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LIVE FROM ACHEMA 2012: A global community convenes in Frankfurt

Paying employees to handle at least one assignment in a foreign market pays off for Bosch Packaging Technology.

Hp 20283 Bosch Prevas Achema
"Breaking barriers and exchanging ideas" served as a front-page headline in June 19's Achema Daily newspaper, referring to the communication between "exhibitors and congress participants, between different disciplines, or between science, industry, politics, and society-and with no regard for national boundaries," said Hans Jürgen Wernicke. He serves as chairman of Dechema, the society for chemical engineering and biotechnology based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, also the site of Achema 2012.

Held every three years, Achema 2012 runs June 18 - 22 this year and includes 3,773 exhibitors from 56 countries, some 900 lectures, and an audience of about 20,000.

The event's global diversity is evident throughout the Messe Fairgrounds, but nowhere was it embraced more than at a June 19 press conference held by Bosch Packaging Technology.

Noting the company's growing worldwide presence, Friedbert Klefenz, president of Bosch Packaging Technology, asked, "Is this global presence really necessary? I am absolutely convinced it is. We can clearly benefit from the rapid development of emerging economies. But this will only succeed on a long-term basis if we are still there for our customers with support, maintenance, and service, after the machines are sold. In other words, we have to do everything we can to ensure our machines contribute to the success of our customers."

Klefenz noted, "Our presence builds the entire network of our global resources and expertise. This includes cross-cultural know-how. We primarily work with local employees and learn from them as much as they learn from us. We have turned this valuable experience into a principle. New trainees with bachelor's or master's degrees have at least one assignment outside of Europe. This is our way of raising awareness and understanding other cultures and markets."

Klefenz told Healthcare Packaging in a follow-up interview that this financial commitment in Bosch employees provides a return on investment in many ways. "Our employees need to understand cultural differences and how that fits into our company's philosophy. We have more than 30 global sites producing machinery. This training is unique and provides us with a big competitive difference."

Focusing on the pharmaceutical market, Klefenz made the following points:

• 'Internationalization' is one of the company's mainstays and has proven to be a successful growth strategy.
• Future growth looks strong in emerging markets.
• The pharmaceutical industry accounts for 45% of the company's total business. This sector is even stronger than the food industry and known for being less prone to economic fluctuations. All available data indicates continued growth on a global scale. For 2012 anticipates an increase in sales by 12%.
• According to studies, long-term growth in pharmaceuticals spending is expected to increase from $856 billion in 2010 to an estimated $1.1 trillion by 2015. He expects dynamic development in Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Latin America, and Africa-especially in generics, which will significantly gain importance due to expiring patents of well-known blockbuster products.
• China is a good example of how investing in a foreign market pays dividends. Ten years ago, Bosch started out with a "minimally invasive" operation with?13 employees in Hangzhou that has since expanded to nearly 400 employees. At the end of 2011, production started at a second facility in Chengdu, in country's Sichuan Province.
• Last year, Bosch added new operations in Panama and Thailand. In South Africa, Klefenz noted the company is the first major packaging machinery manufacturer with its own assembly plant.

(Shown with this article is the Bosch Prevas aseptic single-use dosing system. GlaxoSmithKline recently turned to Bosch for a custom system with peristaltic pumps for biopharma products and for processing highly active substances.)
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