We are at home in the packaging industry. Almost 100 years ago, we began in Heilbronn as a 3-man business with a small workshop measuring 36 m² (4 x 9 m). Today the company has 1,600 employees worldwide at many locations around the globe. In Heilbronn alone, the total area for production and administration is 24,352 m².
As a result of this expansion, space in the existing buildings has repeatedly become cramped over the years. As a consequence, new buildings and extensions have had to be built.
Peter Marbach, managing partner of the Marbach Group: "One of the tasks as managing director of a group of companies, which you probably don't foresee, are the many buildings in whose construction you need to be involved. From the decision to the planning to the implementation. Over the years, it adds up to quite a lot of work!"
Headquarters in Heilbronn
The Marbach company started as a small workshop in the Köpfstraße in Heilbronn in the premises of a construction company, at that time for rent. When this became too small, Karl Marbach Senior had a building constructed in Fügerstrasse. The Marbach family home, next to the workshop, was the first new building, and many more followed. During the Second World War, the company was forced to move several times. The building in Fügerstrasse, which was partly destroyed, was rebuilt afterwards. (More about this in the second part of our series: "100 years of Marbach. 1939 - 1945: The War Years.")
The move to the current location followed in 1963: the company moved from Fügerstrasse to August-Häusser-Strasse 6 (which was then called Neckargartacher Strasse 110). The building there – at that time Marbach was already employing 40 people – was constructed in 1962. The new company headquarter was extended twice more at short intervals thereafter, signaling the company's uninterrupted growth. The upper floor of the building housed the Marbach family's home, which they occupied until 1977. The old buildings in Fügerstrasse continued to be used as a training center until the year 2000.
Finally, in 1977, Marbach Werkzeugbau moved into a new building of almost 3,000 m² in August-Häusser-Strasse 5, where thermoforming tools for the plastics industry were being manufactured. The two divisions, Die-cutting Technology and Toolmaking, were now housed in two separate buildings – opposite each other on one side of the street.
This would be enough for a few years. But as early as the beginning of the 1990s, work began on extensions for the Toolmaking Division at the company's headquarters in Heilbronn. After a five-month construction period, this was completed in September 1992. The entire construction project involved an investment volume of more than 4.5 million euros (DM 9 million).
At the turn of the millennium, the Toolmaking building was extended. Now the training workshop could also move to August Häusser-Strasse. Additional office space was also created.
A few years later, space again was not enough, this time in the area of Die-cutting Technology. Here, however, a completely new building was planned rather than an extension. This was carried out in two construction phases to ensure the ongoing production and supply of cutting-dies to customers: on June 8, 2006, the Marbach company celebrated the topping-out ceremony for the new diemaking production and office building at its Heilbronn headquarter. The first construction phase of the new building in Karl-Marbach-Strasse was completed in 2007, the second phase in 2008. The production of the different areas of Die-cutting Technology as well as an administration area are located on over 13,000 m². This building – whose construction came to 12 million euros – was built using state-of-the-art technology. Modern exposed concrete and large glass fronts form the design. Specially designed work and production areas and a concrete core temperature control system in the office area ensure a comfortable climate for the employees. Photovoltaics on the roof and an up-to-date energy concept complement the climate-friendly building.
A few years later, Marbach invested more than 5 million euros in the construction of a hall and in machinery for the product area "rotary tools for the production of cigarette and liquid packaging". After this area had been expanded gradually over the years, not only did the space became too cramped, but at some point, the floor load requirements had reached their limits. The hall, built in 2014, has a usable area of over 1,300 m². The 2,000-ton floor slab is supported by 151 concrete piles that reach 10 to 12 meters into the earth. Peter Marbach explains: "Because of this special construction, the floor is absolutely vibration-free. This means optimal conditions, which ensure the maximum precision for our tools."
The room situation at the headquarter intensified again in 2015/2016. To provide additional space, the idea was to add an extension to an existing toolmaking building. The new construction was completed in Spring 2017. Since then, the purchasing, accounting and personnel departments have been housed in an area covering over 300 m².
In February 1992, the Marbach Group took over the still young Dreher GmbH i.G. in Schlettau, Saxony. In order to be able to best serve the East German market, the company moved to a newly constructed production building in the town of Geyer – the center of the Saxon / Thuringian paper and cardboard industry.
An important part of the Marbach Group is located in Eastern Europe.
In Poland there are now three Marbach Die-cutting Technology and Toolmaking locations. The Kielce branch was located in a rented building in previous years. In June 2016, the move to a new specially constructed building took place. This even won an architecture award in 2017. Preparations for the new company building in Kielce began back in 2014, and after a construction period of more than a year and a half, the 1,580 m² building was completed in Spring 2016 and officially opened on June 1. In 2020, the new building has been expanded, doubling the original area.
New construction was also carried out at the site in Tarnowsky Góry, thus doubling production capacity with the 180 employees. Since 2009, the companies Marbach Budowa Form SP.Z.o.o. (thermoforming tools) and Marbach Polska SP.Z.o.o. (cutting-dies) had been located here under one roof. The new building was necessary at that time so as to be able to cover the increased demand of the Polish market. Despite an expansion in 2014, the building was once again bursting at the seams in 2021. Therefore, a second production and office building was built directly next to the existing building, which was occupied by Marbach Toolmaking in November 2021.
In the Czech Republic, production was initially carried out in an existing facility until the decision was made in 2006 to construct a new building. The building with 2,150 m² was completed in July 2007. A first extension followed in 2014, another in 2018.
In Romania, Marbach started its own production in 2002. Due to increasing demand, the Marbach site in Romania has been gradually expanded and production automated. The steadily increasing need for space led to the decision to construct a new building which would be perfectly adapted to the company's needs. The new construction with 885 m² was inaugurated in 2011. In 2022, the building was expanded again increasing by 130% in size.
In addition to the numerous new buildings over the decades, there have also been many buildings that, although not newly constructed, were co-designed by Marbach and equipped according to Marbach's needs. These include the two locations in the USA (Charlotte, Michigan), in Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), in China (Tianjin) and in Slovakia (Martin).
The Marbach Group has been continuously investing in its sites for almost 100 years. Modern buildings and technology are a success factor for the future orientation of the company. Even though there are currently no plans for any further new building projects, one can be sure that the floor space of the continuously growing group of companies will certainly become scarce again somewhere soon.
But not only new buildings point to the success of the Marbach Group. You can read which big and small successes Marbach could celebrate in the next part of this series '100 years of Marbach. On the way to becoming the world market leader: successes and employee development.'
In 2023, we will be able to look back on 100 years of company history. After this special event, the next big event for us is already waiting to happen next year: In one year – exactly on May 28, 2024 – the leading trade show of the printing and packaging industry, drupa in Düsseldorf, will finally take place again.
In addition to our comprehensive portfolio of cutting-dies, we also offer compatible storage systems. The Marbach Die Storage System (MDSS) has been designed for packaging manufacturers seeking optimally functioning in-house logistics.
We offer a range of blanking tools in our portfolio. One of the most popular tools on the market is the marbablanker. This blanking tool is characterized primarily by short set-up times and good handling during packaging production.
With our stripping technologies, we offer an extensive portfolio on the market for smooth processes and waste-free stripping. An important product, which is the basic requirement for a stable stripping process, is the precision set-up aid: marbapoint. It is used to position the upper and lower stripping parts with precision in relation to each other. The marbapoint is thus a simple and cost-effective way of optimizing the set-up process. As of now, a special magnetic holder is available for the marbapoint, which can be attached directly to the die-cutting machine.