Exhibitor Interview: Krones
Ahead of Propak West Africa this September, we sat down with Krones AG to discuss their plans for the show, industry insights and how sustainability has affected them.
Q1. What is the reason you have chosen to exhibit your products/ services at Propak West Africa 2018?
Our aim is to inform all visitors in very general terms on the multiple solutions we offer – for each and every customer demand.
Q2. Can you highlight any particularly exciting products/ services you’ll be showcasing this year?
At Propak West Africa, Krones as a one-stop-shop will show its knowledge and competence when it comes to the processing, treatment as well as the filling and packaging of water.
Q3. What makes you stand out from your competitors? Why should a visitor pick your brand over another?
Krones is far more than a traditional-style machinery and line manufacturer: within the last decades, it has evolved into an all-around vendor for its clients. And usually, the business relationships are not just supplier-customer. In most cases, it’s a partnership.
What we offer, is quite easy to describe: holistic systems engineering: Mechanical engineering, line expertise, process engineering, microbiology and information technology have here been harmoniously integrated for optimum synergies.
In general, Krones has some few but crucial strategies, like specialised knowledge of mechanical engineering and the customer sectors involved, a technical lead over its competitors driven by continuingly high investment in research and development, production facilities featuring state-of-the-art equipment operating to the most stringent of quality standards, backed up by worldwide 24/7 service support, and most especially by the skills of its highly trained and motivated staff. At Krones, every employee works for the customers’ success.
Q4. Are you planning to meet existing clients as well as potential new ones?
Of course. At our booth every visitor is welcome. Whether it’s an existing customer, a new customer or even just someone who’s interested in our portfolio.
Q5. Why do you believe industry events such as Propak West Africa are crucial to the industry?
Nowadays, most business is done electronically via email or digital communication, so one advantage of Propak West Africa is that it’s a great opportunity to get to know each other personally. Besides that, it’s also an efficient way for our customers to talk to different companies without travelling a lot, as the whole industry comes together in one place.
Q6. And more locally, what kind of potential do you see in the West African packaging market specifically?
The overcharging megatrend is global population growth. At the end of 2017, more than 7.5 billion people inhabited the earth. According to the United Nations forecasts, that number is growing at a rate of more than 80 million each year. And the growth is continuing.
And according to the VDMA, representing the issues of the mechanical and plant engineering sector in Germany and Europe, the forecast for the global market for packaging market is to grow worldwide.
Especially West Africa contains great growth chances, as the overall population and the middle class are growing rapidly. That’s why Krones is doing business in West Africa for several years.
Q7. Sustainability and Recyclable packaging are extremely popular in the market at the moment, what do you think about this apparent trend and have you seen it personally affecting your audience?
There is a growing awareness in the industry that managing a successful company involves more than pursuing profitable options, it also means responsible dealings with the natural environment, the firm’s staff and society as a whole. The issue of sustainability is addressed and interpreted in many different ways. Demands for responsible husbandry of resources have long since been prominent voices in the business context in which companies and entire industrial sectors operate. Recent years have seen the issue of sustainability gain steadily in perceived importance throughout the global economy as well. This trend has made no exception in the beverage industry and is affecting our customers’ business.
Krones AG has long since believed that this challenge can also be an opportunity, which is why it offers a variety of modules designed for identifying the various consumption elements involved, utilising potential savings, and assuring a resource-efficient production operation. The aim is to offer technologies and solutions that not only downsize the environmental impact but at the same time pay for themselves as quickly as possible. That’s why in 2008, precisely ten years ago, Krones decided to launch the enviro sustainability programme. Our clients get machines that consume less power, water and compressed air, that downsize environmental impact and at the end of the day, of course, also reduce the running costs involved. Sustainability is increasingly perceived in the corporate world as a contribution towards stabilising and assuring future-viability. Sustainability means achieving maximally lasting, long-term commercial earnings without ruinously exploiting the planet’s natural resources. This can be accomplished only by appropriate investments that pay off within a reasonable timeframe. However, if this capital expenditure entails additional costs, then, of course, a return-on-investment calculation has to demonstrate how soon the investment will start to pay for itself. The good thing about it is this: as soon as amortisation begins, money will be saved on a daily basis.
When it comes to recycling: We are also offering our PET recycling system and besides, this year we introduced the washing technology for polyolefin. One of the polyolefins’ salient characteristics is their density of lower than one, which is why they float on the water’s surface, whereas PET is significantly heavier than water so that it sinks to the bottom. The polyolefins’ relatively low density, and their concomitant ability to float are very helpful in the washing process for PET when it comes to separating the cap material from the PET itself. In the washing process for polyolefins, this material characteristic required some procedural adjustment. But the overall concept continues to be based on the comprehensive fund of experience gathered in the field of PET washing technology.
Individual tried-and-tested units were here adapted to suit the PO-specific idiosyncrasies, but the process-engineering features of Krones’ washing technology remained unchanged. One problem encountered with polyolefins is the material collection and the resultant side-effects. The packages we’re talking about here are collected in the household garbage, or in separate bins or sacks for plastics. Since the material thus obtained is usually not cleaned before recycling, it is invariably in contact with organic residues like ketchup, mayonnaise, oil, yoghurt, shampoo, soap, household cleaning agents and many other substances. This creates an enormous biological and chemical loading, going hand in hand with an unpleasant smell. And that, in turn, renders it relatively difficult to make sure the end-product is odour-neutral. However, with the standard washing module used in the in-house pilot plant, optimum results in regard to cleanliness and odour-neutrality could indeed be achieved.
See the solutions and services provided by Krones on stand T26 this September at Propak West Africa 2018. You can register to attend for FREE here.