Ultimate Packaging, one of the largest independent, flexible packaging manufacturers in the UK, has invested in an Expert CI, the company’s fifth flexo press from Bobst, to increase overall productivity and future-proof its printing operations.
Since the latest press was added to the production floor, Ultimate Packaging can print up to 8.5 million meters of material per month thanks to the Expert CI’s average run speed of 300 m/min. According to the company, further time-saving efficiencies have been gained thanks to quicker setup times and increased machine reliability, leading to very low downtime, averaging at 10 percent.
Andrew Chappell, operations consultant at Ultimate Packaging, said: ‘We decided to invest in the new press last summer when we were operating at near to capacity. We saw a 30 percent lift in demand for flexible packaging during the peak of the Covid pandemic, so it became almost essential to take action to maintain efficiency and meet customer delivery requirements.
‘With four other Bobst flexo presses operating already, it made sense to invest with them again. We needed a press that would integrate seamlessly, which was familiar to the operatives and would deliver the high performance we were looking for during a critical, high-pressured period for the business.’
According to Chappell, the new press incorporates a number of features that have proved valuable in driving efficiency and reducing waste in production. Additionally, the machine design offers the flexibility and capability to move to water-based or electron-beam (EB) ink technology in the future as the company seeks to enhance plant and operational sustainability even further.
The Expert CI is capable of a maximum print width of 1250mm, at a maximum speed of 600 m/min, the press supports process automation to reduce waste, errors and increase efficiency along the production line.
A key feature for Ultimate Packaging offered by the new press is the smartGPS, an off-line fully automatic system for registration and impression setting that speeds up job set-ups and changeovers and reduces substrate and consumables waste. The press also incorporates smartFLO inking and a doctor blade chamber system.
‘The level of operational efficiency and agility at Ultimate is very high. The Bobst Expert CI flexo press has enabled us to continue to offer our customers the superb, high-quality service that they have come to expect from us during challenging times, while at the same time enabling us to look to the future and what we want to achieve going forward,’ concluded Chappell.