We started our business in 1975 as a typical one-man garage workshop. Four decades later and with over 1,200 employees, we are one of the world’s leaders in the field of production and packaging machine technology. Between trading in refurbished cartoning machines and developing and implementing our own high-tech process solutions, there were numerous market opportunities that were quickly recognized and utilized. The story of Harro Höfliger is also the story of many pioneering decisions, such as entering new areas of business that had the potential for innovation.
With sound experience in packaging machine design, Harro Höfliger started his own business reconditioning used cartoning machines. His first workshop was set up in his garage in Untertürkheim, Stuttgart. He specialized in food packaging with his wife Marianne. In 1976 the business moved to Backnang, and in 1979 to Allmersbach im Tal. With his partner Manfred Reiser as head of construction, Harro Höfliger developed customer-specific systems and established a standard machine program.
In the mid-1980s, the company supplied entire packaging lines to the food industry, where the focus was on convenience products. At the same time, Harro Höfliger turned his attention to the potential for innovation in the pharmaceutical industry – and successfully so: In 1990 the pharmaceutical sector’s market share already exceeded that of the food industry. Capsule fillers and weighing machines brought the company success, followed by web-processing machines for the production of wound dressings and medicated adhesive bandages. In 1994, the first international sales office opened its doors in the USA.
The machine portfolio now comprised combinable modules for customized production solutions right through to final packaging. Numerous innovation and industry awards were proof of the company’s creative power. Specialization in the field of pharmaceuticals was consistently pursued: A laboratory for analyzing inhalation powders has been operational since 2003. This saw the start of the Pharma Development Department under the direction of a pharmacist. Harro Höfliger brought in Peter Claußnitzer, Markus Höfliger and Thomas Weller to join the management team.
The company continued its consistent growth trend. In addition to new buildings in Allmersbach im Tal, a plant was erected in Satteldorf in 2005 for manufacturing regular as well as end-of-line packaging machines. Now Harro Höfliger was accompanying its international customers along their entire value chain, delivering tailor-made, scalable technology for every level of industrialization under the holistic “from lab to production” approach. Uwe Amann and Heinrich Havenstein completed the management team.
In 2011, Harro Höfliger joined forces with Bausch+Ströbel, Fette Compacting, Glatt and Uhlmann to form the strategic alliance Excellence United. And with the founding of the Harro Höfliger Family Foundation in 2013, the company founder retired from day-to-day operations. The founding of DS Technology in 2015 was followed by renewed expansion of corporate activities: The XStraw® was an entirely new device on the market, and Harro Höfliger offered the corresponding production solution.
The appointment of a supervisory board has made the company even more powerful. Company founder Harro Höfliger has vacated his position as senior director and assumed new responsibilities as chairman of the supervisory board, flanked by Siegfried Drost and Hartmut Jenner. At the same time, the company also said goodbye to Manfred Reiser – a shareholder until 2009 and a member of the board until the end of 2017 – as he entered retirement.
At the beginning of 2019, company founder Harro Höfliger resigns as Chairman of the Supervisory Board. His successor as head of the Supervisory Board is his son Markus Höfliger, who in turn hands over the commercial business management to Turgay Güngormus. In May 2019, Harro Höfliger passed away at the age of 82 years. 44 years after its foundation, his life's work, the Company, has evolved into an enterprise with branches and agencies all over the world and a constantly expanding range of services for the entire product life cycle. Over 1,350 employees continue to add chapters to the successful company history with passion.
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