PHOTO: (left to right) Enrico Riesel, managing director of Südpack Bioggio, and Thomas Reckert, zone business dir.-BOBST Business Unit Web-fed, pose in front of the MW 80 gravure-printing press in Südpack Bioggio’s production plant in Bioggio, Switzerland.
Strategy options included choosing a gravure press dedicated to short runs of mostly non–repeat flexible packaging jobs with enhancing finishing features or go for a more conventional gravure press able to handle in a cost-efficient way a mix of different job lengths.
It has taken just few months into production for the BOBST MW 80 gravure press to prove Südpack Bioggio that their choice of a dedicated press for dedicated job types was the best one. Part of Germany-headquartered leading international film manufacturer for foodstuff, non-food and medical packaging, Südpack Verpackungen GmbH & Co KG, Südpack Bioggio, is the Group’s center for gravure printed packaging.
“Our customers are demanding short runs of non-repeat jobs more and more frequently, often with the addition of special visual and tactile finishing effects that enhance the attractiveness of the packaging at points of sale,” explains Enrico Riesel “Finding a way to meet these requests without increasing production costs can be challenging especially on gravure equipment that has thrived in handling mostly medium to long runs."
The company’s gravure production so far has been well served by three wide-web BOBST gravure-printing presses whose technical features have enabled printing of a variety of job lengths, including short orders. However, the increased specialization of the company in added value special packaging jobs and the need to increase gravure printing capacity motivated the choice in the MW 80 gravure-printing press, 850 mm in web width, whose configuration and features are fully dedicated to short run production. It is a non-trolley press fully operated from floor level. The inking system and the impression sleeves are easily and rapidly replaced from the front of the printing units without tools and without and loss of web tension.
In taking stock of performance so far, Südpack Bioggio has identified ink consumption as one of the most striking differences of moving to the MW 80’s new production logic.
“The inking system of the MW 80 combined with the press web width and working speed results in a minimum quantity of ink in circulation compared to a wide web conventional press,” says Riesel. “Furthermore, purchasing less stock of the non-common inks for the kind of special jobs that we run on the press, has improved our competitiveness."
Even the concern relating to not being able to maintain the asset of existing cylinder stock for some jobs now run on the MW 80 and the need to invest in new ones did not pose any financial threat to the project.
“If packaging converters want to play a role in the market, they need to be as flexible as the market requires them to be in terms of quality, special applications, speed of turn-around. But they are also under a lot of pressure to be competitive and therefore need to find ways to reduce production costs internally. The secret to full efficiency for us has been identifying the right dedicated machine for dedicated job types," adds Riesel.