14 April 2019 Business

Plans approved for Bluetree expansion

Work will begin on refurbishing a factory next to the already vast Bluetree plant next month, an expansion needed to cope with growth in online print.

Bluetree has confirmed plans to expand its production space by 45% by taking over a neighbouring unit.

Refurbishment, put at £3.5 million, will begin next month and take until the end of the year to complete. The result with be a single production entity for Instantprint and Bluetree brands. It comes just four years after taking on the current 8,000m2 premises on Manvers Way, Rotherham.

“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 add new products to the current line up,” says joint managing director James Kinsella.

Exactly what these might be, the company is not saying. Nor what machinery will be in the expanded plant. The company has ordered what will be the first S10P nanographic press in the UK. That machine will now be up and running before the end of the year with a delivery in the late summer.

There are also understood to be new litho presses on order to cope with continuing growth in business. It is also recruiting locally seeking to appoint 40 to the current 200-strong team.

Sales have continued to grow at more than 40% a year and are expected to reach £42 million for the 2018 financial year, with £50 million the next target. It installed two Screen TruepressJet 520 HD inkjet webs last year to cope with rising demand for short run multi-section brochures and books that had become inefficient to produce on a litho press.

The Landa machine will eventually help ease bottlenecks by printing the covers for these products. In the meantime Bluetree is currently retrofitting LE-UV to its Heidelberg Speedmaster XL75. It already has the UV technology on a B1 press.

By Gareth Ward

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Bluetree entrance

Bluetree entrance

Bluetree will start building work on the new factory that will expand its floor space by 43% next month. It will be completed while this year the company will install the UK's first Landa press.

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