Curtis embarks on £1m investment programme

Darryl Danielli
Monday, July 11, 2016

Curtis Print & Packaging has launched a circa £1m investment programme, which includes a move to a new site, by signing for a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75.

The five-colour plus coater and extended delivery is set to be delivered in September or October, depending on when the Wimbledon-based family business, which was founded in 1938, finalises a move to new, larger site.

“We’re looking to stay within a reasonable radius of where we are at the moment, but we’ve just outgrown where we are,” said Curtis managing director James Williams.

The B2 XL, which is being supplied by White Horse Machinery, will join a six-colour, B1 Speedmaster CX 102 at the 55-staff carton printer, which specialises in premium packaging for sectors including the cosmetics industry.

According to Williams: “We have an awful lot of shorter-run carton work that is probably better suited to a smaller [format] press, it will also give us additional capacity and it’s got Inpress Control which we see as very beneficial for our customers, for who colour is absolutely critical.”

Williams signed for the press at Drupa, although he had been in discussions with White Horse prior to the show.

The relatively low-mileage (around 60m) 2008 XL press is being shipped from Belgium. While Williams said the lower price, compared with new, was a factor in opting for a used press, the delivery time frame was critical.

“Heidelberg build great machines that are built to last, it’s the right specification and been well maintained by Heidelberg, that was key, so for us, it was a bit of a no-brainer really.”

The firm offers foil blocking, window patching, die-cutting and folding-gluing and Williams used the trip to Drupa last month to look at complementary investments.

“We wanted to look at some additional equipment, because when we move into the new site we want to use the opportunity to bring in some other external processes in-house.

“All in the investment will be the thick end of £1m. It’s part of our business growth strategy, for the past five years we’ve been getting the business fit and healthy so that we’re in a position now that we can do this.”

The company currently has sales of £7.5m, but Williams said the plan isn’t about just growing turnover.

“We’re not looking to build an empire, we know the area we specialise in and we want to carry on doing what we’re doing and to the best of our ability, so I’m loathed to say this is part of a massive growth strategy, it’s more about future-proofing the business and making sure we continue to do what we do really well.”

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