TODAY’S printing and converting technologies need to deliver efficiency from packaging specifications, through all production steps to the final product.
This end-to-end process is Bobst’s vision for flexography. Since its introduction of the digitalised workflow for inline UV flexo printing in 2013, Bobst has been spearheading the call for improvements in value chain efficiency, and in 2019 demonstrated the same need for wide-web CI flexo printing.
The production sites of Bobst Firenze in Italy and Bobst Bielefeld in Germany are centres of excellence for inline flexo and CI flexo printing respectively. Both have Competence Centres that include fully-equipped prepress facilities where customers can view demonstrations of flexible packaging or label production from PDF file to printing and converting.
With the digital automation available for both narrow- and wide-web, Bobst presses takes full advantage of all extended colour gamut (ECG) printing opportunities to reduce manufacturing costs, increase consistency and reduce errors and variables resulting from manual settings. Bobst oneECG system is tailored to the requirements of each type of printing technology to ensure the efficient implementation of the ECG process.
Colour consistency is a vital element of brand recognition. Ink handling and colour management are key in minimising waste levels, reducing set-up time and maximising press uptime. Additionally, Bobst innovations such as its Ink-on-demand and DigiColour systems – introduced on the Master M5 for label converting at Labelexpo Europe 2019 – are now available for the production of flexible packaging with the Master M6 inline DigiFlexo press.
The Master CI flexo press’ integrated Job Recipe Management system provides a digitalised production workflow from file to finished product, and creates a digital twin of the reels produced.
Converters can now choose between digital and analogue printing technologies that share a common digital workflow and operating process. The automation and connectivity benefits are timely and cost-effective delivery of brand owners’ colour consistency and print quality repeatability requirements.
Bobst is making these benefits achievable through Bobst Connect, a cloud-based intelligence platform that enables efficient data flow between physical equipment and digital solutions. It helps brand owners communicate production line adaptations throughout the supply chain.
The latest example of flexographic printing workflow efficiency is the newly-launched Master CI flexo printing press that combines advanced technologies and exclusive smart innovations, including smartGPS II, enabling high productivity, process stability and flexibility independent of the operator’s skill level. Up to 7 000 jobs or 22-million stand-up pouches in 24 hours are achievable with one operator. He/she is assisted by the smartDROID robotic system, which performs the entire press set-up without human intervention.
As part of the Bobst Connect platform, the Master CI integrates the Job Recipe Management system for a digitalised production workflow from file to finished product, with the creation of a digital twin of the reels produced. This advanced level of automation and connectivity enables dramatic reductions in waste and ensures 100% consistency of colour and quality output.
Bobst Connect is set to become a key component of the OEM’s one-stop open architecture platform that helps orchestrate the production process from PDF to finished product.