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By TPCI | October 31, 2019

Hiemens Bottling Machines (HBM) is well known for its path breaking machinery; designed & developed with the highest precision. The company commenced operations with manufacturing of filling & labelling machines and over the years it has evolved into a complete solution provider for the bottling industry. A leader in producing state-of-the-art equipment for the bottled water and beverages industries, HBM gives complete bottling solutions for different application areas.

A trailblazer in the country when it comes to design of filling machines on neck-holding systems & BOPP labelling machines for PET bottles, HBM, today, is constantly developing new forms of machinery to cater to the changing requirements of the market.

Talking to IndusFood, Abhishek Sharma, GM-Technical, HBM, shares his extensive agenda to create a promotional presence on different platforms across the globe and gives a crisp brief of the prospect markets. Below are few excerpts from the interview:

Indusfood-Tech: Tell us about the company’s formation and growth story? How have you evolved as a business in India and abroad?
Abhishek Sharma: The company was formed in 1999 by D. P. Sharma: a well-known personality and a respected name in the bottling industry. His contributions to this industry are beyond imagination. He has made his country proud throughout the world and has earned an esteemed name in this field in European, Russian & American markets.

Starting from manufacturing filling & labelling machines, the company has evolved into a complete solution provider for bottling industry, which includes plant-machine layouts, packaging  material procurements, cost analysis, peripheral machinery references & special purpose machinery.

Providing high-quality machines right from juice filling to mustard oil to ketchup to that of liquor and wines, HBM caters to the pesticide industry, carbonated drink processing industry and mineral water filling industry as well.

Indusfood-Tech: What are the key product categories you cater to? And what are the major end use sectors where you are witnessing good demand for your equipment?
AS: Hiemens Bottling Machines deals with any kind of liquid products, which are to be packed in any kind of bottle/containers; either PET, glass or cans. We design systems, manufacture machines & provide services to our clients in the bottling industry. Products which are handled by our plants & machinery are water, juice, soft drink, soda, ketchup, alcohol, edible oils, synthetic oils, energy drinks, pesticides, honey & flavoured drinks. We deal coherently with processing, packaging, labelling, conveyor & end-line solutions.

Indusfood-Tech: What are the latest trends in evolution of packaging materials and technology? How are you adapting to them as a company?
AS: The packaging industry is a transformative market, which moulds itself in accordance with the recent trends of society. Packaging materials are required to become more cost effective, at the same time the aesthetics need to keep up with the market. This modus has been noticed in the oil industry as press-fit caps, water industry as nitrogen-drop bottles & soft drink industry as shrink-casing; and many other cases. All these trend changes require sub-system changes as well and we tend to develop a solution even before the majority market picks up the idea.

The company has been well known in the industry to create new forms of machinery for special packaging needs and also develop a new machine before the market picks up pace on a new idea.

Indusfood-Tech: How strong has been the role of the R&D for your business to be a success? Any major R&D/innovations that you might wish to share with us?
AS: Hiemens Bottling machines is famous & prominent for its path breaking machinery designed & developed by the company. We are constantly developing new forms of machinery to cater the changing requirements of the market. The company was the trailblazer in the country in terms of design of filling machines on neck-holding systems & BOPP labelling machines for PET bottles.

We have also developed a special kind of volumetric filling machine for packaging of edible oil; which is a huge success in the oil industry. As part of our labelling systems, we have also developed a Square & hexagonal bottle BOPP labeller currently being used by Dabur & Adani Wilmar. We have also recently developed an aluminium canning line for beer and soft drinks. It's a patented, one of a kind machine.

Indusfood-Tech: How do you plan to expand your business in the next five years?
AS: Phase one for Hiemens has been to implement lean-manufacturing protocols to the company, which is now in its final stages. This includes improving manufacturing abilities, addition of advanced machinery, sharper quality control & decreasing manufacturing periods. This will enable the company to run at higher efficiency & enable it to deliver projects faster.

Phase two includes an extensive agenda to create a promotional presence on different platforms serving within & outside India. Secondarily, focus will be increased on the African continent and other parts of the world to explore prospect markets.

Indusfood-Tech: How is the food processing equipment industry expected to grow in the future? What will be the drivers of the growth?
AS: Entrepreneurs can now launch a product with a minimum of investment and, if the brand succeeds, the requirement for food processing equipment increases. With the improving ease of doing business within India, we postulate a rise in the number of brands. The variety of brands allowed to exist within a market will surely increase the food processing industry.

Indusfood-Tech: How has your progress been on the export front and which are the main markets you have successfully penetrated? What are your future strategies to tap your potential target markets?
AS: Apart from prominently serving the market pan-India, the company has also set up numerous turn-key projects in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Congo, Uganda, Zambia, Uzbekistan & Bangladesh. With the trend of alcohol packaging in some major countries in the African continent changing from plastic packaging to glass bottles, we are observing an influx in the requirement of our glass bottle filling and labelling systems.

Following next year, we will be focusing extensively on sales promotion and will explore developed markets where there is a lack of effective & affordable small scale production & processing lines.

Indusfood-Tech: How do you see the investment opportunities and the business environment for the food processing industry in India?
AS: The growth of food processing industry is not only directly linked to the consumption rates nationwide but also to the variety of products that the market demands. Even though a dip in consumption rates has been observed nationwide, there are now more product variants & brands within the market than ever.

A fraction of new brands that do flourish will attract investors to put money into these brands. The range of brands is increasing as the need for newer product is increasing; products like probiotic tea, protein drinks, pressed juices, flavoured milk and caffeine products are a few examples of some new products that are the need of new social trends.

Indusfood-Tech: How do you see IndusFood-Tech as a platform for the growth of the industry?
AS: Organizing an expo through TPCI promotes the exhibitors and brings prospective buyers under one roof. It provides India's hard working industry an opportunity to present itself with pride in attendance of industries from the rest of the world. We appreciate IndusFood for providing an international platform to our industry and wish all the success upon everyone involved within this prestigious exposition.