IN 2011, Bobst purchased 65% of Eterna Shanghai, Asia’s leading manufacturer of automatic die-cutting, foil stamping, and folding and gluing equipment. So fruitful was this partnership that Bobst later acquired the remaining 35%. Meantime, in South Africa, Alliance Machinery was born to market and service Eterna products throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
And the latest news from Eterna is its brand-new corporate identity, along with an upgraded product portfolio, to allow for easier identification and to remain within Bobst guidelines – for instance, E-Fold signifies the company’s line of automatic folder-gluers, and E-Cut is the reference for automatic flatbed die-cutters.
PPM asked Bradley Bate, MD of Alliance Machinery, what this partnership between Bobst and Eterna means for converters in Southern Africa.
‘Firstly, die-cutting, foiling, folding and gluing are part of the Bobst DNA,’ he explains. ‘With 130 years’ background of R&D and innovation in these technologies, Bobst brings enormous expertise to the partnership. This development isn’t simply an exercise in giving credibility to an existing brand or expanding a portfolio, it’s a true partnership aimed at manufacturing top-quality machines that our customers can trust to take the business of packaging converting to the next level.
‘Because packaging converting is Bobst’s core business, the value added to the Eterna brand has been indispensable,’ Bradley continues.
‘Eterna was already widely recognised as a leading manufacturer with an impressive installed base globally but having Bobst on board has taken this already proven technology to new heights, to the point where Eterna has become a household name even among Africa’s mainstream packaging converters.
‘Having Eterna as part of the Bobst group means customers can choose from a complete and wide range of machines covering every market segment, application and budget,’ Bradley sumarises.