In September 2016, the company celebrated 25 years of ITM Poland with a two-day event; ďITM Innovation DaysĒ. On the first day, the guests were treated to a celebration movie of the history of the Polish side of ITM and a gala dinner. On the second day, the question of how ITM is preparing for the future was addressed. Several automation solutions such as the Polaris filter combiner, with a capsule inserter and Solaris multi-segment filter combiner with new modules were shown.
In a market where there is less need for volume every year, machine suppliers have to look at where they can add value. After presenting ITM Polandís capabilities on primary, rod handling and filter combining, the eventís focus shifted more towards the future. ITM Group has shown that it has a firm foundation in the next generation tobacco products category. In this category, the company has already presented its own design philosophy to handle future innovations. With the technology of the Solaris filter combiner, ITM can handle requests for heat-not-burn products; ITM Groupís subsidiary, TDC, has a modular machine solution Genesis, which can automate the production process of e-cigarettes. The design philosophy of both of these solutions is the same and for this reason it is possible to combine the product technologies. In this way, manufacture of a hybrid next generation product (containing tobacco and e-liquid) can be automated by exchanging modules from both machines.
After the presentations, there was time for more interaction made possible by Tricas, a company that is owned by ITM Group. Tricas focuses on product development and does this by using a technique called cross-over innovation. By monitoring innovations and developments in other industries, the company is able to introduce these new product technologies into the tobacco market. A small insight into this technology database and proven successes were given with the Tricas product development wall.
Furthermore, ITM Group is focusing on creating additional value with Industry 4.0. At the Innovation Days event, the company presented a practical application by using new and existing technologies. A key player in the 4.0 area was Gemba Solutions, which was acquired by the ITM Group in 2015. For more than 15 years, Gemba has been collecting, analysing and working with data gathered by machines and people in the factory and it has proven success in many industries. By using the new technologies that Industry 4.0 offers, Gemba can expand its data collection.
If you look at the history of the ITM Group, the company has reinvented itself a few times before to adapt to a changing tobacco market. Now, with the capabilities of Tricas and Gemba, the family-owned business has transformed itself from a machine builder into a total solution provider. In the last 100 years ITM Group has shown that it is capable of reinventing its business. It has done so four times already. As a strong family company, ITM Group is confident about its bright future. The eagerness to take a challenge and never take no for an answer is a key factor in the success. The company has a love for co-creating, discovering new markets, using the latest technologies and sharing expertise. It does all of this with joy and pride.
Wieger Knobbe (ITM)