Interpack reveals renewed optimism within packaging sector
Interpack offered plenty of opportunities for companies within the confectionery sector. Neill Barston meets CEO of Theegarten-Pactec, Markus Rustler, who discusses the company's progress over the past year.
Q: How has the past year been for the company?
A: For us 2016 was a record year in corporate history, exceeding 65 million euro turnover for the first time. The reason for this has been good markets, and I think good equipment and solutions that we offer our customers. There has been interest right the way across our programme – we have projects in Russia within the chocolate field, and some jelly wrapping there, as well as other non confectionery products in Africa.
Q: Is there any market in the world that has shone particularly brightly for Theegarten?
A: It varies from year to year – across the world, last year showed quite good markets in Russia, Senegal, Pakistan, where we have been very successful. Iran is also picking up tremendously, we have a lot of orders and ongoing projects there.
Q: What has the response to the company at Interpack been?
A: We have been extremely busy, much more than we expected to be honest. In the first two days alone we had more than 250 visitors with real interest in equipment, which is a lot. They are finalising projects that were in the pipeline, as well as customers who were not known to us, which was very interesting.
Q: What makes the show special in your eyes?
A: I still believe it’s the world’s leading exhibition when it comes to confectionery production and packaging. Being every three years is the right time-span to bring out new innovations that all the other exhibiting companies work to, and customers know this and enjoy travelling to Dusseldorf to see what’s new. It’s a big meet and greet for the industry.
Q: How are you engaging with Industry 4.0?
A: We have taken quite big steps in this direction using the Internet of Things, to more automisation and bringing more efficiency to our lines – it’s a big mega trend at Interpack. So we’re doing quite well in regard to that with a lot of resources into this in terms of software development.
Q: How are the expanded facilities at your headquarters progressing?
A: It’s a complete new life, having an ultra-modern facility makes a huge difference. There will be much better processes and product processes.
Q: What do you enjoy most about leading the business?
A: It’s a very interesting and demanding industry – running a company that has a good reputation makes it fairly easy to motivate yourself, and I like to drive ideas forward.
Q: What do you feel the biggest challenge is for the industry?
A: Compared to other industries on the customer and supplier side we are in a fairly lucky position. Competition is there, but that’s good, otherwise industries die of lack of innovation, but I think the biggest difficulties are political uncertainties all over the world, that instability, as well as regulations. We’ve always had these times in history and we’re looking ahead to 2018 and 2019.”