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Novapor 66 years of innovation in the packaging industry Packaging Foam

Novapor: 66 years of innovation in the packaging industry

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A journey through development and successes

More than six decades ago, in 1958, Hans Lau took a bold step into the world of the packaging industry when he founded NOVAPOR. Hans Lau, aged 53, together with his wife Lilly and his two daughters Irmgard and Elke, decided to reset all the counters to zero after already successfully running businesses with coffee, tea and jams and to use all his energy and business skills for a completely new business with a plastic called "Styrofoam". He would certainly be proud of what Novapor has become from this vision 66 years later.


The name of the company was quickly chosen. Since Styrofoam was a completely new plastic at the time, the terms "new" and "Styrofoam" should be included in the name. From the Greek word "nova", which means "new" and in ancient Greek is also translated as "bright star", and the last syllable of the word "Styropor" (Styrofoam in German) , a very innovative name for the new company was finally found: "NOVAPOR". His vision of reliability, innovation and durability has made the company what it is today - a leading force in the development of innovative packaging solutions. But the path from humble beginnings to today's importance was marked by hard work, determination and continuous development.

Novapor 1905 Hans Lau
Hans Lau, 1905
Novapor Hans Lau
Coffee Shop Lau, Garstedt, 1945
Novapor Hans Lau and Lilly Lau
Lilly and Hans Lau, 1960

The beginnings: A brilliant idea and its implementation

66 years ago, Hans Lau laid the foundation for Novapor with a groundbreaking idea: the use of Styrofoam panels to insulate cold storage facilities for regional fruit growers and tree nurseries. At a time when resource conservation and productivity were not yet a focus, Lau recognized the potential of this new material to minimize losses due to inadequate storage.

The success of this first solution marked the beginning of continuous development and diversification. NOVAPOR expanded its product portfolio and services to meet the increasing demands and needs of customers. From simple Styrofoam panels for cold storage to high-tech packaging materials for industries such as automotive, electronics, medical technology and aviation - Novapor's development reflects the change and innovation in the packaging industry.

Today, NOVAPOR works with a variety of materials and technologies to develop customized packaging solutions for its customers. From reusable packaging for the automotive industry and cleanroom packaging for medical technology industry to ESD foam packaging for the electronics industry – NOVAPOR offers a wide range of products and services customized to the specific needs of its customers.

Novapor 66 years of innovation in the packaging industry Packaging Foam
Novapor Hans Lau, 1958
Novapor 66 years of innovation in the packaging industry Packaging Foam
Production of polystyrene panels for the insulation of cold storage facilities

Growth and expansion: A continuous success story

In the 1960s and 1970s, Novapor concentrated on the production of EPS blocks and the manufacture of insulation panels, which were used, among other things, to insulate special cold storage rooms. Over time, the business was expanded to include EPS molded parts and special EPS cuts. The development and production of the first complete packaging also began during these years.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the processing of EPE (expanded polyethylene) began and the EPS (expanded polystyrene) area was expanded. These steps mark a phase of rapid development for NOVAPOR, while the company also gains importance at a national level. The first steps towards digitalization and automation, as well as the expansion of the warehouses and the construction of additional warehouses were fundamental for further growth in these years.

The development from 2000 to the 2020s is characterized by a further massive expansion of the production and delivery program, as well as further expansions in the areas of contour cutting, milling, waterjet cutting, lasering, laminating, slitting and punching. During this period, the company's premises, including offices, production and storage areas, were also further expanded to accommodate the ever-increasing volume of projects to be developed. The wide range of industries served by NOVAPOR, the ever-increasing variety of foams and materials, and the growing reliability that the company has gained through its innovation and flexibility have promoted this growth.

Novapor 66 years of innovation in the packaging industry Packaging Foam
Novapor headquarters in Kaltenkirchen

Despite these expansions, the company once again reached its capacity limits in the early 2020s. After 20 years at the same location, Novapor acquired a new site in the same town of Kaltenkirchen, north of Hamburg, and built a modern production and storage facility there on almost 17,000 m². With more than 8,000 m² of production and storage space as well as social and office space of around 800 m², the new building is designed to meet future requirements.

At the beginning of 2022, NOVAPOR expanded its physical presence in the South/Southwest Germany region with the opening of a sales office in Frankfurt am Main. This will enable regional customers and customers in the southern neighboring countries to be served even better. In 2023, NOVAPOR Nordic's sales office was opened in Vejle, Denmark. In order to better serve the Scandinavian market, where NOVAPOR had already been active for several years, NOVAPOR expanded its online presence in Danish and Swedish in addition to the sales office in Denmark, thus giving its Scandinavian customers faster and more efficient access to new products and innovations from Novapor.

Innovation and diversification: shaping the future

The opening of new production sites and sales offices as well as the introduction of recycled foams are just a few examples of NOVAPOR's ongoing innovative strength. After the company has been successfully dealing with the topic of "cleanroom packaging" for years, its own cleanroom (class 7) was successfully put into operation at the new location at the beginning of 2023. In addition, investments were made in water jet, slitting and laminating technology as well as in the production of cardboard boxes in small series with and without printing. These steps represent another milestone in the development of Novapor, while the company remains committed to continuously expanding its position as a leading provider of packaging solutions.

Novapor 66 years of innovation in the packaging industry Packaging Foam

"Our success is the result of hard work and dedication from everyone here at the company. The cleanroom is not just a physical space, but a symbol of our ongoing commitment to quality and precision. With a wider range of materials, we can now better meet our customers' individual needs and exceed their expectations. It is proof that we are growing and learning as a team and I am proud to be part of this journey."

Thousands of products are produced every day in our manufacturing site that make the transport of important economic goods easier and, above all, safer. NOVAPOR is currently investing its technical and professional know-how in the development of more than 1,000 innovative projects per year. In addition, NOVAPOR has more than 100 different types of foam and insulation materials in a variety of colors and densities in stock. In addition to plastic products, NOVAPOR's portfolio now also includes cardboard solutions, wooden boxes, cases and metal boxes with special inserts.

 

 
Novapor currently supplies and exports its custom-made packaging worldwide and has customers on every continent. In addition, the company offers picking, storage and shipping of products for business customers. The company, which employs more than 70 people, invests heavily in the training of its employees and trainees and offers its employees numerous benefits and career development opportunities.

Novapor 66 years of innovation in the packaging industry Packaging Foam
Andreas, Julian and Jörg Mühlenberg - Novapor management in the 3rd and 4th generation

Sustainability and social responsibility: A core value

Hans Lau's original idea of using polystyrene panels to insulate cold storage facilities was not only a groundbreaking step in the packaging industry, but also a guiding principle for NOVAPOR to conserve resources and promote sustainability. Since its beginnings more than 60 years ago, this vision has continuously developed and still shapes the company's philosophy today.

By developing high-tech packaging solutions, NOVAPOR helps global players in various industries save resources and promote sustainable practices. One example is the reusable packaging for the automotive industry, which not only makes transportation and storage more efficient but also helps reduce packaging waste. Made from high-quality and durable materials, these packages enable NOVAPOR customers to minimize their environmental footprint while saving costs. Sustainability is also playing an increasingly important role in the medical technology industry. NOVAPOR offers customized foam pads for the safe packaging and transportation of medical devices and components. These pads are made of high-quality materials and can be recycled after use, which not only helps minimize waste but also reduces the environmental impact of the medical industry.

Novapor 66 years of innovation in the packaging industry Packaging Foam

Jörg, Leon and Andreas Mühlenberg 

Certification in the field of environmental management according to DIN EN ISO 14001:2015

Another example of NOVAPOR's commitment to sustainability is the development of packaging made from recycled foams. This enables NOVAPOR customers to achieve their ecological goals while benefiting from the numerous advantages of these sustainable packaging solutions. Certification according to DIN EN ISO 9001:2015 and 14001:2015 as well as numerous other quality and environmental tests are proof of NOVAPOR's commitment to excellence and sustainability. For many years, the company has been intensively concerned with the sustainability and reusability of its products. Wherever possible, the products delivered are taken back after use and professionally recycled.

NOVAPOR is actively involved in its local community and supports various environmental and educational projects. From participating in clean-up campaigns in the area to promoting educational initiatives for young people, NOVAPOR shows its commitment to social responsibility through concrete actions and partnerships. Overall, sustainability is not just a goal for NOVAPOR, but an integral part of its identity and business practices. By consistently focusing on environmental and social responsibility, the company strives to make a positive contribution to society and create a more sustainable future for future generations.

Novapor supports environmental protection projects, school children plant trees

A future full of possibilities: The next phase

Today, after 66 years, the company can look back on an impressive and powerful development. NOVAPOR is now successfully managed by the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of company founder Hans Lau, the third and fourth generations respectively. Together with the employees, the name "NOVAPOR" stands not only for technological innovation and reliability, but especially for a familiar, cooperative and respectful approach.

Hans Lau's original idea, his visions, his goals and the fact that something special is being created in the NOVAPOR company, is lived and implemented every day by employees from more than 20 nations. With a strong foundation of experience, expertise and commitment, NOVAPOR looks to the future with optimism. Through continuous innovation, collaboration and a tireless commitment to the highest quality and customer satisfaction, the company will continue to shape the packaging industry and set new standards.

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