Schoeller | Interview with Ludo Gielen from Schoeller Allibert on Trends and Innovations
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Interview with Ludo Gielen from Schoeller Allibert on Trends and Innovations

PlasticPortal.eu | Autor: Schoeller Allibert s.r.o.
Ludo Gielen, Chief Innovation Officer at Schoeller Allibert, explains why Schoeller Allibert has become the European leader of Reusable Transit Packaging (RTP) and his vision of the future of innovation in the industry.

You have been in RTP for decades. What are the core advantages of Schoeller Allibert?


Schoeller Allibert has been inventing, developing, designing and manufacturing Returnable Transit Packaging (RTP) for more than 60 years. We have a rich heritage, having been formed from the key players: Schoeller, Wavin, Perstorp, BiPP, Arca, Linpac, Allibert, Paxton, Stucki amongst others. Today we are the European market leader in Returnable Plastic Packaging Solutions with operations worldwide.
Our added value lies in our capacity to develop high-end products from A to Z, fully customizable and on-demand. We always run a supply chain analysis for each new client, allowing us to perfectly determine their needs in terms of quality, price, but also specific industrial requirements.
We are the company that offers the largest range of standard and tailor made RTP packaging solutions across ten key product segments being Foldable Large Containers, Foldable Small Containers, Rigid Pallet Containers, Beverage crates and trays, Stackable and Stack / Nest handheld boxes, UN pails, Foldable IBCs, Pallets and Dollies, with a portfolio of more than 1,000 products. They are lighter, stronger and more environmental friendly.


As a leader, how innovation drives Schoeller Allibert’s product development?


Innovation is a big thing for us. Schoeller Allibert has always been at the top of the industry by being responsible for over 80% of innovations in RTP. We have the largest R&D program located in 3 places around the world and 5% of our turnover are dedicated to R&D with concept designers, product designers, and engineers that are able to offer a complete development program with the right logistics help. The main Technology centre is fully integrated in one of our production plants in Hardenberg, and will allow us to launch over 41 new products in 2017.
Today, we keep innovating in product forms to enhance the moulding technics and achieve better performances, but also in material composition to build products fully adapted to the specificities and constraints of each of our markets. To enhance our skill set, we have now added a dedicated material engineer and director for digitalization of our RTP’s.


About products then, what are the latest innovations and best-sellers?


Among the many 2016 innovations – 29 new product development this year –, the most prominent in the Automotive Industry are:
1/ The EuroClick®: a light, ultra-versatile, stackable European crate for automotive parts, which is fully compatible with other Euro crates. It comes with two unique features: the one-click ClickHolder® label holder system for maximum traceability and Click Booster®, which adds 15 mm container height, eliminating the need for different shaped crates for different shaped auto parts. This innovation just won the “Packaging of the Year” price at Obal Roku 2016 competition. Additionally, we’ve recently developed a bespoke EuroClick for our Czech customer TRCZ, which was manufactured with ESD material to avoid static electricity shocks to electronic parts.
2/ The new KLT Range: 4 models of VDA approved stacking containers for the European Automotive Industry, used for advanced handling and distributions applications. Strong and impact resistant, they can support a stacking load of up to 600Kg, and unit loads between 20Kg and 50Kg depending on the model. They are fully compatible with automated systems.
About best-sellers, our container Magnum Optimum® is clearly a major reference in the industry. It’s the only 750kg certified FLC (Foldable Large Container) in the market. It offers 10% more volume than most FLCs, handles weights of up to one tonne, and cuts down the space taken up on return journeys by 30%, resulting in significant cost-savings and a much-reduced carbon footprint.


How do you see the future of innovation in the packaging industry?


The future of our industry will mainly be about adapting ourselves to the trends of the different markets we work in. Material innovation is important because it allows us to improve the core capacity of products but a lot of innovations come from smarter design and better understanding of the markets’ needs. I see 3 top trends for the following years:
Globalization is still a key trend because it has a major influence on our business: competition being global and fierce, all companies look for savings and efficiency in all parts of their own business. It means inbound logistics and pressure on their own suppliers to reduce costs, speeding up their own processes and reducing labour, avoid storage of both parts and finished products, and lower cost of outbound logistics.
In Automotive, we have to develop products than can better protect the technical and electric parts of cars, with functions such as anti-electrostatic discharge, fibre free, waterproof, anti-contamination, tamper proof.
Finally, the most important trend of the decade is Internet E-Business, with products that can be integrated within automated warehouse, with speed and accuracy. We are proud to be a certified Autostore® Hatteland supplier.


For more information: www.schoellerallibert.com