Innovation and standardization
The quest for innovation is what permanently drives the development of our products. This is induced by the objective to master the challenges of tomorrow – and not just in theory but also with conclusive results which prove convincing in practice.
For us, innovation and standardization are two sides of the same coin. By introducing new systems, at the same time we can establish and implement standards. Fully developed innovations, which really are sustainable and yield in the long term, are based on standardized systems. When innovative ideas are implemented which have been tried and tested in practice and proved their ability to function, our customers benefit in several ways. They can rest assured that they are acquiring a matured product which they can combine with existing or older lines. We thus attach great value to innovations and new systems – and to standardization processes.
One outstanding example of this is the development of our KHS Nature MultiPack™ innovation which we first launched to market in 2016 with the Evian brand sold by French food and beverage group Danone Waters. This no-film pack, which does away with the need for shrink film and thus an energy-consuming shrink tunnel (the bottles are held together by dots of adhesive), was presented at drinktec in 2013 where it attracted Evian’s attention. Through intensive cooperation, during the course of which we specifically focused on practical testing, taking two years to ready the product for market, a standardized innovation was developed. Finally, in March 2016, Evian put the pack without film on the market, thus making a vital contribution to the success of this novel packaging concept.
Many perspectives get results
This success is not only of great significance to us but also to our partner and customer Evian. Frederic Maetz, vice-president for Global Engineering at Danone Waters, is especially appreciative of the way in which our common goal was pursued. “The special quality of our partnership with KHS and NMP Systems (NMP Systems is a 100% subsidiary of KHS) lies in the joint ability to bring together the right experts from all fields – right from the very start.” We see ourselves as specialists here. We consciously adopt a number of different perspectives, obtain opinions and expertise from various fields and communicate openly with all those involved from the beginning. In our view this is the only way we can build a promising foundation for the standardization of a product or process. After all, a trusting partnership is never aimed at just the very first stage in the process. This is how Frederic Maetz also sees it. “We expect permanent support in order to constantly optimize the efficiency of our existing plant engineering. To this end you have to maintain very close links to all of your contacts, not just at the headquarters but everywhere locally. This has a lot to do with people – and with proximity.”
We are happy about and proud of this joint success. Further success was not long in coming; just one month after the market launch in April 2016 Evian’s pack without film won the Grand Prix Stratégies for design and brand strategy.
With its pioneering innovations KHS is setting a new standard in product differentiation and sustainability. We’re constantly working on alternative methods of production. One important aim here is to manufacture using the minimum amount of energy and with the smallest possible carbon footprint.