- Industrial solutions
BOBST offers a uniquely wide range of solutions for packaging manufactures and brand owners, with production facilities and Competence Centers worldwide, backed by a distribution and service network that spans the globe.
INOMETA GmbH Account Manager Tobias Seeger manages our relationship with Bobst Bielefeld, BOBST’s Center of Excellence for CI flexo printing technologies. He sat down with Frank Rudolph, Process Manager and Head Competence Center at Bobst Bielefeld, to discuss unique selling points, machines and printing components, as well as to take a peek into the future. Frank has been working in flexo printing for over 25 years, starting at Fischer & Krecke and then, further to the acquisition by BOBST in 2008, at Bobst Bielefeld.
Frank Rudolph: Our Bielefeld site has been operating since 1880. Just as they did in the past, today's customers appreciate our ability to innovate, the high quality of our products and services, and the way BOBST Bielefeld maintains close ties to our customers and to the market. We can offer a number of unique, market-leading machinery solutions, such as smartGPS, and we have our exclusive Flexo Center of Excellence, complete with a fully-equipped Pre-Press Centre, which is supported by strong partners within the industry. Working together with them allows us to ensure seamless integration of all components right across the wide web central cylinder flexo printing process.
Frank Rudolph: From our point of view, standardizing the printing processes is a challenge for many of our customers. It has to be done though, because it allows packaging manufacturers to produce top-quality products consistently and efficiently. One way to ensure consistency and repeatability is printing using a fixed color palette or the Extended Color Gamut process, something we are demonstrating with our partners in the Competence Center in Bielefeld.
Flexographic printing is facing more and more competition from offset printing, rotogravure printing and digital printing, and is increasingly being compared with these printing processes. This in turn leads to very high quality expectations from customers. That's the biggest challenge in my view. The key to success for all of us is a combination of top-quality machinery and great printing hardware.
Frank Rudolph: As I've just said, we are facing a number of challenges, but none of them is a major cause of concern. Quite the opposite, in fact. We love to solve our customers’ challenges, with an eye to industry trends and future developments, and we are working on a raft of ideas to do that. We've already implemented some smart development in new products like the VISION CI and the MASTER CI, and we are demonstrating these solutions on the machines in our Competence Center in Bielefeld. But we still have plenty of ideas up our sleeves for the future, too.
Frank Rudolph: At the moment we have two CI flexo printing presses: one EXPERT CI and one VISION CI. We are also about to install MASTER CI, the brand new addition to our press range. All three machines are mostly printing flexible packaging with water-based, EB or solvent-based inks, depending on what we choose to use.
Frank Rudolph: Up to 400 m/min with the VISION CI, up to 600 m/min with the EXPERT CI. The MASTER CI can produce perfect quality printing at up to 800m/min.
Frank Rudolph: We are currently using INOflex® INObridge® CP CFRP bridge adapter and INOshaft® CP CFRP air cylinder. We are very pleased with the quality of both. We use your INOlox anilox sleeves and anilox rollers for some machine configurations, too. Our partnership has been very successful for both companies.
Frank Rudolph: Of course, no-one ever makes that kind of decision by themselves. The whole project team was involved, so we took a joint decision on each individual product.
Why did you opt for INOMETA, and what challenges did we help you to meet?
Frank Rudolph: INOMETA's technology suits BOBST equipment very well. Especially when printing high-end graphics, it becomes obvious very quickly that it is a high-performance product that prevents bouncing, even when printing at high speeds and long print runs.
The combination of INOMETA's and BOBST’s technologies delivers high-quality print results that no other combination can match.
Frank Rudolph: Definitely! INOMETA is proving an excellent partner for BOBST, and we expect to continue working closely together on new developments and projects.