Kingston Carton investment pays big dividends

Making a substantial personal purchase, such as a house, a car or something for the home, fills us all with a mixture of excitement and apprehension. It’s the same in business. Writing a cheque for new plant or machinery can mean sleepless nights — along with the obvious tingle of expectation. But there are no such worries at Hull, England-based Kingston Carton. They just know that by investing in Manroland technology they did the right thing. What’s more, their line of satisfied blue-chip clients — for such high street brands as Tesco, Sainsbury, Tetley, Scholl and Warburton — are enjoying the benefits too. The company have been at the cutting edge of carton manufacturing for nearly 100 years, servicing among others, the bakery and confectionery, beverage, food, health and pet care sectors. In the last two years alone, they have spent close to £5 million on new capital equipment, additional premises, ancillary equipment and are the only UK carton company using the Roland 700 DirectDrive. It’s hard to find a business so enthusiastic about a piece of kit. “Operationally, this Roland is second to none, and has surpassed our expectations at what a printing press can do,” says Arend Buitendam, Managing Director.

Manroland Sheetfed claim that the 700 DirectDrive is the most technically advanced press in the world. The industry is of course aware of the flexibility and efficiency of Manroland presses, but it’s the speed and consistency of the 700 DirectDrive that has Kingston Carton so positively purring with pleasure. As they say themselves, “Blink and you’ll miss a makeready”.

Company Chairman, David West Wilson, says, “The prime benefits of the 700 DirectDrive are the very quick makeready times, particularly on multi-print activities, and the colour pilot system which is exceptional and gives us consistency throughout the run. Brand image is absolutely critical, so the print quality of the packaging that we’re producing for our customers is of paramount importance. There’s nothing worse than seeing a range of products where the colour is varying,” he says.

Arend Buitendam Jnr, Production Manager and Arend Buitendam Snr, Managing Director, Kingston Carton

The 700 DirectDrive is their second ROLAND investment, adding it to their 706 UV High-Print press which impressed with its built-to-last engineering, round-the-clock technical support and repeatable highquality production. The 700 DirectDrive is the king of multi-tasking. It can reduce makeready time by up to 60 per cent. Plate changing is fully automated and is done in the few minutes needed for simultaneous washing of the impression and blanket cylinders. Mr Buitendam says, “Customers have always had to pay for makeready, but with the new ROLAND it’s a thing of the past. Because we can take out cost from the makeready, we can reduce the unit cost without distracting from the quality. Clients are naturally demanding and knowledgeable and are delighted we have invested in the right kit. I show them around the factory and they can’t believe the speed of the changeover.

“This machine will do so many different processes at the same time. It allows us to do the very, short production runs which would have been prohibitive within the lithographic market previously. It has opened up new markets and allowed us to enter market sectors which historically we felt we weren’t competitive at.” Makeready isn’t the only area of savings. The operator can correct the print length electronically during production, thus avoiding time-consuming addition or removal of underpacking sheets in the printing unit. TelePresence, a remote service system, allows support off site, saving time and money. There’s even an App that allows Smartphone users to monitor what their machine is doing while they are not on site. “It’s the Rolls Royce of print and we have effectively future-proofed our business for our customers,” says Mr Buitendam.

Manroland Sheetfed is of course a new company which emerged from the wreckage of Manroland AG after it went into receivership more than a year ago. It was rescued by British industrialist Tony Langley, founder of Langley Holdings and is now very much part of the family. The new company is revitalised and announced in December it had delivered its 100th ROLAND press since it began trading in February 2012. Chief Executive, Rafael Penuela, says, “The old Manroland Sheetfed has been transformed. Today we are a new organisation — one that is more efficient, more dynamic and responsive in ways unimaginable in the past.” Customers are now getting the best of both worlds — German precision engineering and British control and support — a fact not lost on Kingston Carton. “There is a passion for print that we feel is already coming through from the new Manroland — embracing the technology, embracing the future-proofing and embracing the training element which are all important to us. And the confidence that Manroland people have in the product is critical, ” concludes Mr Buitendam. “It is a new machine for a new generation of print.”

Blink and you’ll miss a makeready Company Chairman, David West Wilson

To view the ROLAND 700 DirectDrive in action at Kingston Carton, Hull, UK. >Click here