Cardway Cartons boosts production and expands offering with first investment in BOBST machinery

UK-based designer and manufacturer of corrugated packaging, Cardway Cartons Ltd, has boosted production capacity and expanded its offering with the installation of the BOBST EXPERTFOLD 165 at its 55,000 sq ft Alsager facility.

(from left to right): Gerald Keeler (Managing Director), Ben Keeler (Business Development Manager), Paul Norcup (Production Manager) and Tim Morris (Production Director).

Installed earlier this year, the EXPERTFOLD 165 offers exceptional reliability and folding precision and is ideally suited to the demands of modern high-speed, high-output packing lines. With more than 20 units installed in the UK since its introduction, it has proved a popular choice for independent companies due to the added value it brings to production, accessibility and return on investment.

“Being located in an area known as the Staffordshire Potteries, our core customer base has historically been chinaware and hospitality, and while that’s still a very strong relationship we have also developed a big customer base in food, medical and pharma markets as well,” explained Ben Keeler, Business Development Manager with Cardway Cartons. “We produce most types of corrugated packaging, with bulk cases very much our bread and butter.

“We have found a lot of our customers were requiring gluing and that was really the main driver for us in making this investment. We were essentially receiving too much work for the current folder-gluer to handle, and we needed a machine that could help us cope with increasing demand.”

Effective at producing complicated packaging designs, Ben said the machine has enabled Cardway to offer its customers even greater freedom for innovation and creativity.

“It gives us the capacity to increase our range offering and meet the growing demand for bigger boxes,” added Ben. “Previously, we might have had to hand-glue boxes of this size, or even turn the job down if the volume was too big to handle, but not now. This ability, combined with the running speed and digital, automated set-up, is helping boost the speed of production and increase capacity, as well as growing our business offering.

“The automation means that once you’ve set up a box, its details are stored in the computer which helps reduce set-up and eliminate dead time,” he said. “This also helps increase accuracy, eliminating problems on the line and reducing waste, which is important to us from a sustainability standpoint.”

Established in 1977, Cardway has been supplying businesses with high-quality packaging solutions for over 45 years. The business is fully committed to using market leading machinery to deliver high levels of efficiency and to supply top quality packaging to its customers. “When our MD connected with BOBST’s sales lead Nick Geary at a trade show, we already knew we wanted to invest in a new multi-purpose folder-gluer,” said Ben. “We wanted to get the best and we were looking to go with the market-leading machines, and we were impressed by what we saw.

“We believe the EXPERTFOLD 165 is the best, and from what we’ve seen at the moment we feel we made the right decision,” he said. “The new machine is running alongside our previous folder-gluer and it’s no exaggeration to say that we’re seeing jobs going through at three times the speed they were previously.”

This is the first BOBST investment for Cardway. Ben added: “The new machine was installed mid-to-late February this year and has been up and running a couple of months,” he said. “The BOBST trainers are still visiting the plant to work with our operators, ensuring the highest level of training and addressing any issues that arise,” he said.

Nick Geary, Bobst UK & Ireland Business Sales Manager, said the investment by Cardway was another example of successful independent businesses seeing the value of the EXPERTFOLD 165. “The machine is a popular choice in terms of delivering quality at incredible speed, while delivering against sustainability objectives by reducing waste through assured accuracy,” he said.

“With this folder-gluer, we’re making the highest quality machine accessible for independent businesses,” he said. “I am delighted that Ben and the Cardway team are already benefiting from such a huge impact on their business, as the BOBST EXPERTFOLD delivers against the four pillars of our business – improved connectivity, sustainability, digitization and automation.”

We are one of the world’s leading suppliers of substrate processing, printing and converting equipment and services for the label, flexible packaging, folding carton and corrugated board industries. 

​Founded in 1890 by Joseph Bobst in Lausanne, Switzerland, BOBST has a presence in more than 50 countries, runs 19 production facilities in 11 countries and employs more than 6 100 people around the world. The firm recorded a consolidated turnover of CHF 1.841 billion for the year ended December 31, 2022.