EPac Flexible Packaging’s new UK digital printing production facility will be up and running next month.
The US-headquartered group specialises in custom-printed flexible packaging and pouches and has expanded rapidly in the States, growing from one site in 2016 to 17 today.
It has set up a new site at Silverstone in Northamptonshire, near the famous racing circuit. The 2,050sqm facility will initially run two HP Indigo 20000 762mm-wide (30 inch) web-fed presses for flexible packaging.
The UK operation is ePac’s first foray into Europe, as revealed earlier this month.
“This is a brand new site and we hope to employ 30-40 people eventually. We have a fresh approach and we are turning the conventions and limitations of flexible packaging upside down,” said Johnny Hobeika, managing director at ePac Holdings Europe.
He described the investment as “significant”.
“We do everything very fast and we are hoping we will catch up with the US growth here in Europe. We will need more plants in the UK and in Europe, we design them small and local for optimum efficiency.”
Hobeika said that everything was on schedule with the new plant, which will also house finishing equipment from Karlville and Nordmeccanica.
The firm focuses on quick turnaround with no minimum quantity, and also offers variable data printing via its digital process. Key products are lay-flat pouches, stand-up pouches, and roll stock.
He said that the digital pouch factory being showcased by HP at the upcoming Labelexpo show was “like a mini-ePac”.
Typical customers include SME brands and start-ups. However, Hobeika said that ePac’s offering wasn’t just about short runs.
“We believe we can compete on all run sizes because of the way we do things,” he stated.
Nick Monk joined the business as director of sales for UK and Ireland in May, and the company is currently recruiting for a number of other roles at the new UK site.
Monk said the new site would be a showcase for ePac’s “unique concept”.
“It is not just about delivering the highest quality flexible packaging – that is a given. We don’t focus on the technology, because we know we have the best in the industry. Our focus is on maximising the efficiencies to offer the best value for the client. Our USP is fast delivery enabled by an agile operation, which is based in the local market that it serves,” he said.