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Informations from the Packaging Industry

Gerhard Schubert GmbH strengthens its pioneering role in packaging technology during the 2020 pandemic year

Cautious leadership management during the Corona crisis is paying off

23. August 2021

Schubert’s corporate management: Marcel Kiessling, Managing Director Sales and Service, Gerhard Schubert, Founder and Managing Partner, Ralf Schubert, Managing Partner, Peter Gabriel, Commercial Managing Director (from left to right)

Quelle: Gerhard Schubert GmbH

De­spite the ex­tra­or­di­nary chal­lenges the world faced dur­ing the 2020 fi­nan­cial year, pack­ag­ing ma­chine man­u­fac­tur­er Ger­hard Schu­bert GmbH post­ed a pos­i­tive busi­ness re­sult that was sig­nif­i­cant­ly bet­ter than the Coro­na-related fore­cast ad­just­ments at the be­gin­ning of the pan­dem­ic year sug­gest­ed. The Schu­bert Group achieved an in­crease in turnover of 2.5 per cent in the 2020 fi­nan­cial year, rep­re­sent­ing a to­tal of 281 mil­lion eu­ros in sales, there­fore con­firm­ing the cau­tious man­age­ment and ded­i­cat­ed com­mit­ment of all 1450 em­ploy­ees dur­ing the Coro­na cri­sis. The or­der po­si­tion also de­vel­oped very pos­i­tive­ly. Dri­ven by growth in the USA and Eu­rope, Schu­bert re­alised a 25 per cent in­crease in in­com­ing or­ders com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year.

In the un­fore­seen pan­dem­ic sit­u­a­tion and at an ear­ly stage, the Crail­sheim-based world mar­ket leader in pack­ag­ing tech­nol­o­gy re­lied on a com­pa­ny-internal task force along with a com­pre­hen­sive safe­ty and hy­giene con­cept. “It was a very good de­ci­sion and is still work­ing very well for us to­day. Thanks to the mea­sures im­ple­ment­ed to min­imise the im­pact of COVID-19 on our op­er­a­tions, we have a very low num­ber of em­ploy­ees who fell ill over­all. We have been and con­tin­ue to be able to work and de­liv­er to our cus­tomers at all times,” ex­plains Pe­ter Gabriel, Com­mer­cial Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Ger­hard Schu­bert GmbH.

Digital services prove their worth

The man­u­fac­tur­er is ben­e­fit­ing from the fact that it is well ad­vanced in the field of dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion. “Our ca­pa­bil­i­ties for vir­tu­al ma­chine ap­provals, AR-supported ser­vice process­es and dig­i­tal­ly sup­port­ed com­mis­sion­ing at cus­tomer sites have nat­u­ral­ly proven very suc­cess­ful in cus­tomer sup­port in 2020 and will con­tin­ue to be an im­por­tant fo­cus of our de­vel­op­ment in the com­ing years,” re­ports Mar­cel Kiessling, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Sales and Ser­vice. In this con­text, the in­creas­es in ser­vice rev­enues com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year are clear: In spite of all the re­stric­tions on trav­el and avail­abil­i­ty of ser­vice staff, Schu­bert achieved an in­crease in turnover in this key area from 54 (2019) to 59 mil­lion eu­ros. This is just one rea­son why the fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of ser­vice of­fer­ings is an in­te­gral part of the com­pa­ny’s growth strat­e­gy: “A key fo­cus is to in­crease and op­ti­mise per­for­mance track­ing. Added to this is the cus­tomi­sa­tion of our ser­vices – flex­i­ble and ide­al­ly adapt­ed to spe­cif­ic cus­tomer re­quire­ments,” con­tin­ues Kiessling.

Innovations with international growth potential

In­ter­na­tion­al growth, es­pe­cial­ly in the USA and Eu­rope, is cur­rent­ly be­ing dri­ven by the man­u­fac­tur­er’s im­me­di­ate­ly avail­able and pre­con­fig­ured light­line ma­chine se­ries, which en­ables cus­tomers to re­act quick­ly to mar­ket trends, along with sig­nif­i­cant ad­vances in the de­vel­op­ment of tools for process op­ti­mi­sa­tion us­ing pre­dic­tive main­te­nance (GRIPS.world). The es­tab­lish­ment of in­dus­tri­al on-demand 3D print­ing process­es for ad­di­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing in both plas­tics and met­al, along with the con­sis­tent fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of sus­tain­able pack­ag­ing so­lu­tions and a strong fo­cus on con­sult­ing, are all ad­di­tion­al suc­cess fac­tors be­hind Schu­bert’s cur­rent de­vel­op­ment. Busi­ness in the USA de­vel­oped very pos­i­tive­ly in this con­text. The Schu­bert sub­sidiary gen­er­at­ed around 82 mil­lion US dol­lars in sales in North Amer­i­ca in 2020. In ad­di­tion to up­ward trends at Schu­bert UK and the main Eu­ro­pean mar­kets of France and Italy, the Pol­ish mar­ket is also be­com­ing in­creas­ing­ly im­por­tant for the man­u­fac­tur­er.

The future is both sustainable and flexible

Ground-breaking in­no­va­tions and in­vest­ments en­able Schu­bert to con­tin­ue win­ning over cus­tomers, while strength­en­ing the com­pa­ny’s lead­er­ship po­si­tion in the in­dus­try dur­ing the 2020 pan­dem­ic year. Ralf Schu­bert, Man­ag­ing Part­ner ex­plains: “We have been in­ten­si­fy­ing our re­search ac­tiv­i­ties in the field of ro­bot­ics tech­nol­o­gy for some time. With AI projects in the field of ro­bot­ics and im­age pro­cess­ing, we are mak­ing a de­ci­sive con­tri­bu­tion to the on­go­ing pro­fes­sion­al­i­sa­tion and fu­ture vi­a­bil­i­ty of the en­tire pack­ag­ing in­dus­try. Added to this is the de­vel­op­ment of in­no­v­a­tive as­sem­blies for our TLM ma­chines as well as our first col­lab­o­ra­tive ro­bot and progress on TI­TAN, our pack­ag­ing sys­tems’ dig­i­tal twin.” To this end, the Crail­sheim-based com­pa­ny has been in­vest­ing around 8 to 10 per cent of its an­nu­al turnover for decades in a time-tested tra­di­tion.

It is also thanks to this in­no­v­a­tive strength that Schu­bert is able to con­tin­u­ous­ly ex­pand its trail­blaz­ing role in the au­toma­tion of sus­tain­able pro­duc­tion process­es and in the de­vel­op­ment of in­no­v­a­tive pack­ag­ing ma­te­ri­als. “The fu­ture be­longs to en­vi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly pack­ag­ing ma­te­ri­als such as card­board trays or fi­bre-based films which can be used flex­i­bly on a pack­ag­ing line. Our cus­tomers ben­e­fit from over 50 years of Schu­bert ex­pe­ri­ence in card­board pack­ag­ing along with our con­sult­ing and ser­vice ex­per­tise," says Mar­cel Kiessling.

Outlook for 2021

With the successful completion of the relocation of the L2218 state road on 9 April 2020, Gerhard Schubert GmbH laid the foundations for the planned expansion of the site on the newly acquired land.

Quelle: Gerhard Schubert GmbH

Sup­port­ed by the high or­der back­log and equal­ly pos­i­tive or­der in­take in the first quar­ter, Schu­bert is very con­fi­dent about the de­vel­op­ment of the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year: “Our pro­duc­tion ca­pac­i­ties are cur­rent­ly very well utilised. We al­ready have 100 per cent of the planned an­nu­al turnover in our or­der books for 2021 and are al­ready plan­ning our new or­ders into 2022,” says Pe­ter Gabriel, de­scrib­ing the favourable sit­u­a­tion. The signs are point­ing to­wards con­tin­ued growth for the man­u­fac­tur­er in oth­er re­spects too; In the sec­ond half of 2021, con­struc­tion of the new as­sem­bly hall will be­gin as part of the planned fur­ther ex­pan­sion of the Crail­sheim site. Pri­or to this, in 2019 the ad­ja­cent coun­try road was rerout­ed in or­der to make way for the ex­ten­sive con­struc­tion work, cre­at­ing the nec­es­sary space and ide­al con­di­tions for up to 300 ad­di­tion­al em­ploy­ees.

Ger­hard Schu­bert GmbH is a glob­al­ly recog­nised mar­ket leader in top-loading pack­ag­ing ma­chines (TLM). For its dig­i­tal, ro­bot-based pack­ag­ing ma­chines, the fam­i­ly-owned com­pa­ny based in Crail­sheim (Baden-Württemberg, Ger­many) builds on an in­ter­play of sim­ple me­chan­ics, in­tel­li­gent con­trol tech­nol­o­gy and high mod­u­lar­i­ty. With this phi­los­o­phy and a high­ly de­vel­oped cul­ture of in­no­va­tion, the com­pa­ny has been pur­su­ing an en­tire­ly in­de­pen­dent tech­no­log­i­cal path for more than 50 years.

With its TLM tech­nol­o­gy, the ma­chine man­u­fac­tur­er pro­vides its cus­tomers with fu­ture-proof pack­ag­ing ma­chine so­lu­tions that are easy to op­er­ate, flex­i­ble in terms of for­mat con­ver­sion, high-performance and sta­ble in func­tion. The TLM pack­ag­ing ma­chines pack prod­ucts of all types and from all sec­tors – from food, con­fec­tionery, bev­er­ages, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and cos­met­ics to tech­ni­cal prod­ucts – into trays, car­tons, box­es or into flow-wrap bags.

Well-known brands such as Fer­rero, Nestlé, Unilever, Mon­delez and Roche rely on Schu­bert’s au­toma­tion so­lu­tions, as do nu­mer­ous small, medi­um-sized and fam­i­ly-owned com­pa­nies. Found­ed in 1966, the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion of the com­pa­ny now em­ploys 1,400 peo­ple.

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