Fawema: Know how and experience since 1920
by Tom Blacker, Milling and Grain magazine
estled in a beautiful area of North RhineWestphalia, Germany is the River Agger. In the river’s valley is the area of Engelskirchen and Fawema’s main international headquarters, situated about 40 kilometers east of Cologne. Fawema was founded by Heinrich Kleinjung in 1920 and called Fabrik für Werkzeuge und Maschinen. At first, the company manufactured twist drill milling machines, drilling machines, bow saws, grinding machines and other metal working tools. Later on, these products were also exported to the UK. From the mid-thirties onwards contract work and government orders, above all the processing of spare parts for locomotives for the National Railway, contributed to the company’s growth. By the end of the forties there was an increased demand for portioned foodstuffs, and Fawema, together with their engineer Julius Schwirten, an expert for packaging machines, concentrated on the development and manufacture of dosing machines. Mark Wild, International Sales Director, described how it was in the 1950s when an order for 200 packaging machines set Fawema on course into the industry it is renowned for today. Factory workshops and a multi-storey administration building were erected. Continuously improved and new Fawema products resulted in further expansion. The production programme was systematically broadened, first by adding bag filling and closure machines and later by combining them with collating and packing machines into state-of-the-art packaging lines. Now of course, Fawema are a household name for their machine packaging for flour bags, animal feed, pet food, and rice. Fawema are a part of a group. The sister company, HDG, is located near Lindlar in the Rheinisch-Bergischer Kreis also, like Fawema, near Cologne. HDG specialise in the forming, filling and sealing systems for sealed rim pouches of food, pet food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetic products. With both companies in the same local region, the solutions and knowhow is well shared and a good partnership exists to provide
64 | December 2015 - Milling and Grain
packaging solutions. During the tour of the company site, Mark provided an afternoon tour of all the offices and production facilities. Mark invites and shows customers their products through all stages of the manufacturing process. We began in the reception where an original 1922 ‘bohrmaschine’ is located. We walked through Mark’s office first, admiring a very large map of Africa. Africa represents an important market for Fawema due to the rapid and constant population growth and the consequent rise in demand for commodity food products such as maize meal and wheat flour packed in retail size packs of between 1 kg and 5 kg. With hundreds of reference installations all across the continent, the earliest of which date from the early 1970’s, the Fawema brand is favoured by African mills thanks to the unique heavy-duty manufacture which meets the requirements in Africa perfectly and allows the miller to ensure that his products are packed efficiently, speedily and with the minimum of down-time and maintenance.
After the office, we went to a storeroom with many bags and packages organised in the style of an archive. Packaging for tea, pet food, flour and many more were on display. After gaining an insight into the different types of packaging, the route down to the machine shop and production area beckoned. Thirty people work in production and the machine shop in total. The machines begin their journey as steel. Six people work for Fawema in the steel intake and frame building assembly section. The stainless steel, sourced from quality European steel mills, is built to specification from the in-house designer’s plans. There is also an in-house paint shop with six people employed in this section. Mark said that these in-house sections mean certain security and quality control requirements are upheld when they do not have to be there at all. It also affects the cost for the customer. However, the outcomes and results are an all-round higher quality product for the customer.