A Cradley Heath manufacturer is looking to tap into the reshoring trend by becoming one of the first firms in the UK to offer production of vertical quad seal plastic bags for retail.
NDC Polipak, which employs 77 people across two sites in the Black Country, has invested £600,000 into the new project that will see a dedicated cell launched.
This will be responsible for manufacturing the semi-rigid plastic bags that are extensively used in a wide range of packaging including rice, pet foods and other agro-chemical products.
Supported by the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), the company is expecting full-scale production to start towards the end of the year and has already taken on three new staff with the promise of five more to follow by mid 2015.
A number of letters of intent have been signed and the management team are conservatively predicting up to £3m of additional sales, most of which will have been secured from rivals in France, Italy and Poland.
Paul Cox, managing director at NDC Polipak, commented: “We identified these new opportunities as they fit within our existing manufacturing facilities and our core strategy of offering high quality, innovative packaging solutions backed up with excellent customer service.
“As we researched the market it was very evident that at present the only suppliers of these products are outside the UK and the presence of a home manufacturer would be very welcome.”
He continued: “This involved creating a dedicated performance packaging division at our Halesowen facility, where existing staff can put 40 years in industry to the best possible use.
“The investment includes additional 8-colour CI printing capability, a high speed laminator, state-of-the-art quad seal machine and a new design studio.”
NDC Polipak, a manufacturer of building films, ancillary building, quality mono and multi-layer films and flexible intermediate bulk containers, has received extensive support from the Manufacturing Advisory Service.
New product specialist Roy Pulley has worked with Paul and the management team for a number of years on identifying potential markets and in securing funding for initial prototyping work in a host of areas.
He is now working with the firm to maximise the opportunities of the new cell by looking at supplier matching and signposting it to additional business assistance.
Roy explained: “We are seeing a lot of examples of companies returning production back to the UK and this is a further extension to that with NDC Polipak choosing to deliver a solution for the issue of ‘quad seal’ bags.
“The way it has set up production means it will be as competitive as its European rivals, but can offer domestic manufacturers all of the benefits that come from close proximity of supply, including flexibility in volumes, shorter lead times and more innovation.”
He went on to add: “The latter is very important, especially when it comes to printing on the bags, which are like large pouches and free standing in stores. Quality and accuracy has been a big industry issue and this is something NDC want to exploit with the introduction of the process equipment and design studio.”
NDC Polipak is one of the first Black Country companies to be assisted by MAS and UKTI under the new ReshoreUK service, designed to bring manufacturing back to England and to ensure there is capacity in the domestic supply chain to take advantage of new opportunities.