Bertil Ohlsson
Can Technology GmbH
Am Hafen 2
38112 Braunschweig

+49 531 30006-50
+49 531 30006-45

Bertil Ohlsson builds its machines with a great deal of know-how, accuracy and reliability. The company's greatest strength lies in its flexibility regarding the type and the size of the can to be produced.

The basis of Bertil Ohlsson's quality concept is to conjoin man and technology in harmony. An open communication between employees, partners and customers adds to the positive atmosphere. Our employees themselves contribute actively to the corporate culture.
As a result, we are able to meet the customers' requirements in a fast, flexible and professional manner. By concentrating on our central skills we are able to improve our service continually.

Bertil Ohlsson machines feature easy handling, short change-over times, high-precision-tuned production modules and absolute quality. Our versatile solutions are equally as reliable as standard solutions.

Form follows emotion
Consumers are asking more and more frequently for cans with special shapes - Ohlsson supplies the right technical equipment

Anyone can make cylindrical cans. That's was most of us think anyway, as we stroll along the supermarket aisles. Stacks of standard tin cans, one after the other. A bulk commodity. The fact that the principle of the tin can is actually a mini miracle is usually forgotten, since it has been part of our daily life for decades. In order to stand out among the rest, more and more producers use specially shaped cans. And as so often, Ohlsson with it's specialised knowledge works discretely behind the scenes to meet these needs.

Bellied, curved, narrowed: a can is by no means just a can. Whoever purchases drink concentrates in France, for example, carries a canmaking treasure in his hand. "Form follows emotion" is not only the food sector's increasingly popular motto, but also throughout the entire industry.
The eye helps decide when buying a product and the more unusual the can design, the more readily demanding customers go for the goods.

Paint, food, beer, hairspray - there's not one product that cannot be packaged in cans with eye-catching designs.
"This is a trend we have been following and supporting for a long time now", says Johan Strandberg (read the ringing bell, autumn 2004 edition), sales manager at Ohlsson. The factory in Gothenburg has been manufacturing expanders for around 20 years for the manufacture of specially shaped cans. The demand of special machines has increased this year again; shaped cans are extremely ‘in' .

This trend has spread throughout the world. "The shaping gives the packaging an unmistakable form, which in turn means a gain in positive image for the product manufacturer", says Johan Strandberg and holds up a soup tin made with Ohlsson toolings. And in fact, the bellied tin bearing the words, "Granny's soup" transmits the message it intends merely through it's shape: a cosy, warm kitchen, Granny in her apron and a bowl of steaming hot chicken soup standing on the table. Fantastic! Where is the nearest cooker please?

In official marketing language this is known as ‘increasing product attractiveness for the end customer'. "Expanding has always been our strength", continues Johan Strandberg whimsically when asked about the Swedish company's presence in the world market of shaped cans. Ohlsson has "a very high percent", he adds modestly.
There are still some countries who have not yet enriched their culture with shaped cans, although these spots on the world map are disappearing quickly. Ohlsson is working on this - perfecting the shape.

Creativity inspires consumption
Johan Strandberg, Sales Manager at Bertil Ohlsson, on the effectiveness of unusual

Increasing prices for raw materials cause an increase in the price of the manufacture of metal packing. The effects are obvious: profit margins shrink. In principle, the end consumer should be paying more for a product than he has done up to now. Only - this is the most sensitive part of the marketing chain. The ringing bell spoke to Johan Strandberg, Sales Manager at Bertil Ohlsson, about new profit-promising strategies:

Mr. Strandberg, the Chinese are buying up the steel market. What are the consequences for the metal packing sector?

- A development like this naturally has the consequence that the prices for raw materials have increased tremendously. This is a problem for the entire metal packaging sector, which has to recalculate its profit margins.

Does that mean that the end product is noticeably more expensive for the consumer?

- In practice, it's not as easy at all that. Only very few consumers would really accept sharing the increased raw material costs if they were added to the price of the end product. It's difficult to justify on the market. Just imagine if you had to pay a third more for a can of Cola all of a sudden. It seems unrealistic to me.

If the manufacturers' profit margins are shrinking, meaning the bulk business therefore Makes considerable less revenue, how can or must the sector react in your opinion?

- I can't and I don't wish to give a general concept, but one thing is for sure: the metal packaging sector has to start taking more action now rather than just reacting. If a product, for whatever reason it may be, starts making less profit than before, then I have to think about new marketing strategies.

Cans as nostalgic articles for the future? "Buy cans before they are unaffordable"?

- More like: what can I do as a manufacturer to keep my cost accounting more cost-efficient. In other words: a successful product for a particular target group still sells really well, but doesn't make it much profit due to factors such as increased raw material prices. If I increase my prices drastically, it could be that my regular customers turn away from me. One thought would be to offer the standard product at the same end price but to extend the existing one by introducing a new product. I could, for example, offer my main product under a new brand name in a completely new, unusual packaging.

Does this mean discovering new markets and new target groups?

- Exactly. A new and attractive can form and a striking packaging can attract new groups of buyers. The eye plays an important role in purchasing. This applies to existing regular customers of a certain age, but especially for new younger customers. When they go into a supermarket for the first time and a particular product catches their eye because of an unusual packaging - for example a tin of soup - then there are enough people who would decide in favour of the more expensive product because of the more interesting packaging.

So your talking about the factor of experiencing something new, of conveying a certain quality of living.

- Of course. An extroverted metal packaging generates emotional ties to the product. For example, at Ohlsson we built the machines for a marketing article of the lollipop brand, Chupa Chups.

Chupa Chups is a cult item. The message of the product is "Eat me, I'm a healthy snack because I'm made with lots of milk".

- Yes! So what did the manufacturer do? He asked us to construct an expanded tin can in the form of a classical milk churn like the ones you see on farms. Of course, there was no milk in it, not even sweets. No, the can was used as a piggy bank. It was a great idea. Because the piggy bank was naturally designed in Chupa Chups corporate identity, presenting a cow. And we all now: people keep piggy banks for a long time. And in this case, the brand image of Chupa Chups as well.

Sounds great. But what's the connection to the Chupa Chups packaging?

- They were on sale at the same time and in the smaller piggy bank version, also in the milk churn design. And made of metal too. And people bought more, just because of the unusual packaging. A good example for demonstrating my theory that one and the same product can make more profit with a different marketing strategy.

So that means active marketing, and not burying your head in the - can!

- You said it