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The Wilkins Group ‘Stays a Cut Above’ After Investment in £1M Machine

Nottingham-based packaging and printing giant The Wilkins Group has invested more than £1million in a new cutting and creasing machine in a drive to increase capacity.

The third-generation global firm, based in Colwick, has bought a BOBST EXPERTCUT PER 106 die-cutting machine.

The kit has been designed to maximise productivity and lower production costs.

Using a host of clever features, the EXPERTCUT runs more consistently and cuts down on process waste and extra tooling costs - production will increase by up to 30 percent on that machine.

The move by The Wilkins Group - which produces packaging for household brands including Cadbury’s, Ginsters and Pizza Express - was a bold one, choosing to plough funds into the project despite an unstable economy.

But the company took the brave step and went ahead with the investment.

Justin Wilkins, a third-generation of the family business, who is sales and marketing director, said:

“Most people might have thought it probably wouldn’t be the right time to invest, in terms of the current economic climate.

“But our view is, we don’t hold back and we have done the right thing as a business. We can’t let events outside of our control effect the strategic development of the company.”

He added that the risk is worth taking as the EXPERTCUT will help boost production.

“We need the machine to increase capacity, to take us forward to the next phase of our development.

“We need it to take us into 2019 to grow the business as we are looking to expand our UK operation by more than 10 percent, withnew business confirmed, which will set us on a great course for our factory extension.”

In a printing and packaging industry that has had its fair share of struggles, Wilkins has bucked the trend by growing - to the extent that it recently bought more land to expand its base, and has enjoyed a £36m turnover this year.

The Wilkins’ Group counts supermarkets Asda, Tesco, Iceland, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s Marks and Spencer, Co-op, Morrisons, Aldi, Lidl, Spar and Budgens, and a host of other major brands and food suppliers among its clients.

The top-of-the-range EXPERTCUT is a PER power register machine and is being built in Switzerland.

It can cut 9,000 sheets of board per hour, using a cutting force of 286 tonnes.

Its cam-driven plate can deliver superb quality and high net outputs.

Its BOBST Autoplaten system needs less patch-up and remains more stable during the run than any other, which means quicker setups, better quality and fewer stops in production.

It will be delivered to Nottingham in the middle of March 2019.

It comes after The Wilkins’ Group’s production team, including Aron Wilkins investigated the market and tested various machines all over the world.

The company already has five die-cutters, all of which are BOBST.

The firm also carried out market research and visited other manufacturers to determine which machine would best suit their needs.

The machine is user-friendly and will use one operator per shift, with four shifts running the machine 24 hours a day.

The EXPERTCUT comes in parts and will be built on-site at The Wilkins’ Group’s Nottinghamshire headquarters.

It is the latest in a string of purchases for the firm, including a £150,000 board tray forming machine in 2018, a £300,000 Rotary Window Patching and Lining Machine in June 2016, a £600,000 digital foiling and varnishing machine, and a £2m investment in a new latest-technology printing press prior to that.

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