The KHS Group (, is heralded as one of the most innovative companies in Germany. On June 26 the international manufacturer of filling and packaging systems was rewarded for its successful innovation management at the 2015 German SME Summit [Deutscher Mittelstands-Summit] in Essen. The Top 100 Award was ceremoniously presented to the company during a festive event staged at the Colosseum Theater.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias Niemeyer, CEO of KHS GmbH, says, "We're very pleased to be named a top innovator of 2015. Innovation management enjoys a very high status at KHS and is of great importance for the success of our company group worldwide. Here, we always also rely on the ideas and commitment of our employees. I would like to voice my thanks to them for their large part in the award we've now won."

Personnel development strengthens innovative power
KHS believes it is very important to create a climate within the company which encourages innovation. Certain groups of employees, for instance, are able to use 10% of their work time to develop their own ideas. Inventor compensation and premiums act as additional incentives and are intended to encourage personnel to submit suggestions for improvements and innovations. The many topics covered by KHS campus, the further training platform for KHS employees, include personnel development courses on various innovation skills, such as seminars on creativity techniques and method expertise.

KHS' international Engineer4Future trainee program also offers extensive schooling on products and projects and provides expertise designed to encourage thought and action across the corporate interfaces. The program is primarily geared towards engineering graduates with a PhD who have studied electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, information technology or similar subjects. Right from the start trainees gain international practical experience and an overall understanding across the departments for the demands made of KHS products and services, enabling them to build up a personal network. The key competence they gain during the course is a win/win situation for both sides: the trainees benefit and KHS' global competitiveness is increased. One of the program's current team projects deals with the development of a crowd sourcing concept destined to strengthen the management of knowledge, ideas and innovation throughout the company.

Pioneering technological feats
There are many examples of innovative power and innovative success to be found within the KHS Group. One major issue is lightweighting which has resulted in the design of pioneering beverage packaging. For instance, extremely lightweight PET bottles yield many benefits for both beverage producers and consumers with their optimum combination of economy, market acceptance and product quality. Another future-proof KHS innovation of note is the Nature MultiPack™ packaging system which has won the National German Sustainability Award. It does away with the need for film materials for beverage packs, thus enabling resources to be conserved and the amount of waste produced by consumers to be reduced in the long term.

The company is also a technological pioneer with its KHS everywhere app. With it customers can retrieve information on the status of their filling and packaging lines or single machines on their smartphone – at any time and wherever they are in the world.