Continuing expansion at Ablebox

Leading independent corrugated manufacturer, Ablebox Ltd, has started the next round of strategic investment, following the opening of a new site, complete with 2.2m corrugator back in late 2020.

With a new £6m project that started in June 2022 well underway, the company has acquired a third site – this time, a 52,000 sq ft facility in Sherborne, conveniently located halfway between their first site in Yeovil and their corrugator site at Henstridge, now totalling 156,000 sq ft.

“Whilst our Yeovil site is very efficient, it is pretty much full with equipment, so our plan had always been to add more capacity by way of an additional site and improving our DRP continuity,” explains Jack Lloyd, Managing Director. “We found a site in Sherborne that was ideal for us, and we have now installed a seven colour Dong Fang Apstar rotary die-cutter that we bought from Sheard Packaging. Phil Fox of Fox Corrugated Machinery Ltd did a thorough job moving and installing it for us. The line includes an Alliance pre-feeder, EDF Vacuum Flexystack bundler, breakers and palletiser – it is a high volume, high quality line for sure.”

As the company looks to harness the potential capacity from the additional site, other plans are in place. “We are in the process of moving our existing TCY 1.8m mini-line casemaker from our Henstridge site to the new factory in Sherborne, but more importantly, we have now signed a multiple phase supply project with Emmepi Group and its UK agent, GTS Europe, for the supply of a complete materials handling solution for the Sherborne facility,” he continues.

In the first phase, Emmepi Group will be installing infeed conveyors, strappers, intermediate conveyors, stretch wrapper and outfeed conveyors. This phase, which is around £450,000, will see installation in May, enabling automated high volume materials handling throughput of more than 100 pallets per hour. The second phase, which will happen soon after, will see installation of additional conveyors linking the two converting lines, through to finished goods and despatch.

“Our vision for the Sherborne site is an automated, high volume facility,” adds Lloyd. “We have been really impressed with the dynamic solutions being proposed by Emmepi Group, and having GTS on the ground for support directly in the UK certainly helped cement the deal. We have been impressed with their can-do attitude and the broad portfolio of solutions. We are really looking forward to seeing the installation in the early summer.”

“We are delighted to announce this project with Ablebox,” adds David Williams, Managing Director, GTS Europe. “Having a blank canvas to work with has enabled us to design the perfect solution for future growth and potential for the Sherborne factory. We are excited to get on with the installation with the Emmepi team and Ablebox and look forward to being able to showcase this stand out facility in the future.”

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