Investment Project of the Year
WINNER: Clifton Packaging – Machinery Investment
To support its growth strategy of becoming a £25 – £30,000,000 turnover business by 2018, Clifton reviewed its technology and instigated a programme of investment in order to;
1. Increase production speed and reduce wastage
2. Improve quality
3. Reduce costs to customers
The project came on stream in June/July 2015 and cost £2,500,000 with ROI being demonstrated by a 35% increase in turnover in the last year.
The project changed Clifton Packaging’s business by:
Providing faster printing speeds, quicker job changeover capability and better quality print meaning that the Uteco Crystal enables the company to print more jobs in a certain length of time than with the previous machine. This provides significant competitive advantage in the production of both large and small orders. Shorter lead times and improved quality allowed Clifton to provide a better service for existing clients while also helping to attract new clients.The Uteco also reduces waste. This is extremely beneficial to both Clifton in the form of cost savings and also the environment. Clifton’s single biggest investment this year was in the Flexotecnica XG and Uteco Crystal, eight colour flexo CI presses that print at a speed of 600 meters per minute and has superseded many of its competitors.
This new machine has had significant positive effects on Clifton and has revolutionised its operations.
Other investments included:
Nordmeccanica Supercombi 3000 model Laminator
“This allowed us to enter new markets such as Cold Seal.”
Comexi Pro Slit S1 DT slitting machine
“This machine runs at speeds of 800 metres per minute and has special motors which enable it to reach top speed and go back to zero extremely quickly.”
Simec Anilox cleaner.
“This particular purchase was made to reduce the downtime and improve the quality of cleaning of Clifton’s Anilox rollers. This machine uses sodium bicarbonate powder solution to automatically clean the rollers which is 100% environmentally friendly and requires no solvents.”
“This is an amazing equipment investment that pinpointed key areas for improvement and has clearly and firmly put Clifton Packaging on track to achieving its goal by 2018.”
Board24 – £11m investment in its Preston plant, doubling capacity and securing its future
Previously corrugated sheet board manufacturer, Board24, part of the Logson Group, was toiling at peak times to satisfy customer demand. Lead times were continually increasing and staff were working three shifts and weekends, to deliver orders.
In 2014 a decision was made by shareholders to invest for the future and spend £7.6m on a new corrugator plant. Ultimately Preston was chosen because of its location to increase national coverage and Board24’s commitment to the ‘Northern Powerhouse’.
The new corrugator became fully operational in November 2015. The site extension, which covers 8,739m2, cost an additional £3.5m.
Directors were keen to ensure that there was no disruption to servicing customers during the build, so the facility was installed adjacent to the current plant, despite various challenges including the conservation of great crested newts, which is a protected species.
Machinery purchased includes a highly bespoke, market leading BHS 400 m/min ‘volume corrugator’, which works parallel with an existing machine. The BHS is 33% faster, produces smaller board sizes, offers increased choice and better quality from installing a zero defect and warp control system.
Other investments include a Babcock Wanson boiler, a SRP starch kitchen, a Mosca KCR-131-32 pallet packer, POF-311 with sealing head, a Ducker Conveyor Systems, Corrugator Discharge and Palletising System.
“A very good investment in machinery which reduces lead times and, presumably, also staff stress. The conservation of great crested newts is easily the best sub-plot to an investment story that we’ve heard!”