Packaging Technology

Gerald Schubert in a Chat on the Upcoming Interpack 2014

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PROCESS: Looking at the shop floor, it would appear that you are at your limits in terms of the number of orders you can cope with.

Schubert: Yes, indeed we are, although it is a nice problem to have. But we are noticing that we are running the risk of losing orders due to longer delivery times. We do not need longer than five months from placement of order to delivery because of our high level of standardization, provided that we can start work on the order straight away, but if we have capacity issues, as we do right now, a queue can easily develop. Then five months can quickly turn into eight or nine months. And that is prohibitive for some customers.

PROCESS: What are the implications of this?

Schubert: We didn’t actually want to start building the new assembly hall until the fall. Now we are bringing it forward and work has already started. That’s why we are confident we will be able to put the additional assembly facilities into operation as early as this summer.

PROCESS: Wouldn’t it also be possible to buy in components?

Schubert: That’s not an option as far as we are concerned. We are mechanical engineers who do our own developing and building. We develop our own robots and our own control systems and we do our own image analysis. This allows us to be independent of other suppliers and to avoid problems at various interfaces. Our customers also benefit from the depth of in–house production. If a customer has a problem, we send round a mechanic who knows everything about the entire machine and all its modules.

PROCESS: But this must also mean that you spend a great deal of money on development.

Schubert: Yes, our annual development budget is almost ten million euro. A large amount of it goes on the further development and refinement of existing system components. We also spend some money on adding new system components to our product range, such as the gravimetric filling station. Development is one of our strengths — we really enjoy it.