Clifton Packaging Group has invested in a new flexo press from Koenig & Bauer as part of a wider investment drive.
The KBA Flexotecnica Evo XD was installed at the Leicester-based company’s 6,500sqm premises earlier this year and has been fully up and running “almost non-stop” for around two months.
Primarily used to print flexible packaging, the machine has replaced an older Koenig & Bauer press that has been sold on, and has joined an existing KBA Flexotecnica Evo XG eight-colour press.
The new Evo XD CI flexo press has eight printing units, a new generation dryer and newly developed drive and control technology. It has a web width of 1,320mm and a cut-off of 370 to 1,000mm and can run at speeds of up to 500m/min, depending on the substrate.
“We did look around the market, but we’ve been with Koenig & Bauer for many years and we’ve always received great service from them. There’s a lot of new innovations and the latest technologies on this machine, which made the decision a lot easier,” said Clifton Packaging managing director Shahid Sheikh.
To complement the Evo XD, the business also installed two new laminators from Nordmeccanica at around the same time – a Simplex SL Solventless and a Super Combi 4000. The pair have joined three existing laminators from the manufacturer.
The business also runs a Uteco Crystal eight-colour wide web CI flexo press, three slitting machines – two Bimecs and one Comexi, and three pouch-making machines, with two more on order and set to be installed around September.
“Everything is growing year-on-year and going in a positive direction. We’re now looking for a new facility to add to our current facility. I would mainly attribute our growth to innovation – we are forever creating new types of packaging and new products and we’re leading the field in terms of the recyclability issue,” said Sheikh.
“We’re also currently building a packaging centre of excellence, which will be like an educational centre. I’m a STEM ambassador so we already do a lot of work with schools and colleges – it’s about trying to give back some sort of education in some way or form.”
Established in 1981, Clifton Packaging predominantly serves FMCG markets and the Wet Protein sector and turns over just over £20m. As well as printing packaging and supplying pouches, the 100-staff company also offers contract packing services and sells food processing and packing machinery.
Separately, Sheikh was recognised across a record four award categories at this year’s Institute of Directors (IoD) East Midlands Director of the Year Awards, held last week.
He took home the Inclusivity Director award, the Innovation Director award and the overall Director of the Year award and was also highly commended in the Global Director category.
He will now go forward to the IoD’s national finals which will be held in London on 18 October.
“I was over the moon because not many people know the journey that we’ve been on as a company and a family to get where we are today,” said Sheikh.
“Each time I collect an award I always remember where I came from and each one is as humbling as the one before – I don’t lose focus on that.”