Sustainability report 2019/20

Meeting maximum requirements

Quality and innovation management at KHS 

We constantly further develop and manufacture our filling and packaging systems to maximum quality standards and requirements and in doing so ensure that our customers can produce reliably and economically in the long term along their entire value chain. We systematically apply these requirements with the help of our consistent system of quality management. The aim is that our machines and components leave our factories in perfect condition and are reliably commissioned on site. 

Assuring, promoting and constantly optimizing quality

Our Quality Management Department centrally controls all aspects of process and product quality for all of the machines and components manufactured at our production sites. Internal and external audits regularly carried out at our plants by Quality Management are a key factor in this. The department is also responsible for annual certification in accordance with ISO 9001 that is held by all of our factories​​​​​​​ except the one in Suzhou, China.1

These system-relevant specifications form the basis of the high quality demands we have of our products. Our promise of performance, our own aspiration in relation to the high quality of our products, is supported here by numerous operative measures and thus ensured in the long term: we support our suppliers and check the high quality demands made of them at regular intervals. The reactions of their customers from regularly staged workshops, personal talks and a methodical complaints management system are used by us to improve the level of quality of our products.

As a permanent partner to Quality Management, our Process Management Department helps to further develop our company on a national and international level with the help of process models and organizations. It also performs process risk analyses from which risk minimization measures are derived and documented.  Regular training of employees at all production sites is also managed by Process Management.

Firm focus on customers

Continuous quality assurance calls for a sound knowledge of the wishes and demands our customers have of our machines and other products – and also of fast-changing laws and directives. We therefore hold regular joint workshops with our customers for this purpose. The topics covered include technology, market conditions and market trends. Our participation in trade shows and industry meetings and our discussions with Key Account Management also help us to familiarize ourselves with the quality demands made of our filling and packaging systems both now and in the future. We thus offer over 170 conversions, for example, that help our customers to keep their existing machinery up to date through various modernization measures for sustainable cost-conscious and resource-efficient production.

Developments based on decades of experience

In its long company history KHS has introduced a great number of innovative new and further developments for the beverage industry. This is still very much part of our mission: we aim to supply intelligent product systems with maximum product quality that our customers can depend on in the long term. To this end, we have an R&D management system with its own steering committees in place that is anchored at key levels of the company; the Executive Management Board, departmental heads, Product Development, Sales, Purchasing and Controlling are all fixed disciplines of these committees. They regularly meet to discuss our current development projects and coordinate how these are to proceed.

This means that our projects are always closely monitored from approval through implementation to completion and assessed from a number of different perspectives with regard to time, cost and quality. An annual R&D roadmap is also drawn up for the coordination and planning of future R&D measures between Technology and Sales. All employees involved are regularly trained so that this process is permanently implemented and informed of the procedures to be complied with.

For each project idea we prepare a holistic business case well in advance which we use to subject our idea to intense scrutiny from an economic angle before it is actually realized. Following its launch, the project is presented on a regular basis and examined for any criteria that would result in its termination.

For we work according to the principle that  
resources and capacities are specifically assigned and the project is both marketable and future-proof; we do so by studying ideas and development projects extremely carefully from the very beginning and throughout the entire development process. 

Here, we fall back on expertise from external research facilities and institutes and on invitations to tender issued by ministries at federal and regional level that we refer to on an individual project basis if topics can be pursued better and more efficiently with the help of such partners.   

 

Example central R&D projects in the reporting period 

  

  1. Research funding project 
    a. User-oriented application of energy-efficient drive technology in production (EnAP) 
    Funding: the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy 
    Duration: 11/1/2016 to 7/31/2020 

    The aim was to devise a method for the energy-efficient and economical selection of electromechanical and pneumatic drive systems for designated drive tasks.  Drive structures with integrated energy-saving measures were taken into particular account and used to modify both existing and newly devised production systems.  
     

  2. Development projects  
    Process monitoring 

  • Basic Line Monitoring: web-based process monitoring system designed to boost line efficiency and precisely record key process data. 

Energy and resource efficiency 

  • Innopack Kisters TPP tray paper packer: secondary packaging made of paper instead of film for beverage cans. 

  • Packaging system for packs without secondary packaging: Nature MultiPack. Bottles and cans are held together with dots of adhesive, now also with a doubled capacity of up to 90,000 containers per hour. 

Long service life 

  • Innoket Neo Flex labeling machine: new, expandable labeling system for various applications. 

  • Conversion instead of new investment: increased efficiency and economy, for example on the bottle washing machine with its newly designed bottle pockets. 

 

The KHS Group is currently expanding its production capacities in China. To this end, it is investing in a new manufacturing site in Kunshan, also in the province of Jiangsu, that will start production in 2021. This plant will be established according to global KHS standards and management system regulations and certified according to ISO 9001, for example.