Packaging Technology

Gerald Schubert in a Chat on the Upcoming Interpack 2014

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PROCESS: At the end of the day, all of this is reflected in the higher price of a Schubert machine.

Schubert: Indeed. But not just because of the development. We run a goods distribution center and offer after–sales services. Our hotline is staffed by four people just waiting for the telephone to ring and help the customers with their requirements. We have twelve million euro worth of stock in our distribution center. We have never had to disappoint a customer who needed a spare part. And some of them are customers who have been running their machines for over 20 years. These services are all included in the price when you buy a Schubert machine.

PROCESS: Do the customers see it this way? After all, they do have to dig deeper into their pockets.

Schubert: I can tell you a story in answer to that which speaks for itself. Recently we had a customer who was weighing up whether to buy a conventional machine or a Schubert machine He was very taken with the technology but thought that he would probably never need the flexibility it offered. After some discussion he ended up buying from us. A few months later the customer telephoned to say he was over the moon. It turned out that, shortly after taking delivery of our machine, the marketing department had decided to change over to a completely different packaging format. If he had opted for a conventional machine, he would have had to buy a second machine. But with our machine he only needed another format assembly. This is the meaning of value added in my eyes. If you consider the whole service life of a machine when making a decision, Schubert’s machines are more expensive to buy but cheaper in the long run.

PROCESS: The new TLM filling machines may be very flexible thanks to the robotics but they are not as fast as, say, the classic rotary filler.

Schubert: Anyone who is filling 100,000 bottles an hour is definitely not going to choose our machines but is going to opt for a rotary filler. We offer rapid changeover times for producers working in the low to medium output range who have to run many different products. Companies like this cannot afford changeover times of two or three hours otherwise efficiency will go out of the window.

PROCESS: What actually happened to the machine without a control cabinet announced three years ago?

Schubert: We will keep our word and the prototype will be putting in its first public appearance at the Interpack trade fair. The pitch says it all — cars don’t have control cabinets either – and we are hoping that this development will herald a new age in the industry. We are curious as to how the trade will react.

PROCESS: Mr. Schubert, thank you for taking the time to talk with us.