Informations from the Packaging Industry

An interview with Michael Graf, Director Consulting at Schubert-Consulting

Understanding the customers' customers

31. Januar 2022

Michael Graf, Director Consulting of Schubert-Consulting

Quelle: Schubert-Consulting

Schu­bert-Consulting is a di­vi­sion of Schu­bert Pack­ag­ing Sys­tems which has its roots in Ger­hard Schu­bert GmbH. Based on decades of ex­per­tise in the pack­ag­ing sec­tor, Michael Graf, Di­rec­tor Con­sult­ing, and his team ad­vise cus­tomers on all process­es re­lat­ing to prod­uct pack­ag­ing. The main fo­cus of cus­tomer sup­port is the com­pre­hen­sive, ful­ly man­u­fac­tur­er-independent analy­sis and op­ti­mi­sa­tion of en­tire process chains – for greater ef­fi­cien­cy, cost-effectiveness and sus­tain­abil­i­ty. In this in­ter­view (pro­vid­ed by the com­pa­ny), Michael Graf re­ports on how Schu­bert-Consulting sup­ports cus­tomers in meet­ing cur­rent and fu­ture mar­ket re­quire­ments – on the oc­ca­sion of the di­vi­sion’s 10th an­niver­sary in 2021.

What are you cur­rent­ly work­ing on at Schu­bert-Consulting?

Michael Graf: What is keep­ing us very busy at the mo­ment is some­thing that is known as Con­nect­ing – in oth­er words, bring­ing to­geth­er the var­i­ous par­tic­i­pants in­volved in the en­tire pack­ag­ing process. This be­gins with the dif­fer­ent cus­tomer de­part­ments and ex­tends to ex­ter­nal part­ners. When a com­mis­sioned ar­chi­tect de­signs a mod­ern fac­to­ry hall on a green­field site, they should know from the out­set about the cu­bic me­tres of the ma­chin­ery in­volved, the planned lay­out and the per­son­nel re­quire­ments. Oth­er­wise, the ma­chines may have to be adapt­ed to the hall and the pro­duc­tion process­es can no longer be im­ple­ment­ed in an op­ti­mal man­ner. Our team at Schu­bert-Consulting helps bring the par­ties in­volved to the ta­ble at the be­gin­ning of a project and find a joint so­lu­tion that makes the ac­tu­al pack­ag­ing process as ef­fi­cient as pos­si­ble.

The top­ic of pack­ag­ing de­vel­op­ment is also def­i­nite­ly in line with cur­rent trends. Here es­pe­cial­ly, Con­nect­ing is ab­solute­ly nec­es­sary be­cause pack­ag­ing to­day has to meet nu­mer­ous re­quire­ments that go far be­yond prod­uct pro­tec­tion and trans­port. Just think of re­cy­cla­bil­i­ty, en­hanced mar­ket­ing at the point of sale or mar­ket trends such as the in­di­vid­u­al­i­sa­tion of prod­ucts and e-commerce. In col­lab­o­ra­tion with all part­ners, we can cre­ate eco­nom­ic added val­ue through the de­vel­op­ment of new pack­ag­ing, which is gen­er­at­ed through­out the en­tire process chain, all the way to the con­sumer.

At what stage do cus­tomers turn to you and why?

Michael Graf: Most of­ten, we pro­vide sup­port when man­u­fac­tur­ers are plan­ning a new pack­ag­ing process and the im­ple­men­ta­tion be­comes dif­fi­cult – when they are stuck in a project that is not pro­gress­ing as it should. This of­ten en­tails ideas and ob­jec­tives that go be­yond a sin­gle pack­ag­ing ma­chine as a so­lu­tion, be­cause the up­stream and down­stream process­es strong­ly in­flu­ence pro­duc­tion. In cas­es such as this, it is im­por­tant to take a close look at the en­tire sup­ply and pro­duc­tion chain in or­der to iden­ti­fy and elim­i­nate any bot­tle­necks. This is why we spe­cialise in the strate­gic plan­ning of process­es and cor­po­rate goals, es­pe­cial­ly for the fast-moving con­sumer goods and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­tries. Our cus­tomers are very in­ter­na­tion­al: We of­fer our ser­vices in sev­er­al re­gions of the globe rang­ing from Ger­man-speaking coun­tries to Eu­rope and North Amer­i­ca.

You were on board from the very be­gin­ning. How did Schu­bert-Consulting orig­i­nate back then?

Michael Graf: Be­fore found­ing the com­pa­ny in 2011, I had gained ex­pe­ri­ence as a se­nior project man­ag­er, in the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try amongst oth­ers. One of my re­spon­si­bil­i­ties was to pre­pare val­i­da­tions for the com­plex pack­ag­ing process­es used for phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal prod­ucts. This gave me an op­por­tu­ni­ty to fa­mil­iarise my­self in depth with the top­ic of qual­i­ty as­sur­ance. At the same time, a new busi­ness field emerged at Schu­bert Pack­ag­ing Sys­tems, at that time still un­der the name “En­gi­neer­ing Con­sult­ing”. Since then, Pe­ter Gabriel and I have grad­u­al­ly built up the area. In 2016, the com­pa­ny was re­named Schu­bert-Consulting.

Our first projects arose from the cus­tomer’s wish for us to ac­com­pa­ny the in­vest­ment and re­al­i­sa­tion of a new pack­ag­ing ma­chine over the course of the project – also as a ser­vice provider. Cus­tomer sup­port con­tin­ues to be one of our cen­tral con­sult­ing pil­lars. From the very be­gin­ning, how­ev­er, it was also my goal to trans­form the ex­per­tise ac­quired from oth­er in­dus­tries into the sec­tors that Schu­bert serves. I re­mem­ber the ear­ly days at Schu­bert Con­sult­ing, where we were able to make very fast con­fec­tionery pack­ag­ing ma­chines even more ef­fi­cient for our cus­tomers with the right qual­i­ty man­age­ment. Be­cause re­duc­ing waste through­out the en­tire pack­ag­ing process is and re­mains an im­por­tant fac­tor to this day. We are not only re­fer­ring to the ro­bots in the pack­ag­ing ma­chine, but also pre-processes such as bak­ing ovens in which the prod­uct to be pack­aged is man­u­fac­tured.

How has your port­fo­lio evolved over the years?

Michael Graf: The next top­ic along­side qual­i­ty as­sur­ance was lo­gis­tics, in­clud­ing track and trace func­tions. This is more rel­e­vant to­day than ever be­fore, when con­sumers would like to know which farm their milk on the break­fast ta­ble was sourced from. Schu­bert-Consulting’s range of ser­vices has there­fore ex­pand­ed from projects in ex­ist­ing fac­to­ries and halls to sim­u­la­tions and new plan­ning on green­field sites. The most im­por­tant work­ing tool for us is a holis­tic view of the pack­ag­ing process­es as well as line in­te­gra­tion, cus­tomis­ing and cus­tomer ad­vice on au­toma­tion, dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion and sus­tain­abil­i­ty. For each project we take on, we put to­geth­er a new team that not only con­sists of one or more of our own em­ploy­ees, but also in­cludes col­lab­o­ra­tions with uni­ver­si­ties, sup­pli­ers, as­so­ci­a­tions such as the VDMA (Ver­band Deutsch­er Maschi­nen- und An­la­gen­bau e.V.) and oth­er in­sti­tu­tions, as re­quired. With­in the Schu­bert Group, we work to­geth­er strate­gi­cal­ly across sev­er­al busi­ness units.

Cen­tral to Schu­bert-Consulting, how­ev­er, is our gen­er­al in­de­pen­dence from oth­er Schu­bert com­pa­nies. We at­tach great im­por­tance to man­u­fac­tur­er-independent con­sult­ing. This means that any­one who uses our ser­vices al­ways has a choice of sev­er­al dif­fer­ent process so­lu­tions. The rea­son why we nev­er­the­less car­ry the Schu­bert name in Schu­bert-Consulting with a cer­tain pride is the pack­ag­ing ex­per­tise we can demon­strate, re­sult­ing from decades of ex­pe­ri­ence.

What has been your ex­pe­ri­ence with con­sult­ing and what do your cus­tomers have to say?

Michael Graf: Many cus­tomers are un­der in­tense com­pet­i­tive and time pres­sures. Only very few have suf­fi­cient­ly com­pre­hen­sive ex­per­tise in-house to es­tab­lish new pack­ag­ing process­es or im­prove ex­ist­ing ones. The feed­back we re­ceive is con­sis­tent­ly pos­i­tive. We solve prob­lems, we get pro­duc­tion run­ning and we make it more cost-effective as well. A key fac­tor is also to find so­lu­tions that reach far into the fu­ture for the cus­tomer. This is why we al­ways try to clar­i­fy how and where a cus­tomer wants to de­vel­op and grow. This some­times re­sults in scal­able projects that are im­ple­ment­ed grad­u­al­ly over sev­er­al years.

All of this can only be achieved in a re­la­tion­ship based on con­fi­dence and col­lab­o­ra­tion. And this is why per­son­al con­tact, in-depth pre­lim­i­nary dis­cus­sions and the cre­ation of a true part­ner­ship are the ab­solute pre­req­ui­sites for a suc­cess­ful project. And for us, talk­ing to our cus­tomers means, above all, un­der­stand­ing our cus­tomers. Lis­ten­ing, al­ways ask­ing dif­fer­ent ques­tions and think­ing ahead, chang­ing per­spec­tives all the way to our cus­tomers’ cus­tomers. For ex­am­ple, if you have to un­pack a med­i­cine and strug­gle with the pack­ag­ing, you are less like­ly to be com­pli­ant in tak­ing it. With this in mind, our max­im has changed over time from “ac­com­pa­ny­ing cus­tomers” to “un­der­stand­ing cus­tomers”.

How are you dri­ving Schu­bert-Consulting into the fu­ture, es­pe­cial­ly in terms of the key is­sue of sus­tain­abil­i­ty?

Michael Graf: We have been work­ing on this for quite some time and have adopt­ed the “Re­think” as­pect of the 5Rs on sus­tain­abil­i­ty as our guid­ing prin­ci­ple. Re­think­ing con­ven­tion­al ap­proach­es is ex­act­ly what is need­ed for the trans­for­ma­tion to a more sus­tain­able world, and it cor­re­sponds 100 per cent with the essence of Schu­bert-Consulting. We are broad­en­ing our view once again and look­ing at the process vir­tu­al­ly from A to Z – from the raw prod­uct to the end con­sumer and, of course, re­cy­cling. This is based on the ap­proach of keep­ing process­es so sta­ble that there are no re­jects along the en­tire process chain. Be­cause sus­tain­abil­i­ty comes to a large ex­tent from ef­fi­cien­cy.

From this wider per­spec­tive, it fol­lows that we also want to en­ter oth­er nich­es, start-ups and sec­tors. We are com­mit­ted to be­ing trail­blaz­ers, to cre­at­ing a think tank for the fu­ture, among oth­er things with al­liances and ex­perts from a wide range of fields and in­sti­tu­tions, such as the Fraun­hofer In­sti­tute, re­search groups, man­u­fac­tur­ers, etc. In do­ing so, we strive to lead our cus­tomers’ vi­sions to sus­tain­able suc­cess. I am de­light­ed when our cus­tomers em­bark on their new projects with en­thu­si­asm, be­cause much more can be achieved than they ini­tial­ly thought pos­si­ble. Pre­mi­um added val­ue, in­spi­ra­tion for fur­ther de­vel­op­ments that we can give them and fi­nan­cial suc­cess for both sides – this is my goal and it’s ul­ti­mate­ly what makes con­sult­ing fun.

(This in­ter­view was pro­vid­ed by a press re­lease.)

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. Found­ed in 1966, the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion of the com­pa­ny now em­ploys 1,400 peo­ple.


back to homepage

Modernere Anlagen steigern Kapazität

Die Ve­tro­pack-Gruppe in­ves­tiert über 400 Mio. CHF in ein neu­es Werk für den tra­di­ti­ons­rei­chen ita­lie­ni­schen Markt. Vor­aus­sicht­lich im zwei­ten Quar­tal 2023 geht die Pro­duk­ti­on in Bof­fa­lo­ra so­pra Ti­ci­no bei Mai­land an den Start. Be­reits ...

Maschineninvestition in Faltschachtelklebemaschine

Thimm hat im tsche­chi­schen Well­pap­pen­werk für rund drei Mil­lio­nen Euro eine hoch­leis­tungs­fä­hi­ge Pro­duk­ti­ons­li­nie in Be­trieb ge­nom­men. Die neue Falt­schach­tel­kle­be­ma­schi­ne samt Zu­satz­ag­gre­gat ver­dop­pelt die Pro­duk­ti­ons­ka­pa­zi­tät im Ver­gleich zu den bis­he­ri­gen An­la­gen. Au­ßer­dem wer­den die Pro­duk­ti­ons­fach­kräf­te ...


Giving packaging waste a second life in Personal Care applications

Per­son­al Care pack­ag­ing con­cept “De­sign4­Cir­cu­lar­i­ty” is the re­cip­i­ent of this year’s Sus­tain­able Pack­ag­ing Award, an­nounced at the 2022 Sus­tain­able Beau­ty Awards cer­e­mo­ny on No­vem­ber 7. Re­sult­ing from a unique val­ue chain col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Beiers­dorf, ...

Public tender offer for Bobst Group SA by its largest shareholder, JBF Finance SA

JBF Fi­nance SA, Buchillon, Switzer­land (“JBF”) has an­nounced a pub­lic ten­der of­fer for all pub­licly held shares of Bob­st Group SA. JBF is Bob­st Group’s largest share­hold­er and al­ready holds ap­prox­i­mate­ly 53% of the ...

International Channel ...

Pflanzenbasierte Stärke für thermoisolierte Schutzverpackungen

Aus nach­wach­sen­den Roh­stof­fen und mit kom­pos­tier­ba­rer Fül­lung stellt Sto­ro­pack die Schutz­ver­pa­ckung un­ter dem Na­men Re­na­ture® Ther­mo her, sie die­nen dem Ver­sand von Le­bens­mit­teln, Phar­ma­zeu­ti­ka und an­de­ren tem­pe­ra­tur­ge­führ­ten Ver­pa­ckun­gen. Da­bei han­delt es sich um ein ...

Ishida launcht die Mehrkopfwaage CCW-AS

50 Jah­re nach der ers­ten Mehr­kopf­waa­ge von Is­hi­da bringt der Her­stel­ler jetzt die 11. Mo­dell­ge­ne­ra­ti­on auf den Markt. Laut Is­hi­da bie­tet die neue Bau­rei­he CCW-AS ab­so­lu­te Hoch­leis­tung und stei­gert ins­be­son­de­re bei schwie­rig zu ver­ar­bei­ten­den ...

Die Kontrollwaage DACS-GN-SE für feuchte Produktionsumgebungen

Is­hi­da bie­tet mit der Kon­troll­waa­ge DACS-GN-SE in was­ser­dich­ter Aus­füh­rung ein zu­ver­läs­si­ges Sys­tem für die Qua­li­täts­kon­trol­le bei ho­her Ge­schwin­dig­keit. Das Ge­rät eig­net sich für vie­le An­wen­dun­gen und ist op­ti­mal für den Ein­satz in feuch­ten oder ...

Hochauflösende Direktkennzeichnung

Mit dem in­te­gra PP RAZR bringt der Kenn­zeich­nungs­an­bie­ter Bluhm Sys­te­me einen neu­en in­dus­tri­el­len Tin­ten­strahl­dru­cker auf den Markt, der sich laut Her­stel­ler auch zur Lo­gis­tik­kenn­zeich­nung als Eti­ket­ten­al­ter­na­ti­ve eig­net. Der in­te­gra PP RAZR ver­fügt über zwei ...

Individuell einstellbare Barriereeigenschaften

Wie­der­ver­schließ­ba­re Stand­bo­den­beu­tel sind schon seit et­li­chen Jah­ren ein be­vor­zug­tes Ver­pa­ckungs­kon­zept für Nüs­se, süße wie herz­haf­te Snacks oder auch Ge­wür­ze, Kaf­fee und Tee. Als mo­der­ne Ver­pa­ckungs­al­ter­na­ti­ve hat Süd­pack erst­mals einen prak­ti­schen, PP-basierten Doypack ent­wi­ckelt, der ...

Reifenhäuser verleiht Förderpreis an IKV-Wissenschaftler für Masterarbeit über Einsatz neuronaler Netze im Spritzgießprozess

Die Rei­fen­häu­ser Grup­pe hat Lu­kas Sei­fert, M.Sc., der als wis­sen­schaft­li­cher As­sis­tent am In­sti­tut für Kunst­stoff­ver­ar­bei­tung (IKV) in In­dus­trie und Hand­werk an der RWTH Aa­chen tä­tig ist, für sei­ne be­son­de­re For­schungs­leis­tung aus­ge­zeich­net. Die Preis­ver­lei­hung durch ...

IK: „Keine Grundlage für Rezyklat-Quoten für Lebensmittelverpackungen“

Die Her­stel­ler von Kunst­stoff­ver­pa­ckun­gen in Deutsch­land sind ent­täuscht über die neu­en Re­geln der EU-Kommission für den Ein­satz von re­cy­cel­ten Kunst­stof­fen in Le­bens­mit­tel­ver­pa­ckun­gen und drän­gen dar­auf, Le­bens­mit­tel­ver­pa­ckun­gen von den ge­plan­ten Re­zy­kla­tein­satz-Quoten aus­zu­neh­men. „Die ho­hen Er­war­tun­gen ...

Unterstützung für Online-Händler

Smur­fit Kap­pa hat ein Netz­werk aus 5 E-Commerce Hubs in Deutsch­land er­öff­net und bie­tet an die­sen Stand­orten Ver­pa­ckungs­ent­wick­lung, Ver­pa­ckungs­tests und -si­mu­la­tio­nen so­wie La­bor­prü­fun­gen aus ei­ner Hand an. Das Netz­werk der E-Commerce Hubs spannt sich, ...

PVC-freier Dichtring

Die Zen­tis GmbH & Co. KG setzt als ers­ter Kon­fi­tü­ren-Hersteller nun ras­sel­stein® Weiß­blech aus CO2-reduziert her­ge­stell­tem blue­mint® Steel für den Dreh­ver­schluss ih­rer Na­tur­Rein Fruchtauf­stri­che ein. Das Kon­zept der Na­tur­Rein Fruchtauf­stri­che ba­siert voll­stän­dig auf dem ...

Illig setzt auf "Paperization"

Für den Non-Food-Markt be­wegt sich Il­lig weg von Kunst­stoff-Blister-Verpackungen und un­ter­stützt Fir­men un­ter dem Stich­wort “Pa­pe­ri­za­ti­on" bei der Um­stel­lung hin zu Pa­pier und Pul­pe. Hier­zu wird Il­lig auf der Fach­pack eine neue Ma­schi­ne vor­stel­len, ...

more articles ...