At Leeds-based OPM Group, each piece of equipment has its place and each person is an effective team player working with coordinated effort to provide total customer satisfaction, consistent and reliable product quality, with short lead times to enhance speed-to-market.
The privately-owned business was established more than 40 years ago, originally manufacturing mechanical overprinting machines. It was bought by the current shareholders in 1988 and rapidly began producing plain and printed self-adhesive labels. The addition, in 1999, of a further site allowed for production of flexible packaging. Having relocated all sites to larger premises on the outskirts of Leeds in 2013, owners Chris and Sue Ellison had a clear vision that has been carried through every aspect of business.
There is a natural flow through site, with client-facing operations at the front of the building and production central to operations, all based around improved use of time and just-in-time production. There is even a fully equipped gym and shower facilities to promote staff well-being.
The focus is firmly on customer satisfaction which OPM believes only be achieved by having a fully trained and happy team who are satisfied in their roles. As well as establishing an in-house training academy, backed up by detailed training guides for each job, OPM has brought in external training experts to coach heads of departments. The team has received continual professional development (CPD) in communications, understanding the dynamics of the production chain, staff management, time management and other management skills. It meets once a month to exchange ideas, talk about investment, potential for future innovation, and other issues.
On the factory floor stand six Nilpeter UV flexo presses which are complemented by finishing equipment from Bar Graphic Machinery. In 2013, OPM invested in a Nilpeter FA-5 584 mm 10 colour press with inline solvent lamination. In 2014, it added advanced crossover units for the production of multi-layer labels. The latter enables production of intricate coupons in a number of ways with different features and embellishments. In 2016 inline inkjet was also added to provide sequential numbering.
Consistent and repeatable colour reproduction is achieved across multiple presses on multiple substrates and all presses are calibrated and can record print data. AVT 100% inline print inspection units monitor printed images economically and to reduce human error. All products are produced in line with our certification to PS9000:2011 , ISO 9001:2008, BRC/IoP Global Standard Food Packaging standards Grade AA packaging in a dedicated low migration ink site. A complete colour management system drives efficiencies and avoids downtime on press. Using a combination of X-rite spectrophotometer, a FlexiProof 100 print proofer and a gravimetric GSE inks dispensing system, OPM has automated colour matching in the ink lab. The company also has Ink Manager 6.0, which allows spectral data to be converted into a specific ink formulation.
The output of self-adhesive labels, flow wrap, sachet laminate and lidding film from the factory floor is around 5.2 million metres per month, mainly for the cosmetic, health and beauty, nutrition, automotive, horticultural, household, and pharmaceutical sectors.
OPM offers a fully equipped Esko Studio for artwork and repro file preparation. It enhanced its automation by sharing the Tharstern MIS data to drive Esko’s Automation Engine to achieve a leaner workflow. The system now streamlines and automates artwork/repro and business workflows from estimate to delivery.
OPM has a strong focus on innovation. The company partners customers and suppliers looking beyond traditional markets, to promote new ideas and add diversification to its ever-evolving product offering.
Over the past three years, OPM has delivered a number of innovative new products to market including the thicker closure seal with moisture lock properties, and the peel and seal label with integrated hanger. It is currently progressing a number of “peel and read” labels and tamper evident solutions for a variety of market sectors.
Since 2009, the company has invested more than £6 million in various assets, which include the improved MIS system, printing presses, and ink technology, amongst others.
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