UZWIL, SWITZERLAND — The Bühler Group and Premier Tech announced on May 14 the growth of their nearly year-old strategic cooperation to include a joint venture in China and a global partnership for bulk packaging.

 With the partnership, Bühler will have access to Canadian-based Premier Tech’s technologies in bagging and pelletizing through the PT-Bühler joint venture in China, or directly through Premier Tech’s facilities.

“The global partnership will serve customers worldwide by building on Premier Tech’s recognized know-how in the field of automated packaging technologies while making full use of Bühler’s strong international sales and service network,” said André Noreau, chief executive officer Premier Tech’s Systems and Automation business.

The companies first announced their cooperation during Bühler Networking Days in August 2019 in Uzwil, Switzerland. Since that time, the companies have learned they have much in common, said Johannes Wick, chief executive officer of Bühler’s Grains & Food business, during a virtual press conference.

The 50/50 joint venture in China that officially will start on July 1 with the aim to develop and market new cost-effective packaging solutions based on Premier Tech’s bagging expertise. Operating in Wuxi, China, PT-Bühler will focus on serving the food and feed markets in China, and other markets moving towards cost-effective automation.

“Customers will benefit from significantly more efficient, and even more accurate and food safe packaging solutions thanks to automation technologies developed by PT-Bühler,” Mr. Wick said.

Both Bühler and Premier Tech will offer the joint venture’s solutions in their respective markets, with Bühler focusing on turnkey plants, and Premier Tech on standalone solutions.

It was important for both companies to maintain strong customer service. The company that sells the equipment will be responsible for providing future service, Bühler and Premier Tech said.

Along with manual and semi-automatic platforms, the joint venture will offer four fully automatic platforms, including existing systems that will be transferred to the joint venture and new systems under development, Mr. Noreau said.

The 1060 platform for feed and grains, with speeds up to 600 bags per hour exists already and will be transferred as well as the 1140 that offers speeds up to 1,400 bags per hour.

New systems will be developed by the joint venture for powders, including flour, starches and other products. The first will be the 1050 with a speed of 500 bags per hour and the 2090 with a speed of 900 bags per hour and two spouts.

The 1060 and 1140 are available now with delivery in three to four months, and order taking likely will start at the end of the year for the 1050 and 2090 with delivery in the second half of 2021.