The basis for secure, profitable growth and thus a future-oriented, sustainable development of our company is a long-term strategy.
To maintain our ability to react flexibly to changes in our markets, we have developed our strategy to the year 2025 – and have added new key focal points that also take the current developments in different contexts into account. These new key focal points include strengthening our business units for medical and technical applications, expanding our presence in the USA, enlarging our plant in Poland and the subject of recycling and sorted material management.
By appointing a new CEO in October 2019, the organizational structure was revised and aligned to use a business unit (BU) structure to meet the requirements of our markets and business segments even more effectively.
The dedication and motivation of our employees is essential for the success of our future projects. Given the continuous growth of the company and our international expansion, internal communication and forward-looking management are of crucial importance. To ensure that the corporate strategy is put into practice and the ambitious targets are achievable, all of our employees need to be informed about these matters. This is performed in various formats, for example in cross-departmental meetings, on our intranet or through digital media, such as videos. Not only has the number of employees steadily increased in recent years, we have also developed our manufacturing capacities even further. Crucial investments in buildings and machinery are what made this development possible.
In Schwendi, a Competence Center for compounding was built in 2017. lts capacity was doubled during the reporting period. Moreover, we invested in two extrusion and two slitting lines, which serve to manufacture and convert film made from renewable raw materials.
At the same time, we also forged ahead with the expansion of our plant in Kłobuck and made investments in additional printing, laminating and slitting lines. For potential extension of the plant, we were also able to acquire an additional plot of land. The groundbreaking ceremony is planned for mid-2020.
At our location in Bioggio, an easily configurable rotogravure printing press went into operation in early 2018. The machine works with high-end lightweight cylinders, which have a positive effect on the downtime and energy consumption of the machine. The line is now operated in three shifts.
The new construction of a slitting and logistics center in Erolzheim was our biggest investment project during the reporting period. After just one year of construction, the production site went into operation at the beginning of 2020. The industrial waste that results from slitting are collected in sorted groups and made available to the plant in Schwendi for further processing. In this way, SÜDPACK makes a significant contribution to a circular economy. The centralized storage and cutting capacities reduce the internal transportation between the external warehouse and production plant by approximately 50 %.
To further reduce the share of fossil energy sources used to run our sites, an investment was made in a new photovoltaic system on the production building rooftops of the extrusion operations in Ochsenhausen in 2019. The system will be commissioned in 2020. With the new system, approximately 400,000 kWh can be made available annually for the company's own use - which will also have a positive impact on the carbon footprint of the production site. In the years to come, we intend to continue to increase both the share of renewable energy and the share of self-generated energy.
Moreover, additional investments were made in other locations, such as Oak Creek. In the last two years, a printing machine, laminating machine and two new slitting machines were purchased. We will continue to invest in forward-looking projects and technologies, always keeping our customers as our main focus while doing so. In the future, SÜDPACK would like to further strengthen its position as an innovative and sustainable brand for highly refined films on the market - both at home and abroad.
The investments are predominantly financed through reinvestment of our corporate profits. During the reporting period, the investment volume amounted to an average of approximately 10 % of our turnover.