While Sepp Haggenmüller worked as an employee during the day, he developed his first chamber machine in the evening and on weekends, together with his childhood friend Artur Vetter. The machine was given the name of the MULTIVAC A 4, and all the work took place in his parents’ garage in Böhen. Sepp Haggenmüller founded his own company there in 1961 with Hermann Keil.
The A 4 (free-standing) and M 3 (tabletop) chamber machines were already big sales successes at the first trade fairs. By the end of 1964, a total of more than 350 of the M 3 model had been produced, and by the end of 1965, more than 700 of the A 4 model.
In January 1965, the company, which already had 10 employees, moved into a newly built factory building just 100 metres away from the original garage workshop. Herrmann Keil retired from the company for reasons of age. Within the legal entity of “MULTIVAC Sepp Haggenmüller KG”, Sepp Haggenmüller was the personally liable partner, while Heinz Brenne and Artur Vetter were the limited partners.
In 1966, the number of employees rose from 15 to 46. The product range now also included large chamber machines (AG 1, AGW), double chamber machines (A 2, AG 2, AG 4) and chamber belt machines (B 5, B 6, BG 6)
The first MULTIVAC R 67 thermoforming packaging machine was launched onto the market. In the first year alone, more than 100 machines were sold, and in total almost 300.
At the beginning of 1970, the Böhen era came to an end, since the already expanded factory was once again too small. The employees moved into a new factory consisting of two manufacturing halls, a material warehouse, an administration building and a canteen.
R 70 thermoforming packaging machine
The new R 70 was the first thermoforming packaging machine based on a modular design principle. This meant it was possible to supply the machine in different frame length versions.
Sepp Haggenmüller had a fatal accident in his car when he went to pick up a customer at the train station on 21 May 1971. Following his tragic death, a division of responsibility was established: Heinz Brenne took over the organisational and sales responsibilities. Artur Vetter retained his responsibilities for engineering and technology, and he initiated primarily new developments in machines and accessory equipment.
In 1972, MULTIVAC celebrated three milestones in its success story: by that time 1000 automatic packaging machines had been produced and sold. The M 72 model launched a lower-cost and more simply designed thermoforming packaging machine onto the market. MULTIVAC France in Nogent-sur-Marne was founded as the first subsidiary for sales and service.
The R 7000 series was launched onto the market as a further development of the R 70. It had an adjustable forming station and was also able to run films with greater tolerances. The R 7000, which was built with a length of up to 15 metres, rapidly became the dominant machine on the market.
MULTIVAC Maschinenbau Ges.m.b.H. & Co. KG in Lechaschau was MULTIVAC's second production site for the manufacture of packaging machines. It was founded in 1974 on a green field site, at a time when the production capacity in Wolfertschwenden was insufficient to meet the growing demand for packaging machines.
300 employees in the Wolfertschwenden factory and a further 150 in the subsidiaries called MULTIVAC 'their' company. The sales and service network now comprised 60 agencies. Some 4,500 thermoforming packaging machines and 20,000 chamber machines had been built up to this point. MULTIVAC had established an excellent reputation in the packaging sector. Following the death of Artur Vetter in April 1981, Heinz Brenne became the sole Managing Director.
MULTIVAC entered the market for tray packaging solutions in 1984 with the semi-automatic 'ESPACE' traysealer, which was produced and sold by MULTIVAC France. In 1988, the 'ESPACE' was replaced with the higher-output 'GALAXY', which was available until 2001, and of which over 1,000 machines were sold.
By 1987, MULTIVAC had established subsidiaries in France, Switzerland, Benelux and the United Kingdom. The new MULTIVAC Inc. subsidiary began to operate in 1987 with approx. 80 employees, who transferred from Koch, the previous sales partner.
With the R 530 model, MULTIVAC brought the first stainless steel thermoforming packaging machine onto the market. The self-supporting frame design allowed for maximum hygiene and flexibility. This meant it became possible to have machines with up to 4 die sets, which are all installed permanently and are simply activated by a change in the control program.
In May 1993, MULTIVAC acquired 100 % of MR Etikettiertechnik, which was based in the Westphalian town of Enger. At that time, the product range already included a wide range of equipment, from manual label dispensers through to fully automatic conveyor belt labellers, and right up to cross web labellers for applying labels to thermoformed packs. Various printing solutions complemented the product portfolio.
As a company that was very focused on high quality, MULTIVAC certified its Quality Management system to EN ISO 9001 at a very early stage.
In February 2003, Managing Director Heinz Brenne completed his 65th year and entered into a well-deserved retirement. Hans-Joachim Boekstegers, an experienced manager who joined the company in 2001, took over the helm.
The compact R 140 thermoforming packaging machine
In order to enable processors of small production batches to produce thermoformed packs cost-effectively, the product portfolio was expanded in 2003 to include the compact R 140 machine.
The company previously operated under the name of Christoph Grundmann GmbH and has been part of the MULTIVAC Group since 2005. MULTIVAC Resale & Service, based in Nettetal on the Lower Rhine, is the Center of Excellence for second-hand machines, overhauls and conversions.
With the introduction of the R 535, the first machine of a new generation of thermoforming packaging machines was launched onto the market. This new product series systematically put into practice all the market demands and statutory requirements for the hygienic design of packaging machines.
After Hans-Joachim Boekstegers had successfully advanced the development of the MULTIVAC Group, the Management Board was expanded in August 2008 to include CFO Christian Traumann, who had been working as Commercial Director of the company since 2002.
With the appointment of Guido Spix in March 2009, the Management Board was expanded to include a Chief Technical Officer, who as CTO was responsible for the product-manufacturing business units.
By founding the Systems Business Unit in 2010, MULTIVAC laid the foundation stone for its ongoing development as a supplier of packaging lines from one source.
MR Etikettiertechnik becomes MULTIVAC Marking & Inspection
In 2010, the sales activities of MULTIVAC and MR in Germany were merged with the aim of providing optimised customer support. In August 2010, MR Etikettiertechnik was renamed MULTIVAC Marking & Inspection.
In 2010, the consolidated turnover of the MULTIVAC Group was 558 million euros. At the Wolfertschwenden site, a turnover of 251 million euros was generated in the same period with 1,325 employees. The Group employed a total of 3,156 people.
Acquisition of Mobepack Sistems S.L.
The takeover of Mobepack Sistems resulted in the creation of MULTIVAC Production Spain. Thanks to extensive investment in state-of-the-art production facilities and the establishment of local development capacity, MULTIVAC Production Spain has become an important production site for the MULTIVAC Group.
With the acquisition in 2012 of Trimaster Oy, which had been founded in 1998, MULTIVAC expanded its product portfolio for line automation, robotics and palletising systems. This made it possible for MULTIVAC to offer complete end-to-end packaging lines.
The Training & Innovation Center (TIC) was opened in Wolferschwenden in early 2013. Customers receive competent and manufacturer-independent advice regarding packaging material and application issues, and packaging ideas are made available as prototypes or small batches. The TIC also offers a comprehensive training program, which can be tailored to meet customer requirements.
The state-of-the-art Logistics Center at the company’s headquarters in Wolfertschwenden was put into operation in the middle of 2016. The building complex, which was constructed to the latest energy-saving standards, has a surface area of 5,400 m² and cost around 11.9 million euros. Built according to an optimised logistics concept, its primary role is to control the supply of spare parts centrally from Wolfertschwenden to the European subsidiaries. However, European customers will also increasingly be supplied directly from the company’s headquarters.
Thanks to its unique sensor control, the RX 4.0 makes a significant contribution to optimum processes and reproducible pack quality. Maximum operating reliability is provided by Pack Pilot and a user interface that can be personalised. The RX 4.0 is also designed for seamless integration into higher-level systems, as well as for use with MULTIVAC Smart Hub and MULTIVAC Smart Services.
BETTER PORTIONING: Majority stake in TVI
With the integration of TVI Entwicklung und Produktion GmbH in Irschenberg, the MULTIVAC Group expanded its product portfolio in the processing sector.
home: the MULTIVAC for the home
For the first time in 2017, MULTIVAC offered a chamber machine for private households. home is an attractive and easy-to-use solution for the evacuation of film pouches, vacuum containers, bottles and jars.
MULTIVAC Buchenau resulted from the takeover of the Slicer division of VC 999 by the MULTIVAC Group. This site houses the Slicer Development Center and also the production of new slicer prototypes. Mass production of slicers takes place at the Wolfertschwenden site.
Over € 1,000,000,000 turnover for the first time
In 2018, the consolidated turnover of the MULTIVAC Group was 1,1 billion euros. More than 2,000 employees were working at the Wolfertschwenden site, and the Group employed a total of more than 5,750 people.
Opening of MULTIVAC Bulgaria Production
The production site of MULTIVAC Bulgaria Production is located in the industrial zone of Bozhurishte and has a total area of some 20,000 square metres. After a construction period of only two years, around 150 highly skilled and secure workplaces were created in 2018 at the MULTIVAC Group’s first Eastern European production site.
FRITSCH became part of the MULTIVAC Group in 2019. In the world of bakery engineering and technology, the name FRITSCH has been synonymous for decades with high-quality, high-performance equipment and pioneering innovations in dough forming and dough preparation. Premium bakery products are produced with FRITSCH machines throughout the world. The headquarters of the company, founded in 1926, are in the town of Markt Einersheim in Lower Franconia.
After the retirement of Hans-Joachim Boekstegers, the management of the MULTIVAC Group was placed in the experienced hands of Group Presidents Guido Spix and Christian Traumann.