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

2021-10-14 foodbeverageasia

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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% in the 2020 financial year, representing a total of 281m 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 US and Europe, Schubert realised a 25% 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," explained 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," reported Marcel Kiessling, managing director of 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 of the reasons why the further development of service offerings is an integral part of the companys 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," continued Kiessling.

Innovations with international growth potential

International growth, especially in the US and Europe, is currently being driven by the manufacturers 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 Schuberts current development. Business in the US developed very positively in this context. The Schubert subsidiary generated around US$82m 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 companys leadership position in the industry during the 2020 pandemic year.

Ralf Schubert, managing partner of Gerhard Schubert GmbH, explained: "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 eight 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," said Kiessling.

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