RUSHDEN, ENGLAND (Nov. 15, 10:15 a.m. ET) — UK-based rigid packaging producer RPC Group plc is expanding its Spanish operation and investing in new technology, despite the country’s current economic crisis.
RPC Envases, the company’s Spanish extrusion blow molding offshoot, has relocated one of its plants to a new 130,000 square foot site near Madrid.
A lack of space to expand its growing business in the town of Arganda Del Rey, just south of Madrid, prompted the Spanish subsidiary to shift production east to a refurbished facility in Campo Real.
To coincide with the move, RPC Envases is making new investment in its capacity to blow mould multi-layer bottles and jars for the food sector, as well as adding fresh technology to injection mold thin wall containers with in-mold labeling.
It did not disclose the sum invested, but described it as “significant.” Nor would it reveal details of its new thin wall container technology project, saying only that it involves the latest advances in injection molding and robotics.
The latest investment in the Spanish business, part of the Rushden-based group since 1997, follows three years of growth in spite of Spain’s economic crisis.
Although the national unemployment rate is running at 25 percent RPC Envases, which has 89 staff, has still managed to double its turnover, according to the group.
The firm carried out a review of its market position in blow molding and has turned for equipment to suppliers including Bekum, Magic and Automa, according to its general manager Juan José Martin.
“We undertook a self-critical attitude and a realistic assessment of our position in the market for blow molded plastic bottles.
“Through this approach, we have redefined the tool configuration and the type of blow molding equipment, which has helped us to reach much higher efficiency and introduce numerous improvements in all production areas,” he said.
One advantage of the new facility is its high level of hygiene which “may allow us to re-enter the market of high-end cosmetics,” the general manager said.
RPC Envases also looked to reducing the energy consumption and cost in the new plant, introducing variable speed eco-friendly compressors and adiabatic cooling equipment for hydraulics.
The move has increased the plant’s production and warehouse area, as well as enlarging the office space. The firm runs a second plant in Cadiz.