Packaging firm sees healthy growth after machine investment

One of the UK’s leading healthcare packaging specialists, Riverside Medical, is targeting up to 40 new jobs and a £2m sales drive after globally launching its latest technology.


The business has invested nearly £100,000 into developing a turnkey solution for the vertical machining centre, supplied by ETG – image courtesy of Riverside Medical.
The business has invested nearly £100,000 into developing a turnkey solution for the vertical machining centre, supplied by ETG – image courtesy of Riverside Medical.

Riverside Medical Packaging is reportedly looking to more than quadruple sales of its innovative ‘shawpak’ thermoforming machinery as the medical sector strives for more cost-effective packaging solutions.

Established in 1979, the company employs 200 people at its cutting-edge facility in Derby.

It has tapped into the capabilities of the Engineering Technology Group (ETG) to source a new machine to help support the ramp up in volumes and ensure its new machining shop can meet demand from customers in the UK, the EU, India and Israel.

It has invested nearly £100,000 into developing a turnkey solution for the vertical machining centre, which utilises unique spindle technology, precision accuracy and the latest Heidenhain controls.

A new grease replenishing system – ideal for high-volume production – has also been added to the machine, along with two high-speed touch probe measuring systems from Blum-Novotest.

Works and engineering director at Riverside Medical Packaging, Alan Wade explained: “We have built a strong reputation for developing bespoke machinery that is ideal for meeting the various, and often stringent, packaging requirements of the medical sector.

“Last year we topped over £11m in sales across the business and the focus in 2018 will see a major push on our ‘shawpak’ technology, which offers firms a smaller and more cost-effective thermoforming solution for safely packing high-end or high-volume medical parts.”

The vertical machining centre utilises unique spindle technology, precision accuracy and the latest Heidenhain controls – image courtesy of Riverside Medical.
The vertical machining centre utilises unique spindle technology, precision accuracy and the latest Heidenhain controls – image courtesy of Riverside Medical.

He continued: “It is roughly the size of 1.5 washing machines wide, by one washing machine deep, ensuring the same output from a much smaller footprint.

“Starting at £70,000, the cost is nearly a third of traditional machines so you quickly understand why interest is high.

“As part of our expansion, we needed a new vertical machining centre that offered us speed, accuracy and the ability to easily set and manufacture a variety of parts for use in the ‘shawpak’ machines.”

After much consideration, the company decided on the Quaser MV 184 PH supplied by Engineering Technology Group, which has worked with Riverside for more than five years.

Wade added: “It has taken just six weeks to get the machine into our Derby facility, signed off and producing various parts in volumes ranging from 2,000 off to 35,000 plus per annum.”

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