With an interview with Vincent Morgner, Chief Sales Officer (CSO) of Clarus Films
An innovative distributor with added value
von Ansgar Wessendorf,
In the value chain of the film market, Clarus Films regards itself as a “value added reseller” for contemporary packaging solutions and thus as an interface between manufacturer and user. Customers receive the best possible advice and reliable supplies. This explicit customer orientation and reliability, as well as a constantly growing range of sustainable solutions, makes Clarus Films all the more a valuable and forward-looking partner company in the current world situation – also for printers and converters.
Clarus Films GmbH has been active in the packaging industry for over 40 years and is now one of the largest distributors and converters of unprinted packaging films, technical films and packaging papers in Europe, with an annual turnover of over 70 million Euros and around 70 employees.
Business areas and customer structure
As a reseller, Clarus Films offers a wide range of film and paper substrates. They are supplied either on large rolls for further processing or as finished rolls for individual end-use applications.
In the area of roll materials, the business activities are divided into the areas of large rolls for further processing, finished rolls for end-use applications and converting such as slitting or micro or macro perforation. The film products for the production of flexible packaging are used in both the food and non-food sectors. The customer structure is divided into end users, resellers and converters.
Currently, Clarus Films markets approximately 24,000 tonnes of film products per year and continues to experience annual volume growth. The company has a base of over 2,000 active customers, many with long-standing relationships. For further development, the goal has been set to increase the number of locations in Europe to three by 2025, in order to become the largest reseller in Europe. This goal is to be achieved through the introduction of new products, the implementation of a pan-European sales structure, the expansion of the wholesale roll trade and the infrastructure as well as through company acquisitions.
High delivery reliability and consistent quality
Clarus Films is a financially strong and therefore very crisis-proof partner with a broad and strong industry network. For customers, this means a high degree of supplier independence, security of supply and consistent quality. This is supported by partnerships with the respective suppliers.
The high availability of the products is based on various delivery models. The customer has the option of purchasing the goods directly or having them stored in the Clarus Films warehouse on call. A special form of storage is also offered on a consignment basis, whereby the goods remain the property of the supplier until they are called off. All of this together leads to a very high degree of flexibility, which, in view of threatened or interrupted supply chains, additionally contributes to delivery security.
Clarus Films is BRC (British Retail Consortium) certified for suppliers to the food industry and primary food packaging manufacturers to ensure quality assurance for the customer in the implementation of highest food standards.
Slitting and storage
Clarus Films’ slitting and storage capacities not only reflect the company’s pronounced service orientation, but also mean a high degree of processing flexibility and security of supply.
A total of 12 state-of-the-art machines are available in the converting and slitting plant, which cut the master reels to the dimensions required by the customers in 6/24 shift operation. Micro and macro perforation is an additional service offered in the field of roll conversion. The converting and cutting capacity is 1000 tonnes per month and the current space dimensioning is designed for the possibility of expanding by two additional machines. With these order-related, converted and cut-to-size finished rolls, customers are supplied with packaging and laminating films for their respective end applications.
A large part of the building area at the Dietzenbach site is taken up by the central warehouse, whose total area of over 9,000 m2 offers more than 16,000 pallet spaces for the storage of mother oils and finished goods. The storage facility is equipped with a total of 8 ramps for stocking and delivery.
The efficient management of this large-scale cutting and storage operation requires appropriate logistical control processes. For this purpose, Clarus Films runs a digitalised inventory and roll management system. This infrastructure, which is geared towards growth, ensures that an up-to-date overview of the actual stocks is always available in order to avoid supply bottlenecks. This provides customers with the highest possible delivery reliability. In addition, the company offers high-quality packaging materials at competitive prices through long-term partnerships and fixed purchase quantities.
The company’s sustainability ambitions
Clarus Films is making great efforts to accelerate the development of an operational circular economy by introducing sustainable packaging films. This is also reflected in the continuous expansion of the portfolio of compostable films made from renewable resources or films made from completely recycled material or with a high recycled material content. In addition, the company has now switched completely to the purchase of green electricity.
However, the provisions to improve sustainability do not only relate to the classic film products. As a market-oriented company, Clarus Films is meeting the demand of end consumers for more packaging solutions made of paper, for which operational recycling systems for the recovery of this valuable resource have been in place for years. Against this background, the company has been in exclusive cooperation with the special paper manufacturer Koehler Paper since 2021.
For Clarus Films, this cooperation means a significant and up-to-date expansion of the product range and thus the possibility to meet the strong demand for functional papers with barrier properties. Accordingly, the flexible and sustainable packaging papers of the NexFlex product range will now be offered within the Clarus Paper division. They are suitable for a wide range of end-uses including food and pet food packaging and tea bag secondary packaging.
The social and sustainable orientation of Claurs Films is also reflected in the corresponding certifications. Certification according to ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) denotes a self-commitment to sustainable development in the areas of market, environment and employees that goes beyond the legal requirements, as well as the exchange with the relevant interest groups. The area of sustainability is particularly represented by certification according to Ecovadis, a globally recognised rating for companies, as well as ISCC Plus (International Sustainability & Carbon Certification) for biomass and bioenergy. In the area of packaging papers, only FSC-certified substrates from sustainable forestry are processed.
To round off its sustainability policy, the company works with Climate Partner in the sense of a holistic climate protection strategy. Clarus Films actively supports certified climate protection projects and thus offers customers the opportunity to offset the CO2 emissions generated during the production and transport of materials and to make their end products even more sustainable.
A wide portfolio of film and paper substrates
The main areas of application for Clarus Films packaging films include food, household, medical/pharmaceutical and industrial applications. They are generally offered in large rolls or finished rolls. The respective qualities are available in all common and newly developed surface finishes. Furthermore, the product portfolio not only comprises standard films, but also special and brand new films. The target group for large roll deliveries are customers from the finishing sector such as printers, converters and laminating companies. The film substrates supplied in large rolls include biaxially oriented Polypropylene (BOPP), PET (BOPET), monoaxially oriented Polyethylene (MDO-PE), oriented Polyamide (OPA) and cast Polypropylene films (CPP). The range is rounded off with aluminium foils.
The laminating films are mostly used as substrate protection layers against abrasion and moisture as well as barrier and functional layers to increase the shelf life of food. The finished rolls, which are cut and finished to order, are mainly supplied to customers in the end-use sector. These include highly transparent shrink films made of Polyolefin (POF), which are approved for direct food contact and are recyclable. Polyethylene (PE) is a solution for the production of containers or tray packaging and is supplied in the variants LDPE, MDPE, HDPE. Shrink films made of polyvinyl chlorite (PVC) enable fast packaging processes on all common machines.
The Clarus Paper division’s product range includes flexible barrier packaging papers. They are 100% recyclable in the paper cycle and can therefore be an efficient alternative to films. They can be used for primary or secondary packaging of everything from food to pet food. They can also be printed using flexo and gravure processes.
A holistic consulting approach
Clarus Consult specialises in providing holistic consulting to clients. The approach is to recommend the best possible packaging solution after a detailed requirements analysis. Within the framework of this analysis, factors from different perspectives are taken into account. In the specification of the respective packaging substrate, these are quality and price, consumption quantity per unit, manufacturing process, country of origin and sustainability of the raw materials used.
With regard to the requirements for the packaging to be produced, the consulting service refers to areas such as service life and durability, protective function, presentation and information function as well as waste quota. In the area of recycling “used” packaging, aspects such as identification of the recycling process, ensuring the recycling cycle and consideration of recycling and composting processes are included.
Clarus Tec focuses on the sale of state-of.the-art packaging systems. For upcoming investments, customers are supported in terms of design, dimensioning and optimal integration of the system into existing workflows, including installation and maintenance.
A most modern company
The Clarus Group, with its three pillars Clarus Films, Clarus Paper and Clarus Tec, is an impressive example of a most modern company. Based on its central expertise in film and paper substrates for food and technical applications, it offers its customers an extremely broad range of services. The consulting expertise of the team of substrate specialists not only relates to the current portfolio, but also supports customers in the implementation of individual packaging solutions. In this way, the Clarus Group provides a genuine “value-added service”, because processors of film and paper products for packaging applications are often not familiar with all the available substrate types and their individual characteristics and performance.
Clarus Films – Reliable in supply and fit for the future
A short interview with Vincent Morgner, Chief Sales Officer (CSO) of Clarus Films
With supply chains disrupted in many industries, how does Clarus Films plan to maintain reliability of supply?
Vincent Morgner: Given the current political and economic situation, this aspect is becoming increasingly crucial in the relationship between supplier and customer. Clarus Films’ reliability of supply rests on several consistent pillars. First of all, we have a worldwide network of partners for all substrates that has grown over many years. This also means that we usually have several suppliers for each substrate at hand, so that we can fall back on different sources of supply if necessary. In addition, we are expanding our storage areas in order to counteract stagnating supply chains in conjunction with the range of consignment warehouses and call-offs. If the desired substrate width is not in stock, our cutting systems are designed to react quickly. For this purpose, we have a very flexible and ready-to-go team of employees. Basically, Clarus Films is a financially strong and investment-oriented partner.
How can the future strategy of Clarus Films be briefly described and what further development can be expected?
Vincent Morgner: As with many other companies, the topics of sustainability and digitalisation are among the core areas of Clarus Films’ future strategy. As a market-oriented company, we will continue to expand our product range in order to adapt it even better to the wishes of our customers and to meet sustainability requirements.
This is also reflected in the inclusion of flexible barrier papers and MDO films in the current product range as well as our continuous efforts to further reduce our carbon footprint. In the area of digitalisation, the focus is on increasing efficiency and optimising the transparency of goods flows.
Several projects have already been initiated this year and are expected to be completed in the first half of 2023. Together with further activities, this will ensure that the next few years will also be characterised by constant further developments for Clarus Films.
For further information, please contact Vincent Morgner (Morgner@Clarus-Films.com).