Südpack – a new dimension for printing
Südpack Verpackungen is one of Europe’s leading producers of films for foodstuff packaging.
However, its range of packaging also includes special films for packing technical and medical products as well as products for the pharmaceutical industry. Südpack was founded 43 years ago and is still run by the founders, the Remmele family. The company makes a full range of products, offering its customer’s standard and specialised films as well as pre-made clam-shells for packing on thermoforming machines (vacuum and MAP), shell sealing machines, HFFS and VFFS applications and vacuum chamber machines. Printing on films is one of the organisation’s core competencies – Südpack is recognised for offering a high quality finish in flexographic and rotogravure printing, as well as for its in-house pre-press capacity and for its philosophy, which marks the packaging specialist out as a system partner: ‘We don’t just make films – we make packaging that sells’.
Founded in 1964 by Alfred Remmele in Ochsenhausen, Germany, Südpack started operations by manufacturing tubular bags for the food industry. The company expanded over the years and then began to manufacture extruded tubular films in-house in 1969. In 1977, Südpack installed the first flexographic press in order to print these films and a year later the business expanded outside Germany and set-up its first foreign branch in the UK. In 2002, the organisation took over Piciotti SA in Bioggio, a Swiss company in which Südpack already had a minority shareholding and which is now Südpack Bioggio SA.
For many years, Südpack has enjoyed particularly strong growth in the food sector and has now become an international company with branches in 15 countries. Today, Südpack’s various companies, including a Europe-wide sales organisation, have a total workforce of around 900 employees. Südpack sees itself as a system partner, providing all films from a single source. Furthermore, Südpack provides the fine-tuning of its customers machines on-site as an additional free service.
An example of some of the products Südpack has to offer is its range of convenience packaging, which includes the EcoVent and the EcoSteam. The EcoVent is a cardboard container with a metallic coating, hermetically sealed by the EcoVent film. The product is placed in the microwave, unopened. There it heats up, during phase one, using the pressure cooker principle, until the packaging opens by itself. Phase two then begins – the baking process. For example, the bread component of a burger becomes delightfully crisp thanks to the metallic coating of the cardboard while the meat remains moist. The combination of pressure and microwave cooking heats the product thoroughly and evenly – without loss of quality. The EcoSteam system for the microwave brings about a dramatic reduction in cooking times compared to conventional systems, while retaining the vitamins and flavour.
Due to the increasing demand of higher qualityprinted and packaging design, the company has been committed to maximising print quality for many years and has continually upgraded its technical equipment to this end. For the highest quality printing with up to 12 colours, Südpack prints in rotogravure and flexoprint – on Europe’s most modern printing press. Finest patterns, highest quality colour impressions, flexibility, speed and price consciousness is also available from the company. Furthermore, experts from Südpack’s customer print service assist its customers, whilst offering decisive design ideas. Several prizes won by the company in international competitions are evidence of the success of its efforts to achieve high-quality printing.
In addition to this, since 1994, Südpack has been certified to the quality assurance system ISO 9001. The company is also regularly audited by some of its main customers, including Unilever, Nestlé, Kraft Foods, Tesco, Arla Foods and The Cheese Company. A fully equipped laboratory, including a microbiological department and a video-monitored laminating system ensures Südpack can offer its customers the flexibility they require.
To further enhance the quality of the company’s products and processes, Südpack enforces the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) guidelines. This is a systematic preventative approach to food safety that addresses physical, chemical and biological hazards as a means of prevention rather than finished product inspection. HACCP is used in the food industry to identify potential food safety hazards, so that key actions, known as Critical Control Points (CCPs) can be taken to reduce or eliminate the risk of the hazards being realised. The system is used at all stages of food production and preparation processes. Südpack has also put in place a hygiene management system to BRC/IOP standards.
Throughout all of its production sites, Südpack does everything in its power to remain environmentally friendly. This includes using solvent-free lamination and printing processes, and systematic waste separation facilities. The company is also accredited to the environmental management system ISO 14001 and places great importance on the reduction of solvent residues. Furthermore, the organisation operates a state-of-the-art exhaust gas purification plant to help reduce emissions into the environment.
Continually investing in the future, Südpack has recently developed a new Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) product range, which has reclosable lids for packaging items such as sausages and cheese. This type of packaging modifies the composition of the internal atmosphere of a package in order to improve the shelf life of the product. The modification process often tries to lower the amount of oxygen, reducing it from 20 per cent to zero, in order to slow down the growth of aerobic life forms and the speed of oxidation reactions. The removed oxygen can be replaced with nitrogen or carbon dioxide, which can lower the pH or inhibit the growth of bacteria.
Südpack’s corporate policy is dedicated to the goal of continuing the development of the company from its own resources and acquiring a leading role in the plastic packaging market. By concentrating on its core expertise, the company aims to be a knowledgeable partner offering solutions to its customers’ problems and to provide them with an extremely flexible and fast service. Furthermore, as a pioneer in new markets and a specialist in packaging products, Südpack’s goal is to remain an innovative, financially sound and commercially successful company. The organisation’s future plan is to venture further into the medical and pharmaceutical packaging industry, which has become a niche market for the company.
Products: Plastic packaging and films
Sites: Germany, Switzerland, Ukraine, Bulgaria, France and the UK
Employees: 900 worldwide