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Official opening  of  plant extensions and new equipment in Limerick

Rigid Containers completes 8 million EUR investment in Limerick, Ireland, and announces plans to increase workforce by 30% in the next two years. The announcement was made last week during the official opening of two major extensions and the launch of new state of the art conversion equipment.

Rigid Containers - Official opening of the plant extensions in Limerick, Ireland

The southern extension is 880 square metres and accommodates a new materials handling system. The western extension consists of a 708 square metre ground floor and a 400 square metre of mezzanine floor. The ground floor accommodates a new gluing machine and ancillary equipment, while the mezzanine allows for more offices, meeting rooms and other staff facilities.

The new materials handling system installed as part of the overall investment consists of three double-bay transfer shuttles, 23 lanes of belt conveyor, additional storage space for what is known as ‘Work in Progress’ (WIP), new corrugator take-off area and a new belt conveyor to feed the Texo rotary die-cutter and the new gluer.

30% growth of production volume since acquisition in 2015

In 2015 VPK Packaging Group bought ICS Europaks as a going concern. Since then Rigid Containers Limerick has operated and grown as a business unit, producing high-end corrugated packaging for industry, consumer goods, food & beverages, pharma & medical, and e-commerce.

Rigid Containers has significantly invested in facilities and technology, and providing sponsorship and support to voluntary groups in Limerick city and county, while pursuing a deliberate procurement strategy that focuses on sourcing local suppliers for non-commodity expenditure.

Rigid Containers - Official opening of the plant extensions in Limerick, Ireland

Mark Munnelly, Rigid Containers Site Director, said, “Rigid Containers has quickly established itself as a centre of excellence for quality service through flexibility and operational excellence. Since taking over in 2015, we have grown our production volume by 30%, with plans for further expansion. While investment in both manufacturing technology and  facilities are central to the progress made by Rigid Containers to date, our sustainable competitive advantage lays with our talented and committed 95 staff members, many with over 20 year experience in the industry.

Rigid Containers - Official opening of the plant extensions in Limerick, Ireland

“We are now formulating plans to introduce a third shift that will increase our employee numbers by a further 25 to 30 jobs over the next two years,” Mr Munnelly said.

“We are also committed to the local community, and welcome the opportunities to get involved with voluntary groups and organisations. We are currently sponsoring underage GAA teams in Limerick and Limerick City FC women’s team, so our competitiveness goes far beyond the business park, and our investment in the county’s future goes beyond our 100% sustainable packaging and pursuit of local suppliers where possible.” 

Officially opening the newly extended site Jean-Paul Macharis, Chairman and Managing Director of VPK Packaging Group, said, “As a family run business our investment strategy has always been to derive value from long term investment programmes. The Limerick business unit is a perfect example of this approach as we see local management combining capital investment with a realignment of the cost base and operational excellence to underpin our commercial strategy.”