Full speed ahead in Asia
New machines to meet special requirements
This was a technical challenge that the company was happy to take on. New machine models were developed especially for Asia. The vital thing was for it to be easy to produce high-quality packaging – and not only if the operators were entirely familiar with all the equipment's parameters.
The performance and process stability of Optima machines are still regarded as the benchmark for the sector. The new models that Optima Nonwovens has developed for the Asian market have been adapted in their output rate. So the company continues to offer market-leading technology for fully-automated high-performance solutions, as specifically required by global players, including in Asia. However, Optima Nonwovens has also expanded its portfolio to include, for example, semi- or fully-automated packaging machines for diaper and femcare products. The packaging quality that can be achieved remains extremely high. Five models of this kind of machine are already available for the Asian market. They are intended for all kinds of diaper and femcare products.
"It's important to be interested in the customers, to try to understand them and their products. We are specialist machine manufacturers, so we can adapt to meet their needs, and that's what we want to do"
Oliver Rebstock, CEO Optima Nonwovens
Fourfold increase in local presenceIn Asia, as in other countries, close support for customers is an essential factor in the success of a project. "We have increased the number of factory visit days in Asia fourfold," reports Oliver Rebstock. Of course, this has only been made possible by deliberately increasing the manpower that is available locally. Today, local teams of experts in China, Japan, South Korea and Malaysia work with German specialists based mainly or only in Asia to meet customers' needs on the spot.
This dynamic combination of Asian and German Optima employees has proved to be exceptionally successful. The teams include people who grew up in the relevant countries, who know its culture and "their" market. Many of them have also been working for Optima Nonwovens for years or helped to set up the sites.
The German Optima employees in Asia also have many years of experience in technical management or servicing, built up initially at the headquarters in Germany. Last but not least, the two managing directors of Optima Nonwovens, Dr. Georg Pfeifer (technical) and Oliver Rebstock (commercial) go on at least two business trips to Asia every year, each lasting several weeks.
Today Optima Shanghai has the biggest field service team, in terms of numbers, in the whole company, says Oliver Rebstock proudly. In other
respects, too, the Chinese branch in particular acts completely independently on everything from consultancy and sales to installation, training and servicing. The main company site in Germany now "only" deals with manufacturing the machines. Nevertheless, the Asian link at company headquarters remains very important. For example, there are Japanese and Chinese native speakers working in Schwaebisch Hall to ensure that customer requests can be understood and acted upon there.
These special arrangements are now beginning to bear fruit, as Optima Nonwovens is gaining more and more Asian customers. The machines designed for the Asian market have already been sold in batches of ten per order, so the company is proud of what has been achieved. Nevertheless, Oliver Rebstock insists that the hard work will continue at top speed: "We want to expand our market share."
Local experts available to youOptima's partnerships with customers at its four Asian sites stand or fall by the people who represent Optima there.
5 machines – all specifically designed for the Asian marketplaceOptima Nonwovens has developed no fewer than five new machine models specifically for diapers and femcare products for the Asian market. The Optima Nonwovens global machine range is also available in Asia.
OPTIMA DS1The basic model for processing diapers, with three semi-automatic packing stations. This is a low-cost, compact and flexible entry-level model that can be extended, e.g. with bag-making modules, or upgraded to fully-automatic processing. The OPTIMA DS1 can be synchronized with production machines. (Infeed up to 600 products/min., output up to 50 packages/min.)
In terms of throughput, the OPTIMA LUCK is superior to the OPTIMA DS1. It can process infeed of up to 800 products/min. A manual feed station for the products can also be integrated in the machine, enabling it to be operated as either a semi- or a fully-automatic system. A bag-making device can be added as well.
For the feminine hygiene sector, the OPTIMA TB300 offers an entry-level solution for fully-automatic packaging. Very high-quality side-folded bags for sanitary pads and panty liners are manufactured from a reel. Like the other models, the machine is designed to be particularly compact and space-saving.
Important for you
- Advice and customer care services in Asia have been greatly strengthened. A large and very experienced team of Asian and German experts operates from the four sites.
- The servicing department has also been greatly expanded. Optima's biggest field service team is now located in China.
- New machine types from Optima Nonwovens, intended specifically for the Asian market, are now available.
- Thanks to these machines, the packages look perfect every time.