Based in Selby, Yorkshire, Bottle Decoration Solutions (BDS) was founded in 2013 to provide food and beverage producers, glass container manufacturers and brand developers a cost-effective way to add value to bottle packaging through decoration.
18 months ago, BDS recognised that more and more of its customers were looking for an additional service to complement their existing business: the bespoke nucleation of drinking glasses.
As Colin Waller, managing director of BDS, explains: “Nucleation is the process of marking the bottom of the inside of a glass with a specific mark, logo or design, which promotes additional bubbles within drinks. It keeps the head on your pint for longer.”
Conventionally achieved using a pad printer, this method of nucleation is time, cost and labour intensive. This meant that often BDS would turn work away rather than commit to fulfilling the job with a pad printer.
A more efficient approach to the process is laser nucleation. It is not widely adopted outside major glass manufacturers, so BDS put itself at the forefront of its sector by going down this route. After a thorough assessment of the market, BDS initially approached four different suppliers, ultimately opting for the Synrad v40 Laser from Laser Lines.
As Colin continues: “The quality of the response from Laser Lines, from our initial enquiry through to installation, was excellent. We found the team there to be extremely knowledgeable. It was very much a two-way relationship, with a healthy exchange of ideas right from the outset to ensure we chose the right solution for our business.
“When we travelled to the Laser Lines HQ for a laser demo, the team used our own glass products as test subjects, so we could see the exact results we would be able to achieve for our customers. The engineer who installed the device was also excellent, with nothing proving to be too much trouble.”
Having installed the Synrad v40 Laser Marker last September, BDS customers’ demand for laser nucleation has soared. As Colin elaborates: “We are printing around 50,000 glasses a week and many existing and new customers are adding laser nucleation to their decoration requirements. Without advertising this new service, the word has spread rapidly throughout the industry, and we are seeing more and more glass suppliers using us for secondary processing as a result.
“There aren’t that many businesses in our sector that are offering laser nucleation, so the laser solution has proved to be a real USP for us as a business. What’s more, the ROI we’re seeing is fantastic, with the Synrad v40 set to pay for itself in a very short time period.”
Dave Earl, technical sales engineer with our industrial lasers group, adds: “This is a great example of how laser technology can be used to bring a laborious, costly and time-consuming process bang up-to-date.
“As Colin mentioned, this was a collaborative project from day one. We pride ourselves on offering the best advice and consultation to our customers, which in this instance has resulted in BDS gaining a considerable advantage over its closest competitors.”
Colin concludes: “Three years ago we were a four-person business, operating 8 hrs – 5, five days a week. Within three years we’ve increased our workforce to 20 and now operate 24 hours a day, five days a week. The business has gone from strength-to-strength, particularly over the last 12 months.
“We are extremely happy with the development of our laser nucleation facilities, which is due to the great results we’re seeing with the Synrad v40. And, if the growth we are seeing to date continues into 2017, it could see us looking into an additional machine.”