Thomas Weller

Thomas Weller

CEO of Harro Höfliger Verpackungsmaschinen GmbH

Mr. Weller, as CEO of Höfliger, you are very familiar with your market and the dynamic developments on the market. What has changed for you and the company?

My most important task is to prepare Harro Höfliger strategically for the coming challenges and to expand our expertise and strengths. We rely on holistic concepts, digitization and networking and have positioned ourselves accordingly. We are already today an innovative manufacturer of packaging technologies and processes, especially in the pharmaceutical and medical fields, in close partnership with our customers. Our role goes far beyond the production of machines. We are often involved as a creative director and “creative designer” at a very early stage and begin only after to design the processes, development and production of the corresponding machine. We live this holistic approach in every area of the company. In order to complement us well in all directions we are an active part of the network Excellence United.

Coming from this background what motivates you to cooperate with the young company DS TECHNOLOGY?

Of course, with our know-how, we haven’t only developed machines and technologies for individual customers, but also established numerous patents for modern and innovative device systems. By cooperating with DST, such device systems become usable for customers who do not want to pursue internal developments, but want to start using proven and tested devices directly. In partnership with DST, we see a modern way of making our technologies accessible to new target groups through a very modern licensing model.

Can you give us one or two examples of such developments?

Yes, of course, I can. There is the XStraw on the one hand. An oral drug delivery system which uses a special drinking straw to take medications for different indications with a liquid. This is a significant relief for anyone who struggles to take medication in solid form. We have developed the appropriate machines for filling, production and packaging. A second example is the XTray, a basic platform for surgical suture combinations. With the XTray concept and our patented machine concepts, we offer an integrated system which covers all processes and therefore eliminates all relevant risks. This offers customers the opportunity of a quick market entry or the uncomplicated conversion, e.g. from "paper to plastic".

What is from your point of view the actual novelty behind DS TECHNOLOGY?

DS TECHNOLOGY stands for a new way to the market. While we often develop and manufacture individual machines for our customers, DST utilizes new and innovative device systems via licensing models. The novelty here is that in this process the machine technology is very closely linked to the device system. At the same time, from my point of view, this offers a good opportunity for many companies to enter the market quickly and with minimal risk. It also fits well to the developments we are perceiving in the markets: It has to happen fast, uncomplicated and cost-effective. Currently we cooperate with DST in the two product areas XStraw and XTray. DST prepares and conveys precisely tailored license models for the use of the patented devices to prospective buyers - we supply the appropriate machine technology. This way the usual development and approval times are shortened significantly and companies can start faster and place their products on the market.

In your opinion, who does DS TECHNOLOGY approach with this new business model?

These are innovative companies from the pharmaceutical and medical industries, who want to expand the existing path to the customer, are looking for new ways and young companies who want to enter these markets for the first time. Basically, it's about the intelligent use of innovative, marketable technology. Very important in this context is the security and guarantee that the technology, process and machine are tested, approved and work reliably. The advantage is obvious: a faster market access and a simplification of the business model through partnership. For all companies who want to save development time or costs, want to expand their portfolio quickly or want to buy and use know-how without complication, it is worthwhile to talk to DS TECHNOLOGY. In many areas, sharing is the new owning has already arrived - so I am sure there are more and more interested customers also in our market.

Which role does Harro Höfliger play in this context? Are there any other partners?

We as Harro Höfliger throw our core competence into the ring: We are the partner for the machines and technology processes. Of course, depending on the product, DST has access to other proven partnerships - for raw materials, for consumables, or for the support of the customers until the market launch. Clearly, here we also rely on networks to ensure that customers always have the right experts at their side at all times.

Which feedback do you get from the market to this concept?

Fortunately, there are not only numerous inquiries and discussions in which the great interest in the market can be seen, but pleasingly many concrete orders and negotiations. At the exhibitions we meet a lot of interested people who contact us curiously and openly - but here for sure DST can tell you more.