Two decades of Wepoba Wellpappenfabrik in Wustermark – the story of a successful location strategy
With its belonging in the Panther Group (since 1967), Wepoba Wellpappenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG has experienced ongoing successful development. Especially in this millennium, which is characterised by major investments throughout the entire Group, the plant received the latest generation of machines in the field of corrugated board production, punching and printing for the production of a wide variety of packaging and displays. Production, initially based in Berlin-Spandau, was relocated to Havelland, not far from the capital, in 2004 to create space for expansion and future viability. The corrugated board experts were also the pioneers of today's Panther trio, into which the location has been expanded in recent years. The competence center formed since then from Wepoba Wellpappenfabrik, Panther Display and Panther Print combines their respective areas of focus and continuously expands the portfolio.
Wepoba Wellpappenfabrik traditionally supplies a large customer base in Germany and the neighbouring regions of Eastern Europe. Thanks to our own development capacities for packaging and displays as well as consulting services for processes and systems, the experts are in close contact with customers from a wide range of industries. A large part of the success of the Wepoba Wellpappenfabrik is based on the promotion of young talent and the securing of know-how by taking on self-trained employees. The quality and high value of these training efforts have received multiple awards. In 2018, Brandenburg's Prime Minister, as patron, honoured the Wepoba Wellpappenfabrik as a “role model for good apprenticeship conditions”. Awarded by the Brandenburg Training Consensus, this prize honours companies that, among other things, stand out through outstanding quality and continuity in apprenticeship and use innovative training elements. With the “TOP Training Company 2018” award from the IHK in the Potsdam district, the plant has received an equally important confirmation of its strategy for promoting young talent. Wepoba Wellpappenfabrik has demonstrated its sense of responsibility with the awards and is continuing this commitment unabated.
From the outset, the new plant location integrated a GMP standard (Good Manufacturing Practice) and of course DIN EN ISO 9001 (quality) and 14001 (environment). Combined under one roof are the production of corrugated board supported by the perfect machine, which is still highly modern with a working width of 2,800 mm, its processing and finishing into packaging using flexo direct printing or the flexo-preprint process, display production and assembly as well as a forward-looking logistics – everything from a single source.
Two decades at the new location are characterised by a wide variety of challenges. Above all, Corona with its effects on the economy and society, which the Panther Group has also massively demanded in order to always meet all customer needs.
Basically, the food and many non-food industries as well as online trading provide Wepoba Wellpappenfabrik with very good future prospects. The fact that the circular material corrugated board is increasingly valued and used for its recyclability also contributes to this. These factors are crucial prerequisites for the continued positive development of the Wepoba Wellpappenfabrik and the team's job prospects.
In the years following the inauguration of the “new Wepoba” in 2004, the Panther Group used the area for numerous expansion steps – both technically and spatially. For example, the capacity for high-quality finished and colorful folding boxes was expanded in 2009. So called “Mini-Lines”, flexo folder gluers with four Martin FFG 618 Quattro printing units, significantly increase performance in this area. With its four printing inking units, the new system configuration offers, above all, the option of producing high-quality “creaser-printed” folding boxes in one operation.
The Panther Group has consistently and continuously expanded the punching capacities at the Wepoba Wellpappenfabrik. In addition to two mirrored flatbed punches, which are operated by a team of machine operators, the Wepoba Wellpappenfabrik also has two highly productive rotary punches.
In order to meet the requirements of e-commerce, Wepoba Wellpappenfabrik has invested in two highly automated FKM production lines for the production of multi-point adhesive packaging. Convenience features such as tear threads and adhesive strips can be implemented on these.
A new production and storage hall has also been built. The new premises created another 15,000 m² of space in order to further expand Wepoba's level of service and increase the finished goods storage capacity to around 30,000 pallet spaces.
The Panther Group will continue to invest in the Panther plants in the future and impress the markets with high-quality corrugated board, packaging and displays.