Schwäbisch Hall. The world of packaging machinery manufacturers has a center – located in the middle of the Schwäbisch Hall district (Southern Germany). In this emerged industrial structure, more than 40 packaging machinery manufacturers, including numerous leaders in the world market, have allied in the “Packaging Valley Germany e.V.” association. This association results in a highly efficient purchasing core, especially to the advantage of international customers – who will find leading packaging solutions within a small geographic area.
For about 20 years, the manufacturers of packaging machines in the Schwäbisch Hall district have enjoyed a tremendously fast development: Today, more than 7,000 people work in that region within this branch of industry. The export share of the packaging machine manufacturers exceeds the 50% mark in most cases, United States and all of Europe are important trading areas – now, they are joined by the emerging markets in South America and Asia. One of the targeted concerns of the newly established Packaging Valley Germany association is to draw the attention to this unique concentration and competence: Potential and existing customers can acquaint themselves in a very small geographical area with leading packaging solutions, through which long journeys can become very informative and efficient.
The newly established joint platform is a major step in opening further advantages for the member companies. Specialized and further education, in addition to trade fairs and congress events are subjects that the association will be taking care of. Also, the joint personnel recruitment as well as the exchange of experience in the fields of science and research are intended to lead to substantial synergy effects for all parties without having to give up the companies independence.
The brand name Packaging Valley Germany represents the concentrated packaging competence of the region and will now be globally communicated. In the meantime, the first activities have been initiated, an Internet platform is already in the process of being established. Other actions, such as the elaboration of a trademark, the editing of brochures and the investment in public relations are going to follow before long. In addition, networks with other organizations are to be formed, events, such as conferences, participation in trade fairs, work groups and workshops, will be organized, and university marketing pursued.
At its foundation meeting, the association had as many as 15 members, representing leading packaging solutions for nearly every industry, such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food, beverages, technical and nonwoven products, etc. It is more than probable that other companies will join as well.
Hans Bühler, entrepreneur from Schwäbisch Hall and Managing Partner of the Optima Packaging Group GmbH, has been elected as its President. His Deputy is Bernd Hansen from the Hansen Group in Sulzbach-Laufen. Further board members are the entrepreneurs Gerhard Schubert, from Schubert Manufacturing company in Crailsheim, and Elke Bader from the Willy Bader GmbH, Bader Packaging Solutions from Braunsbach, as well as the Treasurer Kurt Engel, Managing Director of the Technologiezentrum in Schwäbisch Hall.
The foundation members include pioneers in the field of packaging technology and young, ambitious companies considered leaders in their fields. They include among others the inventor of the Pick and Place robot packaging technology (Gerhard Schubert GmbH), the Blow-Fill-Seal technology (rommelag®-Kunststoff-maschinen Vertriebsgesellschaft GmbH), the full automation of paper hygiene product packaging (Optima Group) or the quick fastening for sorting bowls (E+K Sortiersysteme GmbH), to mention a few.
Prof. Dr. Hermann Simon “discovered” the Packaging Valley already before its “official” foundation. In his book, “Hidden Champions des 21. Jahrhunderts”, he refers to packaging entrepreneurs of the region, analyzing their characteristics and designating them as other “Hidden Champions” being exemplary for successful business management. Simon is an author and Managing Partner of the international consulting firm Kucher & Partners and is considered one of the most powerful figures in the German economy.
Executive committee of Packaging Valley Germany e.V. (left to right.): Deputy Bernd Hansen (Hansen Gruppe), board member Elke Bader (Willy Bader GmbH), Bader Packaging Solutions), president Hans Bühler (Optima Packaging Group GmbH), treasurer Kurt Engel (Geschäftsführer Technologiezentrum Schwäbisch Hall) and board member Gerhard Schubert (Gerhard Schubert GmbH).
OPTIMA packaging group GmbH
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