A Global Player from the Unterallgäu Region in Germany
3/17/2023 Industry Machinery Change Article

A Global Player from the Unterallgäu Region in Germany

From a two-man operation to a multinational corporation: Multivac’'s success story begins in 1961 in a garage in Böhen.

MULTIVAC has been presenting itself in a new corporate design on its homepage since March 2023. In the coming months, the new corporate group image will then also be visible in other presentations. MULTIVAC has been presenting itself in a new corporate design.

A good 60 years after Sepp Haggenmüller developed the first vacuum chamber machine in his parents’ garage in Böhen with his childhood friend Artur Vetter, the company he founded, Multivac, is a global player in packaging machine manufacturing. In 2021, the group of companies, consisting of 84 sales and service companies spread around the world, employed around 7,000 people and reported consolidated sales of 1.37 billion euros.
The development from a two-man operation to a multinational group alone is remarkable. The development over the past decade has been breathtaking: what previously took a good 50 years -– employing over 3100 people and generating sales of around 560 million euros -– has been achieved a second time within eleven years since 2010, with the number of employees and sales more than doubling.

The main plant in Wolfertschwenden is the nucleus of today’'s globally active Multivac Group. The parent company has been based here since 1970, the same year in which the first thermoforming packaging machine based on a modular design principle was launched. Further milestones were marked in 1984 with the development of the semi-automatic Espace traysealer, with which Multivac entered the market for tray packaging solutions, in 1992 with the first sale of a thermoforming packaging machine made of stainless steel, and in 2007 with the premiere of Multivac Hygienic DesignTM: Multivac presented its R535 thermoforming packaging machine, which was consistently designed to meet market and legal requirements for hygienic design.

Transformation into a provider of holistic solutions

Increasing market demand for system solutions, automation, and digitization have been the significant changes in the industry over the past 10 to 20 years, says Christian Traumann, CEO and management spokesman. In this respect, he says, Multivac, long-standing exhibitor at FACHPACK, pursued a strategy early on of evolving from a pure machine builder to a provider of holistic solutions. Today, packaging lines are offered from a single source, from processing, portioning, and cutting to end-of-line.
The integration of digital solutions is an important factor here: "Our offering includes a range of digital services, so-called smart services, which ensure maximum productivity and simple operation of our lines," explains Traumann. One example was the introduction of the RX 4.0 thermoforming packaging machine, in 2017, the sensor technology of which optimizes processes and is designed for seamless connection to higher-level systems.

Investment in research & development

“Automation, digitization, and sustainability play a key role in our innovation management,” says Traumann. "In this context, we invest above average in research and development: more than 600 engineers worldwide are working on new concepts for machines and packaging." Solutions that are tailored to individual customer requirements in the company's training centers to achieve maximum efficiency.
At the beginning of 2013, the Training & Innovation Center (TIC) was opened at the headquarters in Wolfertschwenden, followed by the Training and Application Center (TAC) for slicing and automation there in 2021. There, customers can receive competent and manufacturer-independent advice on all packaging material and application issues, and packaging ideas are available as prototypes or small series. Training programs that can be individually tailored to customer requirements are also part of the company’s range.

Ongoing adaptation of the product portfolio

Traumann lists the Ukraine war with its impact on energy and raw material costs, the associated inflation and geopolitical changes as the company's greatest current challenges; these will continue to occupy Multivac for the foreseeable future. But in Wolfertschwenden, the company is aware of the tasks to be mastered: "In general, we are operating in a very dynamic market environment worldwide, which requires us to adapt and expand our product portfolio accordingly in order to offer innovative solutions and promising solutions for new markets."