Performance Review

Innovation and 
intellectual property

With an open innovation strategy, Vetropack is developing the ancient craft of glass production in evolutionary and revolutionary steps. Vetropack is pressing ahead with organisational innovations and also focusing on the all-encompassing development of the container glass production process. In so doing, the company is exploiting opportunities for digitisation and automation. Vetropack also aims to satisfy more demanding customer requirements with innovative, high quality and environmentally friendly products in future and position itself successfully in selected markets.

Innovation strategy and portfolio

To ensure progress in the glass production process, exploit the potential for improvement in the company’s organisation and develop new products, Vetropack is focusing on cooperation with suppliers and making systematic use of its employees’ expertise.

The provision of financial and personnel resources was key to the development of the innovation strategy and the innovation portfolio in 2019. It allowed Vetropack to increase its use of lubricating robots, meaning that occupational safety and productivity in Vetropack glassworks was improved. The company achieved further progress in the manufacturing process for lightweight glass packaging.

Vetropack Austria GmbH established the VIP cost centre in 2019 and successfully launched the new VIP Glass bottle on the Austrian market. A special thermal hardening process makes VIP Glass bottles especially light and stable. Development and commercialisation of the first product took up a great deal of time and considerable resources. The development and introduction of additional VIP products, supported by the establishment of a VIP Glass division, is now well up on Vetropack’s innovation agenda. By means of additional innovations to its processes, the company also aims to boost productivity and reduce change-over times.

Vetropack Story: Multi-trip bottles from lightweight glass

Vetropack uses the number of newly launched VIP Glass items and their performance to check progress in implementing the innovation strategy and the innovation portfolio. Other key figures, which are evaluated and checked every year relate to COS emissions, which are produced during the melting process, the return on investment (ROI), earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) as well as productivity.

Process innovation with suppliers

In 2019, Vetropack focused on the identification and exploitation of potential for innovation along its entire supply chain. Progress was achieved in production not least thanks to successful collaboration with new and existing suppliers. For example, new inspection machines were installed together with a supplier that specialises in inspection technologies, which allow us to recognise fault patterns more rapidly.

To improve the moulding process, Vetropack has attached reproducible glass tear feeder machines to various moulding machines in collaboration with Bucher Emhart Glass. The next item on the agenda is the implementation of options for the digital improvement and automation of processes in the moulding workshop. For instance, one project is to increase and stabilise the rate at which gobs fall to achieve more even gob loading. Vetropack also plans to install end-to-end solutions for production and to integrate systems horizontally. The aim is to boost supplier integration and to guarantee the traceability of glass containers. A platform for this purpose is currently in the planning stages.

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