It is the first time the leadership team consisting of Walter Bickel, CEO, Hady Seyeda, COO, Carolyn Wagner, head of BU Packaging, and Nico Schoeman, head of BU Tobacco, has come together to talk about the firm’s future plans following the departure of former CEO, Peter Vanacker in February.
Paper maker Feldmühle Uetersen
Speaking exclusively to FoodProductionDaily, Carolyn Wagner, former MD, DS Smith, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, who joined Treofan in February, said HybraPack is a hybrid material jointly developed with paper maker Feldmühle Uetersen.
“HybraPack is a laminate created out of film and paper to target bio packaging products, combining the properties of BOPP film and paper for stand-up pouches,” she said.
“It looks like paper and feels like paper and manufacturers can play around with the film to increase its barrier properties. The first pilot project has been made for its first application and we have a couple of industrial partners and a converter who want to partner with us.
“We are in talks with a customer who is interested in using the film and we are targeting dry foods such as cereals and even smoothies in a stand-up pouch. We expect to see our first industrial application on the market in October this year.”
Working capital program
Financially, Bickel said while the company increased turnover last year its financial results were slightly down on 2013 in part due to a period of transformation on its working capital program.
Business operations in 2014 saw a restructuring of the company’s process improvements including strengthening its sales organizations, transforming the Italian organization into integrated production hubs, and the introduction of lean manufacturing.
Significant investments were made to improve the group’s largest manufacturing site in Neunkirchen, Germany, including installation of a €35m five-layer line, which is due to be operational in August.
It will also add a metalizer to a production site in Zacapu, Mexico.
“Installation at Neunkirchen is taking place right now. It’s an impressive building with the first production operations up and running by August. We plan to have a major event for customers on October 13,” added Wagner.
“We decided to go with machine manufacturer Andritz Biax not Brueckner this time because we are targeting a specific part of our business with the complex five-layer films. The machine will produce a differentiated portfolio of premium packaging and label films for a range of thicknesses and densities.
“The plant design allows for high uptime at low energy consumption, and is suitable for further plant extensions.”
Speaking about the firm’s financial results Wagner said Treofan had to ‘clean up its stock situation’.
“We’ve done an excellent job in bringing down working capital in monitoring our stock situation extremely well. We have more ample stock and a well-managed supply chain. It was a disciplined process,” she said.
“We have to focus on these issues to improve the whole process, make the supply chain more efficient, get even closer to our customers regarding our inventory, and install electronic connections to optimize our workflow internally and in terms of logistics. We need to be on top of our quality control and bring lean manufacturing to the fore in all our production plants.”
Treofan installed a software-based management system to focus on resources and shorten lead times at the end of last year.
The Accolade software, developed by Sopheon Corporation, was part of the company’s realignment of its global processes.
It has four areas of expertise; Portfolio Optimization, Process & Project Management, Innovation Planning and Idea & Concept Development.
“We are currently working alongside our CEO, who has brought in his expertise in managing the company in several ways to manage working capital stock and this has led to optimizing different parts of the firm. Internally, the idea is to ‘bring it back home’, collect all the data on our production processes and bring it into a systematic, operation,” added Wagner.
“Thanks to the on-going trend for thinner films in packaging this will lead to ever increasing faster production lines, metallization in specialty applications, and the on-going debate surrounding mineral oil in packaging.
“Food safety is high on the agenda for us and we will be attending the Nestlé Save Food Meeting at Lake Geneva, in Switzerland on May 12, which targets all companies with an interest in the issue of food loss and waste.”