Content - Utz UK aims to box clever to double output and boost jobs

  • 27 March 2014

Utz UK aims to box clever to double output and boost jobs

The online success of companies such as Next and the expansion of Jaguar Land Rover has prompted a Derbyshire plastic factory to invest in a £3.5 million extension. Swiss-oned George Utz at Clover Nook Industrial Estate produces a million containers each year for use in warehouse and supply chain operations. Anticipating further demand for its products, the expansion project aims to increase output by 100%. The company also expects to take on between 35 and 40 people in the coming years.

Utz UK aims to box clever to double output and boost jobs

George Utz also supplies its boxes to retailers such as John Lewis, Tesco, TK Maxx, Boots and Argos. In the automotive sector, George Utz supplies products to Rolls-Royce, BMW and Bentley. Consolidation in the logistics sector combined with a desire for greater inventory accuracy has resulted in increased sales of company's containers. The new factory extension will include extra manufacturing space, more offices and warehousing to meet the increased demand for both stands off-the-shelf boxes and its bespoke products for specific customers ‘needs. George Utz is also increased its profile in the food processing, waste management and pharmaceutical markets that require specialist designs.

The manufacturing space will house a large 2,700-tonne injection moulding machine to complement the 650 to 1,000-tonne machine range. The tonnage is indicative of the clamping force of the machine to produce larger products when the liquid plastic is injected into the tool during the high-temperature manufacturing process. Carsten Diekmann, general manager, said: "Our plastic containers are primarily used in the retail and automotive markets where they are used to move parts around supply chain companies ‘distribution centres. The UK is moving in the right direction and, although it is still tough, there are lots of positive signals. We make approximately a million products a year and with this investment, we are looking to double our output. The building work should be completed by Christmas and then the additional injection moulding and vacuum forming equipment will be installed.

Founded in Switzerland in 1947, the parent company is looking to the factory to increase capability over the next six years. Mr Diekmann said: "This growth will be organic and steady. This is a cultural approach based upon our extensive knowledge of the markets we sell in to and our underlying commitment to the UK where we plan also to increase our workforce. 'Green technologies' such as solar panels, LED lighting and heat recycling will be built into the development. Building green technologies into the fabric of the new extension is also part of the Georg Utz approach because it is also about reducing costs and working in a smarter and more sustainable environment."