Stoelzle Flaconnage unveils upgraded UK facility

Glass packaging specialist reinvents itself as a ‘one stop shop’

Glass supplier Stölzle Flaconnage has officially opened its upgraded Knottingly factory and new customer centre, inviting customers to view the improvements first hand. The company, part of CAG Holding’s Stölzle Glass Group, has invested over £15m in upgrades beginning in 2008 with a fifth IS single and double gob machine and due for completion in Q1 2011 with the introduction of packing robots.

Stölzle’s Knottingly factory, which specialises in glass packaging for masstige and luxury cosmetics as well as premium spirits, has made substantial additions to its decoration facility as part of the company’s bid to become a “one stop shop” for glass packaging. These include: a new lehr; a six-colour printing machine; two three-colour close registration printing machines; two organic spray machines; automatic etching machinery; heat release transfer for multicolour decals; and a hot foil stamping system that is unique in the UK. A new eco-chimney was also installed to meet legislation on reduction in smoke levels.

In addition to its decoration facility, the company will be showing attendees its recently commissioned furnace – fired up on 4 January 2010 – its enhanced mould centre, for the creation of pilot moulds and for mould repair, and its newly built customer centre.

According to Stölzle Glass Group ceo Johannes Schick, there were several primary motives for such extensive investment.

“We felt that if we didn’t do it [upgrade], we would miss out on utilising our key target, which is supplying our customers with what they want,” he told SPC. “We want to be on their [the customers'] short-list and to give the impression that if we were on their short-list, they would do better. And we wanted our employees to have the knowledge that whatever leaves this factory will be prestigious, for their job satisfaction.”

Schick gives the improved mould facility – which has reduced the creation of pilot moulds from an average time-scale of six weeks to two – as an example of the company’s commitment to providing value for its customers. “Once a perfumery company has asked for a new shape, it is key in the first few weeks to get a pilot on the table,” he said. “That’s why we developed it [the mould facility] and that’s how we can compete with India and China, with service, speed and a proactive approach.”