From left to right: Zervos Anastasios, Moutsiounas Athanasios, Eginoglou Iordanis, Gianni Nebbia, Product Training Specialist (BOBST employee), Tikpasanoudis Diogenis, Tsiontsis Vasileios and Giannitselis Manos


A. Hatzopoulos S.A. invests in cold seal gravure application training with BOBST

In addition to its ongoing staff training programme, A. Hatzopoulos S.A. decided to offer an advanced BOBST course on cold seal gravure application to its operators. This high-level training provides a deeper understanding of the specialised process, ensuring the flexible packaging supplier can fully maximise efficiencies and productivity while delivering the best quality to its brand owner clients.

Based in Thessaloniki, Greece, A. Hatzopoulos S.A. is a premier provider of high-end flexible packaging solutions and services, supplied to leading brand owners across 33 countries. Its history dates to 1931 when Athanasios Hatzopoulos first set up a business making paper bags. Today, the Greek company is one of the fastest-growing packaging converters in Europe with 78% of sales going to export. Posting an annual turnover that exceeds €115 million, it employs more than 440 people.

Staying ahead of the competition

Focused on helping its clients increase the shelf-life and enhance the appeal of their products, A. Hatzopoulos S.A. relies heavily on BOBST technology and services to stay ahead of the competition. This includes continuous training from BOBST to develop the knowledge, skills and experience of its operators and maintenance staff. A recent advanced training course focused on cold-seal gravure application, a technology that requires a high level of skill to master successfully.

“Training is an integral part of our employee development programme, ensuring that everyone, from the least to the most experienced, remains up-to-date with the latest innovations and technology updates. This is highly important for Hatzopoulos, as we are committed to delivering the best quality and service to our customers,” stated Plant Manager Ioannis Giannakopoulos.

Maximising cold seal capabilities

Having entered the flexible packaging market in the early 1980s, A. Hatzopoulos S.A. has over the years followed a strategic expansion plan based on cutting-edge technology and equipment. At the heart of today’s modern operation in Kalohori, Thessaloniki, stand three BOBST gravure lines – the first one installed in 2008 – complemented by two BOBST tandem laminators. This state-of-the-art equipment allows the company to produce a wide range of complex flexible packaging structures and advanced applications.

Cold seal is used to great advantage by A. Hatzopoulos S.A. to deliver high-quality packaging to producers of food products, such as chocolate bars and other types of snack bars, baked goods, confection, ice creams, pet food treats, and more. The self-sealing technology uses a water-based cohesive that requires only pressure to adhere. Among the main benefits, cold sealing allows packaging lines to run much faster compared to heat-seal applications.

To maximise the value of this capability, the Hatzopoulos production team was given comprehensive on-site training in cold seal technology by BOBST experts over two days. This covered every aspect of cold seal application, from the basic concept, machine safety, preparation and setup, to in-register application and print testing. Sample evaluation and defect resolution were also investigated in detail, before discussing the importance of using correct cleaning procedures.

Building confidence through training

The training was well-received by the operators, bringing more motivation and positivity to the team. In terms of increased productivity and quality, the company is in the process of collecting data and expects to quantify major benefits very soon.

“There is a general feeling that the operators have more confidence now. They have adopted new, better ways to complete certain processes and understand the importance of small details regarding machine settings. Also, having the latest post-training information on cold seal gravure application technology, we are now implementing further process improvements,” said Mr. Giannakopoulos.

In addition to the advanced training on cold seal, the maintenance team received four days of training in electrical maintenance. This particular course ensures that the staff are capable of keeping both presses and laminators in perfect condition at all times, thereby increasing machine availability, enhancing quality, improving productivity, and extending the lifespan of the equipment. Finally, a series of online sessions is providing training for the company’s most recently employed operators.

Continued training for the future

A. Hatzopoulos S.A.’s proactive approach to employee development, coupled with its long-standing collaboration with BOBST, helps to maintain its position as a leading provider of high-end flexible packaging solutions. The shared learning path developed with BOBST allows its operators to utilize the machines at their best.

Mr Giannakopoulos concluded, “BOBST is a true partner for us in terms of meeting high-quality standards as well as providing excellent support, service and training. We truly value our positive, mutually beneficial relationship and effective communication. Naturally, we plan to schedule more training with BOBST to continue on our shared learning path and to ensure the sustained growth of A. Hatzopoulos S.A.”

BOBST Product Training Manager Fabio Biondi commented, “At BOBST, we can deliver tailor-made training to our customers thanks to the huge expertise and educational skills of our experts. Furthermore, BOBST has now launched a new Training Academy to leverage the full knowledge and exceptional competencies of our field service technicians, as well as our customers.”

Caption: From left to right: Zervos Anastasios, Moutsiounas Athanasios, Eginoglou Iordanis, Gianni Nebbia, Product Training Specialist (BOBST employee), Tikpasanoudis Diogenis, Tsiontsis Vasileios and Giannitselis Manos

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