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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW Coating & Laminating Always on the move

Ferrisgate Coatings is never standing still. Specialising in coating and laminating applications but always looking to develop into new areas, here the company exclusively shares its thoughts on why being agile and flexible in business can prove to be hugely beneficial

Since 1981, Ferrisgate Coatings has been providing coating, laminating and adhesive

technology for solvent, water-based, hot melt and UV curing applications for a wide range of materials and substrates. The company’s equipment and procedures at its site in Thetford, Norfolk, stem from its main ethos of developing new areas and going ‘the extra mile’ to provide customers with the specific support they need. After a management buyout in 2002, Ferrisgate started concentrating on toll coating and laminating for food packaging products, which has since become a very successful sector for the company. But its abilities do not end there. Here, Richard Cummins, Ferrisgate’s managing director, introduces the company and discusses its operations that stretch across the industry. “We do a variety of different products for the food packaging industry,” he says. “It is very much specifically led by the customer and it’s an interesting market with the regulations that it goes under that are constantly changing. We put different types of materials together in different coatings depending on the application that is needed. “For example, we produce the adhesive for sealing food packaging like salad trays; because these give off moisture, we put an anti-fog coating on the see-through film to stop it misting up as the salad breathes.”

The company is BRC (British Retail Consortium) accredited under the Global Standard for Packaging and Packaging Materials and also as a food packaging supplier. Cummins explains that as a supplier to a global market, legislation across various countries is changing all the time and therefore customer requirements alter quite often and Ferrisgate has to keep up. The American market is different to the European market, he says, and products differ between the two as a result, despite these areas growing rapidly into new parts of the world such as Africa and Asia.

Staying ahead of the changes “The biggest challenge here is the constant level of changes,” continues Cummins. “There’s always something new that leads the corresponding country’s Government down a route that is different to our route so there’s a lot of research and development to be done to constantly look into this. Whether it be solvents within the product, the adhesive technology we use or just simply the legislation changes, for different countries there are so many various applications. We just have to be ready to cater to whatever the customer needs.” Ferrisgate specialises in a wide range of laminating applications such as crystal, gloss, matt PVC and super clear perm pressure sensitive adhesives for ink-jet,

photographic and paper based prints and even for mounting onto standard substrates like rigid PVC, foamboard, card and in other cases, windows and glass surfaces. As well as the company’s many different coating abilities, including reverse gravure and meyer bar, Ferrisgate also specialises in siliconising hot melt coating technology with UV curing stations. In working with technology companies to research new sectors, Ferrisgate is always looking to grow its portfolio and attract new customers.

One-on-one partnerships One of the company’s newest areas within the last 12 months is lighting systems, developed for growing plants and vegetables to get a better 'gram per watts of electric' that only produces the relevant band of light to make plants grow. “We have a good attitude to try and work with people one-on-one and we take an interest in what they’re trying to do,” says Cummins. “When you are coating food packaging products continuously, anything that is different or unusual really interests us and our R&D department, and we’re looking to take this even further in the future. “The automotive industry has potential

growth for us, especially for higher-end specification products like double-sided tapes. It’s amazing how many tapes are used to hold things together in the manufacturing of cars! The British motor industry is quite buoyant at the moment and we’re excited to potentially work with new companies, starting small scale for us, but it’s an area we would like to develop.”

T: +44 (0)1842 766308

14 November 2015

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