London-based foodservice and takeaway packaging specialist Amipak is going through major expansion, doubling the size of its Croydon factory site and investing in three new manufacturing machines.
“Our business has grown steadily over the past year, despite the pandemic, and we are proud to have played our part in keeping the nation’s takeaway and delivery food businesses going over the past 18 months with efficient and sustainable packaging,” says Amipak’s Director of Communications and Sustainability, Daniel Schwitzer.
“To meet current demand and ensure capacity for future growth, we are increasing the size of our factory in Croydon by 100% and installing a new high-performance Bobst Novacut 106 ER die-cutter, plus two new Heiber+Schröder tray forming machines. These moves represent the latest phase in an ongoing investment in technology and modernisation of Amipak’s production facilities totaling over £4 million, on top of the £1.75m invested in 2020.”
The Bobst Novacut 106 ER die-cutter delivers fully automated, inline blanking separation to streamline carton processing, while eliminating the need to manually strip waste from die-cut work. The Novacut’s innovative inline separation capabilities allow piles of blanks to be delivered straight to the next stage of production, boosting performance across the entire manufacturing process. Meanwhile, the two new Heiber+Schröder tray forming machines can each create up to 36,000 perfectly formed trays per hour and feature the latest technology for faster running speeds, quick make-readies and operator ease of use.
Investing in the future of sustainable foodservice packaging
“Investments like these are all part of our long-term plan and a statement of intent to grow our business,” explains Amipak Commercial Director Josh Friedler. “We aim to meet increased demand for our sustainable cartonboard product ranges, with a flexible and customer focused approach.
“The foodservice packaging we produce on these new machines is easy for both operators and consumers to use. Most of our products are made from easily recyclable material and are pulpable or compostable in an industrial facility, which fits well with current consumer expectations. We are proud to have Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) Chain-of-Custody certification and we manufacture the majority of our products here in the UK, therefore lowering our carbon footprint as well as that of our customers.
“These new machines will enable us to deliver the shorter lead times, with increased capacity, reliability and flexibility required to meet the fast-changing demands of this sector. They are used to produce food packaging such as our sustainable brown leakproof range, and in addition to reducing waste will create the opportunity for Amipak to convert more products.”
“Additional capacity will also allow us to introduce a new foodservice packaging range, which utilises a novel material,” adds Daniel Schwitzer. “Trials are complete and we will soon be announcing the introduction of this exciting product development.”
This latest round of investments from Amipak over the past three years has included a Brausse Forza 1100 C6 folding and gluing machine, two Heiber+Schroeder Triple stream nested gluers, a twin-stream window patcher and shrink wrapper. In addition, the recent refurbishment and modernisation at Amipak’s Willesden site allowed for an additional 1,000 pallet spaces and the addition of a dock leveller has greatly increased efficiencies in the logistics department – cutting some offloading times by 75%.
“Expanding our Croydon factory and installing these new machines, plus bringing in new skilled colleagues will increase our capacity in some areas by over 50% as we respond to the rapidly growing and ever-changing demands of the food-to-go category,” concludes Josh Friedler. “These are investments for the future of Amipak, enabling the business to develop new products and increase stock holding for our proven and popular lines, while building on our consistent reputation for flexibility in serving our customers.”