PET packaging specialist, APPE, has announced a major £10m investment in to its UK preform manufacturing platform. This is the one of the largest investments in the Gresford plant since PET preform production commenced there just over 30 years ago and confirms its position as the largest preform manufacturing plant in Europe.
The investment will support the installation of five state-of-the-art Husky preform injection moulding systems and the latest generation ancillary equipment including silos, resin drying systems and water chilling systems. The investment comes on the back of several extremely successful years and will support both an increase in sales and development of the manufacturing platform of the business.
The installation of the new injection moulding machines has resulted in a 1.5 billion unit annual capacity increase at the plant, taking the overall capacity to 8 billion units per year, or an average of just under 22 million per day. This huge volume of production is made possible through a high level of automation, including upgrading the fleet of automatic guided vehicles.
“APPE has successfully renewed existing contracts and has also won new business despite our parent company (LSB) entering voluntary insolvency in 2013,”said George Hendry, APPE U.K.’s Commercial Director. “The company has worked very closely with our customers throughout this period to retain our position as Europe’s premier PET preform & container designer and manufacturer. We are delighted that as a result of the market confidence in APPE we have made this significant investment at our UK plant.”
The latest generation machines and equipment, provided by suppliers such as Husky and Piovan, were selected due to their advanced control systems and contributions towards producing preforms with the lowest possible carbon footprint.
“APPE strives towards, and continually achieves, best-in-class manufacturing standards in terms of quality, efficiency and energy consumption,”said Simon Lawrence, APPE UK’s Operations Director. “This project supports our award-winning company environmental programme, as well as maintaining our status as the preform and container supplier of choice to the industry and is a reflection on the excellence of our workforce.”
Plastipak Packaging Inc. was announced as the successful bidder for APPE, following the insolvency of parent company, LSB. The sale is expected to complete in the summer.