Flexible packaging machine manufacturer Windmöller & Hölscher said it had more than 2,000 visitors from 120 countries tune into online press demonstrations, technical sessions and meetings during its first virtual expo held June 24 and 25.
The company featured technologies and products initially planned for the Interpack and Drupa industry trade shows that have been postponed until spring 2021
“The past months have been a challenge everywhere, yet the flexible packaging industry is as busy as ever. That’s why it was so important for us to hold a virtual expo and show our customers new technologies and applications that are available now and can help them run their production more efficiently,” Peter Steinbeck, managing partner at W&H, said in a news release.
To accommodate the different time zones of visitors, the virtual expo was held live three times a day. The expo was filmed in the 120,000-square-foot W&H Technology Center in Lengerich, Germany, and the W&H Academy. Two machine demonstrations and eight technical sessions were broadcast live and one-on-one meetings as well as individual and group chats were held.
The live machine demonstrations included the newly redesigned Heliostar II gravure printing press and the Novoflex II flexographic press, which highlighted the new Ruby Internet of Things system for analysing production data to optimize processes.
W&H says the live technical sessions were targeted to package printers, industrial sack producers, paper bag manufacturers and film extruders. A session showcasing an all-polyethylene film structure as an alternative to PET for stand- up pouch applications generated significant interest, W&H says.
Other technical sessions covered flexible packaging topics, such as sleeve handling solutions for flexographic presses, printing solutions for industrial sacks, heavy duty films for form-fill-seal sacks, remote service and paper sack production on machinery from W&H subsidiary, Garant Maschinen.
Videos of the demonstrations and sessions are still available for viewing through the W&H sales team.
The company says it put the virtual expo together in just six weeks.
“We have been able to accomplish a lot digitally over the past few months from sales calls to live machine trials to service support to the virtual expo. The experience and insights we’ve gained have been invaluable,” Steinbeck said. “At the same time, personal meetings cannot be replaced. They are very important for building relationships and trust. Both digital and personal communications have their place.”
Windmöller & Hölscher is a family-owned company with about 3,100 employees who makes machines and systems for the production and processing of flexible packaging. In 2019, the company generated sales of about €900 million.