Bobst Group has revealed an reorganization which brings together nearly all the former converting operations of Metso with the Schiavi press building operation in its new ‘Business Area Flexible Materials’ (BAFM). The integration announcement comes seven weeks after completion of the acquisition of what was Valmet Converting.

Says head of BAFM Claude Currat: “The well established world leading brand names of Atlas, General, Midi, Titan and Rotomec have now joined Schiavi in creating one of the world’s largest manufacturing groups of converting equipment”. Several world premieres are planned for drupa, he hinted.

The organization of BAFM is based on five product lines at five product sites and answers questions on how Rotomec and Schiavi were going to sit together within the Bobst group.

The flexo printing line will have the brand Schiavi and will be based in Piacenza, Italy. All gravure printing (entry level, short run and high performance presses) is based at Rotomec in San Giorgio Monferrato, Italy, he revealed. It will be sold initially under the Rotomec-Schiavi brand. The vacuum coating line will be operated under the General brand at Heywood, UK, and the coating and laminating line jointly by Rotomec (coating) and Schiavi (laminating).

The fifth line – slitting and rewinding – is based in the UK. The Atlas brand at Bedford will account for plastics film, paper and labelstock equipment up to 10m wide. Midi, also at Bedford, is the brand for aluminium foil slitters and Titan, the brand for flexible packaging converters, is based at Biggleswade and will also include the entry level equipment formerly made by Schiavi (Easy Slit).

“The market for equipment is global with the biggest development potential being Eastern Europe, Russia, South America and Asia. Having manufacturing capability in lower cost countries is becoming a necessity,” stressed Claude Currat. “We currently manufacture in India, South America and China.” Last year an entry level gravure press was built in China, and we are building gravure winders and unwinders in India. This trend is likely to continue.”

He told Converting Today the business is looking to produce an entry level lamination machine and considering transferring production of entry level slitter rewinders to low cost areas. “Basically, once we decide to manufacture a product in a low cost area, that plant takes responsibility for worldwide needs. There is no compromise on quality and technology,” he added.

Paper and board sheeters (formerly Valmet) have been integrated into the Bobst Folding Carton business area under the name of Apollo sheeters. Bobst’s drupa stand is A04 in hall 10.


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