EXPANSION FOR UK LABELLERS
Clearprint Labels Limited has installed three Aquaflex presses from Didde UK. Purchased over the last 12 months, the latest models are all Aquaflex LCs which join the company’s existing Aquaflex DBX.
Such is md Graham Jones’ confidence in the growing flexo market that he is now looking to expand the business through acquisition and by increasing the salesforce.
Fifteen years ago, after working for a number of years at Lancashire based firms, Graham Jones established the company in a small shed behind his house. Initially Clearprint offered both a general and label printing service, the business flourished and soon moved to larger premises. Four years ago, the company revised its strategy and decided to concentrate solely on labels. The decision proved to be a shrewd one and the company has grown steadily through the production of traditional self adhesive label products.
In 1993 the firm purchased a 20,000 sq ft premises which is situated in the centre of Preston. A new roof was fitted and extensive alterations made before the 24 staff moved in at the beginning of 1994. It was at this point that Clearprint began adding Aquaflex presses to strengthen its production capacity.
Clearprint currently runs four 10 inch Aquaflex presses, a six-colour DBX with UV varnishing, a five-colour LC and two three-colour LCs.
Graham Jones explained: ‘The wide range of press configurations and off-line finishing equipment gives us the capacity to handle almost any type of label. Run quantities can vary from 1,000 up to millions for large supermarket chains. The majority of labels we print are still paper based but the Aquaflex can handle any substrate and the demand for plastics and foil is growing. We are very pleased with the print quality and are developing an excellent reputation for process colour work. This has given us the confidence to broaden our activities into other areas such as point-of-sale material and small cartons.’
Clearprint has its own in-house design studio where approximately 80 per cent of jobs are generated using the company’s Apple Macintosh workstations and Linotronic imagesetter. The studio, combined with complete platemaking facilities, means that the company can offer a full service.
The new presses, other recent investments including a sheeter/stacker and a customised costing and stock control system are all part of Clearprint’s efforts to achieve the ISO 9000 European quality standard. The system produces quick and accurate quotations; whilst every roll of paper is individually recorded and allocated to specific jobs. This enables complete traceability should there be any need to check which batch of material was used for a particular job.
Clearprint has invested over £300,000 in the last 12 months. Graham Jones is now actively seeking to acquire businesses of a similar nature with turnover of up to £500,000 that can be absorbed into the growing company.