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UK packaging firm invests millions in plant

By Rod Addy , 27-Nov-2012

UK flexible packaging firm Roberts Mart & Co has invested £2.5m in new plant machinery to boost production capacity at its two facilities in Leeds.

The money has secured a printing press and laminator for the family firm’s Aire Valley factory and an extruder for its sister business Romar Packaging, on the outskirts of the city.

Roberts Mart claims the cash injection will lead to the creation of 25 posts planned for 2013 to cope with increased production requirements.

Latest printing technology

The F&K 20SIX Central Impression Flexo Printing Press offered the latest printing technology for the flexible packaging industry, claimed Roberts Mart.

The equipment enabled it to break into new market areas, with the company set to boost production by 30 million linear meters a year, providing a significant return on investment, it said.

Meanwhile, an increase in capacity would also follow at Romar following the installation of the three-layer co-extrusion line, said Roberts Mart.

Boost production

This would boost the subsidiary’s production of coextruded low density blown polythene film by 1,600 tonnes a year, it claimed.

The latest increase in capital expenditure takes Roberts Mart’s overall investment to more than £15.5m over the past eight years.

During the past year the business has taken on 16 new staff and has a total workforce of 147 at its two Leeds sites. However, operating the new equipment would require more workers and it said it aimed to recruit again in 2013, targeting press and lamination operators and warehouse personnel.

Significant new outlay

“This significant new outlay we are making on capital equipment underlines our confidence in developing our existing and new markets,” said Sales director Ben Roberts. “To meet the challenges ahead we are committed to building a team with a diverse range of skill sets.”

Roberts Mart was founded by William Roberts in 1852 and began producing paper bags. It now develops specialised, high performance films for industry sectors including food, bottled waters and textiles.

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