What is the Sheet Plant Association?

Sheet_Plant_Association_Industry_Trade_Body

At Dairi-Pak, we operate to the Sheet Plant Association's Five Star standard. 

Dairi-Pak's Managing Director, Tim Gray, explains exactly what the Sheet Plant Association is, its function and how it benefits you, our customers;

"I am Chairman of the UK Sheet Plant Association (SPA) and Owner/MD of Shropshire based cardboard packaging firm, Dairi-Pak.

Since joining the company as a graduate of Plymouth University in 1991, I have been striving to make Dairi-Pak one of the most highly regarded, privately owned, Sheet Plants in the UK by adopting Best Practice wherever possible. This passion drove me to get involved with the Sheet Plant Association, where I have been on the Executive Committee for 20 years, the past 10 years as Chairman.

The Sheet Plant Association under my stewardship has a very clear purpose; namely to make our member companies better businesses by adopting Best Practice. The SPA identifies threats and opportunities for the industry.  It then, with the help of well regarded professionals, establishes the agreed Best Practice.  This Best Practice and knowledge is then disseminated at low or no cost to our members.  It covers training for industry specific skills and knowledge, personal development, operating to high ethical standards, providing a safe working environment and employee, customer and supplier relationship development.  

For clarity it is worth defining what a Sheet Plant is;  a corrugated cardboard packaging manufacturer that relies upon a supplier to deliver its raw material (corrugated sheet board). Simply put, a Sheet Plant cuts, creases, prints and glues corrugated sheet supplied by a Sheet Feeder. Sheet Plants differ from ‘Integrated’ Box Plants as the latter have a corrugator (a machine that makes sheet board from reels of paper) under the same roof.  I could be accused of generalisation but a Sheet Plant would tend to be smaller, more flexible, more entrepreneurial and deal mainly with SMEs. Where Integrated Box Plants tend to deal with larger Blue Chip clients due to their plant capacity and economies of scale. That said there are always exceptions to every rule.

Dairi-Pak are unusual in that we have a substantial Shareholding in a Sheet Feeder in Scunthorpe called CorrBoard UK.  CorrBoard UK is a cooperative venture between several Sheet Plants who wanted greater control over their supply chain. This gives us some advantages, not least guaranteed lead times on our raw materials all year round. A relief for sure having been reliant on a tight sheet feeding market for many years before our CorrBoard investment.

CorrBoard_UK_Dairi-Pak
CorrBoard UK (and CorrBoard Bioenergy) - Scunthorpe 

The sheet plant sector of the UK corrugated industry is thriving. This is the result of substantial investment, an entrepreneurial willingness to innovate and be flexible, the ability to quickly adopt new processes/practices and make bespoke packaging in any quantity to very short lead times. Being fleet of foot and having a willingness to tailor a corrugated packaging solution for a client guarantees the future of dynamic sheet plants in this growing market.  Add to this the professional support of a Trade Body such as the Sheet Plant Association - UK Sheet Plants are arguably at the cutting edge of change and at the pinnacle of customer service in our Industry."

We operate an open house policy at our manufacturing site in Shropshire and at CorrBoard UK and would be pleased to welcome you on a site tour.  Get in touch with one of our team to arrange sales@dairi-pak.co.uk

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