Digital packaging start up ePacwill be in operation at a new build factory in Silverstone by the end of October. And the business is already looking for a second UK site in the north.
The Silverstone site is the first outside North America for the rapidly expanding company. It opened its first location in 2016 and now runs 16 sites across North America, all equipped with HP Indigo 20000 digital presses to produce short run flexible packaging and especially pouches.
“We are here and are really excited to be here,” says Nick Monk, sales director UK & Ireland and managing partner of ePac UK. “We are following the same principle of local supply for local business with no minimum orders, no origination costs and 10-15-day lead time from approval of artwork. And we fully intend to open another location in the north.”
The HP is joined by a NordAmerica laminator and state of the art Japanese pouch making equipment. “It is not just about delivering the highest quality flexible packaging – that is a given. We don’t focus on the technology, because we know we have the best in the industry. Our focus is on maximising the efficiencies to offer the best value for the client. Our USP is fast delivery enabled by an agile operation, which is based in the local market that it serves.”
Customers in the UK have been supplied from the US to this point as demand builds. Monk was at food industry exhibition Lunch at London’s Exel last week where he spoke to companies hampered by the current structure of the food packaging sector. “Exhibitors say they would have loved to come with more products that they can develop, but they can’t do so with the origination costs and high minimum order quantities needed to achieve an acceptable unit cost.
“We are a digital company where the emphasis is on changing perception, providing the best service to the market at the best possible print quality and reducing the cost of inventory.”
Digital printi ng enables customers to print multiple Skus in a single print run, to vary artwork for promotional or regulatory purposes and to bring new product to market quickly.
Johnny Hobeika is managing director of ePac Holdings Europe, having 14 years’ experience at packaging supplies business Sanita UK. He says: “We engage with the most environmentally-friendly process currently on the market for producing flexible packaging.
“Furthermore, flexible plastic pouches offer significant efficiencies compared to other types of packaging, such as glass and rigid plastics, as they generate less CO2 emissions during manufacturing, distribution and use.”
In the US ePac has been particularly successful in packaging for the burgeoning cannabis industry where start growers and processors appreciate the short order runs and high quality graphics that are possible with the Indigo. This is not yet a market in the UK, but pharmaceuticals, neutritionals and health foods is an opportunity says Monk.
“Some of the over the counter treatments are possible for this process. We aim to achieve the highest BRC and ISO certifications to support customers,” he says.
By Gareth Ward
Johnny Hobeika and Nigel Monk were at the Lunch show last week speaking to potential customers are about saucing packaging with no minimum order quantity that can be produced on an Indigo 20000.