Combining Heritage, Evolving Technology and Innovation for more than 50 years

For over 50 years Crabtree of Gateshead have been designing and manufacturing high quality metal decorating and coating equipment.

Our main focus has always been to provide our clients with a flexible and bespoke solution to suit their needs, with particular attention to continuous support and service from the moment Crabtree of Gateshead Ltd. is chosen.

We pride ourselves on our engineering excellence and wealth of experience but mostly on our commitment to serve both existing and future clients.

We are proud of our evolving technology and innovation has always played an important part of the Crabtree success story.

  • In 1966, Crabtree Vickers of Gateshead was formed from an existing printing company and moved into their current headquarters, specialising in metal decorating.
  • In 1981, the first coater, the F Model, was launched.
  • In 1986, Crabtree of Gateshead was formed as a result of a management buy—out.
  • In 1987 the 1200 Series Metal Decorating Press was launched.
  • In 1990, the 1290 Metal Decorating Press was introduced. Also in this year, Crabtree of Gateshead received The Queens Award for Export.
  • In 1994, Wellman CHAL, supplier of metal decorating ovens since 1932 was purchased.
  • In 1995, Oven Systems Inc. of America, a well-established manufacturer of two piece ovens, was acquired.
  • In 1996, Crabtree of Gateshead launched the FastReady Press at Metpack 96.
  • In 1998, LTG of Germany purchased Crabtree of Gateshead.
  • In 2003, Crabtree of Gateshead UK management team took control to re-establish Crabtree as a solely British owned company.
  • In 2004, Crabtree of Gateshead launched the Plus range of metal decorating and coating equipment at Cannex USA 2004.
  • In 2006, the increased demand to print UV saw orders for the multicolour FastReady Gen3 overtake that of the traditional 2 colour Marquess press.
  • In 2008, the FastReady Gen3 Metal Decorating Press was launched, boasting excellent make-ready times.
  • In 2011, the first orders for the FastReady Gen3 6 colour press were received from China.
  • Between 2011-2015, a major investment programme was undertaken to improve manufacturing and quality capacity, including the purchase of multiple machine tools and an automated CMM (coordinate measuring machine).
  • In 2014, Crabtree acquired the facility in Gateshead after the lease expired.
  • In 2016, Crabtree celebrated 50 years of metal decorating and coating equipment production at their Gateshead facility.
  • The FastReady 4 was also launched in this year at Cannex in Denver to commemorate this milestone.
  • In 2019, first of our Automated Vision Systems was launched The SpeedFit camera.  This is phase one of a development programme launched through our Automated Vision Systems arm to provide production-ready initiatives to solve industry challenges and enhance performance.
  • Our innovative camera technology is set to revolutionise print processes by offering greater accuracy during print fit and reducing make-ready times compared to manual operations, where accuracy differs from operator to operator.

What do the next 50 years look like?

  • 2020, the start of a new decade, Crabtree will be developing automated solutions with closed loop controlled systems measuring quality, density, colour and registration.