The Spanish company, Bagel Systems, is one of the world’s leading suppliers of film-laminating machines. Together with the co-founder and managing director, Jordi Marti, four managers founded the firm. They were certain that—if the industry would open up more to innovation and automation—thermal lamination still had a promising future.
Market entry and first steps
Entering the market in 2011 was a gamble. Bagel Systems was entering a competitive sector, dominated by a few well-established players. They had only limited resources and little business experience. But they had something else going for them: innovative technology for thermal lamination and an intuitive sense for existing gaps in a saturated market.
They started out as a joint venture company with the German firm Ernst Nagel GmbH, which also inspired the company’s name, Bagel Systems. The long-term commitment put Bagel Systems in a position to reach high-levels of automation, quality, and reliability. Since 2018, the company has stood on its own two feet. It quickly acquired its first major customers in Italy, France, and Belgium, who recognized Bagel Systems’ potential.
Getting established in a demanding market
Printing and packaging are increasingly focused on environmentally-sustainable products. Thermal lamination, however, remains a niche with real potential. Many printers see it as a valuable addition to their business. The technology for such uses as books-on-demand, catalogues, packaging, and apparel labels is in high demand. Bagel Systems focuses on medium-sized industrial systems.
Within just a few years, the company has also developed a high level of expertise in printing technology. Bagel Systems invested in the research and development of technologies for the consistent application of heat as well as for equipment that allows operators to set processing parameters quickly and intuitively. With hundreds of tests, they defined the parameters for temperature and pressure that guarantee superior results for all settings. They replaced conventional rollers with cylinders filled with diathermic oil; they also developed and put into use special, self-regulating pressure systems.
Networked, intuitive, and easy to maintain – a look at the future
Industry 4.0 is a key concern for Bagel Systems. For diagnostics and software upgrades, technicians can already connect to more than 200 machines installed worldwide. In the near future, Bagel Systems will also lay the groundwork for preventive maintenance, remote control, and unmanned production.
Strictly speaking, with only ten employees, Bagel Systems is not a big company. This makes it all the more impressive that every year the firm devotes extensive resources and countless hours of development toward meeting the needs of its new customers.
When it comes to competition with Asian suppliers, Bagel Systems has an important asset: its team of engineers and technicians recruited from the best universities and technical institutes in Catalonia. Thinking like innovators, not imitators—that’s the secret behind Bagel Systems’ success.