Home: July - August 2006 › The labeledge
31/08/2006 | Channel:
Packaging & Logistics
Webtech creates its mark throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe with innovative packaging solutions
With a strong base of knowledge in the industry and a keen eye for new technology that can move it to the fore of the labelling market, Webtech has now become a leading name in its field as a flexographic print specialist. Providing labels mostly for the beverage and dairy industries, and specialising in reel-fed Oriented Polypropylene (OPP) film, the company has built up a reputation for a high standard of service, satisfying companies on all scales, from local businesses to international companies.
Webtech was founded in 1989 and operates from its site in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. Serious investments in new state of the art machinery have influenced the growth of this plant three fold over the past six years. Since its foundation the company has focused on four core products including OPP Reel/Stack), Stretch Sleeving, Multi-pack Stretch sleeves and PVC Sleeves. OPP labels (Reel/Stack) however now account for 70 per cent of the business, and as it becomes a more viable option for most drinks producers the organisation has found a greater demand for its services in OPP.
Today the company has a compliment of 70 personnel, all of whom have a great deal of expertise in the field of labelling and who have been with the company for many years bringing forth all the latest in technological advances in flexo-graphic printing. The sales and marketing director, Michael Harkness, outlines the importance of the service element: "In the last couple of years there has been an increase in product lines and there is more of a need for a quick turnaround. This year we invested heavily in our customer services division, and have appointed a new commercial director. Now with a large customers services team and our Sales Managers on the road working together for the clients, Webtech can offer a leading customer orientated focus to all companies.
The investment that Webtech has made in recent times has also included new
eight-colour flexo-graphic printing presses that have kept the company at the head of the industry in terms of quality and capability. At the moment the company has two impressive eight-colour presses that give it an edge over many of its competitors in the production of plastic labels. The company is currently in the process of buying a brand new press and slitter that will add an extra level of capacity to its operations. "This is part of a programme of investment that we have been making over the last three years," says Michael. "In total we have spent in excess of three million pounds, and the new press and slitter are the latest items in this series of changes, however we are continually looking at ways to keep our print process to the forefront in this industry. For example we have recently purchased the Domino system, which allows clients to run alpha numeric promotions on their labels thus giving more options for major marketing campaigns. We now believe that we are the largest suppliers of reel-fed flexographic labels in the UK."
The investment has been a direct response to the company's recent growth, which has seen Webtech's business increase by 100 per cent in the last five years. The key reason for this build-up is linked to the trend that is occurring in the beverage labelling market at the moment, as more and more companies convert from paper to OPP. "Over the last few years we have developed a technique that allows people to go from paper cut and stack labels to plastic cut and stack," explains Michael. "In this area we have a good track record for helping people through the conversion process, and we have set up a system that is tried and tested."
This means that Webtech can be the best partner for companies that want to make the change from paper to OPP. Michael goes on to point out the advantages of the plastic option: "People are moving in this direction mainly because it can offer a greater speed off the lines. The labels can also be applied in wet or dry conditions, being impervious to water that would cause shrinking or tearing of a paper label, and the wrap around label has a 360-degree display appearance. With the OPP labels the scope for better graphics in the printing is much wider, and so companies are attracted to the extra possibilities that OPP can offer them."
To compliment the company's OPP Reel Fed success, Webtech can also boast to
be the largest producer of polyethylene stretch sleeves in the Irish dairy market while also supplying the agrochemical and pharmaceutical industries. Along with this, Webtech also offers Decopack Multi- Packing System, Printed Film/ Foil / Bags
and Printed Flow Wraps as well as PVC/PET Shrink Sleeves.
Roll On, Shrink On (ROSO) packaging is the latest new product that the company is focusing on, and is something that, as the technology improves over the coming years, may revolutionise the industry. "We're developing that with both the film and machine manufacturers," says Michael. "The aim is to increase the shrinkage of the product to make it better suited to its uses in the beverage industry. At the moment it can achieve up to 15 per cent, but there are plans to move it to 25 per cent. A lot of work has gone into it and it should be available to go on the market towards the end of the year."
With these new plastic-based technologies being introduced into the market, and with an extensive knowledge in this field Webtech is looking to hold its place as a leading company in the labelling industry.