Schoeller Allibert: Full focus on product innovations at Interpack 2017Administador
Schoeller Allibert, the European market leader of reusable plastic packaging and
containers, will lead the way in product innovations at INTERPACK 2017 exhibition, in Düsseldorf, Germany from May 4th to 10th, 2017. Newly appointed Chief Strategic Growth Officer Ludo Gielen talks about the strong period of growth ahead, led by its Product Innovation strategy and its recent investments in production capacity.
INTERVIEW WITH LUDO GIELEN
You’ve recently been appointed Chief Strategic Growth Officer at Schoeller Allibert. What will be your responsibilities?
The Schoeller Allibert Group is facing a period of strong growth. In order to lift the
commercial strategy to a higher level during this growth period, I will make the link between the innovation team, the sales department, Global Key Account Management and the marketing department to each other. The commercial strategy will mainly focus on the
introduction of new products (41 new products in 2017), the ‘routes-to-market’ strategy and the optimisation of the worldwide sales process.
You’ve talked about a strong period of growth ahead for Schoeller Allibert. What trend are you referring to?
I firmly believe in the future of reusable plastic packaging and containers, as well as in the
possible growth of Schoeller Allibert. The market of “returnable transport packaging” or
reusable and sustainable packaging barely forms one percent of the worldwide production of all packaging products, which means that the growth potential of Schoeller Allibert is
enormous. This is our mission to persuade the industry and the consumer that returnable
plastic packaging is the safest, strongest and most sustainable alternative to disposable
single-use packaging made of cardboard and wood.
How did you prepare Schoeller Allibert to achieve that in terms of R&D?
We are continuously working on the development of a wide range of new products that are
aimed for optimising the workflow of our customers in a sustainable way. But it is not only our job to design and create innovative and sustainable C2C products (cradle to cradle) of the highest quality, we also must mould them into a model that is financially feasible for the industry and acceptable to the consumer. That is why we have the largest R&D program of the industry, located in 3 places around the world, which accounts for 5% of our turnover annually. Our main Technology centre is also fully integrated in one of our production plant in the Netherlands, which allows us to create better products, with a reduced R&D period, and a complete anticipation of our production needs and costs.
And in terms of production capacity?
About production, we strongly expanded our capacity last year with the opening of a brandnew production plant in Poland that addresses a full portfolio of products for customers in the CEE region, especially for the Automotive market.
The fact that Schoeller Allibert is facing strong growth is also becoming increasingly clear in Beringen, Belgium. There, we have recently started the construction of a new Belgian facility that will be a model factory for the future facilities of the group. We are also investing considerably in the field of technology, more specifically in Big Product Mould Technology.
Our production, that will ensure the supply for the Benelux region, northern France, West
Germany and the UK, will mainly focus on our larger products destined for, amongst others, the fruit industry and the petrochemical industry. The first products will be ready in the summer of 2017. We have a couple of very busy months ahead of us.
SHOWCASED PRODUCTS: Lower impact, Higher profits
The new 2017 Miniload Container is designed for automated handling systems. This strong and safe modular crate can take up to 50kg unit load with less than 5mm deflection on all types of systems, which ensures a perfect circulation of the crate within the automated system, even after extensive use.
The Autostore box is a 100% recyclable plastic bin created for the fully robotised AutoStore system. Made from high-density polyethylene or anti-static polypropylene (ESD), adapted to AutoStore’s unique “from the top” picking technique, this customised stacking bin is designed to seamlessly integrate into AutoStore’s aluminium framework.
The new H1GS1 Hygiene pallet is one of the few H1 Pallet to receive the GS1 certification
(resistant to drops up to 4m). Produced in Schwerin, Germany, this pallet is particularly
stable, durable and easy to handle. It has rounded corners and a smooth surface, making it very easy to clean. It is therefore ideally suited for use in the food industry and in the
pharmaceutical industry, as well as for other industrial applications for which special attention needs to be paid to cleanliness. This Hygiene pallet can be equipped with bar codes and RFID tags for complete traceability. Returnable plastic packaging solutions are suitable for a variety of tasks involved in storage and transport, and can be flexibly adapted to different requirements.