New printing press

Every year, the STI Group produces about 1.5 billion packaging units and 10 million square meters of self-adhesive labels at its Hungarian facility in Kecskemét – and demand is only expected to go up in the future. With an investment of about five million euros, the company has not only increased the capacity of its folding box facility but also boosted effectiveness and efficiency of production. The investment in a new Heidelberg Speedmaster XL printing press and a Bobst Expertcut die-cutter will benefit STI Group’s customers across Europe.

To mark the occasion, Andrea Wildies, Managing Director of the STI Group welcomed more than 120 customers to a workshop organised at the end of September together with Plant Director Endre Fabián and Sales Director Györgyi Kolozsvári. Print experts from Heidelberg and specialists from Bobst Group looked at the challenges and opportunities presented by industry 4.0. Factory tours of the facility gave visitors valuable insights into cutting-edge technology used in the production of folding boxes at the plant. With nearly 400 employees, the production facility is the largest folding box manufacturer in the CEE region.

“Investments to expand our capacity will help us keep up with the growing demand”, says Wildies. The high-performance Heidelberg Speedmaster XL is capable of an output of up to 18,000 printed sheets per hour. The 6-colour, 3b press with UV double coating has been operational since May, producing premium packaging. The Expertcut 106 LER comes from the latest generation of Bobst machines and will substantially boost the die-cutting capacity of our Hungarian plant. “One of the biggest strengths of the STI Group is its flexibility in serving its customers and its capability to create the best products even with high capacity utilisation and tight deadlines” says Wildies. “This is something we want to develop with such investments.”

The installation of the two machines required structural changes, which were supported by the Lean Management team. This also helped streamline the logistical process and increase efficiency.

“The capacity expansion in Kecskemét will primarily benefit our customers”, says Sales Director György Kolozsvári. Thanks to the new technology, we are now far more flexible with our planning and quicker with production. We have extremely high technology standards in terms of quality and reduced time-to-market in production.”

Apart from positive customer feedback, the many awards won at national and international competitions are further proof of the creativity and quality of the facility. The design team was recently nominated for five national packaging awards. A premium packaging produced at the Kecskemét facility was a winner in the food category at the Pro Carton Awards, the most prestigious awards for folding box production in Europe. “Our goal is to enable our customers to be successful with our products, and that is exactly what we were able to do with this packaging. Not only did it win over the Pro Carton judges, it also wowed shoppers at the POS”, says Wildies.