Premier Tech and Bühler

How two partners set milestone after milestone

Premier Tech and Bühler are on the fast track. Since announcing their strategic partnership in bulk packaging in 2019, they followed up less than a year later with the creation of their joint venture based in China. This venture represents added value for customers who rely on cost-effective automated packaging technologies. Since March this year, many have benefited from the first jointly marketed, fully automated solution.

  

In grain processing, packaging is the last step before transporting flour to bakeries and other food processors, rice to distributors or pellets to farms. In many cases – especially in developing countries – the bagging operation is still done manually. This is not only inefficient, costly, and slow, but also implies a certain variation of weight and therefore a higher give away of the packaged goods. Premier Tech and Bühler saw a gap in the market that they could fill for their customers. “We see immense potential. The portfolio and expertise of Premier Tech and Bühler will enable future packaging solutions which are significantly more efficient, accurate, and food safe by using automation technologies,” explains Johannes Wick, CEO Grains & Food at Bühler. 

With Bühler’s strong footprint and market position in China and Premier Tech’s highly recognized knowledge in the field of automated packaging technologies, customers can rely on solutions from a single source and from intake to palletizing, reaping all the advantages offered by the partners. “What is magical about this partnership for our customers is to benefit from Premier Tech’s technological knowledge, Bühler’s operational knowledge, and unparalleled customer support from two organizations with a global footprint,” says André Noreau, CEO of Premier Tech’s Systems and Automation business. The partners have proven to be quick in their ability to implement their joint plans. At the end of August 2019, the two announced their strategic cooperation, which resulted in the establishment of the joint venture at Bühler’s production site in Wuxi, China in July 2020. 

Our customers will now have access to the best technologies from Premier Tech and Bühler at competitive prices and a service network that can quickly take care of their needs.

Alexis Michaud, Technical and Product Director, Premier Tech – Bühler

The next milestone quickly followed in March this year when Premier Tech and Bühler launched the CHRONOS OML-1060 ¬ their first joint solution for these needs and the first of what is sure to be many cost-effective industrial packaging solutions to come. “It is amazing to see what we can achieve when two industry leaders join forces. Only eight months after officially starting our joint venture we have introduced to our customers the most competitive fully automated packaging solution for granular products,” says Johannes Wick. 

Customers from their industries responded with great interest to the more cost-effective bagging technology, which is based on an existing Premier Tech solution. With design and technology already used in their existing solutions produced in Europe, the new fully automatic packaging solution for the grain, food, and feed industries is a more affordable iteration of an existing high-end solution. 

The partners have incorporated features their customers have most requested, therefore meeting the requirements of emerging markets without making compromises on accuracy or reliability. As the first open-mouth bagger from the Premier Tech-Bühler alliance, the OML-1060 can easily handle free-flowing granular material such as animal feed, pet food, rice, seeds, and plastic pellets. It can handle 20 to 50 kg bags at a speed of up to 600 bags per hour. Designed to be highly efficient, it can run any type of bag, including non-laminated polywoven that can be problematic to fill due to their irregular properties. It is also compatible with most common bag closing systems. OML-1060 has a small and compact footprint that optimizes floorspace and its lean design eases operation and maintenance. Safety being a priority for both Bühler and Premier Tech, it requires very limited operator interaction, enabling better working conditions. 

Check out the video from our partner Premier Tech.

World-class partnership

A little more than a year ago, the Premier Tech-Bühler alliance set up their 50/50 joint venture to cover the needs of food and feed customers both in China and other markets requesting cost-effective automation. “Customers will benefit from significantly more efficient, and even more accurate and food safe packaging solutions thanks to automation technologies developed by Premier Tech and Bühler,” says Johannes Wick. 

 

Johannes Wick and André Noreau Johannes Wick and André Noreau

Manufactured in Premier Tech and Bühler’s joint technology and manufacturing center in Wuxi, China, the solutions are produced to the same standards the partners have set for their solutions in North America, Europe, and elsewhere. Both Bühler and Premier Tech will offer the joint venture’s solutions in their markets, with Bühler focusing on turnkey plants, and Premier Tech on standalone solutions. “The global partnership will serve customers worldwide by building on Premier Tech’s recognized knowledge in the field of automated packaging technologies while making full use of Bühler’s strong international services and sales network,” says André Noreau. 

 

We are committed to working together to make for the best customer experiences while fully addressing their needs.

André Noreau, CEO of Premier Tech’s Systems and Automation business

Combining over 200 years of industry knowledge, Premier Tech and Bühler’s packaging solutions bring new opportunities to the markets in China, Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America, ensuring exact, safer, and more reliable packaging equipment. “Our customers will now have access to the best technologies from Premier Tech and Bühler at competitive prices and a service network that can quickly take care of their needs,” says Alexis Michaud, Technical and Product Director, Premier Tech – Bühler. 

Having attracted talents from both companies, the joint venture benefits from Premier Tech’s superior packaging expertise and technological leadership in this field, while Bühler contributes its knowledge of high-quality manufacturing and supply chain management in China as well as its digital solutions. In terms of digitalization, the teams are working on integrating packaging solutions into Bühler plants as this is one of the final steps to be able to show customers transparency and traceability of the products from the intake to the pallet. The partners agreed that BühlerInsights is a key enabler to drive connectivity. “We are committed to working together to make for the best customer experiences while fully addressing their needs and complementing each other in all cases,” says André Noreau. 

The next milestone from the partnership is already in the making. Currently, the partners are working on their first open-mouth bagger, which will pack powder as well as flour at high speed and high accuracy. It is set to be completed this year, with production starting in 2022.

 

Our team in Wuxi, China.
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