Articles & Case Studies


Posted: Wednesday 19th March 2014

When Emballator Packaging Ltd, the largest metal can manufacturer in the UK, took the decision to develop a new plastic division at its Bradford headquarters, the company turned to PipeKit, a specialist plastic pipe distributor, to supply Astore ABS pipework and fittings.

Over the last four years the additives used in paint have been changed following revised V.O.C regulations and has led to more paints becoming water rather than solvent based. As a result, more containers are being made from plastic rather than metal and as a metal can manufacturer, Emballator Packaging needed to respond to the changes. The first phase, which commenced two years ago and was completed earlier this year, saw the Swedish owned company invest £5,000,000 to design and build a purpose built plastic division to the business and meet the changing face of the the paint industry.

The 4,000m2 new tooling and moulding plastic plant, part of a large refurbished mill complex, required high quality ABS pipework to meet the specification and installation requirements of the two new large water cooling circuits. The Emballator Packaging team preferred Astore ABS pipes and fittings, a cost effective brand to address the exacting technical and performance requirements and selected PipeKit to supply the range due to its competitive pricing, extensive range and superior technical support.

Commenting on PipeKit’s involvement in the project, Mike Leach, Engineering Manager at Emballator Packaging said: “PipeKit’s competitive pricing allowed us to keep within our budget but it was not the attractive rates that impressed us the most. The distributor’s extensive range, which also includes ancillary items, its excellent technical support, both on the web and first hand, and prompt response and delivery of product to site were all first rate”. He continues: “We were often thinking on our feet and needing to respond to evolving demands from the project. It often resulted in us needing to change or add to our orders or require additional technical support and PipeKit always accommodated those needs. The experience has led to PipeKit becoming a preferred supplier”.

The products supplied by PipeKit including Astore ABS pipes and fittings, as well as shut-off and relief valves, seals and solvents, were used in the installation of the water cooling circuits fundamental in the new plastic injection moulding process. Astore ABS combines high levels of corrosion resistance with superior durability, making it the ideal choice for the low temperature fluid transportation within the water cooling circuits. One circuit serves to cool the paint containers during production and operates at 5 bar. Whilst the other circuit works to cool the six hydraulic oil cooling moulding machines, operating at 4 bar. Furthermore, Astore ABS is a lightweight, solvent welding jointing technology solution that helped reduce labour time and decrease installation costs.

The new plastic moulding set up is part of a larger, more long term vision by Emballator Packaging, to continue to expand the offering and build its plastics division up alongside the existing metal processing plant. This vision will benefit customers including Crown Paints, who are now able to dual source their metal and plastic paint containers from one company. Over the next 18 months other additional units are being considered to help drive the business forward and based on the completed new facility to date, the company is expected to achieve a year one turnover of over £3,000,000.

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