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The Sidel Group expands its offering in state-of-the-art labelling technologies and broadens its reach in key market segments. This will ignite a further phase of international development for Makro Labelling Srl, an innovator and leader in the field.

We are excited to be able to offer enriched labelling expertise and even greater flexibility to our customers, strengthening our position in labelling solutions and broadening our reach in dynamic markets such as wine, spirits, food, home and personal care. We will capitalize on the success already reached by Makro Labelling built on expertise, innovation and operational agility. The low and medium- speed modular labelling machines made by Makro will complement our leading higher-speed technologies that are manufactured in our factory in Mantova, Italy and integrated into Sidel’s packaging lines. We extend a very warm welcome to all Makro Labelling employees now joining the Sidel Group”, said Monica Gimre, CEO & President at Sidel.

Sidel has been developing labelling solutions for the past 40 years. It is present in Mantova with its own labelling plant where it has advanced its labelling technologies, reaching speeds of 90,000 containers per hour, that are well-integrated into Sidel’s complete lines and Super Combi series.

New phase of development and growth

“Joining forces with Sidel is an opportunity for further development and growth for Makro Labelling. After the acquisition, Makro will maintain its full autonomy as a unit of the Sidel Group and will continue to operate independently from its current headquarters. At the same time, we will be able to leverage and develop interesting synergies, exchange best practices, and offer an even richer experience for our employees and a broader portfolio to our customers. We are excited to embark on this new chapter of our adventure”, said Simone Marcantoni, Managing Director at Makro Labelling.

Makro Labelling is a modular labelling machine company that was founded in 2009 by five partners who are still forerunners in the company today and bring 30 years of experience to the table. Makro’s machines can label up to five items per bottle in cold glue, hot glue, self-adhesive, and combination versions. Sidel’s pairing with Makro, a company which has grown rapidly with worldwide reach, offers a key opportunity for both parties. The company is based in Goito (Mantova, Italy) and employs over 120 people.

Aetna Group, leading company in the production of end-of-line packaging machines and systems, has acquired the German company Meypack.

Meypack is a technology leader appreciated mostly for the quality and innovative capacity of its end-of-line products mainly in the food, spirits and home & personal care sectors in Germany and at an international level.

This operation is part of Aetna Group strategic plan to grow externally, to establish a production presence in countries with a manufacturing vocation, and to expand the product range in the food and personal care sector. Meypack’s internationalization will be further enriched by taking advantage of the presence of Aetna Group subsidiaries in the main countries of the world, so that Aetna Group will be able to increase its penetration in German-speaking markets.

The IVLV/VDMA document “Hygienic filling machines of class V according to VDMA: Testing of packaging sterilisation devices for their efficiency” has been revised.

The document specifies test microorganisms for testing of sterilisation devices of this machine class and defines the procedure for carrying out a count reduction test or an end-point test.

This document was compiled in 2002 under the title ‘Testing of aseptic systems with packaging material sterilisation devices for their efficiency’ in the VDMA working group “Interface problems with aseptic systems” in consultation with the Industrievereinigung für Lebensmitteltechnologie und Verpackung e.V. (Industrial Association for Food Technology and Packaging). Compared to the previous version from 2008, the following changes were made:

  • Restructuring of the trade association publication
  • Alignment of definitions with other VDMA technical association publications
  • Revision of the section “Requirements for test germs for testing packaging sterilisation devices for aseptic filling machines”.
  • Revision of section “Procedure for inoculation of the packaging”.
  • Revision of section “Germ reduction test” (additions to the practice with machines with multiple treatment stations)
  • Revision of the section “Endpoint test” including the calculation example in the appendix (addition to the recommendation for the determination of the initial germination scale; additional criterion for the evaluation of the stability of the sterilisation process)
  • Updating and addition of references
  • Deletion of appendix “Growing conditions for Bacillus subtilis SA 22 and Bacillus atrophaeus and preparation of the spore suspension”.
  • Update of annex “Sources of spore suspensions”.
  • Additional appendix “Example of a sensitivity test of the spore suspension to the disinfection medium – using hydrogen peroxide as an example”.

The trade association publication is available in German and English and can be downloaded free of charge from VDMA.org using the link below.

An overview of all publications of the working group on the topic of low-germ and aseptic filling with links for free download is also available from there.

Since the financial and economic crisis, there has only ever been an upwards trend for food processing and packaging machinery. In 2020, the 10-year growth phase in tis mechanical engineering sector came to a temporary end with a decrease of 9 percent to 13.9 billion euros.

“The drop in production doesn’t come as a surprise, as 2019 was an exceptionally strong year for our industry. Even without the Corona pandemic, we would have probably only just exceeded this high level,” explains Richard Clemens, Managing Director of the VDMA Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association.

In the packaging machinery sector, production dropped by a total of 8 percent to 6.7 billion euros. In food processing machinery, the change rates varied in the individual subsectors. Production of meat processing machinery slightly increased to over 1.2 billion euros. The demand also remained stable for bakery machinery. Both subsectors reported a good domestic business, which overcompensated the decrease in exports.

Production of confectionery machinery dropped by 18 percent below the very high level of the previous year. There was also a double-digit drop in the production of beverage machinery. “These two sectors are very active in non-European countries and are among those suffering from the Corona pandemic. In addition, the customers of these industries include many multinationals that have simply frozen their investment projects,” says Clemens, explaining the different developments.

Corona- pandemic weakens export business

Exports of food processing and packaging machinery dropped by a total of 8 percent to 8.5 billion euros in 2020. The decline varied greatly from one sub-sector to another. Manufacturers of packaging machinery, meat processing machinery and bakery machinery recorded downturns of 5 to 6 percent. Confectionery machinery was down by 24 percent, and brewery machinery saw a 38 percent drop in exports. However, the reference values of the previous year were also exceptionally high in these two sectors. The severe impact on the brewery machinery sector is also directly related to the limited or complete standstill of business activity in the hotel and catering industry as a result of the Corona crisis.

From a regional point of view, foreign shipments of food processing and packaging machinery decreased in almost all economic regions in 2020, except of North America. In particular, deliveries from Germany to the USA increased by 8 percent to over 1.2 billion euros. Positive impetus also came from important individual markets, such as Russia, Mexico and China.

However, deliveries to the EU-27 as the most important sales region dropped by 15 percent. Exports to Asia also decreased by a significant double-digit percentage.

Outlook

According to current estimations, a return to the 2019 level is not very likely for 2021. “We do expect production to grow this year, but it is unlikely to be in double digits,” says Clemens. The general outlook for the industry is positive, according to the trade association’s managing director, as the sector’s companies are well positioned internationally and continue to benefit from a rising global demand for processed and packaged food, beverages, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

The VDMA represents around 3,300 German and European mechanical and plant engineering companies. The industry stands for innovation, export orientation, small and medium-sized enterprises and employs around four million people in Europe, more than one million of them in Germany only.