Watermill Press invests in bespoke device to secure major contract


Labelling manufacturer Watermill Press has invested more than £100,000 in bespoke label finishing equipment to help it to secure a major contract worth £500,000.

The Bradford-based business developed a custom-made Vectra Turret Rewinder in partnership with Yorkshire label machinery manufacturer AB Graphic International, to enable it to meet a specific demand from its client.

The company said it could not name the client involved but that it was a major high-street retailer.

The Vectra Turret Rewinder, which was installed last month, allows Watermill Press to create irregular label shapes with specialist peel-off sections that offer improvements in supply chain tracking and efficiency.

Watermill Press managing director Dale Deacon said: “From a business perspective we are reaping the rewards from the investment almost immediately as it’s a significant contract win for us.

“The brief was to meet a specific client’s commercially confidential request - it was a research and design project in many respects - and it is already paying dividends.”

Deacon said that, while the machine was developed with one client in mind, its functionality is also relevant to a range of other businesses in the food and drink sector.

“We expect it to be much sought after and to become a significant, additional income stream in the coming years,” said Deacon.

“The volume of labels the machine is capable of handling is enormous and it will help us convert in the region of an additional 2 million sqm of material a year.

“The new features we are now able to incorporate into our labels will improve supply chain efficiency and accuracy for our clients.”

Watermill Press is a certified living wage employer with 26 members of staff and a turnover of £7.5m. It manufactures product identification labels for clients in the food and soft drinks industries including Marks & Spencer, Britvic, Princes Food and the Robert McBride Group.

These clients use the firm’s labels to create high-quality barcodes for case and pallet identification.

The business has also recently installed 750 solar panels across the roof of its premises and invested in a Lundberg Tech waste handling system and three AB Graphic International Omega label converting machines.

The company also operates seven other Omega label presses and six desktop thermal label printers.

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