Prealpi srl is one of the first customers to leverage the power of the new ACCUCHECK Recipe Management within the BOBST CONNECT platform. The Italian converter is successfully using this new function to improve setup times and quality control on a Bobst EXPERTFOLD 80 folder-gluer for folding carton production.
As part of its vision for the future of packaging production, Bobst is developing new opportunities in connectivity and automation to enable customers to increase productivity, improve quality, and reduce waste. Prealpi srl, which is based in Castiglione Olona, Varese, north-west of Milan, already decided to fully automate their blank quality checks with Accucheck. This BOBST inline quality control system inspects every single blank according to specific client criteria, to ensure only zero-fault boxes are delivered.
So far, operators had to upload the reference pdf of the blank to be checked into the Accucheck, before defining the control areas, criteria and levels via the HMI. However, Bobst has now introduced new digital remote capabilities with the Accucheck Recipe Management function which is part of the Bobst Connect platform. It allows users to create quality control recipes for folding carton packaging remotely and then send them directly to any Accucheck on the production floor.
Prealpi was quick to sign up as the Beta site for testing this innovative technology. After extending the capabilities of their machine control platform, they were ready to use the new function on their Expertfold 80. The company soon experienced a significant change in its daily operation. “Using the Accucheck Recipe Management function has greatly improved the setup phase on the Accucheck on our Expertfold 80. The option to prepare the recipe remotely, and in advance, has demonstrated great advantages in terms of both time savings and better product quality,” explained Armando Zanini, CEO.
Carton and Corrugated
With a wide range of printing and converting capabilities in house, Prealpi serves customers in the food and beverage, cosmetics, hair and beauty, pharmaceutical, healthcare, textiles, and electronics sectors with high quality folding carton and corrugated packaging, beautiful gift boxes, and many types of in-store floor and counter displays.
The company’s large facility consists of two production units and a separate warehouse, along with a research and design department, which works with customers to produce packaging prototypes. The larger 3,000 sqm unit is dedicated to the production of packaging, displays and stands made of folding carton or corrugated board, while another 2,500 sqm unit houses the production of folding carton boxes and blanks.
Commenting on his experience with the new function, Alberto Azzarri, Production Manager, said, “Changeover times have been shortened as the machine operator no longer needs to set the job recipe from scratch, but simply calls up a product code or item name from the Accucheck menu. The system retrieves the reference pdf from the network, including the quality criteria which were defined with the various offices. Once the upload is complete, the operator just needs to let Accucheck read the number of blanks required for the setup before starting the production. This is a real time saver, compared to uploading the PDF manually with a USB stick before entering the data into the system on the machine.”
Indeed, all the Accucheck job recipes and reports, with job specifications and quality check data, are online and can now be retrieved from anywhere, anytime. Job recipes for the Accucheck can now be prepared independently from the schedule of the production floor. The new function also helped to improve the control quality. The prepress, quality control, and production department can each give their input on what should be checked and how. This means that more information can be gathered and integrated into the recipe.
Zanini said, “It is no longer the machine operators who enter the parameters at their own discretion. Everything is prepared in advance, using the experience and know-how of different people within the production workflow. All this has led to an optimisation of the line’s operation and performance, which can be verified thanks to the real-time display on the dashboard and production graphs showing the progress of the job.”
He added, “In conclusion, Prealpi can say that the new Recipe Management function is an excellent service for improving setup times and making the Accucheck quality control system even more customised and efficient.”