The Wilkins Group has invested more than £1m in a new Bobst Expertcut 106 PER die-cutter to expand and enhance its die-cutting capabilities.
Set for delivery in mid-March, the machine represents an addition to Nottingham-based Wilkins’ five-strong battery of Bobst die-cutters.
It is anticipated by Wilkins that the introduction of the Expertcut will lead to a production increase of up to 30%, while also cutting down on process waste and tooling costs.
Sales and marketing director Justin Wilkins said: “We are growing and this investment will enhance greatly our die-cutting capacity. We, as we always do, evaluated the market and although there are other machines out there, at this moment in time Bobst still came out on top.
“It will help us to manufacture a vast array of different styles of carton packaging for a variety of market sectors. We have bought many machines from Bobst over the years. We are looking to grow the UK operation over the next 12 to 18 months by at least 10%.
“The inclusion of this extra machine will create more capacity in this area for us which in turn will enable us to produce more through the whole plant as there is currently latent capacity in the other areas. So a direct impact of this for our customers will be an even greater service level from what is already second to none.”
Currently being built in Switzerland the Expertcut 106 PER will be able to cut at a rate of 9,000sph using a cutting force of 286 tonnes. A camera-driven device, it runs Bobst’s Autoplaten system designed for fewer patch-up requirements and more stable production runs with quicker setups and fewer stops.
It is set to run a 24/7 continental shift pattern, which is served by four rotating operators.
With more than 500 employees worldwide, Wilkins operates out of its headquarters in Nottingham, as well as facilities in Romania, Sri Lanka and China. Its clients include Cadbury’s, Ginsters, Pizza Express and a wide range of UK supermarket brands.
The Wilkins Group has a turnover of £36m.