Curtis invests to bring processes home

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Curtis Packaging has rounded off a circa £800,000 post-press re-equip with a Kama ProCut foiler as part of a strategy to bring more services inhouse.

Williams: bringing more processes into Curtis's Redhill factory
Williams: bringing more processes into Curtis's Redhill factory

Since the start of the year the multi award-winning Redhill, Surrey luxury packaging specialist has installed a Bobst Novacut diecutter, an Autobond Mini 105 TH laminator and, most recently a Kama ProCut 76 Foil punching, embossing and finishing machine, which was commissioned last month.

The 5,500sph B2 device, suppleid by Kama's UK agent Friedheim International, joined a brace of Heidelberg cylinders at the 87-staff business and, according to managing director James Williams, it delivers 3,000sph on the floor compared to the 1,000sph of the cylinders.

“We’ve really been keen to bring as much inhouse as we possibly can – it was fairly obvious we were spending a lot of money, because even though we already had foil blocking inhouse we just couldn’t keep up with demand as the cylinders, which are brilliant, only have one speed – slow,” said Williams.

“We had a look at the Kama and it’s a solid bit of kit, you really can’t go wrong – we saw it in Dresden and loved it.”

The Kama features a camera registration system and can handle sheets from 100gsm to 1,500gsm.

“The thing with a cylinder is that it’s really forgiving, you can get away with a lot that you can’t on a flatbed. You get the speed on flatbeds, but you don’t always get the intricacy – what we’ve seen with the Kama so is that it gives both.”

The new foiler was preceded by a B1 Autobond Mini 105 TH, which was installed around two months ago, to bring laminating inhouse.

“We were very taken with the machine and finally bit the bullet,” he said. “It’s been great and it’s a cracking bit of kit.”

He said that he had been mulling the new 60m/min thermal laminator for around 18 months, having originally seen it at Drupa 2016.

“We were spending a lot of money sending it out and about, but we hesitated a little because of the environmental impact of laminating, but we’re using a lot of biodegradable laminates and we were getting more and more requests for it, so it just made sense.”

The lion’s share of the investment was in the Bobst Novacut, which was installed in January. The 8,000sph B1 die-cutter can handle materials up to 2,000gsm and corrugated up to 4mm.

“Bobst have been brilliant, I’ve been really impressed and they put together a really good package,” said Williams.

“I’m not buying anything else though, that’s it. So, I don’t need any reps popping in for a coffee,” he quipped.

The Kama and Autobond deals were done prior to lockdown and while Williams admits he could have delayed the installs he said that the firm had weathered the Covid storm fairly well with only a handful staff on voluntary furlough in the early days and everyone back now.

“Last year was an extraordinarily strong year, and this year we will have fallen back a little, but we’re still very much paddling our own canoe.”

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