The equipment follows the product

Since September of this year, the business of Hänsel Processing GmbH has been represented by a dual leadership team. Mr. Sebastian Rabold, a graduate engineer, has been working alongside Mr. Heiko Kühn as Managing Director at Hänsel Processing since 01.09.2023. It is time to introduce him in this newsletter.

Mr. Rabold, what area of responsibility have you taken on at Hänsel Processing?

The declared aim is to spread responsibility at Hänsel Processing across a broader range of shoulders. In addition to the strategic and financial direction, which Heiko Kühn and I are jointly responsible for, we have divided responsibility between external and internal organizations. While Heiko Kühn covers the external organization with sales and customer relations in the usual way, my tasks lie in the internal organization, such as production.

What is meant by "production" at Hänsel Processing?

I have been lucky enough to get to know an enormous range and diversity through my diverse tasks, for example in the automotive or pump business. My aim is to structure our production processes in a customer-oriented way so that the value-adding part for the customer is in the foreground at Hänsel Processing and non-value-adding content is reduced. This helps to increase efficiency and ensure that efforts are made to achieve climate-neutral production and meet deadlines. For me, it's about aligning all product development processes with the customer in order to remain competitive.

When you visited Hänsel Processing for the first time, was there one area that particularly impressed you?

Yes, the technical center. The opportunity for customers to bring their recipes with them to test their processes on real production facilities on a small scale is extremely valuable. The transfer of know-how between our technicians and the customer representatives is very intensive. The optimization that customers can take away for themselves through tips and ideas from the ongoing process has many effects on their subsequent production. Our first priority is always to adapt our technology to the customer's requirements, to understand the process and to support them as a reliable partner.

You know the Possehl Group, to which Hänsel Processing also belongs, very well. What opportunities do you see in this large group?

In many respects, it is all about solidarity and mutual support. The technology group, which is now over 175 years old and has more than 200 companies of different sizes, is continuing a good Hanseatic tradition: "entrepreneurship" in such a way that it is successful in the long term. Think, for example, of topics such as digitalization, where a strong network in the background is helpful. Or the cultural challenges of strengthening personal responsibility and demographic change. These are topics in which we see ourselves strengthened by the Possehl Group.


How do you assess the development of the industry?

Of course, the two current major political conflicts have put a damper on the confectionery industry. But while Europe is stagnating, Asia is a fast-growing market and America also offers interesting demand potential. Equipment and technology are currently being replaced in many market sectors. For example, sweets containing health supplements or active pharmaceutical ingredients are on the rise. Here you can see how the trend towards a healthier lifestyle is very quickly having an impact on machine equipment and how product innovations are becoming more interesting again for many manufacturers in economic terms.

But isn't this health awareness more of a European issue?

I don't believe that, I see a mixed picture. The big players, such as Nestle or Mondelez, have long been in the process of scaling up the new developments they have made in their home markets and adapting and rolling them out worldwide.

We are also seeing more and more mixing of products between Asia and the West. There is no other explanation for the fact that, according to recent surveys, dragon fruit flavored products are on the rise in Europe and the USA. In contrast, Western flavors such as salted caramel are on the rise in the South: "Salted Caramel" are becoming increasingly popular in South Asian countries. This in turn leads manufacturers to adapt their production. True to the rule: the equipment follows the product.

Finally, can you tell our readers a little fun fact about yourself?

Although I'm a Hanseatic, I do have a sweet tooth - at least that's what my wife says. And I'm extremely keen to experiment. Let's see what other opportunities will arise at Hänsel Processing in the future...