DS Smith officially opened the doors to its newly-built display and consumer packaging plant in Erlensee, Germany on 17th November 2016. The plant is part of the Group’s investment programme designed to help the European packaging and supply chain specialist achieve its ambition to double in size. Construction of the new facility began in August 2015 and was completed in September 2016.
DS Smith has invested approximately €50 million in the project — developing the new plant and equipping it with the latest printing and finishing technology. The 45,000 sqm site comprises production and logistics facilities plus conference rooms and offices.
It replaces the company’s previous site ten kilometres away at Hanau, which could no longer meet the requirements of a highly efficient industrial business model. The plant will also consolidate the display and consumer packaging activities of DS Smith in the region, to maximise efficiency.
All 250 members of staff from the previous site will be taking up their current roles at the new site, ensuring the business maintains all current expertise from within the business. The total number of employees will increase within the next couple of years to enable DS Smith to achieve its ambitious display and consumer packaging growth strategy.
There is an Impact and PackRight Centre located at the site, where customers can experience the entire supply cycle under realistic conditions and collaborate with DS Smith to produce their picture-perfect pack. The Impact Centre is set up to look like a real supermarket and back-of-store area that allows DS Smith and its customers to look at the effectiveness of packaging in a real-life environment. The PackRight Centre provides a physical space for customers to meet with their packaging strategist and work together to perfect the design and concept. In addition, there will be a Trend & Innovation Area where visitors can get information about new developments in the industry like virtual reality applications, to increase sales at Point of Sale.
Tobias Häfner, Sales Director Consumer Packaging & Display across Germany and Switzerland said, “We are committed to servicing our customers as best we possibly can and ensuring we have the right facilities to do this is crucial. This new development is testament to that commitment and we hope our customers feel as excited by this as we do. We believe that with this plant we have created the largest and most efficient site of its kind in Europe.”
He continues, “We work closely with our customers to find solutions that increase their sales, reduce their costs and manage risks. Consumer and display packaging in particular, present huge opportunities for us to grow together with our customers — we have the knowledge, talent and experience and now we have the facilities as well to offer even more value to our customers across Europe.”
DS Smith has been investing heavily in Germany and Switzerland in recent years. This includes introducing a modern inter alia digital printing machine and equipping two corrugators with a new dry-end to produce higher quality products at a faster pace than before. The business has also introduced three new die-cutters across the region, plus two new inline machines, to create higher-quality production. It has complemented these developments with investments in logistics, IT and health and safety.