Towards Zero Fault Packaging" with this as a theme Bobst organised an event Competence 10 at its head quarters in Lausanne in Switzerland from 22 to 28th September 2010. No matter how quickly, how cost efficiently, or how environmentally soundly a package is produced, if it fails to meet the customer's quality requirements, the chances are that the whole run will be rejected, and potentially could have its price re-negotiated. With this high in the mind of most packaging suppliers, Bobst Group showed a whole range of new ideas at the event.

Ensuring the quality of value-added

As head of the DSF product line, which encompasses all of Bobst's flat-bed diecutters, hot foil stampers, and flexo post-printers, Jean-Luc Cachin said: "Ten years ago, the box maker was focused on speed, and we addressed this issue with machines which run consistently at 8, 10, or even 12'000 sheets an hour. Now, more and more, they are asking for our help to stop any non-conforming product reaching their customers. This is why, for example, we now have dynamic register systems throughout the majority of our diecutter ranges." For corrugated printing presses, Mr. Cachin says that BOBST's newly launched iQ300 quality control system is another innovation designed to stop non-conforming product reaching the customer.

With focus to push the limits of high grapics print Cachin said that newly launched Masterflex-HD, will truly challenge offset printing in its quality of print and its consistency. "We have taken the work we did in the design of the Masterflex-A and Masterflex-L, added many new developments, and worked with the world's best plate makers, anilox engravers, and other suppliers to create a high graphics machine that will be the new reference in flexo printing on corrugated," he said.

Alongside the Masterflex-HD, Cachin says that Bobst also launched a new mid-range corrugated diecutter for the 1.6m market. "The Expertcut 1.6 has a completely new look and will feature a range of ideas cascaded down from the Mastercut range," he said.Protecting the consumer

Jacques Reymond head of the folder-gluer product line at Bobst said: "Increasing the speeds that machines run at is of less concern to carton makers today than ensuring quality and conformity. We've addressed the speed issue with machines like the Masterfold, linked to peripheral equipment like the Easyfeeder GT, Cartonpack GT, and Speedwave module for crash-lock production on folding cartons, and also with the new Expertfold 300 A-4 for corrugated applications."

Also at the show there was a launch of an extension to the Accubraille system that will significantly increase the amount of Braille that can be applied to a carton, along with a system for in-line, real time verification of Braille embossing, however it has been applied.

New accuracy in litho-laminated

Remo Truffer, head of the Asitrade product line, says that while speed of production and ease of use are important, ensuring the accuracy of the lamination process is vital to downstream diecutting, and folding and gluing. "new machine that will be the next generation of in-line laminating solutions, taking the baton currently held by our MPC-IV lines and running with it," he said.

Daniel Jourdan, head of Bobst Group's Martin product line said that they have designed the Rapidset (machine over a pit) concept. "Fitted with Posilock, the machine brings additional assets such as quick changeover, which is especially suitable for short production runs. Thanks to its high accuracy and instant set-up, first-box-saleable' becomes a reality with a Rapidset machine and short runs at low cost become viable," he said. Jourdan also explains that to achieve high consistency of quality, Martin NT machines are equipped with vacuum transport systems.

Also on display in the Competence Center was, the new worldwide platform for buying and selling used Bobst machines.

Talking to PrintWeek MEA, Samir Khoudja, managing director of Middle East and Africa said that there were 40 visitors from MEA. "We had 15 deals finalised which is worth CHF 13million. In folding carton field, much interest was for the Asitrade in-line single facer and laminator as well as for the Novacut and Expertfold. For the corrugated board, machines of top level technology such as the Master range with the MFL-HD as well as the 924 NT RS highly interested the customers from the Gulf area (KSA, Kuwait) whereas the new developments for the mid range attracted particularly the visitors from North Africa (Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt). The Vision range remained as usual of great interest for all of our visitors.