Label Apeel moves to new site and adds new digital label press

Nick Mansley
Friday, April 10, 2015

Leicester-based label specialist Label Apeel has moved to a new factory, invested in a new HP Indigo label press and unveiled a new website in an investment that will total around £2m.

The company has also placed an order for a new Digicon Series 3 label convertor from AB Graphics.

The new press, an HP Indigo WS6800, is a high-throughput narrow-web labels and packaging press and is only the second to be installed at a UK business. It replaced an older HP model.

The company completed its move to a new 3,300sqm site, Bo House, in Thurmaston at the end of last month, with the new press being the first piece of kit to be installed. 

The move took two and a half weeks. “It was a bit of a task, but we planned it well in advance and the whole business mucked in,” said owner Stuart Kellock.

“There was never a day when we weren’t producing, although we were sometimes working across two sites.”

The move was managed by Print Tech Services. “Mick Cadman [of Print Tech] camped out here for three weeks and was magnificent,” added Kellock.

“The new factory means that every part of the business is now on one floor. Making it a great deal easier than being spread over four floors like at the Braunstone site.”

The investment in the WS6800 has given the company 20%-30% extra capacity. “It has a lot of advantages,” said Kellock. “It is much more stable, the colour consistency is better, the repeatability is better and there’s less downtime.” 

According to HP the Indigo WS6800 delivers high productivity for the vast majority of labels and packaging jobs. It can produce up to 40 linear metres per minute in colour using the ‘Enhanced Productivity Mode’ (EPM). Of particular importance to Label Apeel was the machine’s inline spectrophotometer, which saves time on colour calibrations and colour profiles.

HP said the press offers unmatched application flexibility, enabling the production of a wide range of pressure-sensitive labels, sleeves, IML, wraparound labels, flexible packaging and folding cartons. It supports substrate thicknesses of between 12 and 450 microns.

The move to new premises was also partly the motivation for investing in the new press: “It was a question of either moving the old press out of a third-floor window or investing in a new one. It just made sense economically,” said Kellock.

The company has also revamped its website to improve the user experience and to inspire customers to try out more creative label applications. The new design was created by Sunny Thinking and features a range of new content including the 'Wall of inspiration' and blogs from guest writers as well as 'The Packaging Geek'.

The company is also in the proccess of recruiting several new members of staff, who will fill positions across the company, as well as two new apprentices.

Label Apeel, which is PrintWeek’s reigning Label Printer of the Year, runs a mixture of flexo and digital presses. It employs more than 40 staff and has a turnover of over £4m. It had worked out of its previous facility in Braunstone for 18 years. The new premises cost £1.3m.

Kellock also revealed that he had a new business venture planned that would run alongside Label Apeel but would not provide any further details.

“We’re in a strong position and long may it continue. Managing director Amy Chambers and the team are doing a sterling job," concluded Kellock.

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