Dairy Crest, Nampak Plastics unveil efficiency-driven 'link building' investment

By Mark ASTLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Nampak site manager, Carl Jones, Dairy Crest CEO, Mark Allen, and Nampak Plastics managing director, Eric Collins, at the combined site.
Nampak site manager, Carl Jones, Dairy Crest CEO, Mark Allen, and Nampak Plastics managing director, Eric Collins, at the combined site.

Related tags: Dairy crest, Bottle

Dairy Crest and Nampak Plastics have unveiled a “link building” between their neighbouring plants in Foston, Derbyshire - an investment that enables the movement of plastic milk bottles from one to the other via conveyor belt rather than vehicle.

As a result of the investment, all bottling machines at Nampak’s HDPE bottle plant on Dove Valley Industrial Estate in Foston feed directly into an adjacent Dairy Crest facility. Prior to this, bottles manufactured at Nampak’s Foston plant would be packed onto trucks and transported next door to the Dairy Crest plant.

Manufacturing equipment at Nampak’s plant has also been converted to produce two and four litre Infini bottles – the company's innovative lightweight plastic milk bottle.

Dairy Crest invested around £1.1m in the venture, while Nampak ploughed more than £5m into the development, DairyReporter.com understands.

Conveyor belts rather than wagons

According to Dairy Crest, this investment takes it a step close to having “the most efficient dairies in the UK.” 

Speaking with DairyReporter.com earlier today, Dairy Crest revealed that it is anticipating “threefold” ​savings as a result of the investment.

“A new link building between the milk bottling site and the adjacent Nampak factory that makes plastic bottles means there is a reduced need for vehicle movement across a site that can bottle up to 250m litres of milk per annum,” ​said a statement from Dairy Crest.

“The new link building means that bottles are now moved between factories on conveyor belts rather than by wagons, as they were in the past.”

“This has led to the reduction in vehicle movement across the site which has consequently seen a fall in overall emissions and diesel fuel use,” ​the statement added.

The company is also anticipating savings through an overall reduction in packaging waste and carbon emissions, and improvements in safety.

More jobs in Foston

The combined Foston site currently employs around 165 people, according to Nampak.

Through the investment, the workforce of the combined site could increase by a third, it added.

“Being an in-plant bottle manufacturer provides a lot of environmental benefits, such as reducing the cost of transporting empty bottles to dairies for filling. These changes mean we can really make the most of that facility and we’re delighted that it will also enable us to create more jobs in Foston,”​ said Nampak Foston site manager, Carl Jones.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Fresh Milk

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