25 June 2017 Print Companies

ProPackaging switches to Komori for new six-colour B1 flagship press

Ambitious packaging group opts for Komori as it matched label investment with expansion in cartons.

ProPrint Group has chosen a six-colour Komori Lithrone GL640 as ProPackaging's flagship sheetfed carton press, the first time the Wellingborough company has opted for a Komori press.

The investment follows on from investment in its labels division, comprising the UK’s first Graphium inkjet labels press and an Edale FL-3 UV flexo machine. It also runs a Screen TruepressJet 1600 UV-F flatbed press for mock ups on both rigid and flexible substrates. The company has also bought a new Screen platesetter to cope with the increased capacity for plates ahead of installation of the new press. In all the company has spent £4 million in the last 18-24 months.

The Komori comes with end of press and inter deck UV lamps. It is also prepared for H-UV once the inks and coatings suitable for packaging applications are available, according to director Nigel Tollman. “We have UV inter decks located after the first, fifth and sixth printing units and also IR drying and hot air knives in the delivery extension.”

While Tollman expects to keep the same UV inks on press, he wants to be able to switch from UV to aqueous coatings in order to satisfy customer requirements for different finishes. The company will be able to print white on metallised boards on the first unit followed by four colours and options on the coatings: wet on wet, aqueous on UV to create different effects.

The Komori replaces a seven-year-old Speedmaster CD102. As well as a faster running speed, the Komori has a shorter makeready reducing waste and opening the way to economic production of short run jobs. The new machine will also suffer fewer breakdowns, important when the working week is 24/6.

“It is proving to be the right press for us,” says Tollman. “We have modernised the plant throughout and we will be adding a folder gluer.”

While the company has invested in digital production for the labels side, this is not yet a feasible choice for carton printing.

ProPackaging was set up by Tollman in 1997 adding the labels division in 2011 when James Denny joined the business. A move to a 3,000m2 factory in 2013 was followed by a further 1,500m2 to manage the digital growth. The group has 60 staff generating sales of £8 million, 55% from packaging.

The original aim had been to buy a late model used machine, but it quickly became lear how much more advanced were the latest generation of carton presses. Job changeover times would be cut by 40% by buying new, let alone maintenance and service costs.

The company now has a line up that Tollman is confident can match expectations of brands and retailers for fast turnaround on both boxes and labels. “We frequently receive orders from for the retail sector which require labels for point of sale and price points along with matching campaign carton work,” he says.

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Nigel Tollman

Nigel Tollman

Nigel Tollman looked across the suppliers before deciding on a six-colour Komori Lithrone GL40 as the new litho press for the expanding packaging group. The company has been requiring its production platform in each of its divisions.

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