Card manufacturer and mailing operation Thames Card Technology (TCT) has invested in two MBO T460 compact buckle-folding machines as part of a push to increase its automation.
The new machines, supplied by Friedheim International, will be installed at the Rayleigh-based firm’s premises at the end of October.
The company will also shortly upgrade its Xerox printing equipment as part of the automation drive. The new MBO machines will be used as automatic paper cutting and handling lines to process print such as letters and inserts coming off the Xerox machines.
“We’ve looked at our whole paper printing platform – we’ve had a mix of continuous and cut-sheet printing which we’re looking to consolidate. We’re using the opportunity to see what we can do in terms of a better process and product flow,” said operations director Ché Colford.
“We have a lot of double handling at the moment and we wanted to increase the speed and flexibility of what we can do and also our capacity, especially with the growth in the loyalty market.”
He added: “Reducing the handling of the product also gives us the ability to look at and capitalise on the different market opportunities that are out there and enables us to service our customers better.”
The small footprint of the kit will also free up floor space at TCT’s 3,700sqm site.
Earlier this year the company increased its personalisation capacity by 60% after investing in a raft of new kit including two Atlantic Zeiser Persomaster machines, three Entrust Datacard MX6100 card issuance systems and an AutoFeeds Cartan card system encapsulation machine. It has spent well over £2m on new machinery so far in 2017.
TCT has around 200 staff and recorded turnover of £15.9m in 2016, achieving a 45% growth in gross margin and doubling its budgeted profit expectation.
The firm recently completed its senior management recruitment programme, which began with the appointment of its first chief executive in the early part of last year. It has also recently signed an exclusive agreement that enables it to offer a ‘greener’ alternative to PVC cards for its customers.