In the production hall of Seidenader Maschinenbau GmbH in Markt Schwaben, machines are humming, technicians are milling metal parts, and measurement data are being analyzed at a terminal. While normal operations are running, about 150 customers from the pharmaceutical and biotech industry are finding out about the innovations from Körber Medipak Systems. They’ve come from all over the world to the “Seidenader Open” to find out how deep learning can make production processes more efficient in the future, how open software standards make it possible to connect machines into networks, and how virtual reality can be utilized in traditional mechanical engineering. Here, the future is already the present.
For two days, the “Seidenader Open” is enabling visitors to experience the principle behind Medipak Systems close up: The focus is on the customers. Medipak employees from seven different companies work at 25 locations to provide their partners from the pharmaceutical and biotech industry with systems that are precisely tailored to these partners’ needs. In order to create these systems, they search through all the available know-how and select exactly the individual elements they need in a specific case. Their basic motivation is the joy of creating something new and producing individual solutions for their customers.
That’s what motivates Christian Scherer, for example. He’s been working at Seidenader, a Medipak company, for 18 years as a specialist for inspection solutions and serialization concepts. After receiving his intermediate school leaving certificate, Scherer completed an apprenticeship in mechatronics at Seidenader. Today he manages the company’s worldwide sales operations. First he learned how the machines work — then he opened up the global markets.
Scherer built up the Seidenader company’s business in India and South America and worked for the company in France and the USA. He has experienced how the company reinvents itself again and again as it seeks the best solutions for its customers, and he has also contributed to this reinvention process.
That’s because he knows that today it’s more important than ever before to understand machines as well as customer needs perfectly. As he puts it, “We are a one-stop shop for our customers.” Companies from the pharmaceutical and biotech sector are searching for solutions that will enable them to react flexibly to the dynamic market. That includes fast, error-free changes of inspection units such as ampoules and syringes, and of their sizes. It also includes Track & Trace solutions and the simple integration of new machines and production networks.
The Körber Business Area Pharma Systems (Körber Medipak Systems) has decided to utilize a strikingly efficient process: It offers outstanding products that complement and reinforce one another. In addition, it offers know-how regarding how interfaces can be adapted and simplified. In the interaction between the companies, innovation also results from the clever bundling of outstanding technical and digital solutions.
lThe crucial factors in our relationships with our customers are reliability, communication, and trust.r
Christian Scherer, Head of Sales at Seidenader
That sounds simple, but in practice it’s a very complex process. According to Scherer, one of the great strengths of Körber Medipak Systems is the close communication and the mixed teams that work on projects within this Business Area. “The crucial factors in our relationships with our customers are reliability, communication, and trust,” he says. Creating these factors requires sensitivity. “It’s all about bringing together exactly the right people that a given project needs,” he explains. Experts, tinkerers, listeners, nonlinear thinkers, implementers — all of them start by acquiring a precise understanding of the customers’ challenges — and the “Seidenader Open” days offer a good platform for that. “The process is a dialogue,” says Scherer. “Together with the customers, we define what a new product should accomplish and what the direction of development should be. We then continuously check these basic assumptions during the implementation process.”
Wanting to know more, understanding connections, developing solutions — these are all parts of the Körber Group’s vision, and Scherer and his colleagues put them into practice and develop them further in every part of the company. That can be seen in the development process of the “Lion” system, a Plug & Produce solution that makes it possible to easily integrate existing or new lines by standardizing the interfaces according to the customer’s requirements. This enhances connectivity and ultimately makes production processes faster and more efficient. “Lion” is just one example of Körber Medipak Systems’ holistic approach.
Answers that meet the concrete needs of customers often lead to the development of solutions that advance the entire sector. Customers who were tired of not being able to simply combine machines they bought from various manufacturers motivated the engineers from Medipak to create an open software standard that makes such combinations possible.
This future-oriented mindset, as well as the practical interplay of the Medipak brands, recently impressed yet another customer from the USA who wanted to have a stand-alone solution from a single supplier. “As the Körber Medipak Systems team, we were able to offer this customer an inspection machine from Seidenader, a conveying system from Fargo, and the packaging machine from Dividella. We presented this system solution as a unit,” says Scherer. Alternatively, the customer could have bought individual machines from different manufacturers. “But this way the customer has one contact person on site for everything, instead of a different company for every question.” That’s what it means to offer innovative solutions from A to Z from a single source.