KEP kicks off £1m investment year with laminator buy

By Max Goldbart, Friday 16 June 2017

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Commercial and POS printer KEP Print Group has invested circa £300,000 in a Lamina Blackline 1620 FA 1600/800 laminator, its first piece of kit in what the company said would be a hefty investment year.

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Some of the KEP team plus Lamina technicians with the new machine

The high-speed, sheet-to-sheet laminator came in last week for a six-year-old Lamina 1620 FA and slotted straight into KEP’s finishing department, which makes up part of its 14 units on an estate in Tamworth, Staffordshire, totalling around 4,600sqm. The machine was supplied by Lamina’s UK agent Finishline Machinery. 

Managing director Mark Plowman said the purchase of this “all-singing, all-dancing” laminator was necessary in order to relieve bottlenecks. The new machine is in operation for a single shift per day, compared with the older Lamina that was running on two. 

Plowman said: “We looked over a number of weeks and looked at different machines and this one was, we felt, the most flexible for our needs.

“It was the pile height that it gave us that swung it because it’s a high pile, which means we can put full pallets in it, and the fact it was able to do edge-to-edge. The speed of operation and the quality it gives you out the backend.”

The Lamina runs at a top speed of 5,000sph, which is almost double that of the old laminator. It takes sheets up to 450gsm at a maximum size of 1.6x2m, and has edge-to-edge registration accuracy up to 0.2mm. It has automatic feeding for both its top and bottom feeder.

KEP produces a range of commercial, POS and high-end corporate retail packaging work. It runs a roster of kit that includes four Roland machines, including large-format, screen equipment, an HP flatbed and an Agfa wide-format machine.

In the past two years, the 120-staff outfit has invested in a Bickers Gluejet, large-format die-stamping equipment and one of its Rolands, a 10-colour. It will be bringing in a new member of staff now the Lamina is installed. Plowman is looking to boost its £15m turnover figure by the end of this year.

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