MBM cuts down agency reliance with Palamides investment

Dominic Bernard
Monday, May 23, 2022

MBM Print has decided to reduce its reliance on agency staff by installing a Palamides Delta 502 Pro stacking machine.

The Palamides Delta 502 Pro can run larger operating sizes than previous models
The Palamides Delta 502 Pro can run larger operating sizes than previous models

The Glasgow-based printer will focus on its permanent staff as it continues to find efficiencies through machinery.

Bryan Munro, operations director at MBM, told Printweek that the company wanted to rein in its use of agency workers after seeing the quality of available staff drop.

He added: “The minimum wage has gone up as well, and costs are getting higher and higher in terms of labour, so some of the targets we’ve had in the past six months have been to work out where we can reduce the headcount.”

A significant advantage of the machinery, he added, is its reliability.

He said: “The one thing about these machines is, they’ll turn up every day, they’ll not get sick, I’m not going to have any issues.”

The brand-new Palamides, he added, also presents its pallets much more neatly than a human operator - and cuts out two operators from whichever task he has it running.

MBM, which prints a mix of digital, web, and litho jobs, has two stitching lines, which the new Palamides switches between freely.

Training was relatively easy for the company, Munro said, as it already had Palamides machines at the end of its folding lines.

“It’s a wee bit different from our Palamides we’ve got on the folding machines, as it does the paper banding as well. So there’s more training required, but it’s a very good machine.”

MBM will not stop its automation efforts there.

According to Munro, the company is looking at streamlining the production process of the kits it makes for its customers with Streamfeeder smart conveyor lines. This would eventually mean automated feeding from multiple hoppers onto the lines, which would then assemble each kit according to the common components required in each.

MBM, which currently employs 92 staff at its 10,200sqm site, will take the opportunity afforded by the extra capacity by its investments in automation to train up existing staff.

Munro said: “While we still have a reliance on agency, we’re trying to focus on our core staff.

“We’ll train them up, and then see if we can make them more interchangeable.”

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