Balkans is a market that now is making the first steps to its development

InterviewSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 5/2007

Mr. Christakis Thomas, Managing Director, THOMASON MACHINERY LTD.

Present the THOMASON MACHINERY company as history, activities, mission and markets.

Since its establishment in 1977, THOMASON MACHINERY LTD. is one of the leading Industrial companies in manufacturing of all kinds of filling lines and its accessories for the Cosmetic, Liquid detergents, Pharmaceutical, Food and Beverage, Dairy, Motor oils, Vegetables oils, Olive oils, Chemical and Agro-chemical as well as Household products industry.

Our reputation for specialization related to the ability to manufacture machines to fill any type of liquids and powders in any container (bottles, tins, jars, portion etc.,) has exceeded and spread to include clients in many European and Middle East countries.

Thomason have based their success on being able to customize each machine to match the clients’ product by looking to its own design departments manned by highly skilled personnel using computerized drawing system for developing and studying machine components for absolute precision performance and producing machines that have sophisticated engineering, sturdy construction and long term reliability.

All machines are of European high standard materials manufactured by advanced technological CNC’S for high performance and precision.

Our successes are also attributed to the excellent and expedite After Sales Service which we stress and consider as one of the most important factors in our company. We undertake to train clients’ technicians, handle all installation and startup as well as troubleshooting and servicing activities for clients worldwide. Research and development is done in our test laboratory and all machines go through extensive tests before delivery. You can count on Thomason to provide your company with solutions for modernizing existing packaging lines or installing new equipment at the most competitive prices.

What are the main products you develop and manufacture?

The main production lines of the company are:

• Fully automatic & semi-automatic Filling machines for liquid and cream in bottles and jars.

• Fully automatic & semi-automatic Filling machines for powders in bottles and jars.

• Fully automatic & semi-automatic Filling machines for liquids in medal and plastic containers from 10 to 300 ltrs.

• Fully automatic & semi-automatic Filling machines for aluminum and plastic tubes.

• Fully automatic Capping machines for all kind of caps.

• Fully automatic & semi-automatic Labeling machines for any kind of labels including the application of multiple labels.

• Single & multi lane automatic filling - aluminum sealing - and lid closing for dairy and food staff products in cups.

• Automatic & semi-automatic aluminum foil cutting and sealing machines.

• Automatic carton forming - filling - and closing machines with cold glue or hot melt for powders and granules.

• Bottle rinsing machines (washing).

• Thermoforming filling sealing machines for butter, jam, wax etc.

The last couple of years our research and development department has turned to the Rotary Monoblock machines, following the big request from our customers in order to develop the existing design of our machines to be able to satisfy even the most demandable customer.

What are the main markets you serve?

From the first years of Thomason machinery operation the administration of the company realized that Cyprus was too small to accomplish their dreams so through tough work and our machineries reliability we managed to spread in the most countries in Middle east, Balkans, Eastern Europe and recently we are making efforts to enter in the Central Europe market.

Among the countries in which our Machineries are established are Belarus, Cyprus, Canada, Egypt, France, Greece, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, S. Arabia, Serbia, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Yemen, Pakistan, Romania, Russia.

What is the most specific for the markets in South-Eastern Europe (SEE) comparing to Western or global?

The needs for machines in the SEE are restricted in small Bottling lines in contrast with the Western markets which are fans of big bottling lines. Even though will come the time that the SEE market will reach the standards of the Western markets.

What is the place of SEE producers of F&B machines in the strongly competitive environment at the world market?

The environment of the F&B machinery producers is very competitive. But from our side we are doing our best to match up, or even to supplant the rest of our competitors by implementing new technology and innovations on our products. We have some advantage like the lowest cost for the work force but on the other hand we don’t have all the raw material in our countries, so at the end we are at the same start point.

What would be the formula of success for SEE producers of F&B machines to sell in the price sensitive markets as the Balkans markets?

As I mentioned before the Balkans is a market that now is making the first steps to its development. To try to insert in this market it’s a little bit tricky because there is no formula that can help you to treat you future customers. Every Machinery manufacturer has to put on a balance the Quality and the Reliability from the one and the Cost on the other. From my point of view I prefer to make no discounts on Quality and reliability because I don’t want to have any affect our machines Quality and Reliability standards.

What are the most important events organized in the region focused on F&B machines and components? Which of them you participated in?

The recent years we are participating to the Gulf Food Exhibition in Dubai, Novisad Exhibition in Serbia, Belgrade Exhibition in Serbia and Syskevasia Exhibition in Greece.

This year we decided in addition to participate to Balkan Pac in Bulgaria as well.

As you see all the above mentioned events are either Markets that we are established or Markets that we are intending to enter.

What are the latest and state-of-the-art technologies implemented in nowadays F&B machines?

There are many systems which can be considered state of the art nowadays. For example flow meters, touch screen monitors, servo motors, SCADA systems, Ultrasonic sensors and more other systems which are making our life and our customer’s life much easier.

Do you consider the region is rich or poor in highly qualified engineers specialized in this field?

Despite that our region is the heart of engineering a good engineer is very difficult to be found. I personally realized the problem during my efforts to hire personnel for our R&D department. Maybe is the field that we are activated which has tremendous needs of knowledge or is the rapid development of the technology and the needs to stay up to date but concluding a good engineer is very hard to be found.

What are your expectations for the F&B machines business future development?

Personally my expectations and my aim is to restrict as much as possible the small producers which don’t follow the European Standards and Directives which have a tremendous impact on machines quality and safety and they put the producers and the consumers in danger.

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