Saica sells three sheet plants, fires up new Rapida

Saica has plants across Europe and in the USA
Saica has plants across Europe and in the USA

Saica Group has sold its corrugated sheet plants in England to a new company headed up by a packaging industry veteran, and at the same time has fired up the monster new Koenig & Bauer press at its Dublin facility.

Newly-established BoxWay Packaging Group has acquired the Saica sheet plants in Peterlee, Telford and Exeter for an undisclosed sum. 

BoxWay is headed by CEO Andrew Woollard, who has worked in the packaging industry for more than 35 years, including senior roles at SCA, Rexam, Tullis Russell, and Saica Group where he was managing director, south, for almost a decade before leaving in 2015. 

He then worked at Smurfit Kappa UK for four years before setting up his own consultancy. 

Saica Group said the decision to sell the businesses had involved “diligent consideration” about the future for the plants and a long-standing customer base. 

“The growth strategy presented by BoxWay is recognised by Saica Group as an excellent opportunity for customers and employees,” the group stated. 

Woollard commented: “BoxWay is totally committed to supporting current and new customers by providing an independent and entrepreneurial approach to like-minded businesses on a national basis.  

“With the help of some exciting investment plans our ambition is to grow into new markets and alongside challenger brands that have evolved from the pandemic.”

BoxWay has put in place plans to develop the business that include new print and die cutting capacity, as well as improved print and case making capability and speciality gluing. 

Further details were unavailable at the time of writing. 

Separately, Saica Pack’s, new highly-automated 15-unit Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 has gone into production at the group’s Dublin site. 

The huge 18,000sph press is 32 metres long, and has a complex bespoke configuration as well as accessory packages that mean it can print both board and plastic films, with either conventional or UV inks and coatings. 

The massive press is 32 metres long

The units are arranged as follows: a printing unit, then a coater and two intermediate drying towers, followed by an adaptable perfecting unit, seven further printing units, another coater, two more drying towers, a third coater and a finally a three-section extended delivery. 

If printing units are not required for a particular job, they can be disengaged, which K&B said was a feature that particularly “favoured the Rapida 106”.

The press has been installed on a 900mm plinth and also has pile logistics at the feeder and delivery.

The site prints for customers in the UK and Ireland, and the new press will be used to produce high quality multi-colour packaging.

Saica Group has plants across nine European countries, as well as in the USA.