Leeds packaging firm invests £1m into expansion strategy

Thursday, Jul 23, 2015

Leeds Vacuum Formers (LVF) has invested £1m in new machinery, warehouse facilities and supporting infrastructure, which will help the firm double its turnover within the next five years.

The West Yorkshire-based thermoformed packaging specialist has spent £400k on a KMD 78 Speedformer machine, and £600k on the expansion of its Hunslet Business Park headquarters.

Once building work is complete later this summer, LVF’s facilities will have increased in size by 30%.

The first part 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 cost £100k of the £1m investment, is being built to provide LVF with access to the high voltage (HV) element of the National Grid network. This will allow 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.

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.

“Come the end of the summer we’ll have the foundations in place to put our ambitious business expansion plans into action. And that’s a challenge I’m already looking forward to.”

In addition, LVF has also confirmed plans to increase its workforce by 25%, with nine new jobs due to be created by the end of 2015.

This is just one of many major investments LVF has made in recent years, which includes £100k being spent on the expansion of its tool room and the purchase of a third CNC milling machine in 2014. £50k spent on a second CNC milling machine in 2013 and £400k invested in a Kiefel thermoforming line in 2012. The company has also invested £90k in a wide range of green initiatives over the last 18-months, which have significantly benefitted both itself and the environment.

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