Folding carton and corrugated box manufacturers from all over India, as well as from South Asia and the Middle East, attended COMPETENCE’15, the BOBST Open House held in Pune, India, at the end of February. The event highlighted automation technologies from BOBST and its partners, with each technology designed to help packaging manufacturers reduce costs, maximize profits, and grow their businesses. The event also included the world premiere of LILA II, a new folder gluer range from BOBST designed with the needs of both litho-laminated and corrugated board packaging manufacturers in mind.
Venugopal Menon, Vice-President of Bobst India, said, "Packaging manufacturers in markets such as India no longer have unlimited access to labour and space. Increasingly they need automation to keep their costs down so that they remain competitive in local, regional, and world markets. In this way they can also grow their businesses. COMPETENCE’15 was about bringing together key players to look at the technology available, particularly for minimising labour, reducing waste, and improving operational efficiency."
Over a hundred packaging companies delegated staff to attend the two and a half day event, representing companies from across India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and the Middle East. Alongside live demonstrations of BOBST equipment, the Open House included input from BOBST trade partners and business associates, as well as an inspirational talk from "Spiritual and Corporate Guru", Shree Swami Sukhabodhananda, and an amusing after-hours theatre group show.
Mr Menon said, "The automation theme of COMPETENCE’15 clearly struck a chord with visitors. We saw a lot of enquiries generated around all of the machines on show and we concluded deals for seven during the event, including both die-cutters and folder-gluers."
The BOBST technologies presented included the recently launched NOVACUT 106 ER die-cutter, which was demonstrated blank separating both single and double-cut layouts at full speed. Mr. Menon said, "This was an attraction to many packaging convertors who came to the event, since blanking is a new concept in our market."
Currently, the majority of folding carton makers in this region only die-cut their work, after which operatives manually strip the waste. Even where carton makers are using in-line stripping, the cartons still have to be separated by hand so that they can be processed downstream, such as on folder and gluers. Blank separating cuts out these hand processes and has a further benefit in that some work which cannot be stripped can be successfully blanked using double-cut layouts.
Mr. Menon said, "This new NOVACUT gives carton makers a very affordable way to access in-line blank separation. The machine is straightforward to use and customers also get the support of our local process specialists. Bobst India has also ventured into the manufacturing and supply of blanking tools. By providing locally-made blanking tools for our customers we are making it easier and less expensive for them to transition to this cost-saving technology."
Also displayed was an EXPERTFOLD 80 A-2 folder-gluer with ACCUCHECK in-line inspection system. This system checks 100% of a folder-gluer’s output for defects, rejecting any non-conforming boxes. Visitors closely questioned the BOBST product specialists on hand as they came to see the real capabilities of this equipment.
Making its world debut was the new LILA II, which impressed both folding carton and corrugated board packaging makers with its smooth blank transportation, excellent folding quality and high productivity, handling both micro-flute and heavy corrugated board with ease. This folder-gluer represents an extension of the successful LILA range of machines for litho-laminated box production into the 145 cm and 170 cm widths needed by corrugated packaging manufacturers. LILA II is fast running and quick setting, delivering the outstanding productivity needed to reduce cost per box. The machine is also available in 106 cm and 126 cm widths for folding carton and litho-laminated box production.
Complimenting the machine demonstrations, and much appreciated by visitors, BOBST partners presented new technologies in a range of areas from window patching to adhesive application and from board composition to robotisation, as well presenting new finance products. The partners involved included Baumer hhs, Billerud Korsnas, Esko, H B Fuller, Henkel, Nan Pao, Pidilite, Provin Technos, Robatech, Siemens Financial, TATA capital, Welbound Worldwide and W H Leary.
Inspirational speaker Shree Swami Sukhabodhananda combines Vedic tradition with Western management and psychological development perspectives in his talks and workshops, and he has spoken at both the United Nations and the World Economic Forum in Davos. His presentation at COMPETENCE’15 was entitled "Managing Uncertainties" where he addressed both the business and personal lives of today’s packaging professionals.
By way of contrast, an entertainment during one evening of the event was "Marriage Proposal". This fun farce, contrasting the stresses and strains of Indian weddings and working in the print industry was performed in "Hinglish" by the Mumbai-based Arts Collective theatre group, and was enjoyed and appreciated by all of the guests.
Rounding up COMPETENCE’15, Venugopal Menon said, "All the visitors responded positively to the event and, along with being excited by the technology on show, were very impressed by our BOBST manufacturing facility here in Pune, both in terms of the quality of the machines produced here and the standards we follow. A few even remarked it was like factories they visit in Europe!"
Bobst Mex SA, Switzerland