Flexible packaging manufacturer Skymark has invested £750,000 in its first laser slitter, a new Universal X6lp.
The X6lp is the firm’s fourth slitter, joining a portfolio that also includes an Kampf & Ashe slitter-rewinder. Skymark managing director Paul Neath oversaw the investment as part of a wider expansion of the company’s offering in its 30th year in business.
With installation at its Scunthorpe site slated for April, the site’s 170-strong team will be undertaking laser and safety training from January. Some training will be provided by the machine's manufacturer, Universal Converting Equipment.
Neath said: “This major investment demonstrates our commitment to the evolving needs of the packaging market and will enable us to extend our capabilities by offering products that are demanded by consumers; making sure they receive the best packaging design.
“We do not currently do laser slitting so this is happening with a view to widening our offering to customers. It will open up possibilities in easier-opening packaging, such as food and drink, hygiene and medical, household and personal care, making it easier to access the product for consumers.
“Universal were chosen to take us into this new phase of business because they are UK-based, which means we will have access to all the support and guidance we need."
The X6lp’s Rofin laser and slitter-rewinder will provide Skymark with greater precision in score depth and allow selective scoring of one or more layers of a multi-layered structure.
Operating from a premises in Scunthorpe, Skymark provides lamination, slitting and cast extrusion services. As the firm’s central warehouse, it also handles flexographic printing, with a kit roster including three Bobst C1 presses. The firm is now in the initial stages of purchasing a new flexo press.
Its second premises, in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, provides services in blown extrusion and converting bags, with the total number of staff working across both sites at 250.
With a turnover of £36m, 30% of which is from exports, Skymark handles work in sectors including food and drink, medical, household, and personal care.