Skanem Newcastle, one of Europe’s single largest label production facilities, is to spend nearly £2M on its second Nilpeter M3300 combination press and a new adhesive coater in a move which managing director Ken Forster says underlines the site’s commitment to providing Europe’s major retailers and brand owners with a first-class label design and printing service.

The £1.4M press joins an existing M3300 at the company’s 125 000 sq ft labelling plant on Newcastle’s Team Valley Trading Estate, while the new adhesive coater should arrive by February. The nine-colour Nilpeter will initially be equipped to undertake four different printing processes – offset, flexo, screen and hot foiling – ensuring maximum versatility for a plant producing labels for the dairy, meat and promotions, fish and poultry, non-food and produce sectors.

Plant management is currently deciding whether to specify the press with additional gravure printing facilities – this would make it one of Europe’s first M3300 machines to incorporate all five print processes.

The existing M3300 is mainly used to print high quality labels for detergents, washing powders and other homecare products for Procter & Gamble. Says Forster: “The second combination press will take up the slack, while also printing labels for a range of other, mainly non-food products.

With 30% annual growth in demand for its recently introduced SE Sleeve paperboard sleeve labelling system [a biodegradable linerless, multi-positional label for ready meal, meat and poultry and pasta packs], Skanem Newcastle is also investing around £400 000 on the adhesive coater.

The equipment is being installed in a hi-tech factory where around £160 000 has been spent in the last two years to optimise operating efficiencies, improve turnaround, enhance responsiveness and minimise waste.

Existing printing equipment includes Nilpeter, Arpeco, Arsoma and Comco presses, two of them printing non-stop producing milk labels. The plant also has its own dedicated studio, origination and repro departments. Installation of the new kit should create around 12 jobs.