The division, which became operational in July 2004, is responsible for Germany and Austria.
Ishida clearly believes that the German market for industrial processing machinery has good potential. Indeed, according to a recent report from market analyst Euromonitor, the market is forecast to grow by 18.9 per cent from 2002 to 2007 to reach a value of €3.3 billion in 2007.
This would represent a significant recovery for a market that declined by 0.8 per cent between 2000 and 2002. Over the past five-years in fact, the market has contracted by 7 per cent.
The new German subsidiary has been made possible through an arrangement with Optima whereby Ishida Europe has purchased the Ishida Division from the Optima Packaging Group.
The accumulated experience collated over 20 years under the Optimadistributorship will be transferred to the new company. Ishida is confident that this will maintain the continuity of the business while allowing a platform for future growth.
Indeed, both Optima and Ishida see this step as the right way forward for their respective customers in the German market. The investment decision will allow Ishida GmbH to offer food manufacturers and packers weighing and packing solutions and customer support at the highest possible level in Germany and Austria.
Optima Packaging Group will now focus its activities in classic weighing and dosing technology as well as in packaging solutions for dry food products.
Ishida GmbH is initially operating out of the Optima's facilities inSchwäbisch Hall until moving to new premises in the same area.
The German industrial food processing machinery industry remains very fragmented with about 300 companies, which are active within this market. According to Euromonitor, they are mainly middle-sized and employ approximately 23,000 people.
The industry exports about in about 150 countries all over the world. The USA retains the leading import country for this German industry with 11.7 per cent, followed by European countries and China.
Earlier this year, Ishida Europe also announced the opening of a Paris office to handle all sales, projects, spares, service and training for the French market. The move is designed to allow Ishida Europe to meet the changing needs of French customers directly as the food and packaging industries develop towards more integrated packing solutions.
Ishida Europe is a global player in the design, manufacture and installation of complete weighing and packing line solutions, particularly for the food industry. The firm develops advanced automated systems for weighing, packing, labelling and handling food products.
Headquartered in Birmingham, UK, the group is supported by four additional offices in mainland Europe, one in the UAE and one in South Africa. Ishida Europe's 2002 sales reached €60 million in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Ishida Europe is a subsidiary of Ishida in Japan.