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The AXYZ Infinite 4000 router at GWP Protective

Significant investment boosts capacity and manufacturing efficiency at GWP

Salisbury-based protective packaging specialist, GWP Protective, has invested over £100K in new computer-controlled equipment at its Old Sarum packaging facility.

The recently installed AXYZ Infinite 4000 router will improve production of foam inserts used exclusively in returnable packaging applications. The containers and protective cases that the manufactured foam will enhance are designed to last over many thousands of uses, helping to eliminate the use of single trip, disposable plastic packaging.

The new equipment can also operate at faster speeds than the equipment it replaces, improving productivity whilst maintaining the high quality of the finished packaging produced.

Other benefits include lower power consumption, less ongoing maintenance costs, reduced noise levels, and enhanced safety features. As such, the investment will ultimately enable increased capacity, whilst allowing for improved management of quality and lead times.

Richard Coombes, general manager of GWP Protective, said: “We have seen a strong level of growth over the past 18 months, even against the backdrop of uncertainty caused by the pandemic and ongoing supply chain issues.

“This investment allows us to continue this trajectory of growth, whilst maintaining both the high quality of packaging produced and short lead times that differentiates us from our competitors.”

Whilst the foam produced by the new equipment will be used to help businesses move away from single trip, disposable packaging, there are other strategies that GWP are offering to minimise their customers’ environmental impact too.

“Whilst many will switch to reusable packaging, GWP Group are also transitioning many customers away from plastics in favour of packaging manufactured from 100% recyclable materials.

“There is, however, a strong environmental case for returnable packaging in many manufacturing industries, with less packaging entering the waste stream and less energy consumed in the recycling process”

The company is part of the larger GWP Group that was purchased by Macfarlane Packaging in February of last year.

Ian Heskins, group business development Director at GWP, said: “Macfarlane has been both receptive to and supportive of our plans for ongoing growth, which is a reflection of the success GWP has achieved over the last couple of years. This new equipment not only future proofs the manufacturing element of our business but will enable us to exploit new opportunities moving into 2022”.

GWP Group currently employs around 100 people across two sites in Wiltshire, at Cricklade and Salisbury, designing and manufacturing a wide range of bespoke packaging products. The wider Macfarlane Group comprises more than 900 employees, with sales of £230 million in 2020 across the UK, Europe, and US.

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