Bobst India and BHS India in association with MNM Triplewall Containers organized an open house on 15 December 2017 at MNM’s sprawling state of the art plant located in Tamil Nadu’s Krishnagiri district, a couple of hours from Bengaluru. The open house was attended by 30 corrugated box manufacturers from across the country who saw the Bobst FFG 8.20 Discovery 2x color flexo folder gluer in action.
The Bobst FFG 8.20 Discovery is an inline flexo printing and converting machine to manufacture regular slotted carton (RSC) boxes and also shown at the open house was the BHS Steady E line which is a fully automatic corrugation machine to make from single wall upto double wall corrugated board. During the demonstration, Bobst presented three single color jobs that were run at the 18,000 an hour top speed of the machine. The quick job changeover from one job to other took just five minutes.
Key highlights of the FFG 8.20 Discovery are accurate feeding through a no crush feeder, a new generation slotter with four pairs of shafts with dual scoring profile, automatic glue lap cutting with independent drive (a Bobst patent), the folder gluer with vacuum transfer, and the Multi T belt folding with motorised calliper rollers for excellent folded boxes with control on the fishtailing or gap. The folding quality parameter has become a major requirement in the automatic case erecting lines at the brand owners end.
Bobst also presented its new and patented man machine interface MPC4, which is simple and operator friendly. The skill level of operators is minimal since he does not set the machine but simply inputs the box dimensions and parameters on the MPC screen and the machine is adjusted or set automatically. The MPC4 can be connected remotely and also provide real time production data along with the machine stoppage time and the reasons for stoppages.
The Bobst FFG 8.20 was launched in 2014 with more than 90 lines sold globally
since. Bobst has 10 FFG lines currently running in India and Bobst India says that
another 4 FFG lines are on their way in the next months.
Visitors also saw the BHS Steady E line corrugator in action which is designed for customers with a large number of order changes and medium output demand. Its constant speed allows frequent order and grade changes, enabling the corrugator to produce quality board of global standard with a cruising speed of 180 meters a minute enabling a monthly output up to 7 million square meters. The Steady Line S can at a speed of 230 meters a minute enabling a monthly output of 8.5 million square meters.
In the evening Bobst and BHS delivered presentations to the gathered converters. Yves Bletterie, area sales manager, Bobst Lyon began by reflecting on the global trends in corrugation, stating that packaging boxes are no longer treated as a protective measure
but are now used for selling and enhancing the value of a brand. He said, boxes are getting smaller in size due to factors such as smaller family sizes while another development significantly impacting the packaging box industry is the growth of eCommerce.
Speaking about the FFG 8.20 Discovery, Bletterie said that it is a dedicated high productivity machine for RSC brown boxes and ‘Making low margin boxes profitable’ is its mantra. It small foot print requires less space, while the rapid set technology, minimal manpower requirement and high productivity for small, medium to long run jobs are well suited for the growing Indian market.
Bletterie also threw some light on the recently introduced Premium Gap Control System at FEFCO 2017 and said that big accounts are now demanding zero defects and the suppliers must prove that the boxes have been controlled. Some of the benefits of the Premium Gap Control System are that it ensures that 100% of the delivered boxes conform to client standards, with accurate folding control of all finished boxes, and reduction of both operator time on quality control and customer claims.
Dawid Firla of BHS Singapore spoke about the various investments the company has recently made at its headquarters in Germany and the challenges corrugators are facing in the digital era such as smaller batch sizes, shorter time to
market, individualization of packaging, price pressure and skill shortage. Firla
added that the next year will see growth in the BHS India team while hinting the
company may set up a regrinding workshop in the country by 2020.
MNM consolidates to set benchmarks
The present avatar of MNM Triplewall Containers came about with MNM and HMK Auto Packs came together in 2011 with the new company starting production in 2012. “We were convinced that consolidation was the key to growth in this industry,” said Manish Agarwal, one of the seven directors at MNM Triplewall. At present the company services clients in food, oil and eCommerce industries amongst others. Ecommerce is an important segment for MNM.
The management of MNM realized that if the company must excel and set new benchmarks in the industry it needed to radically overhaul the technology it was using. MNM was dependent on unreliable technology where breakdowns were frequent and work quality was poor. “We figured out that unless we address these issues it was going to be difficult to sustain the business in the future,” Agrawal stated.
The MNM management was able to commission the BHS corrugator and the Bobst FFG 8.20 Discovery in February 2017. “To be frank, it was not our aim to get a Bobst and BHS in our plant. Our aim was to put up a world class plant and we went in search of solutions keeping this very aim in mind. During our search we found out that Bobst and BHS were the best out there and we opted for these technologies. We got what we were promised. Both the companies have supported us very well. We are seven directors and all of us worked very closely to fully optimize the technology at hand,” said Agarwal.
Initially the company wanted to go for a cheaper folder gluer and move to a Bobst later when volumes increased. “However, when we did a detailed study, we realized that initially Bobst may look expensive but that is what suited us the best. We needed a technology that
would complement the BHS in terms of reliability, quality and speed,” he said. For MNM, it is not enough to just set standards in terms of technology. The company management puts equal stress on the standards and compliances when it comes to the manufacturing plant and company’s employees working conditions. “Our aim to set standards benchmarks
in the industry in everything we do. Compliance is something we take very seriously. We do not cut corners,” Agarwal said with confidence.
MNM currently has two plants — the newer one has a capacity of 5,000 tons a
month which can be expanded to 6,000 tons a month while the older plant has a
capacity of 1,800 tons a month. The new plant containing the the Bobst and BHS
machines is spread over 8.25 acres with a built-up floor area of 1.6 lakh square
feet with another 1 lakh square feet to be added next year. A modern world class
ERP system in being set up for commissioning by April 2018.