Focus on digitization and sustainable packaging solutions
Digital solutions continue to account for most of the Uhlmann Group’s research and development. The proportion of sales of digital products and services has also grown.
Uhlmann Pac-Systeme was able to secure important orders in the rapidly expanding parenteral packaging solutions market. In addition, solutions for sustainable packaging are increasingly in demand. Companies in the Group have established themselves as technological leaders in this field. KOCH Pac-Systeme was awarded the German Packaging Award for cycleForm®. The packaging, made entirely of biological fiber materials, was also a finalist for the German Sustainability Award. Digital-based business models and sustainable packaging solutions will remain the focus of the company’s strategy in the coming years. The Group intends to continue investing in this area.
Since 2019, the pharmaceutical packaging solutions companies Uhlmann Pac-Systeme, KOCH Pac-Systeme, Cremer Speciaalmachines, Wonder Packing Machinery, and Axito have been strategically combined under one roof in the Uhlmann Group Holding. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias Niemeyer, CEO of the Uhlmann Group, explains: “Globally, our markets have developed very differently. Here, our strategy of positioning ourselves locally, flexibly, and with agility to be able to respond to the increasing dynamics of the markets worldwide has proven its worth. The Covid-19 pandemic is still one of the main reasons for the volatility in global markets. The Russian war against Ukraine has also exacerbated economic conditions, most visibly resulting in higher energy costs. Our response to this includes increasing inventory levels, using alternative components, and introducing new AI-based purchasing tools.”
Michael Mrachacz, CSO of the Uhlmann Group, adds: “EMEA markets have seen particularly favorable developments for us. We have also been able to strengthen our market positions further in important markets such as the United States and Southeast Asia by developing innovative solutions for parenterals, sustainable packaging and tracking. The Covid-19 pandemic is still significantly slowing market activity in the Asian region in particular, which has a dual impact on the Group’s companies worldwide. By now, the delivery problems for electronic components that are essential for us have taken on new dimensions again. This affects both our customers and us: Supply chain risk management is having a direct impact on delivery reliability and the ordering behavior of customers.”
Sustainable packaging is becoming a basic requirement
Aside from the digital transformation, the shift to sustainable packaging solutions is another mega trend across the entire packaging industry, including the pharmaceutical packaging sector. The Uhlmann Group believes it is well positioned for this green transformation: KOCH Pac-Systeme is one of the most innovative and technologically leading suppliers of sustainable packaging in the consumer and over-the-counter packaging sectors. This is also demonstrated by the German Packaging Award and a nomination in the German Sustainability Award finals.
Promoting sustainability in pharmaceutical packaging solutions is central to product and service development at Uhlmann Pac-Systeme. Thanks to the high modularity of the individual machine assemblies, Uhlmann can already package parenterals with flexibility in terms of the materials. For example, paper or plastic trays can be processed on the new PTC 200. The BLU 200 blister range includes a version for efficient, safe parenteral packaging in mono polypropylene (PP) film. The BEC lines offer sustainable solutions for the process-safe packaging of solid products, for example, in mono PP blisters.
Expanding management levels
The Uhlmann Group has used the upcoming expansion of management levels at four companies to strengthen the Group’s common strategic orientation. Dr. Jens Elzenheimer has been Managing Director of Axito GmbH since May 2021. In October 2021, Christian Reiter took over the technical management of Uhlmann Pac-Systeme GmbH as CTO. Marc van der Wolf has been CEO of Cremer Speciaalmachines B.V. since April 2022 and Thomas Winkler took over as COO at KOCH Pac-Systeme in July 2022.
Uhlmann Group continues to be successful in a difficult climate
The Uhlmann Group ends the 2021/2022 financial year with sales of 428 million euros. A slight increase in the previous year’s figures. The order books are looking healthy for the current business year. A record order intake of 504 million euros was registered by the companies. At the same time, expenditure for researching and developing innovations was increased once again. The Group is above average in the mechanical engineering sector, accounting for 6.7 percent of the total budget. The total number of employees worldwide has also increased slightly to 2,604.