AA Labels enters luxury pack market with £400k spend

Richard Stuart-Turner
Monday, December 14, 2020

AA Labels has invested £400,000 in three new machines from Grafisk Maskinfabrik with an aim to make luxury labelling more accessible to SMEs across a range of sectors.

Three Grafisk Maskinfabrik machines have gone in at the company's expanded premises
Three Grafisk Maskinfabrik machines have gone in at the company's expanded premises

Two roll label converter presses, a GM 330FB Premium Wine Label Line and a GM DC350, plus a GM PNT160S automatic core cutting machine were installed at the firm’s premises near Orton Longueville, Peterborough in August.

This followed the lifting of Covid-19 related travel and quarantine restrictions that enabled technicians from Grafisk Maskinfabrik in Denmark to travel and stay in the UK.

Designed for hot foil and screen-printing embellishments, the GM 330FB can add gold and silver details or holograms to labels. The GM PNT160S, meanwhile, is said to provide high precision feeding and cutting of cardboard roll-cores at high speeds.

AA Labels said the new kit will enable it to meet increased demand for prestigious packaging, and give it greater access to the embellishment packaging market for businesses in the health and beauty, food and beverage, and fragrance industries that want to develop high-end products.

Managing director and joint-owner Sohail Sethi said: “We have identified a growth in demand for label embellishments, but our main aim is to introduce new audiences to the creative possibilities of labelling.

“Brands need to convey the prestige of their products through the packaging and these techniques help us to add a luxurious and eye-catching finishing touch.

“We want to demystify the process so brands of all sizes, including those with limited budgets, can create high quality labels that appeal to the consumer.”

He added: “Our business has been growing at 20% each year for the past five years and we have gained a huge number of new customers from market sectors requiring the kind of quality embellished labels that we will soon be producing.

“Therefore, we have confidence in the investment, which we expect to pay for itself within only a few years.”

AA Labels has acquired an additional 340sqm of production floor space to accommodate the new equipment. This has been created via an extension of the existing production area, through a party wall into the adjacent property. The site now has 1,960sqm space in total, which includes a 540sqm mezzanine floor.

The latest spend takes the company’s total investment in new kit to circa-£1m in the last 12 months. Earlier investments in the period included a £400,000 HP Indigo WS6800 Digital Press and two AB Graphics 330 sheet label converting machines, at a cost of £100,000 each.

Founded in 2006, AA Labels manufactures and distributes plain and printed labels in a range of materials, adhesives and finishes for commercial, industrial, specialist and home use throughout Europe and beyond, with customers in Canada, Argentina, the US, Australia and Hong Kong.

The business employs 30 staff at its production site near Peterborough and 35 at its site in Lahore, Pakistan, which includes accounts, data, design and web development.

With the introduction of a new shift in February 2021 and another additional new press set to be delivered in June 2021, a further three to five new members of staff will be required.

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