With an investment sum of 16.7 million euros, being part of the normal overall capex spend, DS Smith, is expanding and modernizing its traditional site in Arnstadt, Thuringia. The recent symbolic ground-breaking ceremony marks the start of construction work to renovate and expand the plant, which will take place while production continues and will span the next 12 months.
Uwe Väth, Managing Director DS Smith Packaging for Germany and Switzerland, said: "We are very pleased that the expansion of our plant in Thuringia will enable us to significantly expand our offering for our customers in the e-commerce and fast moving consumer goods sectors. We have been recording steady growth in both areas for some time, which was also supported last year in particular by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on purchasing behavior. All forecasts, as well as our own market surveys, indicate that online retailing will continue to grow in the future. With our innovative, material-optimized packaging made of 100% recyclable corrugated board, we offer our customers precisely the sustainable products that are also increasingly preferred by end consumers."
Jürgen Prinz, Cluster Director Conventional North at DS Smith Packaging: "The Arnstadt plant is one of the most traditional sites in the packaging industry in Germany. The first corrugated board was produced here a good 90 years ago. With this investment, we are strengthening the future viability of the site and increasing the quality and delivery reliability of the products manufactured. This is a clear commitment to our customers and to our employees, who are our most important capital for continuing our success in the future. In the medium term, we will not only be able to meet the growing demand of our customers, but also create new jobs. Currently, we are looking for 6 apprentices for the training year 2021 to strengthen us in the area of production."
In line with the new sustainability strategy "Now and Next" of DS Smith, the investment in the Arnstadt plant will also significantly reduce energy consumption as well as the paper waste generated during production. Thus, the new corrugator will save 154 tons of CO2 per year compared to the previous corrugator. In a first construction phase, an existing hall will be expanded and equipped with a latest-generation corrugator in the course of 2021. The new corrugator will have a higher working width and thus offer better paper utilization, higher speed and optimized performance. In addition, the machine will have the latest safety standards, underlining the high focus on occupational safety. The second step will be the automation of the internal transport by two new automated conveyor systems. In addition, the plant will receive another intermediate storage facility, which is scheduled for completion by spring 2022.
The DS Smith plant in Arnstadt specializes primarily in innovative packaging solutions for the e-commerce and FMCG sectors. A large part of the customers come from a radius of 150 km around the plant, which is extremely conveniently located near the Erfurt freeway intersection and in close proximity to locations of some of the most successful online retailers. This investment in the future viability of the site sets the course for further growth.