Excellence in the Baltics

Left to right: Giedrius Valdemaras (Technology and Project Management Director), Modestas Skierus (Technical Director) and Otonas Valiušis (Managing Director).

One of the Baltics’s largest paper and pulp manufacturers, Grigeo Group has relied on BOBST technology for over 45 years. The company continues to invest heavily with Bobst as part of its strategic plan for the long-term future of its corrugated packaging production operation.

A founding member of the Lithuanian paper industry tracing its roots back to 1823, the Grigeo AB Group of Companies manufactures a vast array of tissue paper, containerboard and honeycomb board, corrugated, and fibreboard products. The Group consists of Grigeo AB, Grigeo Packaging UAB, Grigeo Klaipèda AB, Grigeo Baltwood UAB, Grigeo Recycling UAB – all located in Lithuania, along with Mean Pak AT, in Ukraine.

Over the past decade, a sharp increase in investment has laid the foundation for advancing and expanding the corrugated specialist division, Grigeo Packaging. In 2012, a new industrial facility with new corrugator and converting lines were put into production to accelerate output. Since 2016, four Bobst machines have been bought to ensure the high quality of the products and add value for customers. As a result of these investments, the company has grown significantly as witnessed by the huge increase in production volume, which went up by more than 15 times between 2009 and 2021.

“Our first Bobst machines, which have served us well for several decades, are still going strong, so when we embarked on this investment program, we knew where to turn,” said Otonas Valiušis, Managing Director (who joined the company in 2005). “We always need efficient machines with the highest productivity and quality, and we chose Bobst because they are a trusted supplier and their machinery is regarded as some of the best in the industry.”

Moving to inline production

The first step in the ambitious plan was to invest in a Bobst FFG DISCOVERY 8.20 in 2016, which was installed to expand the application range. This was supported by a new automatic supply of sheets, box binding, and semi-automated palletising equipment to ensure maximum production efficiency.

“The Discovery 8.20 has more than lived up to our expectation both by almost doubling our capacity and by allowing us to add new solutions to our product line to answer market demands,” stated Modestas Skierus, Technical Director (who joined the company with a degree in mechanical engineering in 2012).

In 2018, Grigeo Packaging added an EXPERTCUT 1.6 PR die-cutter and a FLEXO 160-2 VISION in-line press to further grow the business with high quality packaging. Then just last year, a BREAKER 2 Flat Track blank separator for automatically forming complex layers ready for palletisation was added to the equation to secure the final product quality.

The Expertcut 1.6 PR delivers optimum accuracy, consistency and high productivity with changeovers of less than eight minutes. Grigeo specified the machine with optional POWER REGISTER for integrated perfect print-to-cut sheet registration, a feature that ensures waste is kept very low. The die-cutter runs in line with the Flexo 160-VISION which is a cost-effective and versatile post-print machine for producing multiple types of corrugated packaging very easily.

Together, the two machines offer automated single pass box production, a set up that replaced two separate operations to save vast amounts of time in production. Skierus said, “We exchanged two older pieces of equipment with this inline configuration, and as a result we have a highly efficient, high quality box production line in our factory. This has given us a whole new level of output which is supporting our growth strategy and it will help secure our position as one of the leading packaging producers in the country.”

Staying competitive

As the corrugated market keeps growing with demands for shorter lead times, higher quality boxes and less waste increasing, packaging producers must weigh up their options and invest wisely to stay ahead of the game.

To support the investments, the Lithuanian packaging company has signed up to a Bobst flexible ‘Pick&Pay’ parts storage system for easy retrieval of spare and worn parts, which comes with regular refills, making parts available around the clock if needed. In addition, further training for operators and maintenance staff in the form of technical coaching days is ensuring operations remain at optimum level.

“We have spent more than €25m since 2008 on the expansion of our production capacity, and on storage and office space,” concluded Giedrius Valdemaras, Director of Technology and Project Management (who has been with Grigeo for nearly 18 years). “Our Bobst machines have enabled us to make a high increase in production capacity, so we can respond faster to our customers with just-in-time delivery of the best quality boxes. With Bobst we get the whole package, so to speak – highly efficient machines and good quality, as well as excellent support, service and quality training.”

Marco Lideo, Head of the DSF-LLAM product line, commented, “The Grigeo success story is a great example of the many long-lasting partnerships that Bobst has forged, and of how Bobst machines are quietly working away, in so many cases for decades, all over the world. Longevity, coupled with high quality, is the differentiator for both our companies and it is the longevity of the Bobst machines that will ensure Grigeo’s future as the leader in their market.”

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