UK box maker with Aust presence bought out

With British box maker manufacturer BCS Corrugated now under the ownership of German giant Kolbus Group, Asia Pacific general manager Neil Southerington says he is looking forward to showcasing a high-volume multi-colour flexo printer slotter that allows boxes to be printed on the outside and the inside.

Southerington has managed the Australian presence of BCS Corrugated for three years and is now serving as the company representative of new owner Kolbus Group in the Asia Pacific region.

Kolbus Group, which employs 600 people globally, mostly in Germany and the US, bought UK owned BCS Corrugated in December last year, Southerington said.

Southerington says a benefit of the new ownership by Kolbus, which has operated from its base in the town of Raden, north west Germany, since 1775 is a wide range of new products that are available plus top-notch engineering skills to bring greater research and development to the area.

“Before the buy out we were struggling with our own success. Lead times were getting longer and longer because the order book was full,” Southerington told ProPrint.

“Kolbus have huge resources plus they own their own foundry and have many skilled engineers.

“It is hard to get skilled engineers, you can’t just put an ad in the paper and get them but now we are part of a company with a strong contingent of engineers that can hopefully bring our lead times down and help with research and development which we were having trouble doing in the UK.”

For Southerington the most exciting product he is looking to find homes for is Kolbus’ flexo printer slotter, which cuts, folds and prints boxes on the outside and inside.  The press is made in the US by a company purchased by Kolbus some years ago.

“Traditionally in the large volume area flexo printer slotters printed boxes just on the outside. There was no interest in opening that box and seeing anything on the inside but now there is,” Southerington says.

“Now it might be some sort of competition or instructions so it’s something different again.

“This flexo printer slotter is a new product that came with the Kolbus people.

“There’s lots of companies making these flexo printer slotter’s worldwide, mostly out of China, but to give Kolbus the edge they added this printer that could print on the inside of the box.

“It might be a box to put a Christmas tree in and instead of having a piece of paper the instructions might be printed inside the box.”

Southerington is continuing to supply the popular Autobox for custom box production, which he says is more suited for smaller volumes.

He says box making and printing is the only consistent growth industry in Australian print.

“It is the only growth area in the printing industry, that and display, they are the only two areas that are growing and consistently,” he said.


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