Marcel Maas, technical sales manager of Lan Handling, is the latest in the hot-seat to answer our Rapid Interview questions.

Your elevator pitch: introduce and sell us your company in no more than 280 characters.

Active in the global food industry? Then meet Lan Handling Technologies. Your Dutch partner for the design, manufacturing and integration of end-of-line solutions. Let us together tackle your challenges in the field of efficiency, traceability and ergonomics.

Where are your company’s locations? Are there any specific challenges or advantages relating to your geographical location that you could tell us about?

Our central location in the Netherlands, close to Schiphol Amsterdam, contributes to the strong representation of Lan Handling in the Benelux, Germany and the UK.

Tell us a surprising fact about the market you work in.

In 90% of the cases we work on, the payback period of our end-of-line solutions lies within two years.

As plant efficiency will become more important in the coming years, we are happy we have been able to move three sites into one thanks to improved automation processes.

At Packaging Europe we like to watch trends and areas of innovation as they evolve. Can you tell us something we might not be aware of that is driving technology in your sphere?

Whereas automation projects were first and foremost about increasing speed, we are seeing the focus in secondary packaging processes shifting towards topics such as safety and ergonomic benefits for employees. The Lan approach goes beyond the level of supplying machine equipment only. We are getting started with digital twin technology to create added value for our customers. Soon there will be real-time simulations of our production lines in which OEE and TPM data are visualised.

What would you say is the biggest common misconception that you encounter in your business?

That increase in uptime / line efficiency of an automated production line is not taken into account with ROI calculations.

If the wider packaging industry could be transformed in some way, what kind of change would you like to see?

More focus on customer friendly methods of packaging in relation to waste.

…and how do you envisage your company changing the industry in the coming years?

By keeping a close eye on new developments and initiating partnerships with up- and downstream suppliers, we try to find automation solutions before these new packaging solutions are actually on the market.