Frip invests £300k in Esatec pick and place system

By Rhys Handley, Friday 26 January 2018

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Frip Finishing has expanded its remit in the packaging sector with the installation of an Esatec Digistar 2 1100 pick-and-place, and window-patching machine.

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The Esatec Digistar 2 1100 can apply window blanks up to 480x840mm in size

Purchased for more than £300,000, the system was installed at the group’s Redditch facility in November 2017. Incorporating a Cardene 2 system, the machine can also complete in-line film punching, scoring and creasing tasks.

Capable of applying window blanks ranging from 40x40mm up to 480x840mm, the system will complement Frip’s specialist Metalpaper and sheetfed window lamination services.

“About a year ago when we decided we needed this system, I knew nothing about pick-and-place,” said group managing director Leslie Gibson, who is based at the group’s office in Hinckley, Warwickshire.

“But I did my research and we travelled to places like the US and Germany to take a look at what was on offer. I went into each viewing with a blank sheet of paper and identified each machine’s USP that would help our company grow.

“The Digistar was the best one, offering us an ability to expand our offering in the carton industry, providing folded cartons for pharmaceutical and cosmetics customers. It is part of a more-than £1m programme to invest in our business and we are looking to continue our growth and expansion.”

The group plans to install a folder-gluer by the end of March this year. In August 2017, Frip became the first decorative print firm in the UK to gain AA food safety accreditation from the British Retail Consortium.

Joining foil blocking, die-cutting, and window lamination services already on offer at the site, Redditch carton services manager for Frip, Tom Murphy, said he was “extremely pleased with the versatility” of the Digistar machine.

Frip Finishing has 20 members of staff working at its 1,500sqm Redditch premises, out of a team of 75 people across five sites in Redditch, Hinckley, Glasgow, Stockport and Surrey. The firm turns over £7m, providing decorative print finishing and specialist lamination services to the UK packaging industry.

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