Marian Baker, who established the Brentwood label firm with her husband Roy in 1973, cut the ribbon on the new division at an event on 12 February, which was also attended by the deputy mayor and former mayor of Brentwood and representatives from a variety of charities sponsored by Baker Labels.
The launch of BakPac signifies a £2.5m investment by the company, now headed by managing director Steve Baker, which involved a factory expansion to add an innovation centre and testing laboratory and the installation of three new machines.
“It’s a big step to move into the manufacture of flexible packaging so we’ve been planning this for a couple of years,” said Steve Baker.
“Making the equipment investments, designing the factory refurbishment and the training and educating of our staff all took meticulous planning and a lot of time but it’s been a brilliant journey and we’ve had great support from HP, ABG and Karville along the way.
“I’m more than confident that it’s the right decision for Bakers and I’m excited about the future.”
Making use of an HP Indigo 20000 digital press, an Enprom thermal laminator and a Karville KS-DSUP-400-GSW pouchmaker for pouch conversion, BakPac will be offering a variety of services including production of complete pouches, print-only roll stock, pouch conversion for pre-printed stock, concept proofing, and white label packaging and invoicing.
Headed up by general manager Phil Smith, the new wing is promoting digitally printed flexible packaging as a more sustainable packaging option due to reduced waste and energy consumption in production, reduced carbon emissions and the use of zero hazardous chemicals.
Smith, who joined Baker Labels in July, said: “The prospect of joining the Bakers business and running such an exciting project was too good to resist, having seen the evolution of digital in the labels industry and understanding what benefits it would bring to the flexible packaging market I wanted to be a part of that journey.
“Hitting the ground running, we have converted an empty warehouse into a state of the art digital flexpac factory, a task which involved a new mezzanine floor, room build, high voltage substation install, internal power circuit revamp, three machine installs, staff training, testing equipment and BRC standard programme.”
Family-owned Baker Labels now runs four divisions in total – its main Baker Labels identity for trade printing of self-adhesive labels, Baker Materials for material supply, Sportstiks producing athlete identification for sporting events, and BakPac. Its turns over £10.6m with a headcount of circa 100 staff.