Connecting all the pieces

17.02.2021 In the current packaging environment, there is certainly disruption – not only from the COVID-19 pandemic, but also from ever-increasing competition and pressures around shorter times to market, smaller lot sizes, the need for perfect colour consistency and quality control, and to fulfil corporate sustainability commitments.

BOBST Connect offers solutions for the future of packaging.
© Photo: BOBST
BOBST Connect offers solutions for the future of packaging.

To bring connectivity, BOBST is helping to pioneer a fundamental transformation of the packaging value chain, from a series of isolated silos, to a connected end-to-end overview.

Visions for the future of packaging

BOBST has announced its vision to shape the future of the packaging world and built a strategy based on four pillars: connectivity, digitalisation, automation and sustainability. Underpinning all of the individual solutions is BOBST Connect, an open platform that orchestrates the entire packaging production process and integrates all key components to make packaging production more effective.

“BOBST Connect is a one-stop platform that gives printers, converters and tool manufacturers access to our ecosystem of digital solutions utilising state of the art Internet of Things (IoT) technology,” explained Serge Morisod, head of IoT Lab at BOBST. “It enables efficient data flow between physical equipment and digital solutions to help rapid, transparent communication throughout the supply chain and optimising the entire production workflow. Perhaps the most exciting thing is that BOBST Connect is a permanently evolving platform that will deliver more and more as it grows.”

BOBST Connect covers five domains: pre-press, production, optimisation, maintenance and market. There are several solutions already available across the domains and many more in the pipeline

Remote solutions

Some of the current BOBST Connect solutions include: Remote Monitoring, a comprehensive production reporting tool designed to quickly access detailed machine production, process and technical data; Remote assistance with Augmented Reality (AR), the first ever remote assistance service in the packaging industry to incorporate a smart headset with AR glasses; and MyBOBST, a personal portal for parts, order tracking, technical information, customer support, special offers and real-time machine data.

“As a first stage, we have established a range of solutions that help the converters to optimise connection and interoperability with other stakeholders in the value chain,” said Morisod. “New solutions will continue to become available as the platform constantly evolves, enabling our customers to continually adapt to the fast-changing environment. Customers who join us on the BOBST Connect journey will benefit from a deep understanding of the BOBST Connect microcosm, receive frequent functional updates and be able to influence our agile roadmap for the future with feedback.”

Some of the exciting solutions in the pipeline for 2021 include the introduction of recipe management in the pre-press stage for certain machines, and the introduction of equipment monitoring capabilities, performance management capabilities and quality control at the production stage. BOBST also plans to introduce the second generation of its popular remote assistance AR service in 2021.

“BOBST Connect will adapt to new operational needs, to the new capabilities of our equipment, and to evolving customer service needs, so we can maintain best in class solution and services to our customers,” said Morisod. “It is about building a connected digital environment that optimises the entire production workflow, resulting in greater efficiency, transparency, speed-to-market, rapid decision-making and less waste and mistakes. In a volatile environment, it helps to make our customers future-proof.”