With 45 years of engineering experience, labelling machinery specialist, Grahame Rawlinson, is one of Karmelle’s most knowledgeable and respected team members. In this Q&A, he reflects on a long and eventful career…
How did you start-out in engineering, Grahame?
I was employed straight from school as an apprentice engineer. After completing my first year training certificate, I was posted to the electrical maintenance department of a motor manufacturer.
Once qualified, I remained in this department, gaining experience in the field of electrical and electronic engineering. There was even the opportunity to travel, and I spent 12 weeks in Northern Italy as part of a team responsible for commissioning a multi-million pound automatic motor winding production line.
How did you come to specialise in labelling machines?
In 1986, I was employed as a technical service engineer for a supplier of automatic labelling machinery. Tasked with installing and commissioning equipment and delivering operator training, I learned a lot about self-adhesive labelling and coding legislation. It was here that I developed and honed my customer-service skills.
In my next role, I was promoted from service engineer to service manager. This afforded me an insight into the design and manufacturing process, as well as production control and ordering techniques. I gained a lot of technical and commercial knowledge about the labelling and packaging industries.
In 2005, I and several former colleagues founded a new company, specialising in self-adhesive labelling equipment.
You joined Karmelle in 2010. What did you bring to the team?
I brought with me 21 years of experience in the self-adhesive labelling industry. This enabled Karmelle to extend their product-range, manufacturing labelling machinery alongside their liquid filling and capping equipment. The company became a ‘one stop shop’, meaning that customers could single-source turnkey liquid packaging lines, rather than involving several different suppliers. Dealing with one supplier makes the automation process much simpler.
What does your role involve today, Grahame?
My role involves the design, manufacture, build and assembly of bespoke labelling equipment. I test, install and commission machines, and offer after-sales support. I’m based in the workshop, but regularly provide technical back-up onsite.
As an experienced electrical/electronic engineer, I also design and build panels for Karmelle’s filling, capping and labelling equipment.
It’s a very varied and challenging role! There’s rarely a dull moment, whether I’m assembling labelling equipment in the workshop, trialing machines, or visiting customers to carry out services and offer technical support.
You’ve been part of the Karmelle team for 12 years. Is there a labelling project that stands out as being particularly memorable?
The labelling machine we built for Masons of Yorkshire springs to mind.
Accuracy and consistency were priorities for Masons. They needed to ensure that every body label lined-up with a Yorkshire Rose emblem on their bespoke bottles. A second ‘watch strap’ label needed to be applied in registration with the body labels and Yorkshire Rose emblem. Finally, a tax duty label needed to be applied in registration with the body labels.
We were able to develop a solution, automating the labelling process without compromising on accuracy.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy gardening and DIY, spending time with my family and grandchildren, and playing golf.
To discuss your labelling requirements, contact Grahame and the team on +44(0)1484 533356, or email email@example.com.