Bobst’s new industry vision to shape the future of packaging world

Growth in flexible, monocarton, and corrugated equipment – slowdown in label presses

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The Bobst vision is shaping a new reality where connectivity, digitalization, automation, and sustainability are the cornerstones of packaging production. Bobst continues to deliver best-in-class machines and is now adding intelligence, software capabilities, and cloud-based platforms, to make packaging production better than ever.

Bobst CEO Jean-Pascal Bobst, never one to hide the figures, revealed that the 2020 turnover was down 16%. However, there was exceptional increase in cash flow from Swiss francs 55 million to 160 million. He noted the growth in film, monocarton and corrugated carton equipment and the slowdown in label presses.

Brand owners, small or large, are under pressure from local and global competitors and changing market expectations. They face many challenges, like shorter time-to-market, smaller lot sizes, and the need to build consistency between physical and online sales. The current packaging value chain remains very fragmented where every phase in the process is isolated into silos. The new requirements require all key players to have an “end to end” view. Printers and converters want to remove waste factors and errors from their operations.

Bobst aims for agile & sustainable production chain

Bobst aims to lead a profound and timely transformation of the packaging industry, where the entire production chain will become more agile and sustainable. The company has built this transformation around four main pillars, connectivity, digitalization, automation, and sustainability.

Across the whole production workflow, more fact-based and timely decisions will be made. Bobst has a vision for the future where the entire packaging production line will be connected. Brand owners, converters, toolmakers, packers, and retailers will all be part of a seamless supply chain, accessing data across the entire workflow. All the machines and tooling will ‘talk’ to each other, seamlessly transmitting data through a cloud-based platform orchestrating the entire production process with quality control systems.

Bobst is offering printers and converters new services to optimize equipment performance, increase the overall plant productivity, and avoid unexpected downtimes for maximum efficiency and agility. It wants to automate plants and job workflows with smart systems able to perform key operations, which will increase quality and save time, manpower, and costs.

Last, and one of the biggest challenges ahead, Bobst will drive sustainability further, delivering environmentally friendly packages with barrier protection and recyclability able to meet the demands of brand owners and consumers.

To connect its customers to a digitalized and automated workflow, while at the same time providing best-in-class machines and great service experience that enables the vision to become reality, Bobst Connect will become a key component of the one-stop platform. Bobst Connect will help orchestrate the production process from the client’s PDF to the finished product and quality report.

The digitalization of printing processes is the most visible element of progress in the packaging industry,” says Jean-Pascal Bobst, chief executive officer of Bobst Group. “The coming years will likely see a major acceleration of digital printing and converting. While the solutions are becoming available, the biggest challenge for printers and converters is not the individual printing machines, but rather the entire workflow, encompassing converting.”

At Bobst, we have a fully automated and controlled workflow from file to the final label, pouch or box, and this vision answers brand owners’ and converters’ needs. With the innovations completed to date and others to come from Bobst and other industry partners, we are moving in the right direction,” adds Jean-Pascal Bobst. “Our vision is simple, bold, and ambitious with the objective to shape the future of the packaging world, with passion and proximity to our clients.”

Bobst has set out to shape the future of the packaging world by actively driving the industry transformation towards a digital world, and from machines to process solutions along the entire workflow. This new vision and the corresponding solutions will benefit all the industries served by Bobst, reducing the environmental burden and shaping the future of the packaging world. CEO Bobst made an appointment for next year – in person. 

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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