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Heilbronn, 28.10.2016

ILLIG benefits from strong non-European markets and continues to expand its service

Karl Schäuble, Managing Director at ILLIG:

ILLIG benefits from strong non-European markets and continues to expand its service

Heilbronn and Düsseldorf, October 21, 2016 – The Düsseldorf K-Show, the worldwide leading trade fair, has always been a useful indicator for the current economic situation and the mood in the plastic sector. For Karl Schäuble, Managing Director of ILLIG, the Heilbronn based manufacturer of thermoforming machines, this is a recurring occasion for looking back and also for an outlook to the future of the thermoforming and packaging technology.
„At the beginning of K 2013 we recorded an increasing tendency in demand of our innovative machine technology. In economic respect ILLIG could successfully conclude the last three years at a high level. This applies to our complete machine range.” This culminated in the excellent and diverse receipt of orders during the last twelve months, the highest level of orders received in our 70-years company’s history. Schäuble attributes this primarily to the new developments presented during the last three years. They were widely appreciated by our long-term customers; and this particularly applies to the IML technology. We think that in the future there will be an increasing demand for IML thermoforming in most markets.
„For this purpose we offer to our customers a whole solution for packs with highest demands with respect to decoration– everything from one source, everything ILLIG“, Schäuble says.

Strong non-European markets

In addition there is an increase in sales in the non-European markets, as well as an increased demand for packaging machines such as HSA, BSA, and FFS lines.
Schäuble continues: „Because of the positive development in the non-European markets we installed a branch office in South America in 2015, and at the end of last year we started operation of an assembly plant in India. Currently, we are revising our service concepts in further markets. On one hand we meet the requirements there, and, on the other hand we find that numerous European customers are concerned with production in non-European markets. We can offer our support especially for service-related questions.“
Particularly southern European countries continue to show weak investment since their economic growth will most likely be very subdued. According to Schäuble, this still also applies to the eastern European markets. In his opinion, the current politically unstable situation will limit the willingness to invest in this region even further.

Demands with respect to packs increase continuously

Today ILLIG delivers more than 60 percent of its machines and lines to non-European countries. Customers in Asia, the Arab region, as well as in North, Central and South America employ this technology to meet the increasing demands with respect to packs in their countries. ILLIG has been observing that process reliability and availability of production lines grow more and more important; also in regions outside the typical industrial countries.
„Quality and hygiene demands for packs continue to increase in most regions.
In economic terms this can only be realized with constant, high product quality and high productivity at the same time“, Schäuble says.

The future of thermoforming

With a look to the future of thermoforming Schäuble sees the focus of development in the coming years on the expansion of automation and “clean” production.
„We expect that in the future the increase of quality time for ILLIG lines will also be of major importance, with large batch sizes and a high automation level. This will result from the fact that we will continue to increase speeds in the thermoforming and punching process since quality and reproducibility of parts can thus be further improved.“
In this respect ILLIG supports the pack manufacturers with machines and complete lines for thermoforming, equipped with innovative control systems, and particularly the „ILLIG Intelligent Control Concept” (ILLIG IC) presented at the last K show, employed to achieve productivity, reproducibility, availability and operating convenience of a thermoforming machine or a complete thermoforming line. Installed, camera-supported quality control systems also contribute to achieve the target of speed increase; they record information on machine standstill and malfunctions. Checks of almost 100% performed on formed parts allow comprehensive data analyses for an identification of further influencing factors during extrusion or thermoforming and also for an early detection of wear or malfunction of the lines.
Schäuble: „We are convinced that by optimizing the so-called planned standstill times we can considerably improve the productive running time of thermoforming lines.”
ILLIG also meets the requirements of the trend that batch sizes of packs are getting smaller in many sectors which calls for shorter tooling times. Cleaning intervals are also a major factor today, so increasing hygiene demands can be met. Here, ILLIG is developing solutions so dust development during material transport in the machine or during punching is prevented, as well as lubricant or oil ingress.

New Managing Director Technology at ILLIG

ILLIG also went through a structural development. As of October 01, 2015, Dr. Heinrich Sielemann (50) has been the new managing director of technology at ILLIG. He succeeded Wolfgang Illig (70), who held this position for over three decades and now brings his experience to the company’s advisory board. Karl Schäuble (65) remains the managing director for the company’s commercial affairs. „With his extensive experience in international management of medium-sized enterprises and large groups Heinrich Sielemann is perfectly equipped for his new task at ILLIG. Most recently, Sielemann was the managing director of two subsidiaries of an international mechanical engineering company responsible for filling machines and complete filling lines for the food industry”, Schäuble explains.

ILLIG is a leading global supplier of high-performance thermoforming machines and molds, as well as solutions for the packaging industry. The company's product and services portfolio includes the development, design, manufacture, installation and commissioning of complex production lines and components. With branches and sales agencies in over 80 countries, ILLIG is locally present in all markets around the globe. For nearly 70 years, the owner-operated enterprise has been serving its customers across the globe as a reliable partner for the cost-effective manufacturing of complex precision thermoplastic parts with innovative technology of unsurpassed quality and comprehensive worldwide after-sales support.

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