Syntegon Technology has looked back on its 2021 business year. With its well-established machine and service portfolio, the company was able to meet the high demand for both new equipment and modernisations fueled by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Benefitting further from global economic recovery effects in the special machinery industry, Syntegon increased its order income and sales significantly. Order income rose by 13.1% from €1.33 billion to €1.50 billion, while the total sales increased by 9.9% from €1.28 billion to €1.41 billion. Global machine sales accounted for two thirds of the total sales; the remaining third was earned with Syntegon’s service offering. The 2021 sales were generated in roughly equal parts in key markets around the globe, with slightly increased shares in Asia: 35% in Europe, 30% in North America, and another 35% in Asia and the rest of the world.
“We have successfully strengthened our global presence and will continue to be an important partner for food and pharmaceutical manufacturers worldwide,” said Dr Walter Bickel, chief financial officer of Syntegon.
Shaping innovations and trends in 2021
While sustainable packaging solutions continued to drive innovations in the food industry in 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic boosted the trend towards automation. The Syntegon food business experienced a particularly high demand in North America, as many food manufacturers started replacing manual work by fully automated packaging solutions. The service business has also seen increased demand, particularly in China. Limited travel possibilities further increased the need for digital remote service solutions. The pandemic’s effect was most noticeable in the pharma business, which generated 57% of Syntegon’s total sales in 2021. In addition to investing in vaccine production, pharmaceutical manufacturers rely on processing, filling, and inspection technology from Syntegon for their liquid and solid pharmaceuticals.
Commitment to a better life
“Thanks to the great work of our 5,800 employees, we continue to provide intelligent and sustainable solutions for the food and pharma industry. With our efficient, reliable, and future-proof packaging and processing technologies and services, we contribute towards a better life for consumers and patients around the globe,” said Dr Michael Grosse, CEO of Syntegon.
In 2021, Syntegon strengthened its efforts towards environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG). The company committed to the UN Global Compact and successfully completed its first sustainability assessment by the global rating agency EcoVadis. One of the company’s goals is to reduce its CO2 emissions by 25% until 2025 compared to 2019. In addition, Syntegon aims to make all its food packaging machines ready to process sustainable materials by the end of this year. Another important aspect is the company’s responsibility towards its employees. A global employee survey recently revealed results well above the industry average with high engagement and commitment rates.
System competence for the food and nutraceutical industries
Several innovations launched in 2021 highlighted the company’s dedication to sustainability. For instance, Syntegon and Huhtamaki developed a fully recyclable paper-based alternative to plastic blisters for tablets and capsules that won the German packaging award for sustainable packaging. Syntegon also catered to the growing demand for automation and flexibility by bringing two innovative robotic solutions to the market: the integrated Sigpack TTMD topload cartoner and the scalable, modular robotic pick-and-place platform RPP. Both ideally complement Syntegon’s system competence for the food industry, which ranges from process technology to primary, secondary, and tertiary packaging. Moreover, Syntegon expanded its inline filling portfolio for preformed containers with the new LFS filling machine for clean and ultra-clean hygiene levels of liquid and viscous products.
Global partnerships and innovations for the pharmaceutical industry
Syntegon’s pharma business won a prestigious award in 2021: the PDA Drug Delivery Innovation Award in the Partnership Innovation category for Versynta microBatch. Syntegon is developing the fully automated, gloveless production cell together with Vetter to address the need for smallest batches of highly effective liquid drugs. Together with Amgen, Syntegon has set new standards by implementing the first fully validated visual inspection system using artificial intelligence (AI). Collaborations are also driving continuous manufacturing of oral solid dosage (OSD) forms. Syntegon has entered a strategic partnership with Bayer and signed an agreement with Shanghai Pharmaceuticals to further advance this technology and establish it as a standard in the pharmaceutical industry.
Boosting services and digital solutions
The continuous expansion of the company’s service and digital solutions portfolio played an essential part in catering even better to daily customer needs for Syntegon’s 66,000 installed machines around the globe. The availability of remote services was further increased to offer both food and pharmaceutical manufacturers support through additional digital channels. New service agreements minimise costumers’ production risks by providing regular inspections, maintenance, and customised training. In addition, they facilitate comprehensive planning of annual budgets and capacities. The Syntegon service network has also started to optimise its global spare parts supply chain to achieve an even higher level of availability, delivery, reliability, and transparency.
Exciting developments ahead
In 2022, Syntegon will further extend its digital solutions portfolio. It will include a new digital customer platform with an improved Human Machine Interface (HMI) to help customers from the food and pharmaceutical industries monitor and optimize their production performance and ensure high levels of quality and efficiency. Syntegon will showcase further innovations at numerous trade shows worldwide. Visitors to Pack Expo in Chicago, for instance, will be introduced to new technologies for even gentler handling of sensitive products such as cookies and bars. At Achema in Frankfurt, Germany, Syntegon will present its new developments for small and micro batch handling of liquid pharmaceuticals, as well as for continuous manufacturing of oral solid dosage forms.
“We are setting the course for a successful future,” Dr Michael Grosse says. “Our expanded service and machine portfolio will help us to build and maintain strong partnerships with our customers. We will support them in leveraging the full potential of future trends in the food and pharmaceutical industries.”