Carl Ingolf Lange - one from the world of box-makers

He sends second-hand machines on a journey.

To know people. To be well versed. To recognize chances. ... Carl Ingolf Lange's business concept sounds simple. His small company in the Swabian town of Ludwigsburg is at home in the big wide world of paper. Lange has old-established business partners in Asia, he knows people from this particular trade in the USA, he knows where the shoe pinches young entrepreneurs all over Europe as well as right on his doorstep in the "High-Tech Model Land" of Baden-Württemberg, and he knows what business infrastructure they have to develop in order to gain a foothold on the market. He is also aware how difficult it is to finance initial investments. Lange: "People ask me and some-time we do business with each other."

Since 1980, the Carl Ingolf Lange GmbH has been transporting machines from A (e.g. Arkansas) to B (e.g. Bangkok or Barcelona). "Everything that is needed in paper and cardboard processing after printing. Everything is used - but fully usable for producing boxes", Lange roughly outlines the variety of his goods. Automatic punching machines, folder-gluers, board liners, circular shears, slitting machines, high-speed cutters etc. On the nameplates, you can find all brand names that are well known in the trade: Bobst and Jagenberg, International and Peters, Klett, Stock, Polar, Wohlenberg and many more.

Lange is not one for "quick bargains". As he points out, he does not sell old junk but fully usable facilities that are worth their price. He considers himself as someone who also promotes economic development, who stimulates growing markets, opens them the door to the global market - "for instance just now in Eastern Europe where young entrepreneurs can find terrific chances, but where, on the other hand, the immense need for investments often puts insuperable obstacles in one's way." Lange may help to push aside some barriers. "Someone who gets a second-hand machine for his plant saves investments. Above all, he reduces the risk for his business", he knows from many years of experience in

his business. There is still another advantage: "Often, my business partner has the opportunity to see his future production facility in its old location and come to like it."

Lange has just returned from Thailand. There, he has literally helped a small producer of shoe boxes find his feet. "He had 30 hand platen in his workshop. Each cardboard box had to be set up, punched and folded individually and manually - from our point of view, this is nonsense as far as industrial management is concerned. This man has now made it: with the four autoplaten I could procure him. The business is economically efficient without any reduction of staff. This man not only stays in business, he even expands."

His worldwide connections keep providing him with the latest information. Where are areas of production being cut down? Who is modernizing his production line? Who is looking for just this machine being released? "First of all, I am a broker", he explains, "but sometimes I buy a good machine all risks involved and look for someone who will buy it from me." Of course, he not only picks up trade-internal information, he also passes it on. The "blue letters" from Ludwigsburg with offers and inquiries have been well known in the world of box-makers for a long time. Many companies wait for Lange's regular infos about second-hand offers on the market of facilities. "In this connection, I see to it that chances are used that exist for buyers and sellers regarding exchange rates: not only where to but also when can a facility be trausferred on particularly favourable conditions?"

Lange has recently dismounted a 54-meter-machine and shipped it to the USA; carefully packed in fourteen 40-foot-containers. For already two years, the Genco-Ward-Container 18000/Super, constructed in 1976, has been on the sales list. In its old plant in the former GDR, boxes, cardboard containers and pallets for the railway were produced on it from sheet to finished product. An example of allround

customer service that is a matter of course with Lange. He deals with everything not only with buyers. He finds transport routes, makes contracts with forwarders and insurers and, if necessary, sees to it on the spot that everything is loaded properly and competently. Above all, however: "I want my business partners to remember me when expert and professional knowledge is sought again. If necessary, I check the second-hand machine as thoroughly as possible before I deliver it to the buyer. My best sales argument: Inspected brand qua1ity on favourable conditions."

Obviously, these are no empty promises. How could the Lange-GmbH have kept going for more than one and a half decades and strengthened its position like that on the difficult market if it had not fully justified the confidence customers placed in it - who often still have little experience themselves in the trade as "newcomers"? Many a business partner asked him for help again years later when the old "old machine" no longer met the meanwhile increased production requirements and a new "old one" had to be obtained - relations that support economic development.

Lange has risen from the ranks in his trade. "I grew up in a cardboard mill", he recounts. In the former GDR, his father had a business that later moved to the West to Ludwigsburg. Later, Carl Ingolf Lange took over his father's firm, expanded it, and .... "In 1980, I sold it.

I wanted to do something really new!" He could not have brought a better-founded know-how to his new business. He is, to use a play on words, a "card-board man" to be reckoned with.

Carl Ingolf Lange GmbH – Philipp-Reis-Straße 6 – D-71642 Ludwigsburg - Germany
Tel. 07144 / 8577 - 0 – Fax 07144 / 8577 - 29 – info(at)