£600k Chiron investment seals thermoforming machinery manufacturer’s growth

Jon Mannion (ETG) and Alan Wade (Shawpak).

A manufacturer of thermoforming machinery has made its biggest ever capital investment to help it target new business in the food and medical sectors.

Shawpak, which is a division of Derby-based Riverside Medical Packaging, has spent £600,000 with Engineering Technology Group (ETG) on purchasing a 5-axis Chiron 1250 vertical milling machine that will help it almost halve cycle times on the 80-off customer tools it will produce over the next 12 months.

The high-speed spindle, rotating bed and bespoke workholding from Hyfore means the company can machine up to twenty parts at any one time, with production set to take just 40 hours, instead of the previous 80.

This is a major breakthrough for the firm, who will be now be able to make more tailored machinery for food customers that could generate in excess of £2m of new business over the next 12 months.

Alan Wade, Works and Engineering Director at Shawpak, said: “Demand for our thermoforming technology is growing rapidly, which means we need to manufacture more parts within the same amount of time to keep up with demand.

“Our existing equipment could just about cope, but the time it took to manufacture parts would be so long our lead times may have gone out and we may have missed out on opportunities in the marketplace. That’s when we decided to renew our strategic partnership with Engineering Technology Group and ask it to come up with some options.”