Prosecco. An instantly recognizable product name, associated with good times and happy memories. But the delivery of this incredibly successful sparkling wine requires high quality corrugated packaging – and that’s where DS Smith’s factory in Rosà, Northern Italy, comes in. DS Smith is a leading provider of consumer packaging with emphasis on state-of-the art packaging design. It has over 200 manufacturing sites in 34 countries across Europe, but its factory in Rosà is the one situated nearest to Valdobbiadene, one of the main wine-growing regions for prosecco. For Alessandro Cebin, general manager of DS Smith’s Rosà factory, being able to supply high quality corrugated packaging in a timely manner for his prosecco-selling clients, as well as the many other independent and multinational companies in food and drink they serve, is imperative.

Our clients distribute their products all over the country, and all over the world”, said Cebin. “They need high quantities of reliable, attractive, consistent corrugated packaging. They are rightly demanding in this context, requiring highly sophisticated graphics – we have to succeed at producing a product that meets their expectations.

FFG924 – saving time and giving greater flexibility

To help meet those expectations, the Rosà factory recently invested in FFG924 NT RS RapidSet, a BOBST flexo-folder-gluer. FFG924 NT RS is the new state-of-the-art converting machine to achieve – in one pass – first-class printing, excellent die-cutting and accurate folding, and is a step ahead in terms of flexibility. It is also associated with shorter set-up times and fewer stoppages, with easy change and cleaning of the anilox rollers. This is the latest BOBST flexo-folder-gluer purchased by the DS Smith Rosà factory after FFG 618, FFG 924 and FFG 1632 NT.

This new machine is already responsible for more than 20% of our entire production and gives us a lot of benefits”, said Cebin. “We used to manage certain aspects of the process with multiple steps – now everything is managed in one single coherent line. So we are saving time, have an optimized production process and we can meet the commercial demands with flexibility and, as a result, we can be more flexible than before with our deliveries.”

This is good news both for DS Smith and its customers. Indeed, Cebin has already heard positive feedback from his customers due to the new line.

They have commented on the consistency of product repeatability agreed in the design phase, which makes the graphic result excellent in terms of print register and chromaticity of the colors, as well as the machinability of the packaging that they possess”, he said.

Impressive features throughout the line

Assembling of the machine began in March 2017 and it went into full-time production by May the same year. The staff at DS Smith were receptive to the new machine and BOBST sent experts to the factory to help oversee training and implementation. But even then, “this machine still has secrets to be discovered”, said Cebin. “It is such an advanced machine, with a lot of capacities. It is already making such a noticeable difference.

The production level of the machine can even reach around 140,000 square meters of corrugated board per day. In terms of the features that particularly appeal, Cebin highlighted the automation of this machine and control of the register. This is a big help, he says, because it has computer management processes connected with viewing that the operator can see autonomously. Cebin also highlighted the die-cutter element as one of the most important and impressive features of the machine, including the multifold functionality that the machine provides.

It is precise, constant, and simple to manage, because we can control the consumption of polyurethane cut lengths from the dimensional die cutter anvil simply and functionally”, he said. “And it is obviously a durable element, much more resistant than previous models.

The latest milestone in an excellent ongoing partnership

BOBST and DS Smith have a partnership that dates back nearly 20 years. Both companies focus on quality of product and the highest customer service. Cebin highlights BOBST’s technological development and design capabilities among its greatest strengths, and FFG924 is one of the latest examples of this technical know-how. DSS Italia has already decided to purchase two more FFG924s from BOBST and these are currently in the implementation phase. And what about the future? Cebin has stated that he would like to improve setup times and increase production even further.

It is clear that now that we do a little of everything to complete the production cycle, and we should do less of the less important things and more of the important things. This gives us great possibilities, commercially speaking.

One potential option could be the THQ FlexoCloud, a fixed color palette solution for corrugated board post print applications. This technology – initially developed by Graphilabel, a specialist in graphic solutions for narrow web, security and anti-counterfeit solutions, and adapted by BOBST – is considered a quantum quality shift in post-print flexo. THQ FlexoCloud technology is available on a wide range of new BOBST post print flexo machines and enables amazing results.

The THQ is one of the things that we are analyzing for commercial opportunities, to understand whether this would lead to even greater opportunities” said Cebin. “It is certainly something to consider.

In the meantime, Cebin and his team will continue to produce high quality corrugated board for his clients, enabling them to deliver their products – including prosecco! – all around the world.