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Derschlag continues success story with DigiFlexo power from BOBST

The investment in a new BOBST MASTER M6 Inline press is part of a large expansion at the German company’s site in Bad Berleburg, North Rhine-Westphalia. The nine-color UV flexo machine was chosen in expectation of ongoing growth in demand for flexible packaging and new sustainable materials.

A successful family-owned packaging manufacturer providing aluminium foil and plastic film products to the food, dairy, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries, Derschlag traces its roots back to 1957. The company was acquired in 1985 by Michael Scholz, and today it consists of two businesses: Derschlag GmbH & Co. KG Folienverarbeitung in Bad Berleburg and Derschlag Foliendruck GmbH & Co. KG in Lüdenscheid, in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The partnership with BOBST, which stretches back over a decade, continues as the company embarks on the next chapter in its long history. “We have worked with BOBST since 2011, because we trust their products and we know we can rely on their local support and service,” said Managing Partner Michael Scholz Jr., who joined the business at the same time. “As a manufacturer, BOBST is very experienced in different printing technologies and they always consider the customer’s requirements carefully when finding the right solution.”

Flexibility with best-in-class equipment

The headquarters in Bad Berleburg have seen considerable expansion over the past five years as the company’s UV flexo capabilities have been strengthened. The new BOBST MASTER M6 press was installed in 2020 along with additional die-cutting and converting machinery, while a brand-new production facility with more warehousing is also in progress.

“With our flexibility as a family-owned company, we can react faster to new customer requirements. Nevertheless, the investment in the latest state-of-the art equipment is of course necessary in order to keep up with growth and changing demands,” continued Mr. Scholz.

By the end of 2021, the two sites will cover a combined area over 8,000 square meters of factory facilities and warehousing. Around 60% of the output goes to export with printed aluminium foil and plastic films – supplied as rolls, die-cut lids, sealing lids or blanks – sent out to customers in more than 30 countries.

For the food industry, the foils and films can be used for cold or hot filling, sterilisation or pasteurisation to offer reliable protection of the product and ensure a long shelf life. In cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, Derschlag is known for its excellent portfolio of sealing and non-sealing die-cut lids and coated foils that protect the contents in many different types of containers and packs.

Addressing a wider range of substrates

As customer demands have changed more and more to short and mid-size orders, Derschlag looks for technology that will enable them to respond faster to requests for new designs or other changes. Environmental concerns are also having an impact on decision-making and the company is constantly developing new greener products and production methods.

“Recently, the customer focus has turned more to sustainable materials, and the challenge is to offer a solution that fulfils the same final application needs but with adjusted material compensation,” said Mr. Scholz. “We offer new packaging products that is better for the planet, such as recyclable polypropylene sealing lids for dairy and other food applications as an alternative to aluminium.”

To comfortably respond to these demands, the company chose the BOBST MASTER M6 UV Flexo press which has been designed for maximum flexibility in the production of food packaging applications. The press handles all types of substrates for labels, flexible packaging, or folding carton, and can be fitted with multiple printing and inline finishing processes, including screen and gravure printing. When configured for flexible packaging, unsupported films from 12-micron PET and 18-micron BOPP can be printed, as well as PVC shrink films, alu-foil, lami-tubes and light cartonboard up to 300 gsm.

“We did a lot of market research before making our final investment decision, but for our specific needs, we found that BOBST offered the best solution with regard to the technical possibilities,” said Mr. Scholz. “The MASTER M6 was the right choice, because of the reduced set-up time and the possibility to print a wider range of different substrates. The machine has also increased the process stability and it is very operator friendly.”

Automating and digitalizing for the future

As the most automated inline flexo press on the market, the MASTER M6 can be equipped with DigiFlexo registration and pressure adjustment and oneECG color management for non-stop production through a fully digitalized press operation. Job changeovers can be performed in less than one minute with only a few meters of waste for the ultimate in sustainable operation.

“The MASTER M6 sets a new benchmark for us and gives us extended capabilities to future-proof our business. To succeed in food packaging, you must put quality at the core of your relationship with your customers and that should be reflected in everything you do and in your investments too,” concluded Mr. Scholz.

“The high productivity and low running costs of the MASTER M6 will translate to a very competitive TCO for Derschlag,” said Maurizio Trecate, Technical sales director, Bobst Firenze. “With this investment they are embracing the future of flexible packaging where those who understand how to leverage machinery built with connectivity, digitalization, automation, and sustainability in mind will succeed.”