Right in the heart of India, about an hour’s flight from Krones’ subsidiary in Bengaluru, is Secunderabad in the state of Telangana, just beside its rather better-known twin city, Hyderabad. Travellers to India may perhaps know the city by name, because the main railway station there is one of the busiest and hence most important transport nodes in the country. And the location is one of the key centres of industry for IT, telecommunications and solar power in India.
There has been continuous growth in the Krones Group over recent years. New branches and subsidiaries have been established, companies with their own portfolio acquired. The goal is to secure and expand Krones’ pioneering role as a systems supplier. One of these companies is Unicorn Industries Private Limited.
Secunderabad is known to many employees of Krones, too, at least since 2019, when Krones began to acquire Unicorn, a manufacturing company located there. With a team of 120 employees, Unicorn is now a full member of the Krones family.
Expanding the network for worldwide process technology
For Krones, Unicorn is an important link for strengthening its global process technology network. That’s because the portfolio contains everything that is needed for the production and processing of food and beverages. In this sector Unicorn delivers turn-key solutions covering every step from layout design to manufacture of tanks and machines all the way to pipework, automation and installation.
The solutions are tailored specifically to the requirements of their target markets and augmented with Krones technologies and components from Germany. The most recent example of this is the local production of the continuous sugar dissolver Krones SyPro. “Our colleagues at Unicorn are characterised by their outstanding motivation, eagerness to learn and customer orientation. When you are on site, you immediately notice how proud our new colleagues are of being part of the Krones family. This attitude is reflected by high levels of customer satisfaction. The acquisition has been a great success for Krones – both financially and in terms of business development!” says Jonas Fabian Hunold, who is responsible for Unicorn as Head of Business Line Process Solutions.
Turnkey solutions for producers in emerging markets
The acquisition has put Krones in a better position to offer turnkey solutions including process technology in markets such as India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sub-Saharan Africa. In process technology, large steel tanks are commonly used in beverage production plants. Usually, it is not economically viable to transport and install these over long distances. This is one reason, why customers typically source such equipment locally.
Thanks to Unicorn, Krones Group is now better positioned to offer process technology as well as filling and packaging equipment from a single source in the respective target markets. For beverage producers, this constitutes a significant advantage, which is reflected in Unicorn’s business development: Despite the pandemic, Unicorn’s order intake has been on a steady growth path since the acquisition in 2019.
First joint projects successfully completed
The success of the Unicorn integration is already being demonstrated by the completion of turn-key projects. Indian supermarkets carry soft drink products, for instance, which were produced on Unicorn and Krones equipment throughout – from ingredients to the finished packaging. A proven success model, that promises further growth potential for the years to come as well.
The Unicorn portfolio in overview
- Processing Systems for the production of beverages, dairy products and chocolate
- Insulated and single-walled stainless steel tanks (capacity: 20 liters to 200,000 liters)
- Stainless steel tanks with jacket cooling / heating
- Pressure vessels (up to 40 Bar)
- Tanks with super alloy materials for different applications
- Continuous sugar dissolver SyPro with pasteuriser
- Mixing tanks with agitator
- Screw conveyor
- CIP systems
- Integration of tubular heat exchangers in skid thermal treatment systems
- Integration of filtration systems