KSP Group to fill market niche with specialist box-making install

Richard Stuart-Turner
Monday, September 20, 2021

KSP Group has installed a Chinese manufactured multi-functional automatic rigid box wrapping line to enable it to take advantage of a gap in the market.

The LS-1246G during installation at KSP Group
The LS-1246G during installation at KSP Group

The Dongguan Longxingsheng Machinery LS-1246G was imported, assembled, prepared in line with UK health and safety and CE regulations, and then supplied by Perfect Bindery Solutions, and has been installed at Banbury-based KSP’s 836sqm site this month.

The machine will corner tape and wrap up to 15 pieces per minute and will be able to produce boxes with dimensions from 100x60x15mm to 600x400x130mm. It can also automatically wrap five piece covers for boxes with hinged lids and concealed magnets.

KSP has also bought an 850L automatic high speed grooving machine from Perfect Bindery Solutions, imported from Chinese manufacturer Zhejiang Saili Machinery. With this machine the company will now not need to die-cut boards prior to production, saving on tooling costs and giving perfect 90-degree edges all around the boxes.

KSP director Jason Cleary told Printweek the LS-1246G was “the first machine of its kind” in the UK.

“The main reason we have taken the decision to install such a machine is that there is a huge gap in the UK manufacturing market for 500 to 20,000 boxes that would usually be expensive to produce here or go to China for the larger runs, but with ever-growing lead times and transport costs we can quote, design, and deliver 10,000 boxes within a few weeks.

“There is a big hole in the UK for small to medium run lengths because people have been used to stocking stuff from China, but speaking to an importer recently the container costs have quadrupled in the last few weeks; they’re fighting each other for container space and it’s taking time – 12-week lead times previously are now 16 weeks, so it’s good for the UK market.”

He said applications for the machine would include boxes for cosmetics, phones, and luxury books as well as a range of other marketing and gift packaging.

The company had previously been using an IML Machinery semi-automatic box wrapper, which the new Dongguan Longxingsheng device has replaced. It had used the IML machine for longer runs and had been doing smaller quantities solely by hand.

“But we spent the last year or so looking at options to extend that, and this machine with the automatic robotic spotting jumped out at us as the way to go,” said Cleary.

“With the IML machine we had to pre-corner tape the carcasses first and we would then place them onto the glued sheet and hand insert, but the machine would then wrap and do the rest,” said Cleary.

“We now no longer need to pre-die-cut the board to make these boxes, we run them through the grooving machine which gives a nice 90-degree to 130-degree v-groove so that when it takes the corners out – which it does automatically – you have perfect 90-degree sharp edges.”

The new installation extends the company’s paper-over-board capabilities; last year it took on a Horauf BDM 20 casemaker, also supplied by Perfect Bindery Solutions, to enable it to run high volume hard case covers and ring binders.

The business also operates a Jetrix KX7 wide-format flatbed printer, a Dyss CAD cutter, a B1+ Prima semi-automatic screen printer, and three Atma semi-automatic screen printers ranging from A3 up to B2 in size.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic the 10-staff company, which has a turnover of just over £1m, has invested more than £300,000 in new kit.

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