Hassia’s innovative filling products

German technology manufactured in India

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Hassia provides packaging machinery to industries such as food, dairy, and pharma. It is a fully owned subsidiary of Oystar, the German based process and packaging group. “Product dosing is our strength. We focus on applications, rather than brands, handling applications efficiently and ensuring high speeds and most importantly, with minimal give away.” So has Hassia acquired the big players of the branded segment? “Yes we have among our customers, P&G, Unilever, and others. It took a lot of time and some chutzpah, but we finally acquired these big names among our customers.” An interesting anecdote Ravi shared with us was how he got an entry in Unilever. Having met a senior person, he was bluntly told that they already had listed suppliers. And since Unilever had all the equipment, the only probable way in was to offer a 20% discount over the competition’s price. Ravi based on his understanding, instead offered to provide a machine that would increase the filling of a particular product to 60 per minute from the current 50.
Significantly, his proposal also showed how to reduce the give away, say from 10 grams (for a 500 gm pack) to 6 grams leading to savings of over Rupees one crore a year. This eventually led to Hassia’s first deal for 4 machines. Today, Hassia is part of the Unilever global supply chain.
The value proposition
The experience with Levers’ dovetailed with Hassia’s new ‘triangular’ value proposition of providing technology at the right speed, accuracy and price. “In India the biggest challenge is price points. German engineering, though par excellence, is priced high.
The Indian market doesn’t support the high price point. Hence the challenge for us initially was to provide great technology at the right price,” adds Ravi. Hassia began by scouting for outsourcing partners. Now, most of the machines are made locally. Since its first installation in 2000, the company has installed over 200 machines across India — 35 machines are installed in Unilever in the food (tea and coffee) and detergent segments and 22 machines are installed in Procter & Gamble in the HPC segment. Hassia claims that some of these companies may even use its machines for their global needs in the future.
Hassia Packaging set up its Indian operation in Shirur in 1997. The company in its very first year of operation won the Pac machine 2000 award given by the Indian Institute of Packaging for excellence in design and development. However with over two decades in the industry, Ravi has a grouse. He believes that the food industry is not as professional as the pharma and cosmetic industries. He was surprised by the relatively low brand presence especially in the rice segment. But, he finds huge prospective growth and dreams of packaging each and every food product.
Internal factors
Internally, Hassia Packaging strongly believes and practices continuous improvement in manufacturing processes through constant interaction between internal teams, customers and vendors for achieving the best standards. Every individual is assigned process improvements goals, which are regularly reviewed and rewarded. People are encouraged in the organization to come up with new ideas and initiatives. Ravi has put in place a goal for every individual, what he calls B-Match. The idea is to come up with innovations that would value maximize with customers. Hassia Packaging does not believe in quality examination, it rather highlights continuous process improvement and controls, through empowerment of its technicians and customers by providing them with effective tools and training. Hassia has taken an initiative to educate customers by starting customer-training programs.
Built internally, the integrated ERP system used at Hassia Packaging has been a key to its success. It offers easy accessibility and control and is optimised by logging enquiries and purchase orders. Hassia Packaging has installed a lab room in its own plant which provides facilities to customers to test and judge the ideal filler machine for their particular application and purpose depending on the physical attributes of a product. The lab room is equipped with the latest equipment like DFR-3044 for studying the flow properties of products and a vacuum test machine for pouch strength testing. Static charge meters, air and nitrogen flow meters and angle of repose tests are also available to help the customer decide the right equipment for their needs. These tests are conducted to analyze and sample the customers’ products on the machines, to achieve best speeds and reduce give-away, thus, offering good value proposition to customers.
The future
“The future of packaging, in my opinion, is what I call dashboard dining. There will be a day, when, thanks to packaged food, one can warm and have his packaged dinner while on the way home thus enabling quality time with his family. I also see tablet packaging as futuristic. It was at this store in London that I saw detergent in the form of a capsule meant for 4-5 cloth items. There is huge scope for all this in India. Packaging technology must enable all these packaging innovations,” says Ravi. According to him, Hassia would provide ‘Pizza Hut’ style technology where in buyers can order technology based on requirements. “So one can demand different types of toppings (specifications) based on requirements and Hassia would provide that technology easily,” he says. The company is thinking ahead.