BOBST industry vision becomes reality by addressing customer needs

In the countdown to drupa 2024, the world’s leading trade fair for print technologies, BOBST reviews some of the key themes and topics that are shaping our industry. First, it is considering its own industry vision – and whether it will see it become a widespread reality by the time we reach drupa.

In 2020, BOBST set out its industry vision of “shaping the future of the packaging world”, with connectivity, digitalisation, automation and sustainability as its pillars. Since then, the world has faced an unprecedented pandemic, global conflicts and extraordinary pressures on the industry due to various factors including the global economy, global supply chains and resource shortages.

Meanwhile, brand owners and converters are under more pressure than ever from 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.

It’s a fast-moving environment, but for BOBST, the vision has remained stable and consistent throughout. If anything, global events in recent years have reinforced the approach it is taking. As we look ahead to drupa 2024, its vision is continuing to progress at pace. So, where is it up to? And what does it mean for the industry as a whole?

Connecting the packaging value chain

BOBST has made progress towards its vision in recent years, offering a steady transformation for the packaging industry, and for its product lines and services. Until now, the packaging value chain has remained very fragmented, which causes too many errors and too much waste in the operations of printers and converters.

The OEM’s vision is supporting this transformation by moving the industry from a mechanical to a digital world and from manufacturing machines to process solutions along the entire workflow. Together with its clients, it wants to transform the packaging value chain from a series of isolated silos to a connected end-to-end overview.

At the heart of this transformation is BOBST Connect, its constantly evolving, cloud-based digital platform that enhances and improves packaging productivity. BOBST Connect brings data and digital services together in one fully connected platform, with BOBST machine insights and expertise built-in, enabling overview and orchestration of the production process. BOBST Connect is constantly evolving, so it serves its customers both now and in the future.

At the same time, it is shaping the industry in each segment – across labels, flexible packaging, folding carton and corrugated board – to ensure end-to-end connected workflows and continuous innovation in an ever-changing environment. It is gaining insights to sustainably support its customers to answer the current and future consumer needs – and respond to the challenges of brand owners, retailers and e-tailers across a flexible and agile workflow.

Looking to the path ahead

So, what can we expect in 2024? The journey on the path it is on will continue to gather pace.

Eventually, 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 already seeing this, with an increased interest in data usage from PDF to twin PDF, job recipe, machine learning, AI and using best information throughout the production workflow, end to end.

For companies who embrace this approach, across the whole production workflow, more fact-based and timely decisions will be made and higher productivity, higher efficiency and lower waste will be a reality.

Meanwhile, BOBST will continue to act as a strategic partner for its customers. A new offer in 2024 is BOBST Application Management, a hands-on innovative consulting service, which is designed for the needs of converters and brand owners. Through BOBST Application Management, customers can receive guidance on technologies, raw materials, processes and business cases along the entire packaging value chain.

So, BOBST’s vision is already becoming a reality despite all the external challenges of recent years. By drupa 2024, it will have even more proof points to demonstrate its impact.