DS Smith invests €13M in Austrian recycling plants to boost production by 20%
13 Feb 2024 — DS Smith is investing €13 million (US$14 million) in two Austrian plants in Margarethen am Moos and Kalsdorf bei Graz. The company aims to increase production capacity, improve efficiency and strengthen its long-term competitiveness. The investment will increase DS Smith’s production in Austria by 20%.
Business processes of both plants have been harmonized, including quality management and system standardization. These initiatives are supported by investments in new machinery at both sites, increasing quality, productivity and innovation capabilities.
Reinier Schlatmann, DS Smith’s regional managing director for East Europe, says: “Our investments in technology, automation and process improvement enable DS Smith to drive innovation in packaging solutions. With a strong focus on the transition toward a circular economy, we are reshaping the industry and supporting customer sustainability goals at the same time.”
“DS Smith’s commitment in this respect is supported by our development of corrugated packaging that offers alternatives for problematic plastics. The investments in Austria significantly strengthen our position in the market and make a long-term contribution to the environment and economy.”
Recently, Mondi confirmed it is in the early stages of a possible merger with DS Smith, which estimates show would create a company with a combined value of €11.7 billion (US$12.6 billion). However, while Mondi said the combination is an “exciting opportunity,” a DS Smith announcement emphasized the idea is “highly preliminary” and that no concrete proposal has yet been made.
Business processes of both Austrian plants have been harmonized, including quality management and system standardization.Meeting customer demands
As part of the investment program at the DS Smith plant in Margarethen, new palletizing robots and transfer carriages have been installed, which, combined with the targeted optimization of the production process, will enable a significant increase in efficiency. The company put a new folder gluing machine (Masterfold) and a high-performance die-cutter (Masterline) into operation at the Karlsdorf facility.
In addition, the modernization of the conveyor system and the expansion of the warehouses at both sites are close to completion.
Furthermore, DS Smith is investing in advancing resource and recycling management. This includes the installation of a new stamping waste press in Kalsdorf, supporting DS Smith’s environmental commitment. The technology will enhance the safe, clean and efficient disposal of packaging waste, particularly as production scales up.
DS Smith Packaging Austria is also preparing to invest in other sustainable measures. The roofs in Margarethen and Kalsdorf will be renovated and modernized by the summer of 2024 to install large-scale photovoltaic systems in later years.
Dieter Glawischnig, managing director at DS Smith Packaging Austria: “With the help of even more efficient processes and increased synergies between the DS Smith sites, we can ensure reliable supply to our customers in the long term.”
“This strengthens their trust and enables us to respond to individual customer needs even in economically volatile times. DS Smith is well positioned for the predicted upturn in the Austrian and European economy in 2024.”
“Our investments ensure the stability of our supply chains and sustainable business continuity. We also want to make an active contribution to strengthening the regional economy. This involves continuing employment opportunities in Vienna, Lower Austria, Salzburg, Burgenland and Styria and creating attractive new jobs for skilled workers.”
Edited by Natalie Schwertheim
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