Fast and efficient digital printing…

Hinterkopf were recently announced as the Digital Print Packaging Company of the Year by Food and Drink Matters magazine.

Originally a small family business founded in 1962 by the Hinterkopf family, the business has grown to be an international organisation, yet still retaining its family ethos. In 1982, Alexander Hinterkopf took over the business from his parents and it has subsequently grown to now employing over 180 employees.

For more than 60 years, Hinterkopf has been producing and decorating aluminium and plastic tubes. Hinterkopf design engineers has enabled the company to transform and develop new lines and machines that deliver a high-volume production of plastic and aerosols cans on a mass scale.

The company has seen explosive growth, and commenting on this growth, Alexander Hinterkopf was able to make the following observation:

“We are in a very exciting period right now, and the best we’ve had in over 60 years. Over the past 12 months we have grown by approximately 50% and we are forecast to grow again another 25% next year. So in two years we have nearly doubled our turnover.”

Located in Eislingen, Germany, Hinterkopf develops machines that allow customers in the packaging industry to react to changing market demands. The product portfolio includes Printing and Lacquering units, Capping Machines, Necking and Trimming Machines, Washing Machines, Accumulators and various special machines.

As of 2022, there are over 20 digital printing machines made by Hinterkopf in operation globally, with 20 orders set for 2023.

“Each machine takes time to manufacture, and because we only deliver perfection, we can only manufacture one machine a month. Therefore, you can see why we are growing so fast because we have consistent orders coming in 12 months ahead of time,” added Hinterkopf.

“Production lines can also be adapted to each individual need and requirement.”

As the company expands into new and emerging industries, Hinterkopf mentioned a new customer base that has recently formed.

“Before there were large can makers for filler companies and for the small fillers there was nothing. We have come across a new industry where small fillers are now buying wide upright cans from big can makers to use for their custom printed cans.

“Because they only require small batches, from 12 – 500, this has created an entirely new industry and style of customer for us as we can cater to these small businesses in the service industry who are wanting small batches in short lead times.

“We’re excited to see where this can go for us. The rise of small drink company’s such as craft beer, lager, or kombucha are far outweighing order numbers from the big companies such as Coca-Cola. We are currently working with 11,000 potential fillers who are looking for customised printed cans that are not plastic, but embody their company’s branding.

“So the artwork is challenging for us, but we can and are delivering the products that our customers want and need. The fact that we can produce sustainable packaging too alongside intricately designed artwork and full bottle and can wraps is very attractive to our smaller customers.”

Hinterkopf is also keen to stress the company’s point of difference:

“We;re able to achieve the demand on quality with a reasonable price but with the same reliability and availability of the machine as the bigger companies. Our highly sophisticated product is perfect to manufacture in small batches.

“We want to work more with smaller companies who many not have the money and unit space to hold a large number of machines in one location. We have some customers that order one batch every few weeks or only order on demand, because getting too much product in one batch fills up space.

“Our services are attractive to these smaller companies because we can supply smaller orders on demand and then repeat this sequence more often for a more cost-efficient and time-efficient solution for the customer,” said Alexander.

In the next few months, Hinterkopf has announced it will be introducing aluminium wine bottles to its production line. Available in small bottles of 185ml and 200ml with a screw neck, they are ideal for industries such as airlines as they are light in weight, can be ordered in small quantities and have more economical and sustainable packaging.

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