Handtmann Filling and Portioning (F&P) is part of the widely diversified Handtmann Group of Companies and the Filling and Portioning Systems division is engineering a wide portfolio of modular system technologies for food and petfood processing. Worldwide sales and distribution are currently conducted through sales and service companies in the core markets as well as 60 commercial agents.
The company’s presence in over 100 countries all over the world is maintained through own branches or through agencies. At Handtmann the customer is always the focus of all activities. For that, the Handtmann Forum, a modern customer and technology centre serves as a communication platform. In its role as a sales and communication platform, it is primarily designed to facilitate dialogue with the customer and for demonstrations, product development and presenting individual projects, seminars and specialist conferences.
Besides that, Handtmann invests in services, e.g. application consultancy, servicing, documentation and financial services as well as currently in a new and most modern logistics centre.
Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?
HANDTMANN: The mechanical engineering firm from Biberach in the Upper Swabia region of Baden-Württemberg, Germany is the world’s leading provider of solutions for the portioning, dosing, forming and co-extruding of foodstuff. The portfolio is complemented by process technology in the area of cutting, linking, mixing and fine grinding from Inotec GmbH, based in Reutlingen, Germany, which was added to the Handtmann Group of Companies in 2020.
The customer base of the two manufacturers includes both small-scale producers and start-ups as well as medium-sized companies and industrial enterprises from all over the world. Handtmann is specialised in modular system solutions for the production of sausage and meat products, baked goods, fish products, dairy and delicatessen goods, vegetarian and convenience foods or pet food.
These systems are applicable for small and medium-sized productions as well as for fully automated industrial operations. Their most important functions are filling, portioning, separating, depositing and forming. On top automating, product handling and 4.0 digital solutions are part of the product range. Key factor of all Handtmann solutions is the outstanding portioning accuracy.
E.E: What’s the news about new products?
HANDTMANN: When standardised solutions reach their limits, it is time to find customised approaches. Handtmann system solutions are technically sophisticated, have been tried and tested for years and are flexible in their application. However, some customer requirements ask for customised solutions. In keeping with the Handtmann motto “My idea. My solution” Handtmann will be focusing even more on specific customer requirements with the well-known Handtmann quality.
From now on the company will be able to address individual needs and special requirements with even more flexibility with the new HANDTMANN CUSTOMIZED SOLUTIONS (HCS). A team of internationally experienced technical experts works exclusively for Handtmann Customized Solutions at the Biberach and the Netherlands Amersfoort sites, developing any customized solution needed for individual production process – from product preparation all the way through to packaging. The customized solutions, of course, take as their basis the proven Handtmann series production machines, which can be extended and modified in a variety of ways to meet specific customer demands. Both minor modifications to series production machines and the design of individual production lines can be realised.
The international Handtmann sales network ensures the proven competent service also for Handtmann Customized Solutions. “Production processes are as individual as today’s eating habits. With the new Handtmann Customized Solutions (HCS), we will be able to provide customized solutions in proven Handtmann quality for individual customer requirements,” says Harald Suchanka (CEO of Handtmann Division Filling & Portioning).
E.E: What are the ranges of products?
HANDTMANN: Established in 1954 as the Maschinenfabrik, the division today constitutes a worldwide leading manufacturer of process technology for food processing and offers integrative line solutions from product preparation all the way through to the packaging solution. Today, the modular systems for grinding, mixing, portioning, linking, separating, dosing, forming, co-extrusion and product handling are put to use in the production of classic sausage and meat products as well as alternative proteins, baked goods and confectionery, fish, delicatessen, dough, dairy or cheese products and pet food.
E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?
HANDTMANN: Since almost 70 years Handtmann F&P is a global player in worldwide markets. The main branches are besides sausage products and meat substitute products product areas, such as fish products, delicatessen goods, convenience foods, bakery and sweets, dairy, vegan and vegetarian, petfood and many more.
Nutrition is becoming more diverse and the food industry is offering new concepts that focus primarily on the aspect of sustainability. This also includes the trend to replace animal proteins with plant-based proteins. As a family-run company with a firmly established set of values for sustainable and future-oriented activities, Handtmann has been committed to alternative concepts in food processing for two decades. Thus, as early as 2005, the Biberach-based company revolutionised the production of sausage-shaped products with the development of the ConPro technology by replacing sausage casings of animal origin with a purely vegetable alginate casing.
Today, the Upper Swabian company offers state-of-the-art system technology for filling, portioning, dosing, forming and co-extruding vegan and vegetarian products as well as meat-alternative products. Products based on soy or pea protein, vegetables or cassava are, for example, burger patties, nuggets, balls, bacon and mince portions, but also sausage products such as rice-based mushroom sausage. Additionally, the Handtmann Customer Forum provides interested parties with a platform for manufacturing and testing new products on state-of-the-art technology, supported by globally active and experienced experts. However, Handtmann’s commitment is even broader: as a member of BALPro.
 BALPro is an association of experts from the fields of nutritional sciences, process engineering, product development and sustainability assessment, the Biberach-based company acts with the aim of looking at alternative protein sources and corresponding technologies objectively and without any idealisation of individual nutritional behaviour.
E.E:| What are the most innovative products marketed?
HANDTMANN: „Food processing simply smart” is one of the most innovative solution Handtmann offers. Food processing solutions, modular and flexibly configurable from the portioning process to the packaging solution. For example, fully automated solutions for formed products, for sausage production or various dosing solutions. All of these flanked by a large number of smart digital solutions (HDS) that have been developed in-house by Handtmann to suit these specific processes.
At Handtmann, reliable synchronisation of multiple integrated processing steps is ensured by the monitor control of Handtmann vacuum filling machines. It controls, monitors and links complex systems, thus facilitating integrated automation from the basic step of processing and portioning to highly diverse product handling steps, such as collating, gripping, feeding and depositing the products into the appropriate packaging.
Handtmann solutions therefore guarantee absolute process reliability in combination with packaging machines, such as thermo-forming machines or tray sealing units. Integration of the newly developed WS 910 weighing system provides additional process monitoring and control of complex lines, as the system checks, monitors and controls the weight in mid-production and ejects under- or overweight portions once they have been processed. It significantly reduces give-away and rework, resulting in savings in packaging, resources and handling. All systems of Handtmann can be interlinked via the Handtmann 4.0 solution HCU for “food processing simply smart”.
E.E: What estimations do you have for the rest of 2023?
HANDTMANN: With around 1,400 employees and production sites at the company headquarters in Biberach as well as in Zittau and Reutlingen (Germany), in Amersfoort (Netherlands) and Hluk (Czech Republic), the division F&P achieved sales revenues of around 340 million euros in 2022. For 2023 we estimate to further increase our global market shares and turnover.
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