1. What’s the latest news for your company?
As demonstrated by our partnerships with machine manufacturers such as Cermex, Krones, KHS, Thimonnier and many others, we specialise in packaging machine automation.
In 2011, our group generated €410m in worldwide turnover, namely some 15% growth compared with 2010. Our head office in Austria has three production centres totalling 45,000 sqm in addition to an entirely automated intralogistics platform capable of storing more than 22,000 pallets. Based on these new capabilities, our group intends to continue to grow and meet its forecast of €1bn by 2018.
In France, business has been booming since the company was established in Lyon some 10 years ago. This was followed by the creation of two agencies, in Marne-la-Vallée and in Nantes, in 2006. This year, we have just cleared a new hurdle in our development by acquiring new premises and stepping up the recruitment process. Today, more than 30 people work for the company, and our premises cover 1,500 sqm.
2) How do you view the packaging industry in the medium term? What developments or changes do you forecast?
The increase in number of packaging units and the growing need for differentiation require a combination of high output and frequent changes of format. On top of that, new constraints, such as safety and traceability, have to be taken into consideration.
Rising to all these challenges can only be achieved with a seamless multi-technology approach. So we propose solutions in which the same automaton controls not only the packaging process but also the robot application, regardless of the kinematics. The POWERLINK network enables us to adopt this seamless multi-technology approach in perfect synchronism without a special interface or bottleneck and under optimum safety conditions, thanks to openSAFETY. With our systems, users freely select the appropriate technology and kinematics for their processes without sustaining the technical restrictions involved with automation products.
For customers who manufacture packaging machinery, by cutting down time-to-market, factors such as limiting the number of electrical cabinets, rolling out fewer cables or merely simpler maintenance and operating processes are also key to competitiveness. This is why we also offer modular and decentralised automation solutions with components directly mounted on the machine, hybrid cables and plug and play modules. Thanks to its smart functions, our Automation Studio software helps to scale down our customers’ development considerably.
3) What common theme will you adopt for EMBALLAGE 2012? What new products/added value will be displayed to visitors on your stand?
At EMBALLAGE 2012, we will exhibit systems that cut down our customers’ time-to-market, encompassing innovations that offer ever more integration, modularity and ergonomics: servomotor with an ACOPOSmulti65m on-board variator, multi-touch Automation Panel user display, Automation Studio 4 and its System Designer, and so on.
We will also highlight our Generic Motion Control software concept. In addition to including kinematic robots, the latter enables all types of motors to be programmed (servomotors, brushless, stepper, linear, etc.)!