Bridger Packaging has hired six new skilled members of staff to accommodate a boost in demand the resulted from a near-£1m haul of new Bobst kit.
A Visionfold 110 A2 folder-gluer and a Novacut 106 E Autoplaten die-cutter were delivered to the Letchworth carton manufacturing facility at the end of last year, replacing Bobst kit which had been running onsite as far back as 1990.
Due to the advances in packaging technology in the intervening years, Bridger has seen the speed, quality and flexibility of its work increase noticeably, bringing in more work from clients in multiple sectors. As a result, six new staff were hired and a new shift pattern was devised across the first half of 2019 to manage the workload.
Managing director Lawrence Bridger said: “We had looked to alternatives when we wanted to replace our SP 102-SE die-cutter and Domino 90 Matic folder-gluer, but the Domino was our very first Bobst investment in 1990 and I have been so impressed with the quality of engineering.
“Obviously, we have seen an improvement because the tech has changed dramatically since, but we were still able to sell the 102 on to be used elsewhere. Now we have improved our quality, increased flexibility and running speeds while reducing makeready to bring down lead times for clients.
“If it goes into a carton, we can and probably do make it – our clients span food, pharmaceutical, toys, gift packs and more. An increase in capacity means we have had to take on more staff and now we are ready for the higher demand from all kinds of clients.”
With its new Bobst kit, Bridger Packaging can put together a variety of carton types including tuck-in, crash-lock, four-corner and six-corner.
In conjunction with WH Leary and Keyence, the company developed a camera inspection system to run on the machines to check colour consistency, and colour, cut and crease register.
Following on from the introduction of the new finishing kit, Bridger’s next port of call is set to be his firm’s printing capabilities, which is currently running a KBA Rapida, a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL75 and a coating line from Wen Chyuan for UV work.
Bridger said he would look to loop the UV jobs on the Wen Chyuan into the capabilities of the new printer he intends to buy in the coming months.
The company now employs 50 members of staff on 3,250sqm premises with a “multimillion” turnover.