Bobst, a global manufacturer of print and packaging technologies, on 20 January announced the latest iteration of its folder-gluer for the folding carton market – the Expertfold 50 l 80 l 110. The new evolution of the machine, said to be one of the most popular in the Bobst line-up, is designed to help packaging printers and converters accomplish more in today’s rapid and resource-intensive converting market, the company announced.
The new generation Expertfold comes equipped with a host of new features to this highly modular and extremely versatile folder-gluer, which delivers a number of box styles at speeds of up to 450m per minute. According to the company, from Accubraille to Accucheck, Speedwave, and Gyrobox, the machine can be adapted to the most complex needs. It offers the possibility to add matching peripherals allowing converters to create a complete, high-performance folding-gluing line.
To continually improve its equipment, Bobstrecently introduced the A3 version of the Expertfold, enabling a reduction in changeover times from crash-lock bottom to 4&6-corner boxes by up to 80%. The company says the objective of the new version was to enhance this all-rounder, increase productivity and move closer towards Bobst’s vision of a fully digitized and connected converting process with maximum automation and sustainability.
With new designs and adaptations, the ergonomics of the Expertfold have been improved and the machine footprint cut down. Specially designed security doors allow easy access to the 4&6-corner module. The leaner design provides maximum safety and frees up space at the back of the machine. The handles on the upper conveyors have been redesigned, adding further precision and stability to the positioning of the equipment. Plus, the machine now features pneumatic feeder ramps, reducing the workload for operators and cutting down machine setup time by 20%, the company says.
“The evolution of our Expertfold is another example of how we want to offer converters the most performant and ergonomic machines,” says Pierre Binggeli, head of Product Line Folder-gluers at Bobst. Apart from the obvious advantages for the operators, clever ergonomics can help to reduce setup times and increase the precision of the machine settings. “With the most recent changes, we managed to cut down setup time and improve both productivity and box quality even further – because converters need to be agile and deliver zero-fault products. At the same time, user-friendliness and practicality play an important part in creating a sustainable work environment,” Binggeli says.
The integration of the Bobst machine-control sphere followed the same reasoning. Like the current platform, it offers the possibility to retrieve repeat jobs, control the machine functions, and provides access to the Bobst Connect Essential package, which was launched last year. This end-to-end digital solution already enables companies to drive productivity by accessing accurate performance data, progress indicators, and reporting. It also ensures high-priority remote assistance.
However, Sphere has been designed to include a whole range of other functions, which will be part of the Bobst Connect platform, enabling efficient data flow between physical equipment and digital solutions for rapid, transparent communication throughout the supply chain, optimizing the entire production workflow.
Pierre Binggeli says: “Our Expertfold line has an extremely strong reputation as one of the most trusted and high-performance in-line folder-gluers on the market. Naturally, as we continue to evolve our product line in response to developing market needs, we are continually adding new functionality and our new iteration is a perfect example. Each individual change is implemented because of real benefits to our converting customers, whether it’s faster setup and changeover or the possibility of accelerating the transition to Industry 4.0. This is what innovation is about: continually thinking about how to improve even the best of products.”