A year after installing its first Xeikon CX3 label press, then known as Cheetah, has taken delivery of its second of the high speed presses.
The press is squeezed into the Willenhall site near Wolverhampton, giving the company a line up of six presses, all from Xeikon. It has bought eight presses in as many years from the Belgian supplier.
The 30m/min press will help the company cope with growth that reached 22% in its 2014/15 financial year. This is a combination of increasing demand for label printing and for production of stand up pouches.
Managing director Simon Smith says: “Our existing CX3 has enabled us to work smarter and faster and it has given us the extra capacity. The purchase of the second CX3 was solely driven by customer demand. We’ve seen a definite transition to digital label printing from flexo and other traditional methods. Quite simply more and more customers are making the switch for reasons of lead times, quality, multiple SKU ability and personalisation.
“Digital is truly no longer confined to shorter print runs and our longest run is now 84,000 linear metres, which would have been unheard of five years ago.”
Last year the company installed the first GM L330 laser cutter in the UK to cope with the demand for digitally printed labels on shorter run jobs used for promotional campaigns, including peel and reveal products.
Last year the company also began to collect awards for pouch printing. These need the 508mm width of the Xeikon 3500, but by switching more label production to the CX3 platforms, additional capacity is available for the flexible packaging. A turnaround time of 7-10 days from artwork is far shorter than conventional production and requires no plates.
There has also been expansion into heat transfer labels to decorate a much wider range of promotional products. The investment in the latest press is in the expectation of further growth in demand.
Says Smith: “This demand for labels is combined with the extra capacity we need for our new lines that we soft launched early last year – stand up flexible pouches and heat transfers; again our customers much prefer the power of digital and word is spreading fast. With all of this happening in the marketplace I had no choice but to increase our capacity once again with this purchase.”
The company will be underlining this during the Packaging Innovations show in Birmingham this week.
It will help the company increase capacity for stand up pouches and heat transfer labels as well as meeting increasing demand for digitals printed labels – no longer merely about short runs says managing director Simon Smith.