Colombier adds packaging conversion

Jo Francis
Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Colombier UK is adding to its specialist conversion services with a substantial investment in a new coiler/rewinder for packaging grades that can produce narrow reels down to 50mm.

New Alphadrum will have 20 fully-automatic slitter knives
New Alphadrum will have 20 fully-automatic slitter knives

The Sittingbourne firm has chosen UK manufacturer Alpha Converting to supply the new kit, which involves a two-drum Alphadrum system.

The total investment is around £500,000 and the new setup is scheduled to be up and running at the beginning of April.

Managing director Kevin Dyer said the firm had spotted an opportunity to expand its conversion services, which currently encompass a large-format rewinder, sheet cutting, and machinery for dividing and resizing reels of paper that includes a mobile device.

He said the new Alphadrum would allow the firm to handle a range of packaging substrates.

“There will be a mix of grades used, packaging would include kraftliner, fluting, testliner, GC1 and GC2, along with some premium graphic grades,” he explained.

The Alphadrum is being configured with 20 fully-automatic slitter knives, and can cut a minimum web width of 50mm. It has automatic twin bow spreader rolls, an automatic brake tension system, and features Eco brake power regeneration technology.

“That’s what makes it special. There are niche requirements, such as bag handles, that use these narrow coils. It’s quite a big market.”

He said he expected typical coil sizes to be between 50mm-300mm.

“Having initially selected Alpha because of the quality of their machinery and their reputation in the industry, we have been impressed with their strong technical understanding and the advice given in specifying the machine,” Dyer added.

“The new machine is of robust construction and we are confident that the extra capacity and efficiency of the Alphadrum will enable Colombier to offer an improved reel conversion service to our customers for many years into the future.”

Colombier said it would be able to produce multiple coils “as efficiently as possible” while meeting customers’ exacting quality requirements. It has already secured 4,000 tonnes of new narrow web business for the service.

Installation will begin next month, with time for training and testing before the official go-live date of 1 April.

Dyer said the machine will be operated by the firm’s existing team, although he did envisage further recruitment in the future.

Colombier’s Kent facility is 3,720qm and the £6m turnover firm employs 23 staff.

It is part of the family-owned forest industry trading group with operations in Finland, the Netherlands and Spain. 

Colombier UK is the UK sales agent for Germany’s Kabel Premium Pulp & Paper, and as well as conversion sales also offers a trading sales service for unwanted paper stocks.

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