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WEIG KartonForum Once Again a Resounding Success

Whether in the media, in private, or in professional contexts, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is currently the dominant topic. The paper industry is no exception, as ChatGPT & Co. offer companies across all sectors numerous benefits and new applications. For this reason, we organized the eleventh WEIG KartonForum under the guiding theme ‘AI — Opportunities for the Supply Chain?’ to discuss this exciting aspect with our customers.

The event, held on 17 April 2024 at the Bitburger Event Centre at the Nürburgring, was opened with welcome speeches by Moritz J. Weig (Managing Director of WEIG Holding) and Roland Rex (WEIG’s Managing Director Sustainable Market Orientation), addressing around 150 guests from 14 countries.

Following this, the attendees enjoyed a series of compelling presentations. This year’s distinguished speakers not only shared insightful details about the economic perspectives and IT requirements of AI but also explored its practical application in the cartonboard and packaging industry.

The sessions began with Prof. Michael Grömling, Head of the Macroeconomics and Business Cycle Research Unit at the German Economic Institute, who spoke about the state of the German economy and its positioning in international competition. After a brief insight into the current and prospective economic trends in Germany, the impact of current crises on value creation and demand, as well as the economic and political challenges of this decade, Prof. Grömling discussed the potential and macroeconomic effects of AI. His unsurprising conclusion: Germany has much room for improvement in digitalization compared to international standards.

Subsequently, participants enjoyed an interesting overview of the different applications of AI within the WEIG Group.

After the coffee break, Dr. Jens Wegmann, a business-cabaret artist and infotainer, provided some light-hearted relief. In his humorous talk on the application of AI, he offered the audience an exceptionally well-received mix of information and entertainment. A particular highlight was the WEIG song, which Mr. Wegmann had the AI text and compose live.

Benjamin Schulte from Comma Soft AG dedicated his talk to another interesting aspect, highlighting the theme ‘Application Areas of AI in Supply Chain Optimization and the Use of Generative AI in All Business Processes.’

Afterward, Jochen Drösel, CSO of the Schumacher Packaging Group, led the audience into the digital future of printing. His presentation, titled ‘Cardboard & AI — The Ideal Duo,’ first addressed the potentials AI holds for the cartonboard industry, then delved into political priorities concerning avoidance, reuse, recycling, and the utilization of waste. Mr. Drösel specifically discussed the ‘Green Deal 2.0.’ The Schumacher CSO also examined market trends before concluding his talk with the application of AI in packaging development.

Finally, Dr. Jan Joachim Herrmann and Wolf Göhler from PwC Germany informed the audience about AI-supported supply chains. They discussed the challenges AI presents for supply chain managers and demonstrated how and why this development requires adapting one’s toolkit and assets.

Other topics of the event included:

  • IT Requirements: The Technical Foundations of AI and Integration Possibilities
  • Industry Insights: Impact on the Supply Chain
  • Best Practices: Success Stories from the Folding Carton Industry
  • Thinking Outside the Box: Case Study from Another Industry Sector
  • WEIG and AI: The Path from Automation through Digitalization to AI Utilization

The concluding panel discussion, moderated by former economic editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Georg Giersberg, provided space for discussions and exchanges. Roland Rex led the day’s proceedings.

Entertaining Side Programme

For guests who arrived the day before, there was already a diverse programme. After a factory tour in Mayen and a backstage tour at the Nürburgring, they could enjoy the evening with culinary delights in a modern, cozy ambiance.

The visitors’ concluding remarks: The WEIG KartonForum in 2024 was once again extremely informative and held many surprising insights. It was not only a highly successful business event but also an entertaining occasion that offered many opportunities for stimulating conversations and networking. Participants also appreciated the chance to make new contacts and share experiences together.

All in all, it was a great event, and we look forward to meeting again next year!

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