All-Round Check of the Packaging Process
With the Koch Packaging Competence Center (PCC), special machine manufacturer KOCH Pac-Systeme supports packaging manufacturers in converting or optimizing their packaging.
As a special machine manufacturer, KOCH Pac-Systeme has recognized the importance of providing customers with full support on the market, in addition to designing customized packaging machines and lines. The PCC is a pillar of this goal. “Our customers often come to us at a very early stage of their projects with individual requirements and concerns, and this has prompted us to put out feelers further afield,” explains Hartmut Diehl, Director Consumer Products, KOCH Pac-Systeme GmbH. The know-how of experts within the Uhlmann Group for the development of packaging solutions is made up of three core areas of competence: packaging material, packaging design as well as technology and packaging processes.
In the PCC, there is a special focus on sustainable packaging solutions – “from development to evaluation to implementation, because in all areas we can find more sustainable solutions. We have the competencies and know-how within the company and now want to make this available in bundled form in our Packaging Competence Center,” says Diehl.
Flexible Team of Specialists
Basically, says Diehl, the PCC is organized as a flexible team of specialists that is put together individually within the Uhlmann network depending on the task at hand. This team specifically takes care of the respective customer project – always in close coordination with the customer. Sometimes, existing customers come to order the same machine for the present product. “Here, too, based on our experience, we recommend considering possible adjustments in the type of packaging as well, and this is where we can give advice,” the expert explains. “Sometimes, however, it is enough to turn small adjusting screws, such as still being able to achieve savings with a lower material thickness and thus save material, money, and CO2. Successfully testing these adaptation recommendations with our customers and making them market-ready is our incentive for future-proof, individual, and sustainable packaging solutions,” Diehl continues.
Through material tests, resource-saving material use, and clever packaging designs, the special machine manufacturer helps to establish new and, above all, sustainable solutions on the market, he says. “For example, we support the conversion of PET plastic packaging with recycled or recyclable films. We test these for possible applications on our machines and evaluate a wide variety of materials, particularly regarding their environmental compatibility.”
Recently, the company has had an increasing number of inquiries from existing customers with requests to show them new ways of best protecting their products, including appealing, sustainable design, and to accompany them in the process, detached from mechanical engineering. “This development makes us extremely positive, because we see ourselves as a co-designer of the packaging world, as a competent contact in the industry, and we look forward to breaking a lot of new ground with our customers.”
The KOCH Packaging Competence Center takes a holistic approach to the packaging process. The test center is set up like a laboratory, where people can test different stages of development in workshop units. “Impulse workshops, sustainability checks, iterative packaging design, sampling from a quantity of one, digital solutions, individual service packages, and much more are carried out by our experts at the PCC in collaboration with customers to find the best, customized packaging solutions.” In addition, he says, all systems are customized.
KOCH Pac-Systeme, a special machinery company based in Pfalzgrafenweiler, currently employs around 450 people in the development and production of special machinery in the packaging sector. After being founded in 1969, KOCH became part of the Uhlmann Group in 2006. The companies of the Uhlmann Group offer a wide range of high-tech packaging machines, services, and digital solutions for the pharmaceutical, healthcare, consumer goods, food, and agricultural markets. Aditionally, Cremer Specialmaschine, Wonder Packaging, and Axito belong to the Uhlmann Group.