Bobst announces Digital Master label series

Bobst has built on the premise of its Master DM5 hybrid label press with a new Digital Master series of label presses available in 340mm and 510mm print widths, which puts a greater emphasis on the digital print unit than we have seen from Bobst up to now.

Bobst’s Digital Master series is available in 340mm and 510mm widths.

The new Digital Master series has a more modular approach and appears to have been conceived around the digital print unit with customers free to specify further inline flexo modules for printing, embellishment and cutting, as opposed to the DM5, which is primarily an M5 flexo press with a digital print unit added to it. The modular design should make it easier and therefore cheaper for Bobst to produce as the modules make for a reasonably standard manufacturing process while still giving customers a fair degree of choice as to which units they want. This approach means that the DM 340/510 can be ordered as a digital-only device and also that converters can upgrade it on site later as their requirements change. Patrick Graber, Bobst’s Strategic Marketing Manager, notes: “And when new technologies for these platforms are released, they can be retrofitted on site, adding even more value and protecting the investment.”

Naturally Bobst has turned to its Mouvent subsidiary to provide the digital print unit, which uses Mouvent’s standard clusters that are built around Dimatix Samba printheads. Essentially Mouvent buys in components from Dimatix and then assembles them together to produce an array, or cluster, complete with all the piping and electronics necessary, and each with a print width of 170mm. The DM340 will use two of these arrays, while the DM510 has three to make their respective print widths. The new series use Mouvent’s UV ink and can be set up with either four or six colours plus white. As with the DM5, the inkjet unit can print at 100mpm at 1200 dpi though this drops to 45mpm when printing with the white ink. There’s an automated maintenance device fitted to the Digital Printing Unit to minimise down time for cleaning and which should also lead to more consistent print quality. 

Flexo modules can be used for priming difficult substrates as well as for some printing, such as for large areas of white coverage, spot colours, or just for more cost effectively handling long runs with high-ink coverage. There’s a choice of embellishment options including varnishing, tactile and holographic effects, cold foil glue applied, UV lamination, and security printing. There are also fully automated semi-rotary die-cutting and rotary die-cutting units. The flexo units on their own can run at 200mpm.

Bobst says that each of the flexo units is ‘digitally automated’ which I believe means that it can be set up with two jobs so that as one finishes, the second can automatically switch in with very little time taken. As part of this, Bobst has added its AccuCheck quality control system for 100 percent inline inspection at full speed. This proven technology checks registration, quality, and colour consistency of digital and flexo print and all embellishments to ensure fault-free production.

The new press series can be set up with 1000 mm jumbo unwinders and rewinders with automated roll-lifting system to cut down on the number of roll changes. The press can be run from a  single interface, which can be connected to the Cloud and is open for MIS integration. Both the 340 and 510 models can be run by a single operator.

The option of a 510mm version is interesting, and unusual with an inkjet press though not unique. This can handle larger-sized labels, particularly useful in industrial and chemical markets, but can also be used for wraparounds, shrink sleeves, and other special applications as well as some packaging. It’s worth noting that Federico D’Annunzio, who at the time was Bobst’s program manager for Hybrid Printing, told me back in 2019 that the company could easily make a 510mm wide version if it felt there was enough market demand. This new model suggests that there is some interest in this width and that Bobst has found a cost-effective way to satisfy it.

Graber concluded: “With the Digital Master series, we want to solve our customers’ challenges as they try to overcome the lack of skilled workforce while moving to industrial productivity and longer run lengths with digital equipment; and to bring more agility and flexibility to the production floor.”

Clearly Bobst had planned to introduce these new presses at Label Expo but since that show has now been cancelled, Bobst along with many other suppliers is having to rethink how to start showing it off to potential customers. To that end the company is hosting two webinars on April 13 and 20, which you can register for here: https://www.bobst.com/DIGITAL-MASTER-WEBINAR. In the meantime, you can also find further details on the Digital Master series from bobst.com.


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