CMS targets unlimited growth

The business is set to take an additional site near to its main facility
The business is set to take an additional site near to its main facility

Central Mailing Services (CMS) has laid the next plank in its ambitious investment strategy to support and drive growth, taking an additional unit and signing for a high-speed digital web press.

“Last year we finished on £11.2m, we’ll finish on the same this year even with some months [due to Covid] where we wrote £200,000,” said CMS managing director Mitesh Chouhan.

“And we’re forecasting £15m for our new year from 1 May and to achieve that we need to keep investing. I never want to limit the growth of the company.”

The latest spend on digital print production comes hot on the heels of its recent £430,000 spend on five cut-sheet engines, during the sales process of which Xerox identified that the mailing house had produced more mono pages in three months than it had in the previous 12 combined.

“The mono volumes were becoming massive, due to longer runs going into envelopes, but mainly also a growing trend of personalised letters going into paper wraps,” said Chouhan.

He added that he expected these volumes to grow sharply as the firm is currently installing its delayed second CMC One intelligent high speed paper wrapping line which uses camera verification to match personalised letters and selective inserts to addressed wraps.

“We always [try to] say yes to paper wrapping jobs of 20k or bigger, but we’ve been fortunate that we’ve had an average of 200k. But that means those personalised documents that go inside them, typically the customer would ask us to supply. So, we would partner with a litho printer for A3 preprints and then run them through our mono lasers, and we were in danger of getting to the point where they couldn’t keep up.”

As a result of increasing demand for overprinted letters the backbone of the latest spend is a new simplex, single engine Nipson DigiFlex, which runs at just over 80m/min as standard, but CMS has configured its machine with the manufacturer’s full ‘speed pack’ offering up 550 A4ppm.

The 520m-wide mono press uniquely features magnetography and cool xenon flash fusing which enables the line to ‘run cold’ and handle a wider range of substrates up to 160gsm as a result.

“Some of the pre-print we run has perfing, or integrated cards and even the best laser printers sometimes struggle because of the heat, but with cold-fusion you don’t have that problem,” said Chouhan.

He added that he spoke to number of UK DigiFlex users, who all recommended it, before signing.

“And when it comes to cold-fusion technology, it’s a party of one really – so it was an easy decision.”

The new 600dpi digital engine will be installed with a refurbished Hunkeler UW6 unwind and cross cutting module from Friedheim International.

As a result, rather than buying in pre-printed sheets to run through its slower cut sheet engines, CMS will start buying pre-printed reels for 100k runs and above to put though the high-speed Nipson line.

The total spend on the line, all in, is around £280,000. It should be up and running by early July.

Partially to create space in its 4,300sqm factory for the new line, but primarily to increase storage capabilities, the business is also set to take on a five-year lease for an additional unit on the same Erdington industrial park near Birmingham.

According to Chouhan the new 700sqm unit will create capacity for up to 2,500 additional pallets.

“When we moved to our current site three years ago we came from three sites in Birmingham that had [a combined] 2,300sqm and after the move we could hear the echoes in the warehouse, but now we’ve filled it.”

The firm is also poised to start work on a new 450sqm mezzanine at its main unit.

“Even with that though, with the big runs while we have the capacity to produce, running 24-7, if we don’t have the capacity to store them then we can’t take them on,” said Chouhan.

“So, we needed the extra space and it’s across the road so can we move work door-to-door on counterbalanced forklifts. It was perfect.”