Bobst Speedwave gives TCPL's carton converting a fillip

Packaging giant TCPL has been a power user of Bobst folder-gluers with 24 gluing machines across its plants in India. Two of the latest ones have been the Bobst Expertfold with Speedwave module installed at TCPL’s plants in Silvassa and Haridwar.

07 Apr 2021 | By Noel D'Cunha

Akshay Kanoria, director at TCPL

Before the machines purchase TCPL carried out extensive tests at Bobst India facility on different styles and sizes of crash-lock bottom boxes as per its requirements. Bobst India’s zone business director BU for printing converting, Venugopal Menon claimed that along with providing consistent, high-speed folding of crash-lock boxes and perfect control of the front flap fold-over, Speedwave has the capability to increase productivity up to 50% and sometimes even up to 100% for crash-lock bottom boxes depending upon box format.

Speaking to PrintWeek, Akshay Kanoria, director at TCPL, confirmed to have benefitted from the technology. “There has been a definite improvement in make-ready time as well as a substantial increase in machine speed with the Speedwave as opposed to the traditional way to process CLB boxes.”

Besides the faster setting, Speedwave is capable of reducing set-up times by 25-30%, uses 50% fewer parts to be set, and increases the productivity of CLB boxes from 50% to 100%, depending on the box formats. “It eases folding operation for boxes with window apertures and ensures runnability on with calliper variations,” said Menon.

Kanoria added, “Mainly it is the simplicity of use and set-up as well as the speed improvement that stands out. Further, less mechanical parts mean less wear and tear and lesser possibility of error/rejection.” Among the applications, TCPL also uses the Speedwave for processing boxes with inside cavity cartons seen in cosmetics or boxes with top hangers. “A big advantage is that it can be used for jobs that would otherwise be a big problem on the regular hook-type machine,” said Kanoria.

For operations at the scale on which TCPL operates, productivity and efficiency become important factors in its business and technologies such as Speedwave helps the organisation. “Nowadays with pricing getting squeezed and a large number of competitors coming into the market, productivity and efficiency (therefore quality and service) have become the key differentiator. Further, there is an inexorable rise in labour costs. We need to squeeze everywhere in order to earn the same margin as before. Increasing productivity within the given space and with less manpower involvement is the only sustainable long-term solution,” said Kanoria.

Venugopal Menon of Bobst talks about Speedwave

 Since Bobst made the first folder-gluer way back in 1942, it has come a long way when it comes to speed, innovation and ease of operation in the folding-gluing process. Folder-gluer being end-of-the-line finishing equipment in the packaging process is very critical since all value-added into a carton takes shape on this final equipment.

The Speedwave concept was first introduced and patented by Bobst on the Masterfold folder-gluer series way back in 2009 and was an idea sprouted from a technician for an innovative but simple way to fold and glue a ‘crash-lock-bottom’ (CLB) box.

Bobst introduced the Speedwave module on its Expertfold range in 2018 and this is when we made a great success and addressed a larger customer base. 

When you see the process it looks simple, but a lot goes into the robust design of the Speedwave module. The innovatively designed parts clubbed with a reliable drive mechanism gives consistent and high-speed production for the machine’s entire production life.

The Speedwave can be retrofitted on the Expertfold machines produced 2018 onwards.