Anglia makes double Daco investment

Hannah Jordan
Friday, December 3, 2021

As a result of its continued growth in digital, Anglia Labels has installed its third Daco finishing line and ordered a slitter and rewinder.

The DF350SR 037 Flex was installed six weeks ago
The DF350SR 037 Flex was installed six weeks ago

The Sudbury, Suffolk-based business took delivery of the DF350SR 037 Flex from Daco Solutions around six weeks ago. The circa-£125,000 device, Anglia’s third in three years from Yorkshire-based Daco Solutions, has both semi-rotary and full-rotary die cutting, two-colour print or varnishing, slitting, laminating and cold foil with UV curing and IR drying.

The company has also spent £30,000 on a rewinder and slitter, to be delivered in March 2022.

“We wanted to target more bespoke jobs for certain industries like wine and beers where we can hotfoil as well as laminate and varnish,” explained Anglia Labels managing director, Ian Woodhead, of the new finishing unit.

“It’s completely different to anything else we have so it really opens up more markets. We’ve been able to service these markets for a while through other processes, but not economically, so there just came a time where we needed to get rid of old kit and replace it with new,” he adds. 

The new Daco 330mm-wide slitter/rewinder is being brought in to replace a 270mm-wide device as the nature of Anglia Labels’ work has changed, Woodhead said.

“Our work has evolved as we’ve continued to move to digital, which we’ve done more and more over the last two years,” he said. “We’re now 75% digital and we finish totally offline so when we need a new machine for that we invest.

“Our digital presses have replaced letterpress and litho - we took our first Indigo press 24 years ago and we replace them every five years.”

The company’s latest digital presses, an HP Indigo WS6800 and a Domino N610i, were installed two and four years ago, respectively.

“Our portfolio of around 700 clients are all short-medium run length work. A lot of them are 500-1,000m jobs and quite honestly by the time we’ve printed them on the flexo press we could have done it five times over on digital,” Woodhead said.

Reflecting on the past couple of years, Woodhead said his 20-staff company, which celebrated 40 years at the start of 2020, had managed to boost turnover to £3m whilst becoming more efficient, improving kit and developing a “better work ethic” having moved the whole company to a four-day week.

“We all used to be on different shifts and different wage brackets but now it’s all the same and everyone is working together as a team,” Woodhead explained. “The three-day weekend is very attractive but if there is overtime on a Friday, we all come in to share it and get it out as soon as we can. The different way of working alongside the new kit and digital investments has made a huge difference to us as a business and team,” he added.

Looking ahead, Woodhead said that investment and new markets were part of the strategy for the next five to ten years.

“My plan is always to stay at the forefront of technology and for us that’s digital. We regularly review the marketplace we’re in against the kit that we have to ensure that what our customers require is still possible on our kit.

“We replace the digital machines every five years anyway because something more modern and effective has usually come around by then. It is a big investment when we’re used to getting 20 years out of a flexo, so we make sure that we’re priced accordingly,” explained Woodhead.

Meanwhile, he said that the business is planning to start offering pouch printing, initially in partnership with Brentwood-based Baker Labels, with a view to launching the service in-house further down the line.

“We have started looking at pouch printing and possibly investing in that area in the next three to four years, which means wider digital and laminating machines.

“But in the first place we’ll be partnering with Baker Labels with any work we win in that area and we will sell that service alongside our labels. We’ll do that until we have enough work to justify a spend on the equipment,” he said, adding that members of the team had recently been to Barcelona to look at HP kit for the planned new service.

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