Fri, 16/01/2015 - 10:21
Current Issue 34
The First Name in Secondary Packaging
Lantech has customer uptime, accessible customer support and the highest machine performance right at the heart of all it does
Writer: Emily Jarvis
Project Manager: Tom Cullum
When purchasing a product from your local supermarket or retail outlet, we as consumers rarely give a thought to how it got there safely. From its manufacture to logistical operations, companies have to create balance between timely arrival in-store and the adequate packaging involved to get there with as little chance of damage to the product as possible. Lantech play an integral part in the design, assembly, installation, shipping and service on machines globally in the end of the line packing industry.
As a serious contender in secondary packaging solutions, stretch wrappers, case erectors, shrink wrap machinery and palletload conveyors, Lantech remain unmatched when it comes to quality standards. Part of Lantech’s prosperity today can be attributed to its 43 year-long history. Founded in 1972, Lantech now has more than 65,000 machine placements worldwide and more than 150 US and foreign patents for its innovations. Its global network of 175 sales offices and Technical Packaging Centre can provide the stretch wrapping, case equipment, shrink packaging and conveying solutions to improve productivity and reduce packaging costs.
Through the fast expansion of its customer base, the Lantech name has become known as a trademark for quality solutions in packing and stretch wrapping solutions. “We believe that service is key. If we go to a new country for example, we try to provide a service and after service akin to world class standards,” Managing Director of Lantech Europe, Frank Wijers explains. Boasting a stretch wrap throughput speed of 60-160 pallets an hour, Lantech’s wide product portfolio is testament to its years of devotion and knowledge in how best to serve the customer.
With the belief that there is always room for improvement, Wijers says that there is a fine balance between producing the best packaging combined with the best value for the customer to make the perfect packaging: “Lantech look into each customer’s product line and take the time to study what packing method would be an adequate solution that causes as little damage as possible.
“The cost of damage during shipping can be enormous, having inadequate packaging solutions can cost companies billions in lost revenue a year. Therefore it is vital we design our packaging solutions to meet the exact criteria of the product we are wrapping,” he says.
The machines behind the people
The Q Series semi-automatic and automatic turntable stretch wrappers wrap the majority of all pallet load sizes and shapes. S Series semiautomatic and automatic straddle stretch wrappers wrap lightweight unstable pallet loads. Whereas Lantech’s Lan-ringer stretch wrapping systems wrap long products that will not fit on turntable stretch wrappers or wrap products that require banding, compression or extra packaging for shipment.
Lantech automatic case erectors eliminate machine jams with positive case control and are designed to boost productivity and efficiency case erecting applications. Versatile case sealers handle all types of flutes, double wall and single wall and most common sizes. With no scheduled maintenance or periodic lubrication required, this means there is next to no downtime for this machine.
Lantech shrink tunnels revolutionise the way you think about making great looking packages. Dog-ears, wrinkles, conveyor marking and burn-outs are all eliminated with Lantech’s “soft convection” shrink tunnel process. The shrink wrappers are simple to set-up and operate at fast speeds.
Backed by a team of 500 + employees worldwide and a whole host of indirect employees, Lantech grows its experience levels every day via continuous reassessment of machine design, ploughing its innovation back through the ranks in order to provide a return back to the customer to provide a cost return.
As a worldwide operator, Lantech adapts its learnings across Australia, China, the Netherlands and US. “We have a presence in every EU country, whether it is in the form of a sales and service office, distribution agents, OEM’s. Furthermore, we are currently targeting expansion across Asia including Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, China and Indonesia; and we are taking the same approach in the upcoming African economies such as Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa,” highlights Wijers.
“Our plan is to increase our presence in these countries where consumer spending is on the rise. This is where typically the retail outlet grows and major production plants arise. As such, we wish to expand our sales and services here over the next few years.”
Automation in the industry is something that has become a necessity due to the demands of modern life. The industry has become a 24 hour machine to cater for the needs of multinational companies. As a result of this, Lantech have to make sure that their packages will always be the same all year-round.
“People cannot work 24 hours a day, which means inevitably they cost us money. The industry has been forced to focus its efforts on automation in order to become more efficient and be in constant operation,” says Wijers.
The sheer quantity of product that needs stretch wrapping will always remain a long term challenge for Lantech, however it is one that continues to reach beyond expectation as the company is able to diversify when it comes to different size orders, combinations and packaging options.
“Automation allows us to handle a huge amount of goods, and ensures consistency no matter the product. Convenience and speed for our customers is of paramount importance,” affirms Wijers.
Staying ahead of the curve
As an industry driven by world-growth, Lantech promises stand firm in the packing industry. Backed by an intuitive research and development team, the company constantly innovates to stay ahead of the curve. “We re-apply our learnings back into the design of the equipment. Plus, with sustainability policies increasing their emphasis on environmental impacts, we have to continuously develop our machinery and products in a way that works in tandem with this,” says Wijers.
This change is reflected in the products themselves that Lantech have to create a packaging solution for. “One example of this is the use of lightweight materials such as bottles means that adjustments need to be made to correctly apply the stretch film around them; otherwise you risk destroying the pallet while wrapping, instead of stabilising it.
“Also, we have to consider new trends in the industry such as pallets being displayed on the shop floor of a supermarket or shelf-ready packaging, and so design has had to change for this customer facing environment,” he adds.
Additionally, it is important for Lantech to adapt its own packaging to recycle-friendly corrugated cardboard and wrapping materials and make sure that the equipment is able to handle these thinner, greener materials.
Wijers believes that the flat organisational structure at Lantech assists the company not only in its vision to operate as one, but its rapid response to industry changes: “By working closely with our partners, I feel we can operate as one. Above all else, we are here to help our customers and our continuous improvement strategy runs through every level of our organisation to give them an optimal packaging solution. Lantech has a lot of energy still to give,” Wijers concludes.