UZWIL, Switzerland — Bühler and Premier Tech announced a strategic cooperation for industrial packaging that will develop automated, food safe and accurate bagging and palletizing solutions.

As part of the agreement, the companies will create a design and manufacturing center for packaging solutions within Bühler’s existing facilities in Wuxi and Changzhou, China. The announcement was made Aug. 27 during Bühler’s Networking Days 2019 in Uzwil, Switzerland. 

“Combining the portfolio and expertise of Premier Tech and Bühler will enable future packaging solutions that are significantly more efficient, accurate and food safe by using automation technologies,” said Johannes Wick, chief executive officer of Bühler’s Grains & Food business.

The strategic cooperation is planned to result in a joint venture for design and manufacturing during 2020 with Bühler focusing on sales of turnkey plants around the world and Premier Tech on packaging systems in China. Each company will continue to sell their products through their existing channels. 

“The two companies are complementing each other in a perfect way with Bühler’s strong footprint and market position in China, and Premier Tech’s recognized know-how in the field of automated packaging technologies,” said Andre Noreau, CEO of Premier Tech’s Systems and Automation business.  

The companies will bring value to each other, they said. Bühler has a strong presence in China, including 4,000 employees, and experience in high-quality manufacturing and supply chain management. Premier Tech’s footprint is much smaller in China, but it has packaging expertise and technological leadership in the field. 

“For us it’s not about gaining market share in China,” Wick said. “For us, it’s getting the know-how and use of these products. We want to export products from China to other parts of Asia, Africa and to other markets.”

Bühler said with the strategic cooperation it will be able to provide better turnkey projects with competitive solutions from China while continuing to deliver its bagging station Maia from its own manufacturing network in Europe. Bühler also will improve its digital services allowing for full transparency and traceability along the entire value chain.

Noreau said the agreement will allow Premier Tech to expand its presence in China. 

“We mainly import stuff from Europe or North America (into China),” he said. “In China, if you want to succeed you need to do it the Chinese way, you need to do local. Bühler is very strong in the local footprint in China. When you merge both together it just creates a very strong partnership that will lead to success for customers and for all stakeholders.”

Premier Tech will be able to use the technologies arising from the strategic partnership or combining them to its internationally renowned CHRONOS technology portfolio in weighing, bagging and palletizing. 

The agreement does not include Bühler’s weighing portfolio, including its Tubex scales.

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