Machine builder Windmöller & Hölscher concludes 2018 with sales of around 895 million euros. The specialist for the flexible packaging market is continuing its course of growth of the recent years. The number of employees increased from 2,950 to 3,100 in the worldwide group. In addition to global expansion, the company cites new products for digitalization and sustainability as growth drivers. In 2018, the company invested 8 percent of its sales in research and development.  In 2019, W&H celebrates its 150th anniversary and announces further innovations.

"All business units Extrusion, Printing, Converting and Service contributed to the record sales of the W&H Group of 895 million euros. With an export rate of over 90 percent, our international positioning is another important success factor for W&H," explains CEO Jürgen Vutz.

Strengthening of international presence and the headquarters In recent months, the machine builder has expanded its international presence with six new sales and service locations in Poland and Asia. At its headquarters in Germany, W&H invested in the construction of a 10,000 square meter technology center for machines for the production of flexible packaging. The new Extrusion Technology Center was completed in 2018. The new Printing Technology Center is currently under construction and will be opened in autumn 2019. "With our international subsidiaries, we offer our customers local contacts At the Technology Center in Germany, they can experience the entire value chain from extrusion to printing and converting," explains CSO Peter Steinbeck.

Digitalization and sustainability as future topics

In 2018, W&H invested around 8 percent of its sales in research and development, with a focus on the future topics of digitalization and sustainability. "Software makes our machines smarter and more efficient, for example through automated processes, error detection and quality assurance. By systematically building up our expertise, we maintained our technological leadership in this area as well," says Falco Paepenmüller, who was appointed Chief Technology Officer at W&H in April 2019.

In plastic packaging, the creation of a circular economy is a task for the entire industry. "Our machines can already process recycled plastics today. At the same time, we are working in our Technology Center on how plastic packaging can be made more easily recyclable without losing its protective function," said the CTO.

Entering the anniversary year W&H celebrates its 150th anniversary in autumn 2019. The motto for the anniversary year is 'Building the Future Together'. "Building represents our core competence as a machine manufacturer. Together the spirit of partnership. With Future we are expressing that we are not only looking back at the past success story, but also at tomorrow", Vutz sums up. The highlight of the anniversary year will be the K 2019 trade fair in Düsseldorf, where W&H will present new machine generations, digital products and innovative solutions for sustainable packaging.