A spokesman for Bradman Lake told In-Pharmatechnologist.com that the company's move was in line with a broader trend in the packaging machinery industry towards consolidation in order to supply as complete a range of packaging services as possible.
With the acquisitions of Autowrappers and Europack, Bradman Lake now offers the entire cartoning workflow, "bringing together two ends of a chain," he noted.
Autowrappers provides the front end of the process - flow and roll wrapping - that handles the individual product rolls or boxes, said the spokesman. Bradman Lake 's cartoning machinery places the products into the cartons, and Europack offers the final shrink-wrapping and corrugated case packing machinery.
Graham Hayes, chief executive officer of the Bradman Lake Group, said that the acquisition will bring immediate benefits to customers: "Our customers are increasingly searching for a fully integrated, comprehensive packaging solution from a single source - and that's exactly what we can now offer."
He went on to claim that very few enterprises are able to deliver the range of technologies and products now in Bradman Lake's portfolio.
Following the acquisition, the Autowrappers, Europack and existing Bradman Lake companies will be combined into one operating business, Bradman Lake Group, with annual sales revenues of around £30 million (€45m). The lion's share of the business comes from the food industry, but a significant portion - around 20-25 per cent - is estimated to come from the pharmaceutical sector.
This makes it a major player in the UK packaging machinery sector, said an independent industry analyst, and a significant presence in Europe, though still smaller than major competitors such as Romaco and Bosch which have divisions specialising in pharmaceuticals.
In general, packaging machinery companies are consolidating in order to achieve the greater commercial strength and offer integrated systems, that allow companies to deal with a single supplier for an entire packaging workflow, he added.
This one-stop-shop approach is preferred by customers who find it easier to deal with one supplier, given that most packaging machinery has to be custom-made to fulfil the specific requirements of its purchaser.