Milkron: “People in Germany know who we are”
Milkron has only been operating for about eighteen months – and “people in Germany meanwhile know who we are,” explains Managing Director Hermann Meyer proudly. At the Anuga FoodTec, he tells me over some ice cream at the milk bar what’s been happening since the company was founded, and what the road map is for the future.
Hermann Meyer, what’s your interim verdict after 2 days of the Anuga FoodTec?
I’m really very satisfied. There’s always something going on, and the clients are proactively approaching us – even though our stand isn’t even in the process technology hall. It’s obvious that meanwhile people in the German dairy sector know who we are. But that’s thanks not least to our staff as well: many of them have already been working in the sector for many years now – and they’re familiar not only with the market’s requirements but with the needs of the clients themselves. In a technology-focused sector like ours, particularly, personal contact is incredibly important.
So your clients all operate in the dairy industry?
Right! In Milkron, Krones has synergised its corporate capabilities themed around milk. This is because the properties of the products we’re talking about here – and concomitantly their treatment and processing methods as well – are quite different from those of other less sensitive foods or beverages. So dairies and milk-processing firms need some experts at their side to support them in new plant and line projects with their comprehensive in-depth knowledge of the processes and the sector concerned – and this is precisely what Milkron can do for them.
How many projects has Milkron completed in the past eighteen months?
We have meanwhile supported ten clients in refurbishing their plants (or parts thereof) and simultaneously optimising their kit’s efficiency levels as well. Moreover, we have handled planning and installation of a complete yoghurt line, plus the piping of a heat recovery system.
2018 is going to see the first large-scale international project: TINE, Norway’s biggest producer and exporter of dairy merchandise, will in conjunction with Krones be building a complete new dairy for fresh milk. In this project, we at Milkron will be looking after the entire process technology.
But for the future, too, our focus will continue to be on Germany and its neighbouring countries for the time being.
What does collaboration between Milkron and Krones look like?
Both companies liaise closely with each other when it comes to projects in the dairy sector. In this context, we support Krones with our expertise in anything to do with the products concerned and their processing. We ourselves, of course, benefit from the broadly based sales network of our parent company.
However, Milkron works together not only with Krones but also with other subsidiaries in the group. For example: in all our projects, we prefer using the products that the group manufactures in-house, meaning besides Krones’ machines and lines also components from Evoguard, or homogenizers from HST. On request, though, our clients will likewise be supplied with systems and components from other manufacturers.
What are Milkron’s goals for the near future?
Quite unequivocally: to strengthen our position and expand it still further. We currently have 39 staff; now in February we opened a second facility in Hamburg, which concentrates primarily on engineering. By the end of the year, we aim to have upsized our payroll to between 50 and 60 people, thus putting the staffing resources in place that will enable us to handle the rising number of project inquiries to the complete satisfaction of our clients in the future as well.