Syntegon obtained a stable business development in 2022. Thanks to its machinery and services portfolio, its innovative competencies and its global presence with 37 sites in 20 countries, the company increased both order revenues and sales last year, despite the challenges of the global supply chain crisis. Order revenues increased by 3.0%, from 1,500 million euros to 1,550 million euros, while total sales grew by 2.6%, from 1,410 million euros to 1,440 million euros. Global machine sales accounted for two-thirds of total sales; the remaining third was obtained with the Syntegon service offering.
Sales in 2022 were generated almost equally in the most important markets in the world: 32% in Europe, 33% in North America and 35% in Asia and the rest of the world. The share of America increased slightly, while that of Europe decreased somewhat. ”In a year of difficult conditions, we managed to develop our business in a stable way thanks to our proven relationships with customers and suppliers, our global positioning and our innovations,” says Peter Hackel, CFO of Syntegon.
The war against Ukraine, the energy crisis that mainly affects Europe and the challenges of the global supply chain situation marked the 2022 financial year. High inflation rates also had an impact on the economy, especially in Europe and North and Central America. Despite these conditions, Syntegon has managed to continue developing its business in a stable way.
The trend towards more sustainable packaging solutions persists in the food industry. Syntegon sees this not only in its new machine business, a sector in which the company has been developing innovative solutions with alternative packaging materials for many years, but also increasingly in its services, for example, when retrofitting existing systems to efficiently handle sustainable packaging materials.
The process towards greater automation, accelerated by the pandemic, continued in 2022. Last year, Syntegon experienced strong demand for its processing and packaging technology in the food industry, especially in North America, and especially in the chocolate and candy bar market segments.
The end of the Covid 19 stimulus in the Chinese market had an impact on the pharmaceutical industry. Trends that had been overshadowed by the pandemic in previous years rebounded in 2022. Among them, the shift towards small-sized batches for personalized medicines, such as those used to treat cancer. Syntegon’s Pharma division, which accounts for 54% of total sales, has seen the resumption of projects in this area and has registered strong demands in regions where many investments had been postponed in previous years, especially in Latin America. The issue of sustainability has also become increasingly relevant in the pharmaceutical sector, especially with regard to reducing the carbon footprint of manufacturing companies.
In 2021, Syntegon once again stepped up its efforts in environmental, social and corporate (ESG) matters. One of the company’s goals is to reduce its CO2 emissions by 25% by 2025 compared to 2019. To do this, Syntegon built new photovoltaic plants in 2022 at its centers in Beringen (Switzerland), Crailsheim (Germany), Dresden (Germany) and Verna (India), among others.
The company also supports its customers on their way to more sustainable manufacturing. A life cycle assessment recently developed and certified by TÜV Rheinland, a German technical inspection association, allows Syntegon to offer manufacturing companies in the pharmaceutical and food industries a completely transparent view of the carbon footprint of their machines.
The process and packaging technology provider is also responsible for its 5,800 employees. A global workforce survey conducted in 2022 revealed that employee engagement and dedication rates have increased again, and had already been well above the industry average the previous year. The recently published LinkedIn Top Companies ranking confirms this. The professional social network ranked Syntegon second among the 25 best employers for career advancement in Germany.
In 2022, Syntegon continued to carry out market-specific research projects in more than ten competence centers. The company’s 1,400 employees in research and development produced many innovations, as reflected in the increase in the number of patents and patent applications to 2,000 (2021: 1,800). With 49 million euros, R&D spending in 2022 was higher than the previous year (46 million euros).
“Our business is focused on the requirements of our customers. That’s why we are always working on new processing and packaging solutions for the pharmaceutical and food industries, and driving market trends such as sustainability, digitalization and automation,” says Michael Grosse, CEO of Syntegon.
Several new developments launched by Syntegon in 2022 underline the company’s commitment to sustainability. It integrated the closure technology into its proven Sigpack TTM cartoner platform to reduce energy and material costs. The new PMX packaging machine for ground coffee and whole beans processes recyclable monomaterials and allows condition monitoring to save energy and materials.
In 2022, Syntegon contributed to shaping the trend towards greater automation in the food industry with several innovations. These include the new DCS unloading station and the innovative IDH (Intelligent Direct Handling) system for processing biscuits and crackers in an extremely efficient and at the same time careful way, as well as the NutraFlash line for the starch-free production of gummies and jellies. Syntegon automates process steps such as handling, feeding and loading with the advanced version of its highly flexible Robotic Pick & Place (RPP) platform. The sale of its 300th bar packaging system in 2022 is a further demonstration of Syntegon’s ability to meet current market demands in terms of efficiency, while maintaining high quality and flexibility.
Syntegon’s Pharma division won a prestigious award in 2022 when Versynta microBatch won the German Packaging Award. Syntegon is developing the fully automated and balloon-free production cell together with Vetter, a global provider of pharmaceutical services, to answer the need for smaller batches of highly effective liquid medicines.
In 2022, Syntegon also introduced new solutions – the Solidlab 2Plus fluid bed laboratory unit and the TPR 200 Plus compactor – for the manufacture of pharmaceutical products in solid dosage forms. Both technologies save time by allowing a rapid transition from R&D to production, especially in continuous manufacturing processes.
In 2022, the continuous expansion of the company’s digital solutions and services portfolio played an essential role in even better serving the daily needs of customers for the 67,000 installed Syntegon machines worldwide. Syntegon added service agreements to its portfolio to offer effective asset management and maintenance services to customers at fixed prices.
The new cloud-based Synexio software makes it possible to collect, evaluate and visualize machine and production data in real time. In general, experts in processing and packaging technology advanced in the digitization of machine connectivity and have interconnected an increasing number of customer machines.
Syntegon reorganized its spare parts supply chain structure last year, which allowed the company to significantly improve its delivery deadlines and punctuality on customer projects. The services business grew in response to the growing demand for service agreements and digital solutions, especially in the Americas.
The interpack industry fair, which will be held in Düsseldorf (Germany) from May 4 to 10, will be a highlight for Syntegon in 2023. The company will once again respond to the market trends of sustainability, digitalization and automation with new products for the pharmaceutical and food industries that will be presented at this fair.
Following its recent accession to the Science Based Target initiative, Syntegon will see its emission reduction targets validated in the coming months. The company will also publish its first sustainability report in the middle of the year.
“We will contribute again in 2023 with our solutions, doing our bit to provide people with food and medicines safely packaged and produced to the highest manufacturing standards. We do this in line with the spirit of our mission: processing and packaging for a better life,” says Michael Grosse in conclusion.