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A look at WT Europe 2016

15 Dec 2016. Hamburg is home to major players both in the domestic and international tobacco markets. They include the country’s number two cigarette maker Reemstma, a unit of Imperial Brands, and the tobacco machinery maker Hauni, which is marking 70 years in business this year.

That’s one reason why WT Process and Machinery Europe opted for a return visit to the North German port city this past November. Another is the city’s location in the heart of Europe and its infrastructure, which eased logistics at the three-day Hamburg fair for both visitors and exhibitors. About 60 companies exhibited.

Visitors to the Hauni Maschinenbau stand were given the opportunity to join one of the regularly scheduled tours of the company manufacturing centre in the Bergedorf district of Hamburg. Founded by Dr Kurt Körber in 1946, the factory tours were organised to commemorate the company’s 70th anniversary. What began as a repair shop for cigarette machinery and a manufacturer of hand-operated tobacco cutters has grown into Körber Group, a privately held entity with more than 11,000 employees that has expanded into other endeavours.

Körber companies active in tobacco include recent acquisitions Borgwaldt Flavor and Borgwaldt KC, the latter company specialising in quality control solutions, including testers for smoke and vapour analysis. Decouflé, Garbuio Dickinson and Sodim are other known brands now part of the Körber stable of tobacco industry suppliers.

Riedel Filtertechnik treated their customers to a new solution called ReWin. The system separates the collected winnower from the cigarette maker, cuts them to the specific structure (from rough to fine) and feeds them online and blend-specific to the cigarette maker. It can be upgraded by an inspection unit that detects foreign materials like paper, plastics and casing balls. The foreign matter is tracked to a reject bin. ReWin is compatible with all cigarette makers and can be easily installed above the makers, taking no additional floor space.

ReWin compliments the Riedel portfolio next to TRS, SACU and MAC (see photo, left) that benefit cigarette production plants in terms of yield improvement and energy savings, said Sales & Marketing Director Thorsten Kurtz.

At the Schur Star Systems stand, Tobacco Key Account Manager Stefanie Engel said the company for several months has been showing clients a new pre-made pouch with side panels designed to be fed into the Schur packaging machine. The Star System uses what the company calls a unique string on which pouches and bags are run through the packer.

Industry 4.0 is the name given to a trend in industrial technology that has pushed deep into the realm of online machine management, for example by designing cyber-physical systems that can perform functions independently and make production decisions. Armchair factory management options are becoming more numerous, as are the number of trade show stands operated by companies like China’s Haulong and Germany’s Xavo.