While the demand for corrugated boxes has come down from the dizzying heights seen during the global pandemic, the sector is still experiencing healthy growth, particularly in boxes for online shopping purposes. According to the latest forecast from market analysts Smithers, the value of the e-commerce segment is expected to exceed $100 billion by 2028, as a result of ‘sustained rapid growth’.
Oğuz Ambalaj in Turkey is responding to this demand by choosing its supplier partners carefully and putting in place cutting-edge production equipment. This philosophy allows the company to deliver on its promise to offer experience, expertise, quality, and innovation with a keen customer focus. Following its first investment with BOBST in 2020, when an EXPERTCUT 1.6 PR die-cutter with BREAKER 2 FLAT TRACK separator was purchased, Oğuz decided less than two years later to augment its capabilities with a high-end flexo folder gluer. The choice fell on a BOBST FFG 8.20 BS EXPERT line with six printing units, RAPIDSET system, patented SMART PLATE MOUNTING, and optional BOTTOM SCORING UNIT.
“We first chose to partner with BOBST a couple of years ago based on the high quality of the machines, and we quickly benefitted from the excellent performance of the EXPERTCUT 1.6 PR die-cutter, which has supported significant growth since then,” said Chairman H. Oğuz Başibüyük. “Soon after, our flexo folder gluer line required an upgrade, and we did not hesitate to turn to BOBST again to find a replacement. We bought the new BOBST the FFG 8.20 BS EXPERT to support growth, increase capacity, and update the existing machine. We chose it for its higher speed, larger capacity, and the different format. As a result, we now enjoy its high performance and fantastic quality, which I’m very pleased to say has exceeded our expectations.”
Innovative technology eases challenges
Housed since 1993 in modern manufacturing facilities in Kıraç-Esenyurt, on the western outskirts of Istanbul, Oğuz Ambalaj was originally founded in 1982. Helping a wide range of customers bring their corrugated box designs to life, the company’s main domestic market lies in the Marmara region in northwest Turkey, and 30% of their production is exported. There are 260 staff employed on the manufacturing side plus another 50 working in sales and office administration, etc.
Following the modernization in 2001 of its corrugated line, the company has continually expanded its production capacity, meaning it can now handle 120 million sqm of board annually. The state-of-the-art factory contains a large machine park that includes five printing and converting machines, two flatbed die-cutters, four folder-gluers, and two stitching machines.
With this impressive inventory and a host of certifications under its belt, including ISO 9001, 14001, BRC Packaging, and FSC® C148909, Oğuz Ambalaj is a leader in the market. However, the team is struggling to find skilled staff, so they look to technology innovation to help alleviate this problem.
“Like everyone else in manufacturing industries, we have been hit by labor shortages that have negatively affected our production, so we consciously set out to invest in new equipment with higher levels of automation,” said H. Oğuz Başibüyük. “The highly automated BOBST FFG line has taken over more of the work with ultra-quick setups and changeovers, plus the whole process is so intuitive and easy to follow. At the same time, the quality is guaranteed and there is less waste created, so we are experiencing a real uplift in productivity.”
The company is also investing in operator training to maximize the potential of the new FFG. “Since the new machine is more electronic than our existing machines, our maintenance team needs to improve their skills with BOBST training services which we have purchased.”
Quality boxes at the highest speed
The step up from the older production line has also allowed Oğuz Ambalaj to better meet increased demands for shorter runs and decreasing product dimensions. With set up times of just one to two minutes and fast speed of up to 22,000 boxes/hour, the BOBST FFG 8.20 BS EXPERT has significantly upgraded corrugated production for the Turkish company, which is running a three-shift operation on the machine every day.
The ultra-quick setups are enabled by a collection of advanced automation features that allow order changeovers in idle time with BOBST RAPIDSET system, quick mounting of the printing dies with patented SMART PLATE MOUNTING technology, and quick change of die-cutting formes thanks to the unique POSILOCK® system. The machine also features a highly automated slotter with four pairs of shafts and automated lap cutting with independent drive and enjoys no-crush feeding curtesy of the DFB (Direct Feed Belt) Feeder, which handles even lightweight board with precision and ease.
In addition, Oğuz Ambalaj chose to specify the new BOBST FFG with the optional BOTTOM SCORING UNIT (BSU) for accurate bottom scoring after printing. Innovative ergonomics coupled with the unique MPC4 man-machine interface and MMPC (Maintenance Management & Productivity Control) give the company full machine control and supply live production data.
Mr. Başibüyük praised the robust mechanical construction of the machine, especially the folding and counter ejector sections, then added, “With its high speeds and larger capacity, our BOBST FFG 8.20 BS EXPERT delivers exceptional performance even when producing complex constructions such as shelf-ready packaging. We also marvel at the consistency and the perfect box geometry ensured by the BSU, a great feature that really gives us an edge in the market. And finally, I need to mention the ease of use that meant our operators got to grips with the new workflow very quickly.”
In conclusion, while the partnership with BOBST may only be a few years old, it is clear from the testimonials that the Oğuz Ambalaj team is more than satisfied with the investments. Mr. Başibüyük stated, “In BOBST we have found our ideal supplier partner with the most advanced machines, which perfectly aligns with our requirements as we enter the next stage of our growth journey. The BOBST FFG 8.20 BS EXPERT gives us a distinct competitive advantage that will support our expansion strategy and help us navigate any potential market obstacles.”