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The KHS Group and Ferrum AG are intensifying their longstanding cooperation. Pending approval from antitrust authorities, KHS GmbH will be acquiring a stake in Ferrum Packaging AG. The aim is to optimally bundle the competencies of both machine-engineering companies to form a common system portfolio in the interest of providing integrated customer systems. At the same time, customers will also benefit in the future from well thought-out, one stop-shop services.

The KHS Group and Ferrum AG have been working together extremely successfully in the can segment for years. Dortmund full-service provider KHS values most of all its Swiss partner’s innovative machine technology and its expertise based on many years of experience, emphasizes Martin Resch, CFO in charge of purchasing at KHS. “Ferrum AG is the worldwide well-known manufacturer of can seamers. Combined with our future-oriented solutions in the field of filling and packaging technology, we form an effective union that is valued highly in the market.”

The two engineering companies are now intensifying their cooperation even further. Ferrum Packaging AG was founded as a subsidiary of Ferrum AG and incorporates Ferrum’s entire worldwide can seaming business. KHS will be acquiring minority ownership in Ferrum. At the same time, Ferrum Packaging Inc., the US subsidiary of Ferrum Packaging AG, will be taking over KHS’ can seaming business together with its employees and will be integrating it into the joint offer.

Intelligently combined system solutions

The aim of the merger is to develop and globally market joint solutions. To date, the KHS Group has offered tried and tested Ferrum can seamers only as accessory components for its canning lines. Effective immediately, work in close cooperation will begin on developing even more efficient systems including a filler-seamer block. “Based on skilled future planning of technical components, block solutions are to be designed to be as integrative as possible and do away with redundant functions,” says Dr. Siegmar Stang, Executive Vice President Wet Area at KHS.

Combined filler-seamers designed for the maximum capacity class are planned with clear benefits for the overall process, as Oliver Bühler, CTO of Ferrum Packaging AG, explains. “We don’t want to merely present one solution; we want to develop a comprehensive system portfolio that meets the needs of every customer while offering clear customer benefits.” Among other things, the two partners have set themselves as targets for their new developments a lower TCO1 through shorter changeover times and more rapid sanitizing phases. In addition, the hygienic environment of the systems is to be further optimized.

Comprehensive one-stop-shop services

The intensified cooperation will also bring about extensive customer benefits in the area of customer service. In the future, all services for combined systems from KHS and Ferrum will be offered from a single source. “This will not only reduce the effort for our customers, they will also benefit from shorter machine wait and downtimes,” explains Dr. Beat Bühlmann, President of the Board of Directors at Ferrum.

The planned services include joint overhauls of the systems and integration of the KHS remote maintenance system ReDiS2. Coordinating the supply of spare parts will also result in improvements in discontinuation management to ensure continued operation of the machines and thus the availability of systems.

1 TCO = Total Cost of Ownership
2 ReDiS = Remote Diagnostic Service

In order to strengthen and stabilise its position in the market, the Vilsbiburg decanter manufacturer Hiller was looking for a strategically oriented partnership last year. Which form of partnership this could be was always left open, from the sale of shares to the complete acquisition. A future perspective geared to stability and growth, which should result for the entire company, was of the utmost importance in this search.

As the industry has been exposed to highly volatile markets in recent years and the company thus faced a difficult economic situation between 2013 and 2016, the company had set itself high targets in its search for a partner in order to strengthen its market presence in the future. With the Swiss Ferrum AG, the perfect investor was finally found. Ferrum AG fully supports the desired objectives, such as the preservation and further development of the Vilsbiburg (Germany) location, maintaining the brand name “Hiller” and above all of the entire workforce.

Ferrum AG, headquartered in Schafisheim, Aargau (Switzerland), is the global market leader in the can closing business and a specialized niche supplier of separation technologies. Ferrum sees the acquisition of the Hiller GmbH, an international innovative specialist in the development and manufacture of decanter centrifuges as a significant progress in the separation technology business.

Hiller GmbH employs 160 people and operates state-of-the-art production facilities at its headquarters in Vilsbiburg, Bavaria. Hiller’s decanter centrifuges and plants are used particularly in environmental technology / wastewater treatment and in the food industry, but also in the oil and gas, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. The location in Bavaria with its staff and the brand name Hiller will be retained.

Georg Hiller, CEO Hiller GmbH, will also remain with the company as CTO and can therefore devote his full attention to the further development of decanting centrifuges and the associated processes and will also support the integration of Hiller GmbH into the Ferrum Group.

Ernst Werthmüller, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ferrum AG, will be responsible for the Supervisory Board and act as temporary CEO of Hiller GmbH.

Ferrum AG employs over 800 people worldwide and has two plants in Switzerland, as well as locations in China, India, Poland, the USA and now Germany.