“I would describe 2022 as very revealing. The response to the economic instability, local conflicts, the global supply chain challenges, human resource shortages, and the energy crisis made it clear to us, and to our customers, that a Vision is necessary for the business to be successful,” says Jean-Pascal Bobst
“BOBST‘s industry vision is coming to life even stronger,” he continues. “2022 was challenging but we navigated through it with confidence, and we helped our customers to do the same despite delays which caused some disruption. We have done our upmost to keep both the satisfaction and the intimacy with our clients at the highest level”.
A new era of truly connected solutions
BOBST continues to deliver quality machines, but the company is now adding intelligence and software capabilities to make packaging production better than ever.
At the heart of company’s solutions in 2022 is BOBST Connect, bringing BOBST machine insights and digital services together in one cloud-based platform.
“With BOBST Connect, our customers get a fact-based overview of the production performance, maintenance and process, and they can orchestrate it,” says Leonard Badet, Head of Group Technology at BOBST. “They benefit from accurate Overall Equipment Efficiency, get specific equipment data and get interfaces to connect to their existing software.”
The first subscription plan of this very powerful tool – BOBST Connect Essential – has been made available on all BOBST machines as a standard supply. This is a unique offer within the industry.
2022 saw the launches of several innovations, which exemplify the BOBST Vision. In folding carton, ACCUCHECK Recipe Management allows users to create and edit recipes remotely within the BOBST Connect platform and to send them on the production floor.
In corrugated board, MASTERCUT 1.65 PER is the most versatile die-cutter on the market, a combination of tools and technologies that reflect and support our vision in terms of automation, connectivity and sustainability.
In labels, the new DIGITAL MASTER series features modular and upgradable label presses that combine digital and flexo technologies in one single machine with the highest level of automation and quality control to help customer protect their investment and reduce dependency on press operators.
One of the most promising announcements in 2022 came in flexible packaging. At K 2022, BOBST and its partners unveiled oneBARRIER – a family of sustainable recycle-ready flexible packaging solutions with excellent barrier qualities.
This includes oneBARRIER PrimeCycle – a polymer-based mono-material, which is recycle-ready up to 98% while retaining excellent barrier qualities, making it a potentially groundbreaking development for sustainable packaging. And oneBARRIER FibreCycle, which is a full paper, mono-material, recycle-ready solution, developed in response to increasing demand in the industry for more paper-based packaging options.
“The samples we showed at K 2022 are the real industrialized solutions and are commercially available solutions,” says Mr. Bobst. “With our partners, we made recycle-ready flexible packaging a reality today.”
Remote and local assistance means BOBST is always at hand
BOBST’s services went from strength to strength. Through a combination of remote assistance and excellent local presence, BOBST is ready for any eventuality and to help build better futures for its customers. And with an industry-leading presence of more than 30,000 BOBST machines installed all over the world, services are more important than ever.
BOBST continues to invest in its very large team of field technicians, reinforcing its team of more than a thousand experts with ongoing hiring and new training. This is complemented by state-of-the-art remote assistance.
To enable rapid response, BOBST opened a new logistics hub for Europe, Middle East & Africa, situated in Belgium in the heart of the European logistics network. This new hub will become the most automated and efficient logistics hub in our industry, and it will guarantee 95% parts availability for most product lines – so, more than 100,000 items under one fully automated platform.
And in a year of so many challenges for our customers, including price increases and supply chain instability, BOBST worked on three axes to minimize the crisis impact for our customers.
The company put in place a dedicated supply chain team with engineers, who followed up orders closely – machine by machine, issue by issue, to adapt the supply chain according to events. BOBST also sourced alternative suppliers to reduce order delays, especially for electrical and electronic parts. And the company also introduced a new way of assembling machines, improving the availability of main parts, especially the platen, and preventing delays for final order.
“We have executed on our vision relentlessly, and it has paid off,” says Mr. Bobst. “Looking ahead to next year, 2023 will be year of consolidation for the industry, but the journey ahead, together with our clients and partners, is defined. Our solutions will turn into tangible improvements for most of our machine portfolio. The packaging industry has a great future.”