MPS Belfast takes a press to impress its customers

Manufacturing healthcare cartons requires an eye for detail and the latest MPS Belfast investment is designed to ensure customers receive top notch quality and service

Westrock’s MPS healthcare cartons facility in Belfast has invested in a Speedmaster XL 106-6+LYYLX press from Heidelberg to enable it to meet customer demand for shorter run lengths, faster delivery, high quality and legibility.

“As many medicines have lost their patent protection there has been an increase in demand for shorter run lengths, faster lead times and exact product quantities,” says Alan Porter, operations director at the Belfast plant. “In addition we have to meet the requirements of some of the bigger pharma companies for larger order quantities, meaning longer runs. This technology enables an agile approach to quality, service and accuracy at the Belfast site for our customers.”

This six-colour 18,000sph press with double coaters is highly specified. Autoplate XL2 and Hycolor Multi Drive will provide fast and simultaneous plate changing and wash ups to minimise press set up times, shaving valuable minutes off the order to delivery timescales.

Inpress Control 2, a closed loop colour system, will measure and adjust colour on the fly and is calibrated to run in conjunction with MPS’s standardised and rationalised colour library. In addition an inline Prinect Inspection Control with PDF verification will check the data content. This is believed to be the first Heidelberg inspection system in the healthcare market to feature a bad sheet ejection system. MPS Belfast pharmaceutical customers can rest easy that the branding and contents data will be tightly controlled all the time, every time.

“This is a significant step forward within quality control and adds value to our downstream departments by helping to further reduce variation. We will soon be able to identify any defect sheets with a serial number that will provide us with full traceability,” says Mr Porter.

“The investment in a new press had to fit our strategy to meet the customer service and quality expectations of all our customers. We are now ideally equipped to meet the current market needs of quick turnaround times, high production speeds and, crucially, a ‘right first time’ approach.”

This is the first Heidelberg press at this plant. Gary Wilkinson, key account and VLF executive, says: “This is a major step forward in technology and automation for MPS Belfast. We have supplied a very highly specified machine but, as importantly, we have trained teams of operators at Brentford and at the manufacturing hub in Wiesloch to ensure everyone is ready for the start-up of the new press and able to maximise its capability. This is a press that is right for MPS but, as importantly, will give real service and quality advantages to its customers.”