Graphics origination and flexographic plate manufacturer Contact Originators has taken on a new technical manager to support its expansion.

Gareth Heward, who started at the Dukinfield, Greater Manchester-based business on Monday (2 August), has more than 30 years’ experience in the print and graphics sectors.

His role is a new position that encompasses part of a previous role vacated by David Mason, who retired in December 2020.

Heward will provide support on site at Contact, helping to develop and enhance processes and innovations. He will also liaise with and support customers across corrugated, pre-print, and flexible print disciplines as the company continues to seek new opportunities in these markets.

Contact Originators group CEO Steve Mulcahy said: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome Gareth to Team Contact as technical manager. With such a wealth of knowledge and experience, I am sure he will hit the ground running in order to make an immediate impact in our business and become a valued member of the team.

“This is a vital and exciting appointment as Contact moves with conviction to underpin the technical support we offer to all our customers.

“With the prospect of new business opportunities, Gareth will play an active part in our future growth strategy. He will bring new levels of service and technical know-how to our customers, while enhancing our solutions and production capabilities.”

Heward has joined the business from Miraclon, which was established in 2019 when Montagu Private Equity acquired Kodak’s flexo business in a $340m (£244m) deal.

Here he spent four years supporting customers in the UK, Nordics, and Baltics. He also spent 21 years with V&W Graphics, in various roles working his way through the business where he became graphics and production director.

Heward said: “I am looking forward to stepping back into the production world and supporting Contact Originators by re-establishing connections and building new customer relationships.

“Following major investment in their new site, exciting times are ahead for Team Contact and I look forward to playing a key role in ensuring we have the right technologies in place to deliver the superb service the company is renowned for in corrugated board and wide-format.”

At the end of 2020 Contact Originators promoted two long-serving employees to directors. It has also recently expanded its logistics team and made new appointments to its packaging artworking and origination departments.

Full scale platemaking is now underway at the company’s new circa-3,000sqm site, which offers four times the floor space of its previous facility and boasts what is claimed to be the largest still in Europe.

The still will be used for flexo platemaking and is said to offer distillation capacity of 24,000 litres, triple the volume provided at its Bredbury, Stockport site, which suffered a devastating fire in January 2020.



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