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'Our expertise isn't limited'

18 July 2011

David Hayward, MD of Linkx Systems, talks to Food Express about the company, including its work with the food and beverage sector

Could you describe Linkx Systems in your own words?
Linkx Systems is a provider of packaging machinery applications for the food and drink industries. Our core business is the design and manufacture of secondary / transit packaging solutions. Our customers for these services are generally blue chip companies who are looking for 24/7 operation with extremely flexible and adaptable machinery solutions to suit the continuously changing demands in the supply chain. We also supply a range of equipment from Italian manufacturers SIAT - for cost effective start up and intermediate packaging applications, and PACTUR - for presentation packaging applications.

Could you describe how and when Linkx Systems was founded?
Doug Reilly and David Hayward founded Linkx Systems inJuly 2007. We'd both been involved in packaging machinery applications for many years. We could see a better way of doing things so decided to put our vision into action!

How was the company affected by the recession - if at all? And how have you found the recovery?
We've grown at an exceptional rate through the recession from two men in a shed to a team in excess of 25 employees in a new purpose-designed manufacturing plant.

How much business do you do with the food & drink sector?
Eighty per cent of our business is with the food and drink sector, the other 20% from pharmaceutical, cosmetic and pet food industries.

How important is 'lean manufacturing' to your company?
We're continuously improving our internal processes and 'lean manufacturing' is key to delivering our products on time and to budget. We also design our machines to ensure customers can take advantage of lean processes - by decreasing cycle time, increasing production and producing less waste.

What sets you apart from your competitors?
We primarily provide a full service to our customers - we work with our customers to provide packaging solutions using high-end technology to achieve their objectives. Our expertise is by no means limited to the development of individual machines. We have wide experience in designing and implementing complete packaging lines and integrating packaging systems with existing production lines.

Could you elaborate on the hierarchy in your company?
We have a very flexible workforce with a sales and application, design, process, manufacturing and service teams all workingclosely together.

Could you tell us more about your background with respect to the food & beverage sector?
As mentioned above, about 80% of our business comes fromthe food and beverage industries. We supply to companies such as Unilever,Premier Foods, Birds Eye Igloo, Twinings and British Sugar to name a few.

How important are exhibitions such as Foodex, Pro2Pac and Total to Linkx Systems?
We've exhibited at Pro2Pac and Total which have helped us build our profile in the industry. We've had great successes at all the exhibitions we've attended. It was important to get our name out there when we first started and it's equally important to continue exhibiting to show our ever expanding machine portfolio.

'Sustainability' is the new buzzword in the food sector. Has this created more opportunities for you?
Packaging machinery applications follow customer marketing trends. We try to incorporate potential cost saving and value adding opportunities associated with sustainable manufacturing practices of packaging machinery. Our customers are looking for ways of reducing consumption of packaging materials, energy, and ancillary products, such as adhesives. We workto their requirements while promoting the use of automation and innovative technologies, while also trying to provide easy to operate, flexible machinery that can run multiple products and product formats with fast and repeatable product changeovers.

Anything else you'd like to add?
The introduction of servo technology into packaging machinery can transform a good machine into and exceptional machine with subsequent increase in performance, production throughput and efficiencies.

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