Færch Plast A/S, producers of plastic packaging for the food industry, has reported significant growth at its UK manufacturing facility since it opened in June 2012.
The company attributes this success to on-going investment in state-of-the-art production equipment, high calibre workforce and in-house design and innovation, as well as hygiene, quality and environmental standards.
Firmly on track to meet its annual output target for CPET ready meal trays, Faerch Plast’s Durham site has also started to manufacture containers from high clarity APET and PP materials for cold foods and snacks, including bakery, dairy, fruit, vegetables and cold meats.
The purpose-built, 14,000m² plant, which is Faerch Plast’s first in the UK, has already grown its number of thermoforming machines from eight to 18 with another three due to be commissioned by the end of 2013. Several robot-packing lines have also been installed.
Talking about the amount of progress the facility has made against initial forecasts, Joe Iannidinardo, MD of Faerch Plast’s UK operation said: “Our original objective was to install 15 thermoformers so the fact we are now up to 18 is impressive by anyone’s standards.”
“There will eventually be around six robot packing lines which will help to keep man hours low and further boost production output. Robot packing is becoming common in our ses in Denmark, Czech Republic as well as the UK.
“In fact, despite not being commonplace in the packaging industry in general, we are utilising these bespoke robotic solutions more and more across all three plants.”
The workforce has already grown from 36 to 60, but eventually the plant will provide 100-150 permanent jobs. Færch Plast A/S employs some 500 across all three of its factories.
In line with its environmental objectives, Faerch Plast says it has been successful in offering a closed loop - Cradle to Cradle - process for the manufacture of trays from post-consumer recycled PET, or rPET. Food grade rPET flakes are purchased from two of the UK’s top plastics recycling companies, says the company, before further cleaning and careful control of the extrusion and thermoforming process at Durham ensures maximum recycled content.
For a completely closed loop, Faerch Plast says it has been heavily involved in a project aimed at making black trays more recyclable. CPET ID is a revolutionary new packaging material, which will allow trays produced from black CPET to be sorted in the mixed plastics waste stream, for the first time ever.
“The new plant has definitely given Faerch Plast major competitive edge. Our UK customers have been keen to visit and it is obvious that they are reassured by the benefits offered by local supply, including closer support and enhanced lead times,” added Iannidinardo.
“The senior management team is confident that the factory will continue to go from strength to strength, with further significant growth ensuring we soon reach our target of filling the available capacity.
“The future certainly looks bright for Faerch Plast in the UK,” he concluded.