Intermediate bulk container and PE drum specialist Schütz Australia is investing in technology and facilities to better service the Australian market. Its newest plant, and 55th global site, officially opened in Yatala last week. PKN was there.
Schütz Australia is a market leader in manufacturing and reconditioning 1000-litre intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) and polyethylene (PE) drums. The company operates from three sites – Laverton North, its head office in Melbourne, North Coogee in Perth and its newest facility in Yatala, south of Brisbane.
The Yatala site, which saw its official opening on 15 November, occupies 19,000 square metres with facilities for the production of new IBCs, IBC and drum reconditioning, as well as warehousing and logistics.
As the company’s new manufacturing hub on the east coast, the plant provides sustainable packaging services to customers in Queensland and New South Wales.
Speaking at the opening, general manager Alan Barham gave guests a short history of the business, which began some 40 years ago as DSL Packaging – a steel drum reconditioning plant in Perth. About 15 years ago, the business started
manufacturing IBCs and 220-litre PE drums under licence from Schütz in Germany and today, under the Schütz banner, the company boasts an extensive range of bulk packaging solutions.
In Queensland, Barham said, the company started in rental premises in Geebung, Brisbane in 2000 as a reconditioner of IBCs and drums.
“We bought land here in Yatala last year and the factory was completed in December. We moved our reconditioning facility in January but it took a few months to install our IBC blow moulder and assembly line. We finally began manufacturing IBCs six months ago.”
Barham said Yatala was chosen as the new production site as it is close to Brisbane but also less than 10 hours’ drive to Sydney. Apart from the plant being closer to customers, the shorter transport route lowers costs and reduces CO₂ emissions, strengthening the company’s sustainability proposition. Yatala also serves as a backup for the Melbourne plant if there are any unforeseen issues in production.
Also speaking at the opening, Andreas Wolf, Schütz business unit manager Asia Pacific, emphasised Australia’s importance as a global supplier of raw materials and finished products. He said that Schütz Australia, with its extensive range of bulk packaging for liquid products, makes a “significant contribution to ensuring that a large proportion of these products can be shipped safely and quickly to customers in Australia and around the world”.
Wolf also stressed the aspect of sustainability – a key part of the company philosophy since the foundation of the Schütz Group.
Wolf noted that as the biggest reconditioner of IBCs in the world, Schütz’s local activities not only include the collection of used IBCs and drums, but also professional, resource-saving reconditioning in a closed loop system.
In the reconditioning process for its Ecobulk containers, all components that come in contact with the filling product, such as inner bottles, fittings and screw caps, are replaced with new components.
The result is a Recobulk, with matching quality, safety and standard specifications as an Ecobulk, and which, compared to a new IBC, saves around 100kg of CO₂ in production.
At the event, guests were given a tour of the facility, showing the full manufacturing and assembly of Ecobulk IBCs, as well as the reconditioning line.
A full report on the company's future focus will be published in the November-December issue of PKN Packaging News.