The market for premium chocolate is booming. It is one of the most dynamic segments of the confectionery industry – a global growth rate of 7 percent is forecast until 2022.  
In addition to the big international brands, more and more small but excellent chocolate manufacturers are conquering the market. These high-quality chocolates are in great demand among consumers. So much so that production processes, such as packaging the chocolate bars, have to be automated to keep pace with increasing demand. 
However, automation is often a hurdle for small businesses, as it usually involves a large investment. How can machine manufacturers support smaller companies in this crucial phase? Markus Weishaar, head of Sigpack DSN at Bosch Packaging Technology, spoke about affordable alternatives. In addition to new machines, the company now also offers completely modernized, secondhand diefold wrapping machines. This is an offer that is particularly interesting for smaller companies.  
What is the new Bosch proposal about?
MW: So far, we have only been active in the new machine business. Our customers have been buying Sigpack DSN diefold wrapping machines from us for more than 50 years. This is unlikely to change in the future because the machine runs extremely reliably for decades and is also unbeatably flexible. 
In addition, we now also offer completely modernized secondhand machines. These modernized diefold wrapping machines are very attractive in terms of costs, especially for smaller companies that endeavor to take their first steps towards automation. In addition to the affordable price, a delivery time of 3 to 4 months is also extremely appealing. Alternatively, manufacturers who already own one or more DSNs can send their machines to us for rework and can thus considerably extend the service life of these machines. 
What advantages does buying directly from Bosch have for interested parties?
MW: We are the machine’s designers and have not stopped building new machines of this type to this day. We have installed more than 1,000 Sigpack DSNs – a large base that backs up the success of our machine. As the original manufacturer, we have technical expertise, experience and quality on our side – clear advantages over third-party suppliers. Our customers not only receive a machine, but also competent advice, training, service and original spare parts. 
Where do you get your secondhand machines?
MW: Some of these machines will be replaced by the new Sigpack DSN. The used DSN machines are refurbished thoroughly and are then offered for resale as secondhand machines. Of course, we also keep an eye on relevant secondhand websites and subscribe to corresponding newsletters. We only buy machines after a thorough inspection.
Which type of customer is this offer most appealing to?
MW: That depends entirely on the company and its requirements. Basically, there are three customer groups for whom secondhand machines are ideal:
  • A secondhand Sigpack DSN is especially interesting for small manufacturers – new companies that are taking the first step towards automation. The affordable price and short delivery time are clearly the most important deciding criteria here. For 70 percent of the price of a new machine, the customer gets a fully functioning machine that is as good as new, in addition to a manufacturer’s guarantee. 
  • Contract manufacturers account for the second group of buyers. Because these manufacturers usually produce for different brands, format flexibility is important – a particular strength of the Sigpack DSN.
  • The general inspection we offer is of course appealing to manufacturers, who already produce with a Sigpack DSN and would like to extend its service life by 15-20 years.