04 September 2019

Erhardt+Leimer Group marks a century of innovation

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We caught up with Dirk Schröder (pictured), head of sales division print/film, Erhardt+Leimer Group about this fantastic milestone. Here, he shares his thoughts on the label industry, and the upcoming show.

Happy 100th birthday Erhardt+Leimer! Tell us about this fantastic company milestone.
In 1919 Manfred Erhardt founded a workshop in Augsburg, Germany, that was initially dedicated to the sale and servicing of industrial clocks and signal systems. Albert Leimer joined the company six years later. In 1935 Erhardt+Leimer started to develop and manufacture the first precision mechanical units for the local textile industry. In parallel with the upturn in the textile businesses, the company grew and specialized in web guiding units for the automatic guiding of the web in textile machines.

Then in 1960, Erhardt+Leimer expanded its area of activity to the printing and film/foil industries; later the packaging, non-woven fabric and tire industries were added. The paper manufacturing industry was entered at the start of the nineties. As early as 1995 the company pioneered digital technology and introduced camera technology into its automation systems as standard; in 2000 it became involved in inspection technology.

Today, the Erhardt+Leimer Group, employing more than 1,600 staff, is a global business with subsidiaries, branch offices and over 300 service stations all over the world. It has a broad portfolio in the area of automation, measuring and inspection technology for the production and processing of materials in web form.

How has the industry changed in that time and how has Erhardt+Leimer responded to that?
The label industry has been under a constant consolidation process which has transformed the market, from a very diverse landscape to an industry dominated by big multinational enterprises, both on the supplier side and also on the side of the brand owners.

This has led to the introduction of more standards and working to best practices. Smaller margins have led to waste minimization, while the run length has got ever shorter. This development has certainly influenced our product portfolio, with ease of operation and design to cost being constantly in focus.

What are you showcasing at Labelexpo Europe 2019?
Erhardt+Leimer is showcasing a comprehensive portfolio of devices and systems for automation and quality assurance, with a focus on networking the components used. Among them are web guiders, actuating drives and position sensors, web tension sensors, web tension measuring amplifiers and controllers, web monitoring systems (video systems) and inspection systems.

Have you exhibited at Labelexpo Europe before?
Yes, since 2005.

How do you think the show has changed since you’ve been involved, and what have been the highlights? What role has it played in the label and package printing industry?
The show has grown and gone global, with the fixed calendar entries for Europe, US, China and India. For Erhardt+Leimer, it is one of the most important industry events.

What key trends are likely to have an impact on the region in 2019, and how do you think the industry will change in the next few years?
This is a global industry and trade wars are usually not good for any industry. Other than that, the digital revolution in the print industry will continue to grow, while waste reduction and recycling will become more and more important.

What message do you have for visitors to the 40th anniversary edition of Labelexpo Europe 2019?
Make sure you come and celebrate the 100 years of E+L with us – you’ll find us in hall 4, stand D45.


Read the Erhardt+Leimer show preview here.