Leeds Vacuum Formers (LVF) has invested a million pounds in new machinery, warehouse facilities and supporting infrastructure, which it says will enable it to double its turnover within the next five years.
The West Yorkshire-based thermoformed packaging specialist has spent £400,000 on a KMD 78 Speedformer machine, and £600,000 on the expansion of its Hunslet Business Park headquarters.
Nigel Coates, managing director of LVF, said:
“We’ve grown by at least ten per cent every year for the last seven years, but we were fast approaching capacity, both in terms of production and warehousing space. Therefore, some expansion was needed simply to accommodate anticipated levels of annual growth, but with major expansion in mind the decision was made to invest heavily.”
Once building work is complete later this summer, LVF’s facilities will have increased in size by 30 per cent. Initially the new space will be used for short-term warehousing, with particular emphasis on work in progress – namely the storage of pre-production material and recently completed orders for quick dispatch. Although in the long term, it provides the capacity for the significant expansion of production facilities.
The first element of this production expansion is the KMD 78 Speedformer, which went into full operation earlier this month. Manufactured in Germany by Kiefel it is the world’s best-selling thermoforming machine and is designed to enable the rapid and low cost production of rigid plastic packaging products.
The works also includes a new electrical substation and an energy efficient Adiabatic water cooling system
The electrical substation, which equates to £100,000 of the £1million investment, is being built to provide LVF with access to the high voltage (HV) element of the National Grid network – a must in order for the company to operate at an increased capacity and make the most of a planned expansion of its solar panel system from 70kW to 150kW.
“Come the end of the summer we’ll have the foundations in place to put our ambitious business expansion plans into action,” continued Nigel. “And that’s a challenge I’m already looking forward to.”
As part of LVF’s expansion, the company has also confirmed plans to increase staffing levels by 25 per cent – with nine new jobs due to be created by the end of 2015.
LVF has invested heavily in recent years. This includes £100,000 being spent on the expansion of its tool room and the purchase of a third CNC milling machine in 2014. £50,000 being spent on a second CNC milling machine in 2013 and £400,000 being invested in a Kiefel thermoforming line in 2012. The company has also invested £90,000 in a variety of green initiatives over the last 18-months, which have significantly benefitted both itself and the environment.