Cepac completes £2m expansion of former DS Smith site

By Hannah Jordan, Thursday 17 May 2018

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Corrugated packaging specialist Cepac has completed a major expansion that has effected a huge boost capacity and production at its Rawcliffe, East Yorkshire site.

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Rawcliffe management team Drew Broughton, Nigel Hobson and Richard Moore with one of the Tanabe gluers.

Work on the site commenced in June 2017 and has increased the site’s production area by around 3,250sqm, allowing for new equipment, improved, re-configured workflow and the addition of a dedicated hand assembly section which, the company said, when all brought together increases capacity at Rawcliffe by around 20%.

Investment in new equipment is due to take place this year and next, according to group sales and marketing director Steve Moss. So far he said the site's two Tanabe multi-point gluers and three stitching machines have been re-configured, thanks to the increased footprint, while changes have also been made to palletisation, strapping and stretchwrapping areas, improving pack presentation and throughput efficiency.

"This has really improved our output quite significantly because it has allowed us to have a far more efficient workflow instead of double handling and double-backing, for example.

Moss was tightlipped on what new equipment was to be bought for the site but said: "New equipment will be brought in in line with our strategy for added value industrial markets. It's about the exisiting markets we serve and also where we believe things are headed in the future.

"We are always looking at new markets and the potential movement away from ceratin materials to paper-based materials provides the whole industry with a great opportunity and there are a lot of areas we are looking for the business. That approach is very much in this site's make-up."

A significant benefit of the expansion is the ability for the site to increase its offering of stitched UN-approved boxes, designed for packaging and transporting hazardous goods including flammable, toxic or corrosive materials.

Since acquiring the site from DS Smith in 2013 Cepac has created around 50 new jobs taking the total workforce at Rawcliffe to 135 and more than doubled group turnover to £100m.

The Rawcliffe site specialises in providing bespoke corrugated products to the industrial, automotive and speciality chemical sectors and counts Jaguar Landrover, Ford and Ideal Boilers among its clients.

The company also has sites at Darlington, Rotheram and Doncaster, the latter of which has itself recently undergone a major expansion, doubling the size of its site, to boost its digital operation.

The firm's Alfreton, Derbyshire-based subsidiary, Woodhill Printers, was brought under the Rawcliffe roof in November last year, taking on one of the company's five staff. 

Moss said the company had a lot of investment projects currently "on the boil" in relation to each of the firm's other sites. 

"Some of these will be coming forward in coming few months, so it's a case of watch this space. There is so much potential at the moment against such a challenging raw material market and for us it's quite an exciting time," he added. 

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