Product of the Month: Bobst flexo folder-gluer

The Bobst flexo folder-gluer is an inline case-maker that converts a corrugated board into an RSC or a die-cut box, Bhavesh Pingle of Bobst explains to Rahul Kumar

13 Apr 2023 | By Rahul Kumar

What does the machine do?
The Bobst flexo folder-gluer (FFG) machine is an inline case-maker to convert a corrugated board single or double wall into an RSC or a die-cut box (trays and wraparounds), where all converting operations are carried out in one pass, including printing, slotting, die-cutting, folding-gluing, bundling with inline strapping.

What are the different models?
There are various models in FFG depending upon the format, type of box and converting application which the converter would like to produce. For this, we have various models like FFG 618, 820, 924, 1228, and so on.

What was the thought process when the FFG was conceived?
At Bobst, we have over 50 years of experience making case-makers. The idea of the case maker or FFG was to go from multiple operations to one since pass production process to be more efficient and productive.

How fast is it?  
We have FFG models running from 18,000 boxes/hr up to 26,000 boxes/hr.

What is the USP?
The main USP of the product is its fast changeover — under three minutes in a rapid set. Other highlights include its ability to produce squared boxes with minimal fishtailing and gaps. It ensures that 100% of the boxes are cut, glued, and counted. It needs minimum labour and space, and finally, fast turnaround for short-run jobs.

How easy is it to use?
Our FFG machines are user-friendly with a man-machine interface like MPC-IV. Operators with basic knowledge of electronics can set a machine like FFG 8.20. The machine’s setting is almost 90% automatic based on box format and type.

What kind of substrates can it handle?
The machine can handle single and double wall boards of various flute combinations. The Kraft paper used can be recycled, which is common in India, and virgin high BF Kraft. The machine can handle a certain level of board warp and the unique feature is no crush feeder which ensures almost negligible loss in BCT value, thus helping customers to run lighter grades of paper and still ensure good box strength and BCT values.

What training and support are on offer?
Bobst India has a team of skilled local service engineers to support our customers promptly.

But more importantly, we have process specialists who know how to run and train, which is key to this industry which is evolving and a basic skill at the operator level. This support from Bobst has been appreciated by all our customers.

Bobst also took the initiative and started an operator training programme as a part of its training services to create skilled manpower in the market in order to support its existing as well as potential customers.

What are the key features?
There are several turnkey features that make it a flexible and reliable workhorse, including a rapid set flexo print system, a top rotary die-cut unit with Posilock system for quick changeover of die-cutting form, and an automated new generation slotter unit.  

Along with a number of FFG 8.20 machine features, one of them is its Unique Human Machine Interface like MPC 4 technology allowing full control of the machine for the operator setting up the box on the machine. Customers also benefit from the Bobst preventive maintenance programme for increased reliability and improved maintenance of the new line.

The Bobst machines are known for their longevity and reliability. It is because the machines run for years, serving the converter. This year, one of the Bobst FFG machines will complete a successful run of 10 years in India.

Is there anything in the machine which is available as a standalone, if the FFG is modular?
The FFG is modular but the main advantage comes when you go for the complete line to make a box from a flat board. But we have machines like FFG 924 or 1228 which can be bought just as a printer and or with rotary die-cutter for printed sheets or just die-cut boxes and then later we can retrofit the folder and counter-ejector.

What is the target market(s)?
Any corrugated converter looking to automate from offline to inline operation to produce top quality box with minimal space and labour. A machine like Bobst FFG 8.20 can easily produce about 1,500 MT/month or more than 150,000 boxes with multiple changeovers in three-shift operation.

User numbers worldwide and in India? What are your expectations for 2023-2024?
Bobst has more than 30 FFGs installed in the local market with a few more to be installed. The FFG 8.20 model is one of the most successful models in its class - and has crossed more than 200 installations worldwide.  

Contact details
Bhavesh Pingle
business manager, Indian subcontinent
BUPC – corrugated board, Bobst
Mobile: +91 83084 36100