The construction of a new Uhlmann office building in the Uhlmannstrasse in Laupheim is to commence in September 2018. The architecture is similar in style to that of the assembly and logistics hall inaugurated in 2016. (Photo: Barkow Leibinger)
A surprise at the ACHEMA trade show in Frankfurt in June: a birthday cake to mark the 70th anniversary of the company Uhlmann. Happy recipients from left to right: Tim Slomp (Managing Director Production and Product Development), Siegfried Drost (Managing Director Sales), Tobias Uhlmann (Chairman of the Supervisory Board), Hedwig Uhlmann, Norbert Gruber (Chairman of the Executive Board). (Photo: Uhlmann)

Continuation of a 70-year success story
Increase in Sales and Staff at Uhlmann
Approximately ten percent higher sales and an increase in employees close to eight percent – the Uhlmann Group concluded its business year 2017/2018 successfully. Generated sales amounted to EUR 411 million. Over 2,200 employees as well as some 120 trainees currently work for the various companies of the Uhlmann Group. “In my eyes, two success factors have influenced this development: firstly, our innovations and, secondly, our corporate culture and our values”, states Norbert Gruber, Chairman of the Uhlmann Executive Board.

Innovative strength leads to over 10,000 Uhlmann machines in the market
Over 10,000 Uhlmann machines currently package medicinal products in blisters or bottles worldwide. As a result, Uhlmann Pac-Systeme GmbH & Co. KG ranks as global leader in the pharmaceutical packaging sector. The export rate amounts to just over 80 percent: four of five machines leaving Laupheim are delivered abroad, to the USA, India, Brazil, and China, or to countries such as Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Finland, and Namibia. The order situation for the business year 2018/2019 is also good – not least due to the innovative strength of Uhlmann. The company demonstrated this recently at the ACHEMA trade show held in June. The exhibition team not only presented the new Blister line BEC 400, geared to the packaging of tablets in blisters and cartons, but also innovative digitalization and service solutions. “Uhlmann repeatedly gives impetus to the sector, whether in the context of products, technology, or services. Our customers, the pharmaceutical manufacturers, value this highly”, reports Siegfried Drost, Managing Director Sales at Uhlmann.

Corporate culture and values as success factor
Uhlmann sees the corporate culture and values as the second success factor. “We are very proud to look back on 70 years of success in the pharmaceutical packaging business. Key influencing factors here are our values such as reliability and sustainability. We are an economically independent, family-owned company and do not think in the short term, but ahead to the next generation”, underlines Tobias Uhlmann, Chairman of the Uhlmann Supervisory Board.

Strong identification among employees
The investments of the Uhlmann Group are also to be seen against this background – as is the growing number of employees. The Group – the companies Uhlmann, KOCH, Cremer, Wonder, and visiotec – employs over 2,200 people altogether. Approximately 1,350 staff members currently work at Uhlmann in Laupheim and an increase to over 1,400 is planned in this business year. Furthermore, the company is presently training over 150 young people in the context of cooperative state university courses, internships, or apprenticeships. Uhlmann also does much to retain skilled personnel on the workforce. In 2017/2018, for example, the company invested in over 600 further training courses. Numerous activities for employees, such as celebrations, presentations, sport events, and a photo competition, will also take place this year in connection with the company’s 70th anniversary. “Many of our employees not only work for Uhlmann, but also see themselves as a part of Uhlmann. We are very pleased about this and want to continue to promote this identification”, explains Tobias Uhlmann.

Investments in Laupheim and worldwide
“Uhlmann is expanding strongly at present and wants to continue to grow in the future – globally and at its home base in Laupheim”, says Norbert Gruber. “We are investing in the future, among other things in a new office building in the Uhlmannstrasse.” A new 75-meter long building is planned, providing 350 to 400 modern workplaces on four floors. The architects Barkow Leibinger, also responsible for the previously built assembly and logistics hall, was commissioned by Uhlmann to design the new building, completion of which is slated for early 2020. The investment is in the order of EUR 15 million. The Uhlmann Group is also expanding outside of Germany. A new assembly hall is to be constructed for Wonder Packing Machinery Co., Ltd. in China, doubling the manufacturing and assembly area at the site in Jinzhou. In addition, Uhlmann plans to build a manufacturing plant in Eastern Europe (see the information box). All jobs in Laupheim are to be retained. “We are not relocating, but are expanding. This indicates how well Uhlmann is doing and how positively we assess the further development of the market and our company”, emphasizes Norbert Gruber.

Information box
Uhlmann plans an additional plant in Eastern Europe
The Uhlmann plant in Laupheim will be stretched to the full in the near future and can no longer offer any additional production capacities. The increasing shortage of skilled workers in the region is another factor. Against this backdrop, Uhlmann is planning a new production plant in Eastern Europe. Components for pharmaceutical packaging machines should be manufactured there as of 2021. The new plant will be designed to also cater for the other companies of the Uhlmann Group. “We anticipate further growth in our core business, pharmaceutical packaging machines, in the coming years. We will create the needed capacities with this new plant”, explains Tim Slomp, Uhlmann Managing Director Production and Product Development since January 2018. “We have decided in favor of a location in Eastern Europe because sufficient skilled workers are available there and the lower production costs will enhance our competitiveness.” In addition, Uhlmann will shift its Bottle Packaging Systems division to Cremer in Lisse (in the Netherlands) by 2020. This denotes a pooling of the company’s expertise in packaging in bottles within the Uhlmann Group. Uhlmann has given the employees in Laupheim a job guarantee. “We need competent, skilled personnel in many areas. Where required, we also assist with retraining or further qualification options”, says Norbert Gruber, Chairman of the Uhlmann Executive Board. “We are continuing to expand, and need qualified and dedicated employees to achieve this – in Lisse, in Eastern Europe, and also in Laupheim.”    

Press information [PDF]
Press photo Headquarters New Building [ZIP]
Press photo ACHEMA2018 70Years [ZIP]

 

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Uhlmann Pac-Systeme GmbH & Co. KG is a leading global systems supplier for the packaging of pharmaceutical products in blisters, bottles, and cartons. In addition to its innovative packaging lines, Uhlmann provides consultation, project management, and extensive services from a single source. The company is part of the Uhlmann Group, which generated sales amounting to EUR 411 million with its workforce of approximately 2,200 in the business year 2017/2018. In 2018, Uhlmann looks back on 70 successful years in the pharmaceutical packaging sector and sets its sights on continuing this success story with future-oriented innovations.