Firstan boosts carton capacity with press investment
Firstan Quality Packaging s 6m double carton press investment constitutes a six colour Lithrone GX40 with coater and a multi-unit Lithrone GX40RP with reverse printing and coating. The presses are the Cambridgeshire company s first Komori machines and include the Komori PDF Comparator and also non-stop feeder and delivery pile logistics systems which convey stock to and from the press and transport empty pallets from feeder to delivery for re-use.
2016 sees Firstan celebrate its 40th anniversary. Firstan Pharmaceutical develops and manufactures pharmaceutical and healthcare packaging, Firstan Quality Packaging supplies food, confectionery, cosmetics and beverage cartons and sleeves. The Lithrone GX640 has just been installed, to be followed mid year with the multi-unit Lithrone GX40-RP. Both include the inline Komori PDF Comparator which automatically checks every element of the printed sheet against the proof, identifying even minute discrepancies especially beneficial for Firstan who regularly produce foreign and multi-language versions of packaging. The company s design team creates packaging ranging from folding cartons through to pillow boxes. It has also devised its own ground breaking anti-counterfeiting devices to guarantee product security. These include tamper-evident features such as its patented M-Lock system, created initially for the pharmaceutical market, but increasingly used in food packaging.
Through the design team, Firstan offers a 3D mock-up service, enabling customers to receive 3D files of new designs to check shelf appearance in advance of the supply of printed mock ups or proofs. Although Firstan has traditionally serviced the UK, the company said its international opportunities are growing, especially across Europe, as its blue chip clients extend their own markets. Production director, Paul Hartwig explained: Several of our UK-based clients now have divisions within the EU and our new Komori presses give us the capacity to supply to these new territories and beyond. Operating from 85,000 square foot, purpose built premises in Godmanchester, near Huntingdon, the company turns over 18m annually and produces 500 million cartons a year with 140 staff. When the new RP Lithrone GX40 joins the Lithrone GX40 six colour in mid-2016, annual capacity will rise to 2 billion cartons, signalling an increased turnover target of 24m within a year.
Firstan operates extensive Quality Management and Assurance systems. We aim to surpass all accredited industry standards. During 2015, we became the first UK packaging manufacturer to be certified with the pressSIGN Offset Standard, which is based on the ISO 12647-2 colour management standard. Certification involves passing tests in pre-press, platemaking and printing and we exceeded the required scores across the board, said Hartwig.