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Most sold self venting plastic bag

What our customers say

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Interview with Axel Ritz,
Sales Manager Export & Industrial Customers Knauf Building Products

RKW-Customer-Logo-Knauf

Hello Mr. Ritz, please briefly describe your company and what is important to you in a packaging solution.

Knauf is one of the leading manufacturers of building materials and building systems in Europe. Our company is represented on five continents in 86 countries at over 250 locations worldwide. In Germany, we are the market leader in drywall and building chemical solutions for the DIY market. We supply all major DIY stores such as Toom, Hornbach, Bauhaus, OBI or Globus. We export to Russia, South America, Middle East, Western Europe and Scandinavia – practically the whole world. For us, three criteria are particularly important in packaging: product protection, sustainability and logistics. The bag has to sit well and securely on the pallet in order to be transported reliably. Since we cover very long distances, especially in the export sector, this requires a robust packaging solution.

The first thing we want to know, of course, is why you chose a plastic bag instead of a paper bag with the RKW ProVent®?

We had rebuilt our machinery and wanted to take this opportunity to increase output as well. The bag is delivered on a roll, a faster bag change is possible, and we can therefore produce much more flexibly. In addition, this type of delivery saves important storage space.

Another big advantage is that, unlike normal paper bags, filled plastic bags such as the RKW ProVent® can also be stored outdoors. Even when stored in different climatic zones, the bags remain absolutely leak-proof. Even in climatically demanding countries with high humidity, outdoor storage is no problem.

In addition, as a premium supplier, it is important to us that we offer a clean solution at the point of sale, i.e. that our products are robustly packaged and dust-tight. You can buy our bags while wearing a suit without getting dirty. The layout and print image are also high-quality and our products come across as branded goods.

What are the RKW ProVent® bags exposed to during transport and how did you test this in advance?

The bags are generally transported on Euro pallets and are conveyed both by truck and by ship. The latter mostly relates to export. There, the bags are transported in a sea container and are then sometimes on the road for two to three weeks. I estimate that the bags change their means of transport two to three times, especially for export.

Of course, we tested these different stresses in advance, for example with weathering tests. The bags were placed in climatic cabinets at various temperatures from -40 °C to -50 °C up to +50 °C.

We also have a building-block lab where we tested how the bags behave when they fall from different heights. We put the bags in water baths to check the water resistance. There were also various braking tests with trucks that were loaded with sacks and then driven through traffic circles several times, for example, to test safety during transport.

The stackability on the pallet was also tested and how many bags fit on a Euro pallet. For optimal stability on the pallet, the RKW ProVent® bags were specially given an anti-slip coating.

What special requirements do your customers have for packaging?

Our customers want a clean solution that looks attractive on the shelf. That's why we also tested the RKW ProVent® at the machine manufacturer with quite a few tons of material. The machine manufacturer has various filling machines with spouts and closing mechanisms. After we delivered our products there, they were first packed with unprinted bags and we tested how it worked. Then the first printed bags were filled.

During all these tests, the company RKW accompanied us. The cooperation was great over the entire time frame.

What role does sustainability play in your company? What has changed here in recent years?

Our retail customers clearly demand sustainability, for example groups such as Rewe, which also includes Toom Baumärkte. The Rewe association has set itself the goal of achieving a significant share with sustainable products in the future. There, of course, we can offer our sustainable solutions very well, and they are also very well received by the purchasing department. It is still difficult for us to gauge demand among end customers, as our focus is currently on retail customers. Only at the end of the year do we want to address end customers as well as retail customers with a major sustainability campaign. In the future, we will convert several product groups in order to create even more sustainable solutions.

During all these tests, the company RKW accompanied us. Cooperation was great over the entire time frame.

What role does sustainability play in your company? What has changed here in recent years?

Sustainability plays a major role in our company – we want to offer sustainable packaging solutions to our retail customers, but also to end customers. Before the year is out we will launch a sustainability campaign to show our various customer groups which solutions we have implemented, but also what can be expected from us in the future. Going forward, we will be modifying several product groups to create even more sustainable solutions.

Here, too, a plastic sack like the RKW ProVent® scores over the paper sack: plastic can be recycled and the paper sack is actually controlled waste.

How would you rate the RKW ProVent® bag on a scale of 1 (weak) to 3 (strong):

  • Machine runability 3

  • Shock resistance 3

  • Tear strength 3

  • Transport safety 3

  • Recycling 3

  • Printability 3

  • Technical support 3

Do you think the RKW ProVent® gives you a competitive edge?

Yes, because it's a complete package: at the point of sale, cleanliness, the print, Knauf as a brand – that's what makes it work. We have strong demand and continue to build on it.

Mr. Ritz, thank you very much for talking to us.