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Kirwan Print pushes into packaging

Wednesday, 23 May 2018
By Graham Osborne

Roger Kirwan (r) with new GM Carl Butchard , in front of the latest Foxcil purchase – a Brotech label finishing line

Kirwan Print Group is planning a major expansion that will include doubling its factory size and investing in new technology to transform the group’s Roller Poster unit into full service flexible packaging company called Creatabull Flexibles.

“We’re buying one large packaging press that will complement our existing Simon VK flexo press by adding increased speed and capacity,” said Kirwan founder and managing director, Roger Kirwan. “We’ve yet to make a final decision on the exact type of press but we’re pretty far down the track. We’re also looking at buying new converting and finishing equipment.” Earlier this year, Kirwan travelled to Israel to join hundreds of HP Indigo customers at a three-day event to showcase the company’s range of production printing and packaging technologies.

Work will begin later this year to expand the company’s factory at Short Street, Brookvale in northern Sydney.

“There’s a vacant site next to our existing factory and we’ll start building a new facility later this year that will house our new packaging operation,” said Kirwan. “The buildings will eventually be joined together so that everything will be under one roof. We’ll go from a total of about 6,000 sq.m to 12,000 sq.m.”

The Kirwan MD has moved into a new “Special projects” role to oversee the expansion strategy, handing over the day-to-day running of Kirwan Group companies Foxcil (For Trade labels & stickers), Roller Poster and to the new general manager for the group, Carl Butchard.

“To grow the business, I needed to move from working in the business to working on the business,” said Kirwan. “I’ve spent the last six months accessing the way forward for the group and will need another six months of implementation of our strategy.

“Foxcil continues strongly, and the trade-only model for Foxcil is important to us. Most of our customers understand the importance of Foxcil being the only true full-service trade-only label supplier, and our aggressive investment in latest technologies over the last few years for Foxcil has paid off as we have successfully disrupted the market in this space. We see no immediate changes for Foxcil.”

The name of the company’s Roller Poster business – which currently supplies printed rolls of plastics – will immediately be changed to Creatabull Flexibles and become a flexible packaging company.

“Flexible packaging is the market we have chosen to disrupt next and widening the Roller Poster offer to best utilise our existing equipment and coupling it with the latest available technology is our next move,” said Kirwan. “Essentially, Roller Poster we will be turning into a full-service flexible packaging company – with a modern digital twist, and our name needs to now reflect this.

“Our new Brand – Creatabull Flexibles – will offer service and turnaround times not ever seen in the Flexible packaging industry in Australia.”

Kirwan Print Group is a family-owned company that owns a group of specialist print companies focused on supplying the print industry – print companies, print procurement specialists, print agencies and print designers.

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