are having on the staffing situation" says CEO Jean-Pascal Bobst when explaining the decision to accelerate the Group transformation. "However, we believe these worldwide changes are largely irreversible. Suffering from the competitive disadvantage of having over 50% of our personnel costs in Switzerland but over 90% of sales in Europe, Asia and Americas, we are being forced to take drastic action to secure the competitiveness of our company and keep our leading position in our industries and markets for the long term".
Owing to the exchange rate situation and the need for market proximity, activities and functions with low added value can no longer be carried out competitively in Switzerland. As part of the Group strategy such activities are being outsourced. During the last 2 years Bobst has acquired and expanded facilities in China and India to be able to now conduct these transfers. Bobst will concentrate research, innovation, development and manufacturing for high-end products in Mex/Switzerland, while using more competitive entry level equipment from China, India and Brazil. Thus the Group will soon be much better placed to ensure its competitiveness while simultaneously protecting its unique technological know-how.
Within the 2009-2011 ambitions, Bobst Group expects its costs improvement program to help the company save CHF 77 million in 2011, and CHF 85 million next year. With the short term unstable macro economy, the market demand is expected to stagnate at best. The compounded effect of all activities in the Group transformation program initiated here will bring Bobst back to satisfactory profitability levels by 2013. The necessary conditions are being put in place for the Group to substantially lower its breakeven point and thus return to a sustainable, profitable performance. Completion of all measures is scheduled for the end of 2013.

Changes in Group Management as of November 8
The Board of Bobst Group appointed Attilio Tissi, Group CFO ad interim since May 2, as the permanent Group CFO of Bobst Group and member of the Group Executive Committee. A Swiss national born in 1968, he joined Bobst Group in 2008.
In addition, the Board appointed Philippe Milliet, a Swiss national born in 1963 who joined Bobst Group in June 2011, Head of the Business Unit Sheet-fed and member of the Group Executive Committee. In his new function, Philippe Milliet follows Jean-Pascal Bobst who ad interim headed the Business Unit since May 2011.
Pierre-Yves Müller, Head of Group Supply, Production and Logistics (GSPL), member of the Group Executive Committee, and Head of the Lausanne site, has decided to give a new orientation to his career. He will leave the company on January 31, 2012.
Bobst Group will provide more detailed financial information at the investor day scheduled for December 6, 2011 in Zurich.
(Bobst S.A.)

 

Bobst Group - 2010: turnover of CHF 1.28 billion  (Company news)

- Confirmed significant profitability improvement compared to 2009
- Beginning of 2011: backlog level better than beginning 2010, despite exchange rates impact

2010 started with a weak backlog. During the year, a slow but steady increase in order entries was noticed. The consolidated sales for the full year 2010 amounts to CHF 1.28 billion, an increase of CHF 225 million or +21% compared to 2009.

The geographical distribution shows a general increase in all zones, mainly in the Americas. As a reminder, Europe and the Americas had been the most affected by the crisis in 2009.

The sales are recovering from the downturn for all three business units. The business unit Sheet-fed shows the most important increase. Spare parts sales increased by 7.3%, whereas the Services sales show a slight improvement of 3.0%.

The consolidated net result will be published on 30 March and will, as already announced, show a positive result. The exchange rates evolution during the year significantly influenced the sales and impacted the Group profitability.

2011 started with a stronger backlog than the one at the beginning of 2010, despite the impact of exchange rates. At the present level of order intake, the Group should reach sales of CHF 1.3 to 1.4 billion in 2011.
(Bobst Group SA)

 

Bobst Group: Organization change in the Business Unit Services   (Company news)

Bobst Group continues its transformation. Based on a clear picture and a strategic rationale of where it wants to develop the Service business, progresses have been made in expanding the support to customers optimizing their operations. The objective to provide a seamless and optimal customer service responding to the increasing demands of the market requires a change in the organization.
Effective at the end of the first quarter 2011, Stephan März will assume the leadership of the Business Unit Services, taking over the responsibility from Claude Currat who will remain in the Group as Senior Vice President Global Accounts, a function which is not part of the Group Executive Committee responsibilities.
Stephan März comes from GF Agie Charmilles and will join the Group to lead the Business Unit Services on its continued growth trajectory. He has a solid experience in the Services business, its strategy, development and implementation worldwide, coupled with a technical (mechanical engineering) and a business administration background.
Claude Currat will take on the newly defined role as Head of Global Accounts. In this function, he will be able to leverage his extensive Bobst Group experience as well as his excellent relationships in various markets and industries across the world. He will report to Jean-Pascal Bobst, Group CEO, and will leave the Group Executive Committee.
With Stephan März and Claude Currat assuming their new responsibilities, the Group has made another important step towards its overall transformation. (Bobst S.A.)

Newsgrafik #65621
 24.11.2010

New BOBST flexo press cuts brand owner costs and opens markets to box makers.  (Company news)

New diecutter complements high definition print press

Photo: MASTERFLEX-HD

At its COMPETENCE '10 open house event, BOBST launched MASTERFLEX-HD, a flexo post-printer which sets a new standard in high quality graphics printing. The press allows brand owners to benefit from the cost advantages of packaging that is manufactured using flexo print on corrugated board or microflutes. With the MASTERFLEX-HD in plant, box makers can exploit additional markets for their flexo products. At COMPETENCE '10 BOBST also launched EXPERTCUT 1.6, a new mid-range diecutter with performance and accuracy that complements the rest of the BOBST Autoplaten range.
- A new standard in flexo post print
MASTERFLEX-HD represents a new technical solution for the delivery of ultra high quality flexo printing on corrugated board, microflutes, and even heavy solid board. Advanced control technology and ultra-precise, automatic print register adjustment is integrated into the press allowing users to take advantage of the detail that very fine anilox rolls and plates can deliver.
These advances mean that brand owners can move their packaging from solid board to microflutes or corrugated, where they can benefit from reduced packaging weight, gain the price advantages of printing using flexo, yet retain high quality of print. Box makers who use the new press will be able to exploit additional market opportunities with brands that currently use litho printed products. MASTERFLEX-HD also opens up fresh perspectives in the printing of brown boxes thanks to a new system developed in conjunction with Fx Colors. This system uses unique color separation technology to deliver dazzling images on recycled board.
Sylvain Rebet, Head of Sales and Marketing for BOBST flexo press, diecutter, and foiling products said, “Around the world we have seen many box maker customers of ours using their existing MASTERFLEX lines to run work that had previously been printed offset on solid board, or was litho laminated. Because of the quality that the MASTERFLEX-HD delivers it now makes it possible for them to offer brand owners flexo printed microflute or corrugated products as a cheaper, greener alternative to offset.”
Key to the advances inside the MASTERFLEX-HD has been the development of a system which senses printed marks on the sheet and uses this information to bring each print unit into register on start-up. This system is called ‘Start & Go’ and automatically adjusts print length, skew, and both transverse and longitudinal register. Jobs can be set up using just a few sheets and once set will remain in perfect register for the entire length of the run. A direct drive feeder ensures that sheets are not crushed or marked on feeding, and also allows for the correction of the position of the front edge to ensure that the first color, and all subsequent ones, are printed in the right locations relative to the sheet edges.
The MASTERFLEX-HD builds on the technology developed for the MASTERFLEX-A and has involved working closely with suppliers of anilox rolls, inks, stereos, etc. Sylvain Rebet said, “What we have done is not only develop the capabilities of the machine, but we have also worked with suppliers of key components in the flexo printing process to help optimize their products for it.”
iQ300 checks every sheet printed by the press and ejects any which do not meet user-set criteria, which can include print defects, defects in the board surface, and variations in wash boarding, among others, even at the full running speed of the press.
At the COMPETENCE '10 event the MASTERFLEX-HD was shown in line with the BOBST LOADER-ML automatic loader. LOADER-ML ensures the feeding of delicate and high added-value sheets without damage to the printed surface, the sheet edge, or the overhang on litho laminates and also ensures consistent feeding.
- Unmatched productivity and accuracy in mid-range diecutting
Also launched at COMPETENCE '10 was EXPERTCUT 1.6, the new BOBST mid-range diecutter for corrugated and micro-flute applications.
EXPERTCUT 1.6 has been designed to be highly productive, with job changeover in less than eight minutes, a 6'000 sheets per hour running speed, and a small footprint, giving it very high productivity per square meter of floor space used.
Mr Rebet said, “We saw that it was time for some development in our diecutter product range between the entry level VISIONCUT 1.6 and the ultra-high performance MASTERCUT 1.7 / 2.1. The EXPERTCUT brings versatility, performance and reliability to mid volume producers who don’t need the higher speeds or larger formats of the MASTERCUT.”
The EXPERTCUT 1.6 has a new platen movement which delivers more productivity and more control over the die-cutting process. Other developments in the feeder, stripping section and delivery contribute to the diecutter running with fewer interruptions and to further productivity gains. A tension wheel on the gripper bar chains, vulcanized chain guides, and increased insulation all help reduce noise. A color touch screen with ‘Smart Setting’ is used to operate the machine.
- Two custom packs are available for the EXPERTCUT 1.6.
The Accuracy Pack boosts the already high cutting precision of the EXPERTCUT by adding BOBST’s Power Register system which ensures perfect cut-to-print register by dynamically adjusting the position of each sheet as it arrives at the platen in-feed. This system is particularly useful when running litho-laminates or board made with pre-printed liner. The Accuracy Pack also features lateral blowers at the feeder and a gripper opening system at the stripping station.
A Productivity Pack delivers the upgrade to 6'000 sheets per hour, a lifted delivery with 300mm batch height, and a new continuous feeding device which prevents interruption in the flow of sheets during evacuation of the batch. (Bobst S.A.)

 

Bobst Group reinforces its presence in China   (Company news)

New investment in China
Bobst Group and the owner of Gordon Ltd, the Hong Kong based holding company of Shanghai Eternal Machinery Co. Ltd., have signed an agreement on 7 October 2010 by which Bobst Group acquires 65% of Gordon Ltd, with the option to purchase the remaining shares. The owner will remain in the company as managing director and shareholder. Both parties agree not to disclose any information concerning the conditions of the transaction. This acquisition is subject to the approval of the competent authorities. The closing is expected in January 2011.
Shanghai Eternal Machinery Co. Ltd, one of the leading Chinese companies, is specialized in the manufacturing of automatic/semi-automatic flat-bed diecutting and creasing, foil stamping as well as folding & gluing equipment.
This acquisition is a major step to reinforce Bobst Group strategy and presence in China, thus demonstrating its determination to become a leading player in this growing market for the corrugated board and folding carton industry. (Bobst S.A.)