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True control with Expertfold

Competence 14 was the title of a Bobst open house held at the end of November, at which the company premiered a brand-new folder-gluer for corrugated and litho-laminated box-making.

Available in two sizes, the Expertfold 145 and 165, and in several variants, the machine is 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.

Says Emilio Corti, head of sales (BU Sheet-fed), ‘We conceived the Expertfold 145 and 165 to provide what customers need from a folder-gluer. One feature they ask for is flexibility in the type and dimensions of the substrates being run. They also want 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.’

Delivering these features, the design elements of the new Expertfold include: Accufeed blank alignment that ensures precise folding; a high accuracy pre-breaker that ensures excellent performance on machine-erect lines; and a folding process that minimises fishtailing and gap. The latter is aided by an extra-long folding section that 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 up to 1 700 x 1 100mm in size and up to 25mm thick when folded. The flexibility of the models means they can also process blanks as small as 296 x 60mm.

Head of product marketing (BU Sheet-fed), Jacques Reymond, adds, ‘We’ve designed these 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 includes crash-lock capabilities, a 25 000 boxes/hour 4/6 corner unit and motorised/automatic setting versions. The 250m/min running speed of the new Expertfold means that end of line handling can become a bottleneck without automatic packing. For this reason, Bobst offers Impack solutions for straight-line, crash-lock and 4/6 corner carton packing to maximise performance.

Also making its debut appearance at Competence 14 was Accucheck XL, hailed as 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 colour variations or other defects.

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