ESTABLISHED in 1841, Packaging Products is very proud of its British and regional north-west manufacturing heritage. The site, in Manchester’s Irk Valley, Collyhurst, has grown organically with a mix of traditional red-brick industrial buildings extending along the bank of the River Irk, north of the city centre.
Inside the factory the modern machinery provides a contrast to the historic surroundings. Packaging Products has had to move with the times and it has taken its production facility forward with it.
The company is famous for its waterproof coatings for paper and this treated paper was used in many sectors of industry but notably the food industry and pharmaceuticals. As its markets changed and demand for its products fluctuated, Packaging Products began to search for other uses and applications of its specialist processes.
It came up with pallet liners, sheets of paper with a grippy coating on both sides that, when placed between loaded pallets massively reduces or even eliminates slippage. Pallet liners increase load safety and reduce the need for excessive plastic wrapping to secure loads. This reduced need for plastic has a big environmental benefit and will help customers to reduce their exposure to the so-called ‘plastic tax’ that will be introduced in 2022.
The pallet liners use similar processes to the waterproof papers the company built its reputation on so Packaging Products then put all its expertise into building a brand-new production line. It used the skills of in-house engineers, locally sourced components, chemicals developed with supplier partners and raw materials from the north-west.
Robert Cornford, production director, explains: “One of Lancashire’s key traditional industries was paper-making and although people have had to be a bit lateral in how they operate, there’s still a lot of specialisation. We’ve tapped into those skills in pneumatics, hydraulics, steam, everything. We’ve got all those skills on-hand.
“Demand for our products is so high because we are actually reducing the amount of packaging our customers need. Less packaging is better for the environment; keep things green. Less packaging is better packaging.”
Packaging Products is a family-run business and Robert’s brother, Andrew, is managing director. He told Made in Britain about the company’s export success. “Forty per cent of our business is export and that is continuing to grow. The market has increased since Brexit. We export all over the world. We have clients across Europe and as far away as Australia and you can’t get any further than that.”
You can find out more about Packaging Products (Coatings) Ltd from its member profile page here.