How Hartmann Hungary transformed a small provincial factory into an impressive, high-tech giant of the region.
Way back in 1979 the Hungarian Babolna State Economic Company (former factory owner), purchased the first line for the manufacturing of egg packaging from Brødrene Hartmann. Then, starting in 1989, the country has been going through a period of dramatic economic reform and a metamorphosis from a communist bloc country to Western-style democracy.
When the transformation was complete on January 9th 1991, the outlook was encouraging enough for the Danish packaging experts to enter a joint venture with Babolna and expand the existing plant.
It was a mutually beneficial arrangement – Babolna benefited from Hartmann’s technical know-how and marketing wizardry, while for the latter, it opened the door to the Hungarian market and all the Eastern European countries beyond. Within a year, production capacity had doubled.
Over the next few years the Hungarian economy began to grow steadily. The economic conditions became particularly fertile between 1994-2006 – boosted, of course, by admission to the European Union in 2003.
And Hartmann used this springboard to grow the factory substantially from a small, state-run factory to the impressive facility it is today.
2016 brought automation, and as innovative manufacturing technology continued to develop over the next decade, Hartmann kept a close eye on the advances – both in our own, world-class Hartmann Technology unit and in the wider industry – and adopted the best of them.
We also introduced automation in our warehouse including packing, lifting, moving and robotics. And we modernised the moulding and printing operations and established several support functions to support Hartmann across Europe.
Over the last 6 years we mostly concentrated on making the business more environmentally friendly – optimizing processes, saving energy, reducing water consumption - and increasing the output of each production line.
All this hard work paid off with a 9% in saving on electricity and gas between 2016-2020 and an impressive 25% reduction in energy per packaging unit produced.
Number of employees: 580
Where we are:
Hartmann Hungary is based in Ács in the west-eastern part of Hungary, only 8 km from the Slovakian border, and close to the highway between Vienna (160 km) and Budapest (100 km) - the main transport route between Eastern and Western Europe.
Whom we serve:
This is one of Hartmann’s largest factories, producing a huge range of moulded fibre egg cartons and trays. Our products are delivered right across Europe and (in small quantities) overseas (e.g. Australia, Africa).
So as we look back over the last 30 years we can be extremely proud of the team that brought us this far and every single person who played their part – no matter how small. And as we look to the coming decades we feel confident that we’ll continue to build this great company the way we’ve always done, and to be a valued member of the global Hartmann family.
To get the inside story, we talked to the man leading the current run of success, Managing Director Attila Vincze, about the anniversary, recent challenges and what the future holds for Hartmann Hungary:
How have you managed the challenges presented by the corona virus?
2020 was an unusual and a challenging year for all of us, to say the least. Of course, we introduced new internal health & safety measures to keep our employees safe. But we not only kept production going through the pandemic - we achieved our highest-ever production output!
So we’re doing our bit to support the economy in this area, as well as looking after our colleagues and their families whose lives were impacted by Covid-19.
What can customers expect from Hartmann Hungary in future?
Our plans include adding further production capacities, automating the printshop, extending the warehouse and raw material hall, as well as implementing new pulper technology and energy saving projects.
We’re always focussing on customer needs to improve our products, our service levels and our sustainability profile, and we’ll continue to strengthen our position as an attractive employer and a stable economic partner in the Babolna region.
What makes Hartmann Hungary attractive as an employer?
While we’re a well-known international company with rock-solid, stable economic background, we still work hard to maintain a corporate image that will attract the highest-quality applicants in a very competitive market here in the north-western part of Hungary.
As an employer, we ensure the highest safety standards in production and offer our workforce tailor-made loyalty programmes, competitive benefit packages and great career opportunities - today and in the future.
Have you found a corona-friendly way to celebrate the anniversary?
Well, obviously we weren’t able to have a big celebration on our “birthday”, the 9th January 2021. But to mark the occasion, the local management buried a time capsule in the garden and the team wrote messages to the future management in the year 2051.
We’re also planning a modest company event during the August production shutdown to get together and celebrate 30 years of success.
Hartmann's success story goes back to the three innovative brothers Carl, Louis and Gunnar Hartmann. Click here for the exciting, over 100-year history.
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