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Jakob von Wolff, Executive Global Director, Packaging Division, KIEFEL GmbH
Jakob von Wolff, Executive Global Director, Packaging Division, KIEFEL GmbH

The Packaging Division of KIEFEL has been growing rapidly in the last few years. In an interview with CPRJ at Fakuma 2018, Jakob von Wolff, Executive Global Director at Packaging Division of KIEFEL GmbH, talked about the latest trends in the packaging industry as well as the developments of the division.

Jakob von Wolff mentioned that innovations in materials are posing big challenges to machine development in the packaging industry. “We have to develop very deep understanding of new materials. We need to understand the properties of the materials, e.g. barrier property, to design machines for the handling and processing,” he explained.

Another challenge for the industry is the call for circular economy. This also shapes the trend of machine development towards more solutions for recycling materials.

“The society is asking for less plastic packaging, however, there are no actual alternatives for plastics now in my personal opinion. Therefore, a gradual move to use less plastics, save more energy, and achieve closed loop recycling is the solution,” he added.
At Fakuma 2018, Packaging Division of KIEFEL showcased coffee capsules produced by its machines.
Apart from more innovations in new and recycling materials, another obvious trend is automation. As labor cost has been increasing, and it is difficult to recruit experienced machine operators, the demand for machine automation is on the rise, remarked Jakob von Wolff.

KIEFEL is on the course of transforming from a conventional machine maker to a true full service company, providing different technological know-hows and customer services.

For the Packaging Division to address these market requirements, a new material research center was established, aiming for better understanding of new materials, more customized prototyping, and development of process control.

The division is currently active in designing a complete system, with tools, machines and automation, for PP cubic style coffee capsule production in the US market. According to Jakob von Wolff, the trend for coffee capsule production in this market is characterized by using PP which is recyclable.
The other exhibit of Packaging Division of KIEFEL displayed at the company booth.
Another project of the division is to develop advanced automation for the production of trays, in which an operator will be able to operate a few machines in the production line.

The packaging industry has been enjoying organic single digit growth, which is driving by new and high performance products, such as the single serve coffee capsules and extended shelf life packaging, said Jakob von Wolff.

For regional markets, growth in the US is stronger than Europe as the former has a stronger consumer market.

For KIEFEL, the Chinese market is developing very well as Chinese consumers are spending more. The Chinese producers are also improving the quality of their products and looking for high-end feel packaging, presenting high potential to the company.

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