A contract fabricator in the food and consumer goods industry becomes a successful, innovative manufacturer of high-tech packaging systems for the worldwide trade in goods. Our company can look back on five decades of successful history with a continuous innovative lead.
As a pioneer in plastic thermoforming, company founder Günter Söhner already made a name for himself in the food and consumer goods industry early on. Under the slogan "We crack every packaging nut" many creative packaging solutions arose for L’Oreal, Estée Lauder and numerous other well-known cosmetics manufacturers. Söhner's first customers at this time included companies like Kodak, Maizena, Hirschmann, Hohner, etc.
Constant further development and expansion, as well as the use of new technologies and machines, made the entry into the segment for technical molds and containers for the provision of parts and parts conveyance in an industrial environment possible in the 1980s. The first workpiece carrier was developed and produced.
In 1987, the second generation entered the family business - daughter of company founder Petra Söhner-Doll - followed by her husband Dr. Theo Doll in 1989. From then on, product development lay in the responsibility of Dr. Theo Doll, who, due to his research at the University of Karlsruhe in the area of process computing and robotics, brought additional experience and knowledge for the creation of workpiece carriers into the company. Innovative product development now enabled the use of plastic workpiece carriers in robot-supported and automated processes.
At the beginning of the 1990s, Söhner achieved the successful introduction of the twin-sheet deep-drawing method developed in the United States. This was an important step that brought our company a decisive innovative lead as this method opened up the possibility to manufacture products with considerably higher rigidity and in various shapes and colors. In Germany, Söhner was the first company to use the twin-sheet technology for the manufacturing of plastic packaging.
The "MegaPack" large load carrier, manufactured using the twin-sheet method, conquered the global trade in goods in the automobile industry. The foldable pallet boxes set standards in regard to transport volume optimization and stacking loads, as well as use at both low and very high temperatures. Expensive steel frames and mesh boxes were able to be replaced immediately by the more affordable plastic containers. Both the tare weight and the nestability of containers ventured into new territory.
As a result of this growth, internationalization was intensified. Sales offices in Poland, France and Italy were opened, and the sales activities were extended to the North American continent. In 2006, the product range was also expanded to the processing of twin wall panels with the acquisition of Rico Pack, a specialist in this area. Söhner was now able to combine deep-drawn packaging with elements from lightweight twin wall panels and provide complex, one-stop-shopping packaging solutions.
With the advancement to a company with a very broad spectrum of products and services Söhner Kunststofftechnik is today one of the leading European manufacturers of plastic packaging systems and technical molds using the thermoforming method. As such we have already stood up to the new challenges in the logistic sector that arise and have arisen with the Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things in which machines and products are connected and communicate with each other. The first large load carriers and pallets for example have been transformed to “smart objects” equipped with barcodes or RFID chips. We further offer intelligent solutions in the developing field of container management systems.