New corrugated board machine for Rigid Containers

Rigid Containers hosted an event at the end of September to celebrate the inauguration of its state-of-the-art corrugated board machine in Wellington, Somerset. Rebecca Pow, MP for Taunton and Deane, was on-hand to officiate the ceremony that marks the company’s £5 million investment.

Mrs Pow gave a short presentation and outlined the high-level plans in place to enhance and further develop the South-West as a region for many businesses. She explained that plans are already in place to improve local road networks and how the region has seen many new companies choose Taunton and district as their new business ‘homes’.

Mrs Pow mentioned several companies that were using Wellington as their base; one of the companies mentioned – The Ministry of Cake – has its packaging supplied by Rigid Containers.

L-R: Michael Schmiedt (BP Agnati), Rebecca Pow MP, Alberto Brivio (BP Agnati), Richard Coward (Rigid Containers MD) and Thilo Konig
L-R: Michael Schmiedt (BP Agnati), Rebecca Pow MP, Alberto Brivio (BP Agnati), Richard Coward (Rigid Containers MD) and Thilo Konig

The company is one of the UK’s leading privately owned corrugated packaging manufacturers. Employing 550 people across the UK and Ireland and generating sales in excess of £115 million per year, the company makes a wide range of packaging products for many different types of industries.

The majority of the packaging made by the company is used for chilled and frozen foods, but other industries served by Rigid Containers include drinks, automotive and dairy. Corrugated packaging is one of the easiest packaging systems to use and is 100 per cent recyclable through local and national recycling centres.

The Wellington site was established in 2013 as a distribution hub for customers in the South-West of England, and the company had always planned to install a range of box making machines. Once the printing and die-cutting machines were installed during late 2013 and early 2014, corrugated sheets were produced at the company’s Desborough (Northants) headquarters and shipped to Wellington for printing and assembly.

“We realised quite early on that eventually, we would have the required capacity to install a corrugated board making machine at the Wellington site,” explained Richard Coward, group managing director. “In early 2015, we were satisfied that the volumes were being achieved that justified the purchase of a small corrugator – we chose to work with a leading Italian machine-maker, BP Agnati, and specified a Quantum corrugator.”

Julian Freeman, group sales and marketing director, added: “The site at Wellington was a logical step for us and with a steady growth in demand from existing as well as new customers, this new corrugator will enable us to further increase our service levels to a growing customer base in the region.”

The majority of the 65 staff employed at the Wellington facility are from the local community. The company is aiming to employ around 100 people within a year. A detailed training scheme has been put in place to ensure operators achieve the highest levels of productivity in a safe and friendly environment.