Phoenix Group has increased capacity at its filling facilities fivefold thanks to a new, six-figure investment in its production capabilities.

The new bottling line was installed at the company’s Nottinghamshire factory in March at a cost of £120,000 and is the first phase of a two-part project to service its increasing share of the cold pressed rapeseed and coconut oil markets in the UK and overseas.

Adding automated capping and filling processes to existing automated labelling, it allows for easy switching between product types for shorter runs as well as the flexibility to fill volumes from 50 ml up to 1 litre. Its addition means Phoenix can now fill 1,500 bottles per hour compared to 350 previously.

By the time the second upgrade is completed later on this year, adding automated bottle decanter feeds and labelling systems, the line’s capacity will have increased sevenfold in 12 months to 2,200 bottles every hour.

“This investment matches our ambitions for growth and signals a step change in the scale of contracts we can now deliver for our customers. As the biggest player in the cold pressing market, we’re now far ahead of the competition and want to keep building on that. With double production shifts coming into force this month we’ll soon be running 24/7 operations for the first time on this new line, meaning that our output should increase significantly in the coming months.”
Paul Paveling, Production manager for Phoenix Group

The new line is the latest Capex purchase for the UK’s largest producer of cold pressed seed oils and supplier of white label contract filling which, after growing its sales by 35 per cent in 2014, is forecasting a further 50 per cent increase in turnover this year.

With a fourth seed oil press recently installed, Phoenix can now press an extra 3,000 tonnes of seed per year – a third more than before. It can now produce 4 million litres of oil each year – enough for 8 million 500ml bottles.

An additional 5,000 sq ft warehouse and office extension has just been completed at its main production site and the company recently expanded its senior management team with two new appointments to its technical and production teams.

Future planned investments include upgrading the company’s filtration systems to allow up to six million litres of oil per year to be processed by 2016.