Bobst helps overcome tooling hurdle to keep Prefect Packagings’ finishing machine running

Packaging companies in India are trying to navigate the growing challenges of keeping the supply chain running to meet the surging demand for medical items and consumer staples during this Covid-19 crisis.

04 May 2020 | By Noel D'Cunha

Mumbai-based Prefect Packaging with a plant in Vasai, is one of the packaging companies, which has been operating the plant, providing packaging for essential supplies during the lockdown. The 1986 year established company specialises in pharma and FMCG packaging.

Just before the lockdown, the company, which is equipped with a Bobst Expertfold folder-gluer, among other machines, needed a special Z-fold device, an essential attachment to manufacture and meet time-bound pharmaceutical order commitments. While the kit was delivered just before the lockdown commenced, getting a process specialist to install the tool became difficult after.

According to Bobst India service centre head Sameer Joshi, the company has engineers based out of Mumbai, but these engineers would still require a process specialist’s help, based out of Pune, and could not travel to Mumbai due to lockdown. “Like our customers, it was our turn to do our part to provide support.”

Jamal Agwan, the managing director of Prefect, got into the act. He sought the police permission for travel of a Bobst’s Mumbai-based engineer from his residence to his plant, about 30km away from Prefect plant in Vasai. “Agwanji also arranged to send a car to pick the service engineer,” said Joshi.

Once the engineer was at the location, a video call was arranged, and step-by-step instructions were exchanged with the process specialist in Pune. “After a six-hour consultation between the two, the tool was successfully installed,” said Joshi. “For us, what’s satisfying is that the Bobst team duly adhered to the nation-wide lockdown rules even as it found a way to assist our customer to ensure timely production.”

For Prefect it is critical that its business operates in the coming weeks, so as to provide the requirements of the essential services. It’s extremely important for the company to keep machines running. “We strictly adhere to the guidelines issued for those companies operating during the lockdown,” said Agwan. “However, when a machine needs a tool, or minor servicing, which company you deal with when you need them the most, becomes paramount. Bobst has been that company.”

 He added, “When we opted for the Bobst Expertfold we were sure we had the perfect fit, but we were more than sure that we would be serviced equally when even after the machine is installed.”