Plastic card manufacturer and printer Nitecrest has set in motion plans to boost its production capacity with the installation of an Otto Künnecke KS 104 P two-stage punch.
The machine was installed in December and, over the coming months, will be joined by a number of other installs intended to increase capacity at the Lancashire firm, which specialises in plastic gift cards and key tags.
Nitecrest's clients include major supermarkets and retailers M&S and Next and the company said it is now able to take on a higher volume of jobs to meet increasing demand.
“We sit at the top tier of this specialist market and are striving to stay there,” said managing director Ronnie Hart. “This investment, and the others we will continue with in 2018, will allow us to double our capacity.
“There has been a perceived increase in demand for physical gift cards across our customer base that we have to be able to meet.
“Alongside this, we are bringing on new clients this year – which means we are very much looking forward to 2018.”
The circa-£240,000 Otto machine will enable Nitecrest to put together specialised card shapes such as M6 and key cards with greater ease and speed.
A new laminator and a collator will join the more than 100-machine portfolio at the firm’s 11,000sqm Leyland premises later this month to further aid production capabilities.
In total, the installations will result in an investment of more than £650,000.
Continuing its expansion plans, the firm plans to hire an extra 15 staff to its 270-strong team in the next year in order to support a 24-hour shift-based production cycle. Nitecrest turns over “up to £20m” according to Hart.
The firm prints plastic and board cards, manufacturing gift cards, loyalty and membership cards, ID and access cards, and also offers fulfilment and direct mail services to support clients.
In 2016 it launched its banking division Tagnitecrest following the acquisition of technology company Tag Systems.