In the fourth of a series of articles about headline exhibitors at Total Processing & Packaging 2004, Gail Hunt talks to David Kaye, managing director of Krones UK, a company that has been successfully bridging the gap between processing and packaging machinery for 50 years
Krones UK, the British subsidiary of the world’s market leader in the supply of bottling and packaging machinery [Krones AG] celebrated its Golden Jubilee this year.
It did so in the knowledge that in 2002 it established a record figure for the sales of Krones Group products [in excess of £55M], which represented a quantum leap for the UK company.
“This was a big-style record,” says Krones UK managing director David Kaye, “as our previous record was £38M, which was achieved way back in 1995.”
So why was last year such a milestone for the company? Kaye modestly talks of a ‘purple patch’ that saw a sequence of high value, turnkey systems ordered in the one year. Bearing in mind that the company will achieve a turnover close to £50M this year, it looks like this growth is sustainable and not just a flash in the pan.
It’s a long way from when the company was founded by Mark Goddard back in 1953 to deal in the sales, refurbishment and installation of second-hand bottling and packaging machinery.
During the 60s Goddard embarked on the acquisition of UK/Irish agency agreements with leading continental manufacturers of bottling and packaging equipment. Although he could not possibly have known it at the time, the first-ever agency he secured in 1964 was destined to become a market leader in its specialised field – the Bavarian company Krones which was totally unknown in the UK market at that time.
Krones AG bought the successful UK company in 1975, making M&E Goddard the sixth wholly-owned international sales subsidiary of the organisation, of which today there are 38.
It is estimated that in the past four decades well over 3000 units of capital machinery have been installed by the Lancashire-based company.
In 1991, Krones UK moved to a four-acre site on Wingates Industrial Park near Bolton, where its new headquarters – Westregen House – represented an investment of over £3.5M.
Today, these facilities provide the base for the 85-strong UK team, which provides a range of sales and after-sales support services for all the company’s customers throughout the British Isles, including field service, specialist technical assistance, project design and implementation, spare parts supply and customer technical training programmes.
For over half a century, the name of Krones has been synonymous with container labelling technology, and the current labeller portfolio is broader than ever, catering for all outputs and all applications in virtually all manufacturing industries.
The newly developed version of Krones best-selling labeller, the Contiroll reel-fed machine, is designed for the application of plastic wraparound body labels by the so-called ROSO method [roll-on, shrink on]. According to Krones, this new model can be a viable – and significantly cheaper – alternative to the use of shrink sleeves for many contoured container applications.
It’s not just in the labelling arena that the company excels. “The development of our filling technology was the catalyst for the huge explosion in growth for Krones,” says Mr Kaye. Today, Krones AG supplies over 100 turnkey drinks lines a year all over the world or, in other words, two nearly every week of the year.
If Krones is also synonymous with beverage machinery, it also wants to become just as well known for machinery destined for other industries.
“Five years ago the global company supplied about 9% of its equipment outside the beverage industry,” he says. “This year, this has increased to represent about 22% of our global turnover.”
In the UK, the company is actively looking to develop its portfolio of products to a wider audience. This includes the capping and closing machinery manufactured by French company André Zalkin et Cie and Spanish company Posimat, manufacturers of machinery and systems for empty plastic bottle handling.
Krones UK has represented these two companies for many years and equipment from these ranges will be on show at Total Processing and Packaging, next March along with equipment from the Krones range. “We’ll also be providing the three Ps for visitors to our stand,” says Kaye. “Peanuts, pamphlets and pale ale.”
Who could resist such an offer?
Total Processing and Packaging 2004 will combine the traditional strengths of the leading UK exhibitions – Pakex, the PPMA Machinery Only show and Reed Exhibitions processing shows Eurochem and Interphex – while placing an increasing emphasis on all elements of the packaging and processing value chain.
To be held across four days every three years, the first event will take place from 29 March-1 April 2004 at the NEC, Birmingham, UK.
Total Processing and Packaging will include all the major elements that make up the value chain including Packaging – materials and containers, machinery and equipment, and design; Production; and Processing, while the major user industry sectors of food, drinks and pharmaceuticals will also be headlined.
Total Processing & Packaging 2004, Birmingham NEC MARCH 29 – April 1, 2004.Ticket Hotline: + 44(0)870 429 4396 or visit www.totalpp.com