Scotland-based Pitreavie Group has further demonstrated its ambition and intent in the corrugated packaging sector, following a series of investments over the last 24 months. The latest move saw the start-up of a new five colour JS Machine casemaker in the final quarter of 2022; this recent purchase brings the total investment in its Cumbernauld facility to over £6m since it opened in 2020.
“We have been really pleased with the growth and performance of the business since we invested heavily in the corrugated sector, specifically with the opening of Cumbernauld,” explained Stephen Heslop, Group Managing Director. “We are looking to continue the growth curve, aiming for around 30% in 2023, which is off the back of impressive figures in both 2021 and 2022. But to achieve these levels of growth, investment in people and equipment is critical and the last year has seen us actively engage with suppliers to provide new, efficient machines that will result in expanded capacity.”
He continued, “We stay true to our four pillars of excellence – people, passion, innovation and care. We have a great team of people across the business, all empowered to contribute to the decision-making process for machinery and systems investment. When we were looking to add to the converting department, we encouraged all the team to get involved; of course, they are headed by Scott Alexander, who is well known in the industry, and his reputation goes before him – so I am always confident in machine choice.”
The company has also added to its senior management team in recent months. Joining in the early autumn of 2022 was Martin Meechan, who joined Pitreavie Group as Operations Manager. “Martin is a really solid addition to the senior team,” said Heslop. “He worked for one of the world’s leading integrated companies for over 22 years, so his broad experience and depth of technical knowledge will add to the team well. We’re delighted to have him at Pitreavie.”
One area that has seen significant growth is decorative print. “We serve a broad range of customers in Scotland, but one area that has been very busy for us is the whisky industry,” explained Heslop. “With a high end, luxury product like whisky, the box must be representative of the product inside in terms of quality look and feel. This is one of the reasons we wanted to add a new flexo folder gluer to our converting department; the machine we have chosen gives us excellent output as well as first class print quality and accurate folding and gluing.”
The JS Printer 924 open and close casemaker at Pitreavie is a five-colour machine. Its format offers a maximum sheet size of 900mm x 2400mm and a maximum running speed of 300m/min or 18,000 sheets per hour. It features a lead edge feeder with sheet cleaning device; The five printing units are equipped with Mathews locking system, vacuum transport, chambered doctor blades and ceramic Anilox rolls, as well as IR and hot air-drying unit.
The machine also has a special Quad creasing unit and dual slotting unit. It has a servo driven Serrapid rotary die-cut unit with anvil grinding system, as well as a special JS stripping section. In the gluing section, there is a new generation ERO automatic glue unit, with waste removal fans and camera inspection/marker control system. An extended folding section with JS speed and crease adjustment unit ensures accuracy and an extra wide, high speed counter ejector unit completes the line. It benefits from fully automated set up and quality controls systems.
Scott Alexander, Group Manufacturing Director, noted, “This is our single largest machinery investment in the site to-date. It not only gives us the additional capacity for casemaking, but also enhances our print capability with five colours and rotary die-cutting in-line. This is an enviable addition to our already impressive line-up of converting equipment, giving the business a strong platform for our future growth plans, particularly in the food and drinks sectors in Scotland.”
He added, “We are proud to have worked with JS Machine and their UK agent, Sheet Plant Consultants Ltd, to supply the first of this type of machine into the UK.” Heslop concluded, “We look forward to benefitting from the positive impact this casemaker will have on our business. Over the coming months, we will be further enhancing the site, with additional peripheral equipment from JS Machine, such as bundle breakers and pallet load former, as well as a new materials handling line to include strapping and wrapping units. It will all help us to further solidify our position as one of the most modern and efficient sheet plants in Scotland.”