11 November 2018 Print Companies

Bluetree takes extra unit to cope with growth

The online print operation is growing so rapidly that it is adding more than 40% to its floor space to cope with expansion.

Bluetree is taking on a neighbouring factory unit, anticipating that its rapid growth will continue into next year.

The company has almost filled the 9,300m2 unit it moved to in 2015, with three long perfecting Heidelberg Speedmasters, two large format flatbed Scitex machines and cutting table, a business card unit housing a Fujifilm Jetpress 720S, Scodix and Rollem finishing, four Xerox iGens, B2 HP Indigo and Horizon SmartStacker connected inline, two Screen 520HD continuous feed inkjet presses and countless pieces of finishing equipment.

Early next year it will take delivery of the UK’s first Landa, an S10P, though the new factory is most unlikely to be ready in time to house this press. Bluetree is giving no details at this point about its plans, nor for how many additional staff will be needed. It currently employs more than 350 at the Manvers Way factory across production, customer service and sales, IT development and a core management team.

Recruitment for staff for the new plant is expected to begin at the end of next year. The company is expecting to begin renovation of the extra 4,200m2 plant during the spring with a nine-month schedule before equipment can be moved in. Exactly what that equipment might be has still to be decided.

Managing director Adam Carnell says: “When we first moved into the building in 2015 it seemed vast but with the investment in new equipment the space has been filling up quickly. The additional production space will allow the business to fulfil its growing demand and also add new products to the current line up.”

The factory layout has been optimised since moving in in 2015 with the floor divided up according to product type rather than by technology and an extensive conveyor system to reduce the labour needed to move finished products to the dispatch area.

Despite the investment in the inkjet equipment over the summer and the Landa to come, Carnell says that there remains a strong place for litho and that the company will continue to invest in offset technology.

Gareth Ward

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The Bluetree factory is becoming increasingly busy as the company's rapid growth continues. The provision of extra space is needed now in order to anticipate capacity needed in future. There are no decisions yet on equipment which will depend on demand for product types.

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