Plockmatic has reconfigured its UK operations, bringing its own activities together with those of Morgana and Watkiss under Ray Hillhouse as general manager UK operations for the Plockmatic Group.
The reorganisation is timed to coincide with the retirement from print of Paul and Susan Attew. They agreed to stay on after the sale of Watkiss last year to oversee the integration of the business into Plockmatic. Paul Attew had been in charge of worldwide sales while Susan Attew had run the finance and administration side of the business.
The move follows the decision to shift production of Morgana equipment to Riga in Latvia where Plockmatic has its factory for producing booklet makers. Morgana has had a UK assembly operation above its showroom in Milton Keynes where it put together components delivered from sub manufacturers.
Hillhouse says that staff have been redeployed within the service side of the business, a couple have chosen retirement, while others have been found jobs with other print related businesses through Picon.
The Morgana Autocreaser remains a top selling product with hundreds sold a year. Around 80% of production has been exported to dealers around the world, the same dealers that the Riga factory has been shipping to. Now instead of multiple shipments, Plockmatic can consolidate the logistics into single shipments.
Demand for numbering machines has dropped, while production of small joggers, folders and sheet feeders is no longer practical at low levels of demand. Production of DigifFold, DocuMaster, the offline booklet makers and DigiBook PUR binders is unaffected.
Manufacture continues at the Watkiss plant in Sandy which turns out the PowerSquare 224 and newer PowerSquare 160 which is in its launch phase. Both are available as inline or offline products, and branded accordingly: inline versions under the Plockmatic name and offline as Morgana machines.
“The order book is full right now, and we continue to focus on increasing production at the Sandy site,” Hillhouse says.
“We have added a great product range into our sales and distribution channels and now have much stronger interest from the print engine manufacturers to integrate the PowerSquare 160.
“Many of the print engines now coming to market can offer enhanced long sheet applications, and the PowerSquare 160 is ideally placed as a cost effective solution to the increasing need for a wider range of inline booklet formats, such as landscape A4.”
The Attews will in future be watching from the sidelines as their energies are focused on their external business interests. “While we are sad to see Paul and Susan depart from the business, I am pleased they are taking the opportunity to do other things which they dearly love and enjoy, including the management of their stud farm. I and all the staff in the group wish them well in their future ventures,” says Hillhouse.
By Gareth Ward
Morgana's assembly line in Milton Keynes has closed down with production shifting to Riga in Latvia alongside Plockmatic production making shipping to distributors easier. Now Ray Hillhouse becomes general manager across Plockmatic's UK operations including Morgana and Watkiss.