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The UX

Factor Savvy manufacturers are waking up to the many and varied benefits that a good user experience can bring

Also in this issue:

• SMEs • Digital procurement • Recycling • Internet of Things


136 January 2017


Editor’s Comment

Chairman Andrew Schofield Editor Libbie Hammond Art Editor/Design David Howard Staff Writers Jo Cooper Andrew Dann Joshua Younespour Production Manager Fleur Daniels

Happy New


Advertising Design Fiona Jolliffe


Advertising Administrator Tracy Chynoweth Operations Director Philip Monument Editorial Researchers Mark Cowles Tarj D’Silva Jeff Goldenberg Kya Johnson Ben Richell Richard Saunders Kieran Shukri Advertising Sales Joe Woolsgrove - Sales Director Mark Cawston Tim Eakins Darren Jolliffe Jonas Junca Dave King Theresa McDonald Mauro Berini

hat have you got on the agenda for 2017? After the turmoil and turbulence of 2016, I am sure we are all hoping for calmer conditions but is anyone optimistic we will get them? I’d love to hear your predictions for

the next 12 months. I am also very pleased that this first edition of the New Year is able to feature so many impressive companies with such interesting stories to tell. The variety of industries we cover always makes putting together the magazine a real pleasure and I hope that you enjoy reading the stories in our pages. Whether that is about the importance of handlebar design on the Brompton Bicycle (pg 102) or the painstaking approach to quality at Adria Mobil (pg 38) each and every one has an insight into what makes every company special.





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136 January 2017


The UX

Factor Savvy manufacturers are waking up to the many and varied benefits that a good user experience can bring

Schofield Publishing

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Also in this issue:


©2017 Schofield Publishing Ltd Please note: The opinions expressed by contributors and adver tisers within this publication do not necessarily coincide with those of the editor and publisher. Every reasonable effor t is made to ensure that the information published is accurate, and correct at time of writing, but no legal responsibility for loss occasioned by the use of such information can be accepted by the publisher. All rights reserved. The contents of the magazine are strictly copyright, the proper ty of Schofield Publishing, and may not be copied, stored in a retrieval system, or reproduced without the prior written permission of the publisher. 1

Features 4 Be prepared

10 A new way of thinking

Manufacturers need to craft the right business plan to carry them through the uncertainty of Brexit

How the right options can make plastic recycling easier and even mean manufacturers can make use of existing waste products

4 Be prepared

6 The UX factor When it comes to software for manufacturing, a good user experience can drive the innovation needed to secure competitive edge

12 Golden opportunity

8 Are you ready?

8 Are you ready? The business transformation driven by digitization can bring competitive advantage and go beyond mere return on investment


12 Golden opportunity The Internet of Things and Analytics are going to offer exciting prospects for manufacturers

14 Manufacturing news Updates and announcements from the manufacturing arena


Profiles 18 20 24 26 31 35 38 44 46 48

London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) BOFA International Ltd Paladon Systems Ltd Star Tissue Woodway UK Dura Automotive Systems Adria Mobil Tronrud Engineering AS Allard-Europe Swift Group Swift Group

51 Greif 54 Gram Equipment 57 Thomas Sanderson Blinds Ltd 60 Halcor Metal Works 64 Nowy Styl Group 67 Amcanu Ltd 70 Baxi 73 Ransomes Jacobsen 76 What More UK Limited 79 Festive Productions 83 Williams Industrial Services (WIS Group) 90 De Jong Packaging 93 Vernacare 100 Brompton Bicycle 104 IPG Photonics UK 106 R Stahl 108 Ab Solving Oy 110 EPM Technology

112 Oy Meclift Ltd. 114 QI Van Systems 119 Ebac Group Ltd. 122 Williams Advanced Engineering 126 Indus Motor Company 130 Standfast and Barracks 134 Pathfinder Homes Ltd 137 Tetronics International 140 Lambert Engineering 143 Leggett & Platt Components Europe Ltd 146 Ballyclare Limited 149 FSL Aerospace Ltd 152 Lymington Precision Engineers (LPE) 155 Ricardo 162 Caetano Bus 168 JC Metalworks 171 Saxon Packaging 174 Morgan Advanced Materials 177 WORLD Pallet AG 178 Giuseppe Desirò 180 Encocam Ltd 183 Belfield Furnishings 186 Mack Rides GmbH & Co KG 189 Perspex Distribution Ltd 192 Hobbs Valve Ltd 194 EWAG AG 196 Fairport Construction Equipment Ltd 198 Coveris Advanced Coatings 200 Penny Hydraulics Ltd 202 Fecc 204 Interallis 207 Macpac Ltd 210 Chromalox 3

Be prepared

According to Anne Griffiths, manufacturers might see short-term gains, but planning is the key to a bright Brexit future


ince the UK voted to leave the European Union in June, there has been a lot of speculation about when Brexit will take place, how it | will take shape and what the UK will look like at the end. Doom and gloom were the flavour of the summer, but for small and medium sized manufacturers can Brexit present a new opportunity? The Zurich SME Risk Index, a measure of business risk affecting small and medium sized businesses in the UK, shows that a majority of manufacturing SMEs voted to leave the European Union. And, as the UK moves towards setting a date to trigger Article 50, manufacturing SMEs are


on average among the most optimistic about the opportunities that Brexit presents. Their optimism may be linked to the fact that, of all business areas thus far, manufacturing companies have benefited from Brexit the most. While other industries have seen their profits hit by the devaluation of the pound, a weak sterling has given UK’s export business a timely and immediate competitiveness boost. About a fifth of manufacturing SMEs have reported an increase in the productivity of their business – almost twice as many as small to medium sized firms from across other industries. Meanwhile other issues, such as dwindling inward investment into UK companies –

touted as a flagship argument by the Remain camp – appear to have passed the majority of manufacturers by. In fact, an increase in trading opportunities overseas, as a result of a devalued pound, has served to build the business case for investment in UK manufacturing. Moreover, others in the manufacturing sector have found that the Brexit vote has made no difference to their ability to secure access to grants, loans, or investment, and a good proportion – almost one in ten – believe that the UK’s vote to leave the EU will, in fact, make it easier for them to access funding. Yet, the positive sentiment is not an overnight, post-vote phenomenon. Rewind eight months to March 2016. The EU Referendum looks to be a



foregone conclusion, and our data from that time suggests that approximately two in five small and medium sized business leaders had declared their intention to vote leave. Among manufacturing SMEs, it was a different story. In direct contrast to SMEs more generally, only two in five manufacturing SME decision makers declared their intention to vote Remain, while exactly half were in the Leave camp. Look at this data more closely, however, and underneath the pro-Leave sentiment, manufacturing businesses are sitting on a knifeedge. Favourable conditions are, in some cases, likely to provide a short-term windfall, but by its very nature, being part of a long chain supply

chain, manufacturing is in many ways more vulnerable than other industries and supply chain exposures have emerged one of their biggest red flags. More than two fifths of business leaders in the manufacturing industry have reported concerns about the viability of their suppliers and contractors, on which they rely to buy materials for production and sell products, whereas in other industries, like finance and accounting, supply chain issues are a concern for as little as one in ten. Even in comparative industries like construction, the success of suppliers and contractors is a concern for less than a third. This has the potential to be a real pressure point for the sector as uncertainty continues. Worryingly, it could be just the tip of the iceberg as other problems loom in the form of skills shortages and the pound’s devaluation. Admittedly, more than half of small and medium sized businesses in the manufacturing field are solely reliant on UK workers. For them, in the short term, Brexit poses no problems, and many with a UK-based workforce are confident that the UK does not need EU support to fill a skills gap. But, there is little room for a middle ground on this issue and the skills shortage is a very real problem for many UK manufacturers. Almost twice as many are reporting that a shortage of qualified workers is among the greatest concern for the success of their business than those who state that workforce challenges are not a concern at all. Anxiety about staff and skills shortages spiked dramatically among all small and medium sized firms before the EU Referendum, and while fears have calmed since pre-vote hysteria, these workforce challenges remain among the biggest risks facing manufacturers, and far more so than for SMEs in other sectors. Nevertheless, the issue of skills shortages fades into insignificance compared to international market dynamics, and crucially what this means for both the future strength of the pound and of foreign competition. While the greatest shortterm benefit of all, manufactures are saying that the UK currency could be the most significant obstacle of all, with well over half stating that the exchange rate is the greatest threat to their business. Future planning for Brexit, what it will mean for the strength of the pound, and what it will do to international relations might be the most complex routes for businesses to navigate. Almost two thirds of small and medium sized manufacturers know this already, voicing varying levels of concern about what the outcome of international market dynamics means for the viability of their business.

In fact, of all the measures of business risk collated by Zurich, the data shows that no one sector is more concerned about any issue at this time than manufacturers are about the future of international market dynamics. The well-known phrase ‘markets hate uncertainty’ comes to mind, but what we are hearing is that manufacturers hate it more. Business is good for now, but relying on the survival of so many in the supply chain, and with many months of uncertainty ahead, manufacturers must take care to craft the right business plan. Small and medium sized businesses have long been the beating heart of the UK economy, and now they need to weather the storm and stick to their plans in order to come out in good health on the other side. v

Future planning for Brexit, what it will mean for the strength of the pound, and what it will do to international relations might be the most complex routes for businesses to navigate

Anne Griffiths Anne Griffiths is Head of SME Proposition, Zurich UK. Zurich’s SME business provides specialist insurance solutions across a range of the UK’s most important business sectors. The Zurich SME Risk Index is formulated to identify which areas of business risk are of greatest concern to businesses across all sectors, of all ages and sizes within the SME bracket. 5

The UX

Factor Phil Lewis looks at how, when it comes to software for manufacturing, a good user experience can drive the innovation needed to secure that all-important competitive edge


n the current climate of seemingly endless political blindsides, the economic consequences of which are, as yet, unknown, businesses the world over are in a state of flux, wondering whether to sit tight while the fog of confusion clears, or to plough on as if it’s business as usual. For the manufacturing sector in particular, times are especially challenging. The EEF’s most recent Manufacturing Outlook report predicted that manufacturing will grow overall in 2016, but with a fall in output of 0.7 per cent forecasted for 2017. And, with the global productivity crisis still looming large over the manufacturing sector, the pressure is on for manufacturers to maintain their competitive edge in these uncertain times. While technology has often been seen as an enabler of business success, with so many organisations recognising the business


benefits that software built specifically for the manufacturing sector can bring, it’s no longer enough to simply choose the most popular solution for your sector. To channel the creativity that’s required to drive innovation and therefore profits in the business, what’s required are solutions that actively support the way in which manufacturers run their businesses, reflecting the various processes and procedures that are part of everyday operations. Rather than adding another level of complexity or creating additional training needs to facilitate the use of the new technology, the best, most valuable software solutions intuitively support the business. This provides manufacturers with greater opportunity to focus on the day job, giving them the time to harness the all-important innovation that’s required to stay one step ahead. In short,

a good user experience or UX is no longer just a nice-to-have. Clunky no longer cuts it when it comes to business software and in order to optimise results, a good UX should be on the list of must-haves, a fact that more and more manufacturing businesses in particular are taking on board.

Next generation One of the key drivers for an increased demand in improvements to business software UX comes from the end-users themselves. The new generation workforce has been raised on a diet of slick, intuitive consumer apps and social media. And, while advances in consumer UX have progressed at an astonishing rate, for the most part, these developments haven’t migrated to enterprise software. As next generation users


take their place in industry, they’re expecting to find consumer-standard technology in place. Often, what they find is clunky, cumbersome software that is a million miles from the user-led UX they’re used to and which can actually make their jobs harder. By challenging the inefficiency of traditional business software, the manufacturing business leaders of tomorrow are encouraging software developers to push past the functional, creating solutions that not only look nice and are great to use, but which increase efficiencies across the business.

Not just a pretty face It’s not just about window-dressing and attracting the best new talent with shiny, cutting-edge technology. Software that looks better, often works better too, a fact that more and more manufacturers are discovering. With the user at the heart of design, what results are faster learning and more rapid uptake of the technology, boosting not only productivity but also user confidence and overall job satisfaction. Where outside of the office technology is an enabler, adding value to our lives on a daily basis, within a manufacturing environment, technology can actually complicate simple tasks. But, by replacing the complex, disorderly interfaces of old with slick, intuitive, user-led interfaces, manufacturing businesses can optimise processes throughout the organisation, achieving major efficiency savings, which have an inevitable positive effect on the bottom line. It’s this user-focus that lies at the heart of what makes a good UX. With most software procurement carried out by the people who aren’t actually hands-on with the solutions, particularly in the manufacturing sector, dayto-day usability isn’t always top of the list of priorities, meaning that it’s not always the most intuitive and ultimately effective solutions that are chosen. What software developers have realised is that to increase efficiencies across the board, user experiences need to deliver exactly what a user needs, right when they need it, creating products that are completely informed by the end-user. By understanding how users work, both in terms of processes and procedures, such as which systems they need to access and in what order, as well as environmental factors such as

which devices they use and where they sit (if they even sit at all), developers can create user-centric solutions to foster not only greater intuition and engagement, but to enable better, faster decision-making.

Adding value With a holistic, user-centred design vision at the heart of software development, effective, collaborative solutions emerge which can simplify the experience of work itself, as well as the user experience. For manufacturers, a good UX can eliminate time spent navigating between systems or hunting for information, turning siloed data sources into synchronised ones, building a centralised space for information sharing, and delivering role-based information directly to users anytime, anywhere. This leaves users more time to concentrate on the business of manufacturing, adding real value to day-to-day operations, actively pursuing new opportunities and optimising processes throughout the organisation.

The right balance Savvy manufacturers are waking up to the many and varied benefits that a good UX can bring. Manufacturing organisations need the most effective tools in place if they’re to engage and motivate users, helping them to hone all important creativity and channel innovation. An improved UX can mean manufacturers benefit from a greater share of the talent pool while realising greater productivity, something that’s vital in the current climate of economic uncertainty. The most effective solutions meet the needs of users while fulfilling company objectives and organisational priorities, striking the perfect balance to optimise business-wide productivity and efficiency, changing the way people and businesses work to secure the long-term success of the organisation. v

Phil Lewis Phil Lewis is Vice President, Solution Consulting EMEA at Infor. Infor builds business software for specific industries in the cloud. With 15,000 employees and over 90,000 customers in more than 170 countries, Infor software is designed for progress 7

Are you



igitisation has been heralded as the future of procurement - and rightly so. It streamlines operations, reduces costs, speeds up day to day tasks, makes sense of the reams of information coming in to and going out of the business, and that’s just for starters. But be careful what you wish for: digital procurement will impact all aspects of your organisation, your suppliers and your customers, and revolutionise the way you do business. This is an entire organisational change. Is your business ready for it?

Why is everyone not digitising? In its report: Procurement 4.0: Are you ready for the digital revolution? - PWC says: “In industries across the board…companies need to consider the way digital innovation will disrupt not only the way their organisations work today, but the entire value proposition of procurement to their suppliers,


How to revolutionise your business: digitise procurement. By Gill Devine

customers, and internal process partners.” The prospect of this level of change may explain why some businesses are not embracing digitisation. The process requires a strategic implementation supported by investment, time and resources; and businesses who believe what they already do works fine will direct those elsewhere.

logistics, supplier financial analysis, e-signatures and verification. Digitisation is more than an IT solution: it’s about consolidating disparate pieces of technology businesses deploy as time goes by. Automation and integrated mobile technology, enabled by digitisation, allow a business to work around the clock, avoiding issues arising from working across different time zones.

Globalisation and procurement go hand-in-hand

Optimising and ensuring compliance through the supply chain

Alongside great opportunities, globalisation has brought to procurement challenges involving compliance, time zones, pricing, supplier and risk management. A business might have 50 suppliers and customers in as many countries, speaking as many languages, working across eight time zones, with any variety of currencies. Digitisation can help solve many of these challenges, delivering efficiency benefits across processes such as quotation requests, ordering, delivery

As physical barriers fall, the complexities of supplier management rise. Taking on suppliers in multiple and distant locations requires rigorous administration and management: businesses that do not understand local regulations through the supply chain run the risk of procuring noncompliant products, which can result in brand and reputational damage. From supplier information and agreements to audit trails, digitisation can help

Digital procurement

unify vendor data. It allows a business to mitigate supplier-related financial and non-compliance risks, reduce errors in payments and accelerate sourcing cycle and procure-to-pay times. At the very least it will optimise supply chain performance - reducing lead times and freight and inventory costs while improving customer experience and supplier performance.

Managing Big Data Supplier data management is an integral part of the procurement process and a pre-requisite for well-managed aftermarket supply chains and pricing processes. With data being collected by multiple systems such as ERPs, CRMs, financial and warehousing, it can prove overwhelming to mine for valuable information. Because these systems are rarely connected, they sometimes generate ‘dirty’ data. For example, when vital information is updated in one system, the change doesn't translate to other areas of the business. This lack of one single point of reference compromises decision-making. A digitised solution provides that single point of reference. It acts as the spider in the middle of a web, controlling the information that comes and goes from different environments and synchronising the information to ensure conformity. By creating these ‘golden records,’ the management team, users and customers can easily access and interact with a single, definitive and authoritative source of truth for the company. Organisations need to make use of analytics tools to make data-driven, intelligent procurement decisions.

How can this data be used? The analysis of this data can be used to understand suppliers, markets, and customers and predict market trends. It can be used to improve transportation flows, inventories, warehouse requirements, quality inspections, and other parts of the supply chain. In the spare parts industry for example, the erratic demand patterns can be challenging. Demand may spike due to seasonality or incentives: yet often the reasons go unrecorded or even unnoticed, and some fluctuations can prove catastrophic. Companies want to make sure they have all necessary service parts available, while keeping inventory levels to a minimum to avoid tying up cash unnecessarily.

Sparking the revolution Analysing data and using it smartly is where digitisation can spark a revolution. The deep understanding procurers are able to accrue about their suppliers’ markets translates into valuable field application data analysis which can be offered

to suppliers to equip them in improving the design, production and delivery of their products. With this valuable asset in its possession and remit, the procurement function becomes an important and strategic department. As the PWC report states, this information has the potential to turn procurement from “being a cost centre to a profit centre”.

Beyond manufacturing An efficient procurement strategy is essential for manufacturing processes. But, providing schedules are met, customers care little about what’s gone on until the finished good is delivered. A landmark moment, not the end of the journey. Vendors are increasingly embracing servitisation to differentiate themselves and nurture customer loyalty. Procurement plays a key role in delivering a fantastic customer experience, ensuring central service teams and dealers across the world have the parts available to achieve best-in-class firsttime fill rates. But whilst obsessing on customer satisfaction has its positives, when not managed it can lead to cash haemorrhaging throughout the business. That’s where inventory management solutions for both OEMs and their dealers can determine who delivers greater availability whilst lowering costs and whose costs spiral out of control to hurt profits. It is also where cloudbased solutions soar above the intricacies of legacy systems and complex networks to reduce time to value, allowing organisations to focus on strategic objectives rather than wallow in IT implementations.

Digitisation is transforming procurement, from what organisations buy to how they buy it. To businesses in the ‘we’re fine as we are’ camp: digital technologies will improve the most fundamental of procurement processes and, for your business to survive and compete, they are critical. The business transformation driven by digitisation can bring competitive advantage and go beyond mere return on investment: used well it could bring a significant new source of profit. Your competitors might have already embarked on their journey. How big an advantage are you going to gift them? v

Gill Devine Gill Devine is VP Enterprise Sales, Western Europe, Syncron. Syncron is the only aftermarket service provider that exclusively focuses on service parts management and pricing for the world’s leading manufacturers. The company’s award-winning SaaS solutions enable companies around the world to transform their aftermarket service operations by dramatically increasing profitability, cash flow and customer loyalty. Syncron’s global customer base includes a variety of marketleading companies across diverse industries. The company is privately held, with its headquarters in Stockholm and additional offices throughout Europe, the U.S. and Asia. 9

A new way of


David Wilson explains how the right options can help manufacturers make plastic recycling easier


ncreasingly, manufacturers are hearing about the importance of designing a product to enable it to be recycled effectively at the end of its life. For example, in November, the European Commission announced a further six products that would be recommended for inclusion in the updated Ecodesign Directive. Along with the likes of washing machines and televisions, the updated Ecodesign Directive will include design requirements for solar panels, hand dryers, lifts, electric kettles, refrigerated containers and building automation controls. But as part of the European Union’s overall Circular Economy Package that will work alongside the Ecodesign Directive, there will be more of a focus on recyclability and repair than the previous spotlight on energy efficiency. Indeed, speaking to the European Commission on the new approach to Ecodesign, First Vice President Frans Timmermans said the Commission has ‘expanded the scope and given more attention


than in the past to wider resource efficiency aspects’ and that it wants to ‘explore how to improve the recyclability, durability and reparability of products’. Clearly, designing a product from the beginning to ensure it is completely recyclable is important. But there is a big difference between it theoretically being 100 per cent recyclable at the end of its life and the reality of actually being able to recycle it. For a start, people often assume that to introduce a circular economy requires designing a product so that it can be recycled in a closed loop fashion. A typical example of this would be a plastic bottle where on the surface it seems sensible to recycle a HDPE milk bottle back into a milk bottle once it has been used. But according to Vanden Recycling UK managing director David Wilson, this might not always be the most appropriate solution. “The technology to recycle a HDPE or PET bottle back into a bottle exists, but it hasn’t

always proved economically viable for companies to go down this route,” he says. One example of this is Coca-Cola. As widely reported at the time, it invested in developing bottle recycling plants in the US and in a joint venture in the UK that would take used PET bottles and recycle them back into bottles that could be used to manufacture new CocaCola bottles. While the operation in the UK that it invested in still exists, Coca-Cola is no longer involved in the joint venture, while it sold its stake in the US plant in 2011 and that facility shut down in 2014. “Recycling to turn bottles back into food grade material is possible, but it is a very difficult and expensive process,” says David Wilson. “By going down this route, you also have a very narrow focus. As we have seen in the last couple of years, when oil prices fell, it made virgin PET and HDPE much more competitively priced. “Unsurprisingly, when the oil price fell, bottle

Recycling manufacturers increased the amount of virgin material in their products because it was better value than the recycled material in many circumstances. “There have been recent examples of plastics recycling businesses suffering financial difficulties or going bust. But there are still a number of successful plastic recycling businesses and demand for recycled plastic remains high.” He suggests that a more sustainable route longer term is to have a diversity of markets for plastics products, and this is the approach taken by Vanden. “We are a global company based in Asia, Australia and of course Europe. This means that we operate in a global market for recyclable plastics, and we can identify the best recycling solution around the world. “Taking the example of PET bottles, there is demand from Asia for these as they can be used to create artificial fibres that can be used in clothing or other textile applications, and it is much cheaper and easier to recycle this way than turning them back into food grade bottles. “Or HDPE bottles can be turned into plastic piping, and again this is most often a better solution that trying to close the loop.” He advises that product designers and manufacturers should consider the recycling options when considering materials and whether viable markets exist for the materials when the product comes to the end of its life. However, there are a number of changes to processes and simple solutions that can make all the difference to whether products are recyclable or not. “We see lots of examples where for perfectly sensible reasons, a decision has been made to introduce a process, but without thinking for example what that will mean for the recyclability of a product,” he says. “We deal quite a bit in LDPE plastic film, that can be used for bags or pallet wrap. A typical example of this would be clothing shrouds. One of the biggest problems we have is people putting paper labels onto this material. You can recycle the film if it has a label on it without a manual intervention, but this means that it degrades the material and makes it less useful for recycling.” He adds that to recycle this film requires shredding it, putting it through an extruder, the label will be filtered out, but inevitably some of that label will filter into the extruded product and degrade it. The only way to remove this label at present is to manually cut it off with scissors, which adds time and money to the process. Instead, he suggests manufacturers could aid the recycling of this packaging by thinking about their process design to remove challenges such of this.

However, there is one other recycling solution that manufacturers should consider, and that is areas where they may have a waste that could end up being a product. “There are lots of examples out there of manufacturers recycling materials that are seen as a waste,” says David Wilson. “Products we are happy to take include rejects from the blow-moulding or thermoforming process, offcuts or packaging materials that the material might have been delivered in. “On some occasions, these materials can be recycled back into the manufacturing process, or other times it is necessary to find an alternative solution in the global market. But this is also a way to maximise value from a waste product.” Of course, one other way to ensure there is a sustainable market for recycled materials is to start using them in your own products too. Companies such as Ford have a strategy to increase the use of recycled materials, whether that is recycled aluminium in the F-150 truck in

the US, or using recycled battery casings and HDPE bottles in underbody and underhood plastic parts. Ford is also using the REPREVE seat fabric, which is made from recycled post-consumer PET bottles and post-industrial waste on the Ford Fusion in China. By thinking about the different options available for you, it could be that there are lots of ways for you to improve your processes to make recycling easier, increase the use of recycled material you use, or make better use of your existing waste products. v

David Wilson David Wilson is Managing Director at Vanden Recycling. Vanden Recycling is the UK subsidiary of Vanden Global. The company provides an efficient and effective route from plastics recycling to manufacturing. Vanden does this by identifying the most efficient way to recycle plastics via its extensive UK recycling capacity. These are then supplied to over 200 customers in 15 countries. Formed in 2005, Vanden Global has successfully expanded from its Hong Kong headquarters to locations in Asia, Europe and Australia. Vanden Recycling is based in Northern Ireland and operates throughout the UK and Ireland. 11


opportunity Patrick Chartrand explains why the Internet of Things and Analytics are going to offer exciting prospects for manufacturers


hile the Internet of Things (IoT) developed consumer awareness through the wearables and home appliance industries, it’s my belief that its primary contributions will be in transforming the manufacturing industry. From smart factories to predictive machine maintenance, IoT will redefine how manufacturers meet industry demand. This transformation is possible because we’ve entered the fourth industrial revolution, also known as ‘Industry 4.0.’ In this new analytics-driven era, the acquisition and implementation of sensors, as well as wireless data connectivity, is no longer cost or time prohibitive - and consequently, sensor data is becoming more available and easier to collect in real-time.


Companies in all industries can benefit from seeing and analysing this data, but for manufacturers especially, access to real-time analytics is a compelling value proposition. Because manufacturing is an industry with notoriously slim margins, small improvements in managing downtime or increasing yield can mean the difference between expanding and contracting a manufacturing plant’s footprint.

Gaining visibility, increasing efficiency Using sensors across the production line – from the shop floor to the top floor – manufacturers can collect their value chain’s data in real-time. They can then leverage purpose-built applications to collect that data from multiple machines and production lines, and gain a clearer picture of

where efficiencies are (and are not) happening across their value chain. Calibrating their production line based on real-time analytics allows application users to define and maximise their value chain’s levers. With this information in hand, manufacturers can better respond to events in near real-time, reducing both production inefficiencies and downtime. For larger manufacturers, reducing inefficiencies by just one percent can equate to millions or tens of millions of dollars in cost savings. By reducing production costs and inefficiencies, manufacturers’ production responsiveness increases, and the organisation as a whole becomes more nimble. The result is greater downside protection (i.e., a recession-type environment) and an opportunity to generate greater profits under normal operating conditions.

Internet of Things

success and failure – sometimes even more than the economic success of the product itself. The two previously mentioned IoT strategies could help manufactures ensure they are getting the most from their equipment investment and help maximise their bottom line.

Focusing on the user

Competitors unwilling to adopt IoT strategies will face the tough task of price matching manufacturers who, through IoT strategies, are profitable enough to undercut them in any market environment. Sounds great, right? But is it realistic? There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding IoT, after all; and many manufacturers have been skeptical about the benefits associated with adopting IoT strategies. But with the right IoT solution, and a true understanding of end user demand, manufacturers who adopt IoT strategies will gain significant data and efficiency advantages over the competition.

Developing the right strategy IoT devices like sensors generate significant amounts of data – and without the right strategy

in-place to collect and leverage that data, manufacturers can end up drowning in data they don’t use, or miss opportunities to improve business efficiencies. There are two common IoT strategies that we have seen manufacturers implement: - IoT data for predictive maintenance purposes, where sensors alert production line managers when manufacturing machines are operating outside of their statistical control limits. - IoT data for operational efficiency purposes, where sensors inform managers to value chain inefficiencies in real-time. The machineries on a typical manufacturing line are major financial investments for any manufacturing organisation. The ROI on these machines is often the difference between financial

Once you know how you want to use incoming sensor data, it’s essential to focus on who is going to use that data to make decisions. End user adoption is where manufacturers will need to focus their attention. Failing to account for the diverse roles and skill sets of their user base will lead to poor adoption and acceptance rates. Research has shown that a large percentage of the application user base for these manufacturers are not sitting in offices; they are on the move and out on the factory floor or, for example, on an oil rig. When you treat all these users the same, you are setting yourself up for poor analytics adoption and acceptance rates. The result is a lack of visibility into your production lines, underperformance across your manufacturing operations, and suboptimal machine performance. Simplifying software use will increase time to value associated with adopting an active IoT strategy. The challenge will be bridging the knowledge gap and driving end-user adoption for employees who may have worked in roles that traditionally did not require an understanding of analytics. Fortunately, modern business intelligence applications provide individualised views tailored to the roles of different users - empowering them to discover new insights and drive operational performance. Clients, managers, and employees need more data as technology increases market competition, requiring manufacturers to become more nimble and market reactive. It’s just a matter of time before the conversation shifts away from how to deal with a malfunctioning PLC towards developing best industry practices in developing an intelligence system across one’s value chain. v

Patrick Chartrand Patrick Chartrand is Solutions Strategy Analyst at Logi Analytics. n 2000, Arman Eshraghi founded Logi Analytics, formerly LogiXML, to help web developers easily embed compelling data visualisations inside websites. This core technology evolved into the Logi Info platform, providing an extraordinarily fast and easy way to embed operational analytics into any application. Today, Logi Info supports over 1700 companies creating genius analytic applications that are purpose-built to users’ unique roles and skills, and delivered in the apps they already rely on. 13

News in brief £60 million boost

Six new £10 million research hubs that will explore and improve new manufacturing techniques across fields such as targeted biological medicines, 3D printing, and composite materials have been announced by Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson. Funded by government through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the hubs will draw together expertise from 17 universities and 200 industrial and academic partners to upgrade the UK’s manufacturing capabilities and take greater advantage of the UK’s innovative strengths. Through increased collaboration between universities and industry, more products can be developed to meet industry needs and progress from the research lab to market – boosting the UK economy. The hubs will be led by Cardiff University, the universities of Huddersfield, Nottingham, Sheffield, Strathclyde and University College London. Announcing this major investment in the UK’s manufacturing research base, Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said: “Developing new innovative manufacturing techniques will help UK industry create new products, explore more business opportunities and ensure the UK becomes more competitive and productive. “This investment will lay the foundations to allow industry and our world-leading universities to thrive for years to come and is exactly the type of project that our upcoming Industrial Strategy will look to support.”

Production improvements

Stratasys Ltd, the 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions company, has announced that French foundry and machining company, VHM Fonderie, is experiencing faster product development time and improved capacity since VHM Fonderie uses 3D printing to produce ‘master models’ that are then introducing PolyJet 3D printing used to create sand molds across its entire design and manufacturing process. Further exploiting the wider potential of its Stratasys Connex Multi-material 3D Printer for external customers, the company has established its own service bureau, Reali3D. VHM Fonderie (formerly Heinrich Fonderie) utilises its Stratasys Connex Multi-material 3D Printer across a broad spectrum of applications throughout product development. This includes everything from the production of functional prototypes and master models for sand casting, to manufacturing tools, as well as the 3D printing of spare production parts for certain tooling machines. For complex sand casting applications in particular, the company is using Stratasys’ advanced simulated polypropylene material, Rigur, to produce 3D printed models that are subsequently used to make sand molds. Laurent Poux, Industrial Director, VHM Group adds: “In the context of the end-to-end manufacturing workflow, the level of time-saving enjoyed with 3D printing isn’t merely improvement or progression – it’s transformational. “With 3D printing, we save about a month when it comes to producing the various models used to create our moulds. This enables us to deliver orders for our customers incredibly quickly, which has in turn improved our capacity.”

Key to solving world issues

Partnerships between private sector corporations, not-for-profit entities and government organisations are key to solving global challenges including access to healthcare, distribution of food and environmental sustainability, according to a recent joint report by cross-industry learning community SCM World and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The report, Mobilising the supply chain community to solve global challenges: Engaging with the private sector, highlights how cross-sector partnerships can go beyond traditional corporate social responsibility to instigate meaningful change, societal development and the creation of long term commercial opportunities. SCM World vice president of research and joint author of the report, Barry Blake, said: “Corporate Social Responsibility remains the go-to initiative for the private sector to make a positive societal impact. And there have been some real examples of multi-national companies providing meaningful and tangible benefits to a range of causes. “While this is admirable, CSR is only one route that companies can take to address the issues facing us today such as providing accessible healthcare. The real benefits lie in more long-term, commercially viable partnerships between public, private and government organisations. “No single group holds all the answers. Tackling such global challenges requires cross-sector partnerships, where each groups’ key capabilities are used to create shared value. By doing this, initiatives can become self-sustaining and provide real economic and societal benefit for all involved.”

New machining facility Grainger & Worrall (GW), the UK’s leading provider of high precision casting technologies, is to open a state-of-the-art, £5 million machining facility at its site in Bridgnorth, Shropshire. The new centre, which will be operational from early 2017, will centralise the company’s machining operations. With a high-end, controlled environment, the new facility will further shorten the engine development process, while maintaining the highest output quality. The new machining facility will also help to deliver production-capable parts at prototype level, thus reducing lead times. The 33,000 sq ft, temperature controlled machining facility will include seven vertical, two five-axis and six horizontal machining centres, alongside five CMM measuring machines. The state-of-the-art equipment will further enhance GW’s already world-leading production process. Installed in a purpose-built environment, the all-new facility will allow GW to improve its measuring capacity and capability, while also housing, the existing equipment currently installed at the company’s site in Telford.


Mark Davies, plant director of GW Machining


TGW Logistics has launched FlashPick - a smart piece-picking system that has the flexibility, speed and modularity required by retailers and manufacturers looking to respond to a fast-moving market. “An effective, responsive supply chain operation is critical to ensuring customers remain happy, costs are minimised and profits maximised, whatever the volumes, sizes and varieties of products it has to deal with at any given time,” says Christoph Wolkerstorfer, Managing Director of TGW Logistics Group. “As material handling experts, our job is to provide the solutions required to achieve this and that’s where FlashPick comes in.” TGW is already implementing automated split case picking in a number of installations using FlashPick. The standardised but modular system’s success is based on the discrete handling of single orders and the fast processing of incoming orders. It provides the user with flexibility and speed, facilitates shorter lead times, easily handles different distribution channels, order structures and fast article and assortment changes, and optimises associated labour costs. “The benefits have been compelling for customers in a range of industries and sectors where we have offered and implemented this system,” says Christoph. FlashPick is characterised by low operating costs and has a fast payback period - as low as two years or less, depending on local labour costs. It is based on the interaction of well-proven TGW modules to generate an even higher rate of performance.

44 15

MANUFACTURING NEWS Groundbreaking Swedish facility

COWI has been chosen to undertake the detailed design for the European Spallation Source, ESS, which will be home to a groundbreaking research facility; a neutron source with the most powerful linear proton accelerator ever built. On completion, the ESS, a highly advanced target building, will be able to accommodate 2000-3000 scientists and researchers from all over the world, every year. The multi-disciplinary research centre will be based on the world’s most powerful neutron source, and the research can potentially lead to the next great inventions within pharmaceuticals, environmental technology, energy, cultural heritage or fundamental physics. When producing the neutrons for research, ionising radiation will be generated and to meet the safety requirements, the entire target building should be able to resist a potential earthquake occurring once in a one million years. This means that the walls of the target building will be up to four metres thick and the flooring equally heavy.

2017 Process Industry Trends

In the run-up to 2017, Aspen Technology, Inc. leading provider of software and services to the process industries, has unveiled the thoughts and predictions of four of its leading subject matter experts concerning key trends and developments likely to impact these market sectors over the course of the next 12 months. For Ron Beck, Engineering and Construction (E&C) Industry Marketing Director, the transition from manual to innovative automated business processes is among the most noteworthy themes. “Most executives in the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) industry and their clients know that the current downturn in capital projects workload is a critical time to drive innovative business processes, but they are frustrated at resistance in estimating leadership,” says Beck. “This has some urgency, because the window to invest in change is already beginning to show signs of narrowing. Improving organisational performance in the areas of bidding and front end project execution will most certainly be a strategic topic in many oil and gas, chemical and engineering contractor boardrooms in 2017. “Implementing better estimating software technology, combined with more collaborative business processes, will provide a huge opportunity for improvement in capital projects, such as driving drive down capital costs on projects by up to 25 per cent,” he adds. Coupled with this, Beck predicts that knowledge capture in software is going to be increasingly crucial in 2017 as is transparency between client and contractor. “A good example of this, is how model-based estimating will be a competitive advantage due to the waves of experienced senior estimators retiring and EPC firms under a great deal of pressure to produce accurate and precise capital equipment estimates and related bids,” says Beck. “Organisations need to implement an advanced model-based estimating system to achieve the efficiency, agility, speed and accuracy required to successfully capture a company’s unique proprietary costing basis and project cost history to ensure a competitive advantage.”


Flexible solutions

To help support Just In Time manufacturing applications, Hyster has launched a flexible, modular Tugger Train system. Towed by the tough Hyster LO5.0T & LO7.0T Tow Tractors, this enables loads to be transported efficiently to and from the manufacturing line using a choice of different trollies. “The process of delivering to manufacturing lines has evolved in order to save space and increase productivity,” explains Tracy Brooks, Industry Manager, Warehouse Solutions for Hyster. “Rather than delivering full pallets, most applications now adopt the ‘Milk Run’ concept and deliver smaller kits for Just in Time production, while at the same time collecting empty containers.” Tracy continues: “The Hyster Tugger Train System has been developed to respond to the demand for a tough, reliable solution from customers that want to improve their manufacturing line efficiency.” To meet the different needs of specific applications, the Hyster Tugger Train System offers the flexibility of a choice of different trolley types. This ensures that the most suitable trolley can be chosen based on what will be handled on the manufacturing line, the weight of the load, and the type of container the load needs to be transported in. “The new Tugger Train System is suited to a broad range of line feed applications, as well as mail distribution services, transport, healthcare, wholesale and automotive assembly,” says Tracy. “Regardless of the industry, the system provides an intelligent solution for smarter, more efficient operations.”

Doug McCallum, AspenTech’s Energy Industry Marketing Director, predicts that linear planning (LP) tools will increasingly be sidelined by rigorous process simulation software. “To sift through all the possible options, [refinery] planners traditionally have used LP tools. However, the issue here is that the refinery model used by these LP tools are only valid within a specific operating range of the refinery. Additionally, these tools do not have the ability to auto update, making them outdated and ineffective. As a result, many refineries are turning to rigorous process simulation software that can accurately simulate key refinery equipment such as reactors and distillation units.” Tushar Singh, Product Marketing Manager, AspenTech predicts plants will be increasingly optimised in real-time - accurately, without shut downs, with Adaptive Process Control. “Companies utilising Adaptive Process Control technology will have the tools to update models in the background while simultaneously optimising the plant,” he says. “This enables much more frequent updates and accurate models resulting in sustainable APC benefits over the entire lifecycle of the controller. The world’s largest and most profitable energy and chemical companies are using Adaptive Process Control to achieve best-in-class APC benefits and practices.” Lastly, Laura Rokhol, Director of Product Marketing, AspenTech, highlights three recent Supply Chain Management (SCM) trends that are gaining traction: “The first SCM trend of note is an increased interest from companies to move towards hosting supply chain solutions in the cloud,” she says. “The second significant trend is customer movement away from ERP based supply chain planning and scheduling systems due to the limitations of these tools. “Finally, due to increased uncertainty around today’s economic conditions and project implementation risks, companies are demanding higher ROIs, faster payback periods and greater Net Present Value (NPV). We are seeing companies that are embarking on their second or third supply chain planning and scheduling projects to replace legacy systems that no longer meet their needs.”



Focus on: London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) BOFA International Ltd Paladon Systems Ltd Star Tissue Woodway UK Dura Automotive Systems Adria Mobil Tronrud Engineering AS Allard-Europe Swift Group Greif Gram Equipment Thomas Sanderson Blinds Ltd Halcor Metal Works Nowy Styl Group Amcanu Ltd Baxi Ransomes Jacobsen What More UK Limited Festive Productions Williams Industrial Services (WIS Group) De Jong Packaging Vernacare Brompton Bicycle IPG Photonics UK R Stahl Ab Solving Oy EPM Technology Oy Meclift Ltd. QI Van Systems Ebac Group Ltd. Williams Advanced Engineering Indus Motor Company Standfast and Barracks Pathfinder Homes Ltd Tetronics International Lambert Engineering Leggett & Platt Components Europe Ltd Ballyclare Limited

FSL Aerospace Ltd Lymington Precision Engineers (LPE) Ricardo Caetano Bus JC Metalworks Saxon Packaging Morgan Advanced Materials WORLD Pallet AG Giuseppe Desirò Encocam Ltd Belfield Furnishings Mack Rides GmbH & Co KG Perspex Distribution Ltd Hobbs Valve Ltd EWAG AG Fairport Construction Equipment Ltd Coveris Advanced Coatings Penny Hydraulics Ltd Fecc Interallis Macpac Ltd Chromalox



London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG)



London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) is a world leading financial infrastructure company, built on foundations that stretch back for centuries


racing its roots to 1698, when John Castaing began listing stock and commodity prices at Jonathan’s coffee house in the City, London Stock Exchange evolved throughout the 18th century. In 1801, it began inviting members to join on a formal subscription basis. Today, London Stock Exchange is the world’s most international exchange, as nearly 2500 companies from more


than 90 countries are quoted across its markets, with a combined value of £4.4 trillion. As Marcus Stuttard, Head of UK Primary Markets and Head of AIM at LSEG began by explaining, London Stock Exchange’s markets include the Main Market – London’s flagship venue for equity, debt and exchange traded products, offering businesses access to Europe’s most liquid pool of capital – and AIM – the

world’s leading market for small and growing companies. He gave more details about AIM: “Since its launch in 1995 AIM has helped more than 3650 companies raise nearly £100 billion,” he said. “AIM is a tremendous success story for Britain, supporting the rebalancing of the economy away from debt towards equity and boosting access to vital growth finance for thousands of ambitious

The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government at the launch of 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain, 2016

businesses. Equity funding enables companies to concentrate on innovation, growth and job creation, rather than having to prioritise serving a loan.” Marcus continued: “In June 1995, the market was launched with just ten companies and an aggregate value of £82 million. More than 20 years later, AIM is now the world’s most successful and established market for growth companies. Our statistics show that in 2005, the average AIM company had a valuation of £17 million at admission and raised £5 million at IPO. This year, the average new AIM company is worth more than £95 million and raised over £30 million - these significant increases reflect AIM’s international profile and the deep pool of capital available to companies joining the market.” He added: “When looking at AIM I think it is also important to take into account the impact the market and the companies quoted on it have on the real economy. Figures for the latest year available show companies who raised capital on AIM, instead of borrowing from banks, created 731,000 jobs, paid £2.3 billion in tax and contributed £25 billion alone to UK GDP.” While AIM and the Main Market are obviously hugely significant operations, they are not LSEG’s only sources of business. It also operates a broad range of international equity, bond and derivatives markets, including Borsa Italiana; MTS, Europe’s leading fixed income market; and Turquoise, a pan-European equities MTF. It also offers post trade and risk management services, an extensive range of real-time and reference data products, and indexing and analytic solutions. LSEG is also a leading developer of high performance trading platforms and capital

markets software, plus it also organises a range of events, as well as undertaking research projects and creating reports, which are part of LSEG’s broader support for high growth companies including the business support programme, ELITE. Examples of two such reports produced by LSEG have the aim of celebrating the fastestgrowing and most dynamic small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The first edition of 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain was launched in 2013, and identifies inspiring companies, as well as demonstrating the continued strength of British business and the thriving entrepreneurial spirit taking hold across the country. 1000 Companies to Inspire Europe was launched in 2016 – Marcus explained that this report is designed to shine a light on European growth companies and the role they can play in driving economic growth in Europe. “If properly supported, we believe these companies will create high-quality jobs and economic growth. Across the Euro area, SMEs are responsible for two-thirds of jobs and 60 per cent of value added to the business economy,” he stated. When creating these reports, LSEG ensures that the requirements that companies have to achieve really set them apart in the market: “For the UK report companies must be active and registered in the UK, with revenues between £6m-£250m. Positive revenue growth must have been recorded in three of the last four years but most importantly, for companies to be included they must have outperformed their sector peers. The result is a showcase of UK businesses that is richer and more varied than, we believe, in any other report of its type. “We effectively replicated this exercise

for our European edition but changed the parameters for inclusion – companies must have revenues between €20m and €300m and must outperform country peers rather than sector peers. The long-list is split among the EU 28 countries according to every country’s contribution to the EU GDP.” Thanks to LSEG’s dedicated research and stringent methodologies, each report examines in detail the opportunities and challenges facing SMEs and looks at the sectors and trends that will shape the future of the UK/European economies. Adding some details from the UK report, Marcus said: “Without doubt, many of these companies find identifying and accessing the right form of long-term financing a challenge. More than half of Britain’s smaller companies resort to credit cards to fund their business, with just three per cent of entrepreneurs in the UK making use of equity finance. At London Stock Exchange Group we constantly see the benefits companies experience from using equity finance and are committed to supporting them throughout their growth journey. That’s why we publish our 1000 companies report and run our ELITE business support and mentoring programme for private high growth companies that want help to prepare for future investment.” For those SME’s looking for finance options, they can gain confidence from AIM’s longevity and proven success – the market celebrated two decades in operation in 2015, and the track record and the proven resilience of the AIM community provides LSEG with the best evidence for success that it could wish for. “Whilst most international growth markets have stagnated or disappeared over the years, AIM has prospered, and has continued to evolve through the business cycles,” agreed Marcus. “Our goal for the future is to support companies by providing access to investors that can provide genuinely long-term capital to support companies long term development plans. We want more of the UK’s exciting manufacturers to become global leaders in their fields and are confident that the capital, credibility and profile that AIM can provide can help them accelerate their growth.”

London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) Services: World leading financial infrastructure company 19

BOFA International Ltd

Extracting success through

technology Embodying close to three decades of industry experience, BOFA International Ltd. is a leading company in the development and manufacture of fume extraction and filtration systems across several industry applications


et to celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2017, BOFA International Ltd. was originally founded during April 1987 to provide filtration systems for the electronics industry in the UK. The roots of the business date back to 1984 when its founder and company chairman, Dave Cornell, identified a rudimentary Swedish filtration system for extracting the harmful colophony fumes away from printed circuit board (PCB) assembly line operators. Shortly thereafter Dave became the sole importer of the technology and the only person able to offer a fully filtered extraction and filtration system for the electronics industry within the United Kingdom. By 1987 the sales potential of the company’s fume extraction technology was clear and BOFA UK LTD was formed to serve the UK market. By 1999 BOFA had developed its range of systems for the filtration of laser borne fumes in response to a newly emerging market and following further growth the company moved to its current factory in Poole, Dorset in 2006.


During 2008 BOFA Americas was incorporated to extend the company’s support for global partners and in 2012 the company was ultimately awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade. Throughout its history BOFA has also broadened the market sectors in which it operates and now supplies solutions in laser, electronics, printing, mechanical engineering, medical, pharmaceutical, dental and beauty applications. As a consequence the company has continued to expand its factory and warehousing space in the UK and America. The business today employs over 200 staff, manufacturing over 18,000 systems within the UK every year for delivery direct to end users within the domestic market and via OEM and distribution partners globally. Eighty per cent of BOFA products are presently sold into the export market, reaching end users in over 100 countries. “At BOFA we design, develop and manufacture fume extraction and filtration systems for a wide range of industrial sectors and applications. Our

products ensure operator safety by capturing harmful fumes, which are generated during production processes. Hazardous particles and gases (fumes) are captured and filtered out before the cleaned air is recirculated back into the production area, to give a cleaner, healthier working environment,” explains European Sales Manager, John Twigg. “Until recently BOFA was a family owned business. A £23 million management buyout in 2015 secured investment to accelerate growth plans, with additional investment being made in research, product development, operations, staffing and infrastructure to ensure we have the best resources and processes to help the business grow.” As a result of a continued programme of development and investment into its manufacturing facilities, the BOFA HQ in Poole encompasses 55,000 sq ft of factory space, incorporating the entire production process. This includes research and development (R&D) with CAD/3D design, mechanical, electronic, software and fabrication engineers; fabrication including

CNC turret punches, CNC press brakes, guillotine and notching, welding and hand finishing; assembly using wiring looms, filter assembly (unique to BOFA patented designs) and test centre; quality control; and packing and logistics. Further to a global network of sales representatives, BOFA also maintains a distribution, sales and service facility at its BOFA Americas site in Illinois, US and is also planning a further office within Germany. “Maintaining the company’s activities inhouse means we have a wealth of resources at our fingertips to develop, deliver and support innovative, world-class product and service solutions. We apply a collaborative approach to everything we do, which ensures that we offer value beyond just the extraction systems themselves. We truly add value for our customers at every step of their journey with us. We invest heavily into R&D, which helps us to stay ahead in the market as well as being extremely beneficial in catering to customer demands. Many of our OEM partners require bespoke systems or slight changes to traditional systems and our in-house R&D and manufacturing facilities gives us the flexibility to provide these products. We can quickly design bespoke solutions for new processes and bring cutting edge products to market. Our partners find this capability

invaluable and it enables us to deliver attractive and profitable solutions,” John says. “By designing and assembling our own filters, we ensure our customers get the highest standard with every purchase they make. Our filters are unique BOFA patented designs that comply with maximum health and safety standards and allow for easy handling. We are a quality-led business and work hard to maintain the highest quality standards. Every unit is safety and functionality tested to ensure performance reliability. This includes our own SureCheck safety checks and we always strive for continuous improvement, monitoring changes and trends in quality terms to make future-focused business decisions. As well as having our quality standards team in-house we ensure our quality objectives are communicated across the business and relevant training is provided wherever required,” he continues. “We invested in an in-house human resource (HR) function after the management buyout because we recognised that to get the right talent resource in the right parts of the business we needed an expert in-house HR resource. It enables close liaison between the company and its employees, improving understanding between all parties, and maintaining and improving

E Preston Electrical

E Preston Electrical is a family business and commenced trading in 1980 as a specialist distributor of electrical switches and components. The company has grown steadily by offering a wide range of products, good stock levels and excellent customer management and service. It is a modern company with traditional values. E Preston recognises that business is carried out between people, not companies, so always endeavours to build upon the personal relationships it has established with both customers and suppliers. As a family company the way that it does business is very important. It has dedicated and experienced staff and it prides itself on working hard for its customers and always keeping its promises, even if it is just a call back. E Preston is registered as a BS EN ISO 9002 stockist and it is also an MoD approved supplier. The company is still wholly owned by the Directors and is based just outside of Manchester in the North West of England. If you are looking for a business partner to help supply your electrical components at a good price and with excellent service please get in touch. 21


BOFA International Ltd

culture. It safeguards the company ensuring it is compliant, recording accurate information to pass to appropriate stakeholders. We can also ensure quality talent is recruited and inducted into BOFA based on an understanding of the company’s needs. Strategic HR projects to improve and enhance BOFA are more effectively undertaken as they are specific to the company.” BOFA is renowned for innovative filtration technology, ranging from blower design and patented filters to interfacing and real time data logging and strives to remain the world leader in its market. The company’s most successful product is the AD ORACLE, which can be used to provide filtration on many process applications. It is the predominant system for the filtration of the fumes produced from laser ablation and was initially introduced in 2009 with many features including, reverse airflow, deep pleat duo prefiltration, H14 HEPA filter and advanced carbon technology to ensure the fume is filtered to the highest standard while providing the lowest cost of ownership. “Our award-winning patented intelligent operating system (iQ) digital interface was launched in 2012, adopting the proven Best in Class features of the ORACLE to provide customers with a clear understanding of the status of the system while providing a data log for ease of service and maintenance. It revolutionised fume extraction and systems monitoring, taking performance and safety parameters to a new level while helping maintain and enhance productivity through reduced maintenance and all the while being easy to operate,” John elaborates. “The market for filtration systems is still very buoyant with continued growth. We are supported by Health and Safety legislation,

preventing companies from releasing dangerous fumes into the atmosphere. Globalisation means first world values are merging into third world countries – so even where legislation may not exist, western practices are increasingly being introduced promoting measures to take better care of workers and equipment,” he adds. “As well as continuing our growth in markets we have a proven success in, such as laser, we are continuing to explore and move into new markets, such as dental and 3D printing. Our extensive knowledge of fume extraction means we can work with experts within industry and combine our expertise with their requirements. As manufacturers continually strive to achieve efficiencies in their processes, so the opportunities change and increase for us – a current example is the change in the printing industry with the emergence of 3D printing. The fluctuating Pound is always a challenge and uncertainty surrounding Brexit may be something to face in the near future but these challenges are potential opportunities, which will become clearer over time as we receive more detail of the trade deals.” The innovation of BOFA and its willingness to listen to the specific needs of its customers to be able to design and manufacture systems to meet those requirements sets the company apart from its competitors. Its enthusiasm, experience and technical understanding of the extraction of the fumes created by the manufacturing process enables BOFA to offer extraction design

ideas to customers that help them build in efficiencies within both processes and machines. The company’s patented filter technology also ensures a safe working environment and value for money. “Our reputation sets us apart from the competition. We are the trusted brand of choice in a range of market sectors, from laser and electronics to printing and mechanical engineering and users and sellers acknowledge our expertise and the value we provide. We are recognised as ‘best-in-class’ offering products that are easy to install and support, with trouble free, reliable operation, highly effective fume capture and great filter life,” John concludes. “BOFA is a very dynamic company with a financed plan for continued growth, we expect to exceed our target for the next financial year with ambitious targets up to 2020. In the next 12 months we expect to launch the next generation of iQ interface to satisfy the needs of Industry 4.0. We also expect to introduce further pre-filtration technology allowing our products to filter a wider range of industrial processes. During the coming three to five years I expect BOFA to be the clear ‘go to’ leader in our market with continued new development in products and new markets.”

BOFA International Ltd Products: Fume extraction and filtration systems 23

Paladon Systems Ltd

Total valve control With over three decades of industry experience, Paladon Systems Ltd. today provides valve actuators and control systems across the world


aladon Systems Ltd. was established in 1981 as a Valve Automation Centre, supplying valve actuators and control system solutions to the Oil and Gas industry. Initially the company was primarily focused on UK North Sea developments and it quickly established itself through its unique approach to the market with fresh ideas and innovative engineering. By the late 1980s the company had grown significantly, making it clear that the business would need to establish facilities close to its clients’ operational bases in order to maintain the highest levels of customer service. Beginning with the formation of a facility in Aberdeen during 1991, the company today has offices and bases within the UK, Iran, Italy, Malaysia, the UAE and the US. This continued focus on championing the needs of its clients has led to Paladon Systems being named as one of the


London Stock Exchange Group’s (LSEG) ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’, an important accolade that reflects the global growth and commitment of the business to customer service. This is the third year that the LSEG has published its list of 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain and to be listed businesses are required to demonstrate not only positive growth in revenue over the last four years, but also that they significantly outperformed their sector peers. The result is a list of companies richer and more varied than ever identified in any other exercise of this type. “Inclusion on the LSEG list of ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ is an important recognition for Paladon Systems, which is the result of the company achieving a significant increase in turnover despite a global recession, as well as our on-going investment in research and development,” explains Managing Director, Brian Ennever. “This has resulted in the development of new products, including self-contained electro-hydraulic systems, solar powered solutions and low energy systems. Environmental concerns are increasingly an important issue to clients across the world and we

are able to develop products and solutions that meet and exceed these requirements.” Paladon Systems operates as a global valve actuator manufacturer and Valve Automation Centre with a mission is to design, manufacture and test all types of valve actuators and control systems. The company operates with a philosophy to provide comprehensive, fit for purpose and cost-effective valve automation solutions to its clients and the industry sectors they serve. By building close working relationships with its customers, Paladon Systems is able to fully understand their operational requirements and subsequently design and develop solutions that ensure that these needs are met and exceeded. With over three decades of industry experience in all extremes of operating conditions, the company is able to develop actuation solutions with unsurpassed reliability.

Quality is an integral part of the Paladon Systems management philosophy, with the company holding ISO 9001 certification for over 20 years, in addition to accreditation and approvals from many global institutes, engineering companies and end users. With its global network of manufacturing and supporting facilities, the company is able to ensure that it is always close to its clients with the right products and engineering experience. Paladon Systems’ valve actuators are manufactured at its Italian factory, which also provides local sales and support, while the company’s Brixworth headquarters oversees all engineering, quality control and product development to ensure consistency and maximum organisational efficiency. “From relatively humble beginnings, our company has grown into a business with a client list that represents a who’s-who of leading operators within the world’s energy industry; including company’s such as BP, Total and ExxonMobil to name a few,” Brian reveals. “Our products stand apart from others in the market in that Paladon Systems’ actuators are designed with modern manufacturing techniques in mind and made with modern materials. For example, we produce actuator components using steel, which makes them lighter and more resilient than cast iron variants.” Further to the success of being recognised by the LSEG in its top 1000 list, Paladon Systems also announced its largest project award to date in 2016. Comprising of orders from valve companies and a packaged process plant manufacturer, Paladon Systems has been selected to supply pneumatic and selfcontained electro-hydraulic valve actuator packages for BP’s West Nile Delta project. Currently the total scope of award is for over 100 packages, however, the final scope of award is expected to rise to approximately 400. The scope of award includes rotary and linear pneumatic fail-safe systems fitted to 1” to 24” Class 150 to 1500 valves and linear self-contained electro-hydraulic fail-safe systems fitted to 24” Class 1500 gate valves. All systems are supplied with 316SS EExd certified control systems, which include 4-20mA smart positioners with Foundation Fieldbus communications. Pneumatic systems fitted to critical valves will include closed loop breathing systems to prevent environmental ingress during operation and quick exhaust valves to meet the short operating time requirements during the valves’ fail stroke. All systems fitted to critical valves will also be supplied with partial valve stroke testing capabilities. With continuing accolades and the award of several important contracts, Paladon Systems is in a strong position to meet the needs of the oil and gas industry as it recovers from the current downturn and to expand into new markets over the next few years. “During the coming years we will look into expanding our presence across the world in terms of both market opportunities and being close to our clients, which is very important for our business,” Brian concludes. “Additionally, as fracking operations continue to grow around the world, Paladon Systems will work to further develop its products for this market, where the lightweight design of our actuators make them an appealing choice to meet the needs of comparatively mobile fracking equipment.”

Paladon Systems Ltd Products: Provides high quality valve actuators and control systems

Sarum Hydraulics

The Hand Pump Experts. Proud to have supplied Paladon for 27 years. Sarum Hydraulics are the experts in hydraulic hand pumps and rugged low corrosion manual hydraulics. They are trusted worldwide for offshore equipment including control systems, actuation, mechanical sealing systems, diving bells and winches. Whether your requirement is a catalogue product or an OEM pump unit from proven Micropac parts, they can deliver. They offer 30 years of unrivalled engineering support in low corrosion offshore manual hydraulics. 25

Star Tissue

Not just great on


Star Tissue is a leading independent manufacturer of hygiene paper products for private label customers as well as its own brands



tar Tissue UK is outperforming the growing hygiene paper market; it has grown its revenues by over 100 per cent in the past four years. The core of its business is manufacturing away from home hygiene paper products, including private label products for major suppliers and distributors in the professional cleaning, catering and medical markets in the UK and Ireland. Star Tissue offers a number of premium quality brands including, Sirius®, ecoroll®, BLISS®, and newly launched EVOTEX®. This year Star Tissue was proud to be accredited with ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 quality certificates. Star Tissue has been identified as one of London Stock Exchange’s 1000 Companies

to Inspire Britain. The report is a celebration of the UK’s fastest-growing and most dynamic small and medium sized businesses. The 2016 edition of the report profiles a cross-section of the economy, celebrating some of the fastestgrowing enterprises in the U.K. The 1000 businesses listed have, on average, grown their revenue by 50 per cent over the past four years and outperformed their sector peers. Just 25 per cent of the companies listed were featured last year. A family company, Star Tissue is proud of the strong reputation it has gained in the industry since its inception for delivering superior customer service and value for money without ever compromising on meeting the highest

ethical and environmental standards. Indeed, with social and environmental responsibility reflected in all actions within the company, Star Tissue makes a constant effort to reduce the amount of waste that is generated from its activities by improving production methods and control measures that are designed to

lower waste. Moreover, all tissue, plastic and board waste is recycled by reputable waste management companies. Discussing the company’s timeline of growth is Khalid Saifullah, Managing Director at Star Tissue UK: “We are a family business, father and sons, who manufacture hygiene paper products; we

Hart Label Solutions

Hart label solutions is a Burnley based label manufacturing company specialising in the manufacture of hot foil, Flexo, RFID and Digitally printed labels. With its 40 years combined experience in the manufacture and supply of self adhesive labels the company is well situated to deal with any of your label requirements. 27


PCMC has been specialising for over 97 years in the design and manufacture of converting machinery for the tissue, nonwovens and flexographic printing industries. PCMC’s Rewinder operations in Europe are based in PCMC Italia SpA, Lucca. PCMC is part of the Barry-Wehmiller group, based in St Louis, Mo (USA). Its presence in the UK has reflected the global increase in market share with more than 40 projects installed and successfully running including multiple rewinder lines: both FORTE and Amica MATRIX platforms producing the highest quality of products at the highest speeds for bathroom tissue and kitchen towel products, and start stop machines. With repeat business the company is showing that it can fully support its customers using its customer service team at its European headquarters in Italy and its UK team. PCMC is there for all the market needs and with the continuous development program it is always creating the best new solutions for converters today such as ARCO.


began manufacturing away-from-home product in sectors such as catering, hospitals, offices, restaurants, petrol stations and engineering places. In 2011 the business was growing at a steady pace, however we sought to understand the needs of the market better and worked out why people buy from Star Tissue, where is the market going and how can we be leaders in this market. From there, we made a five-year plan, which defined our focus on making the best quality products in the market at high volumes and at affordable prices; this was our vision going forward.

“In the same year we made the decision to invest in a new production line, an investment that was followed by another production line six months later. This investment ensured we were where we wanted to be in the market and has led to Star Tissue growing from £5 million to £6 million turnover to £17 million to £18 million turnover in a period of four years.” Based in a 140,000 square foot custom-built manufacturing facility in close proximity to the M65, M61 and M6, the company has not only focused on investment in equipment, but also in employees, as Khalid continues: “Star Tissue is about building relationships; we are a family business that is very open, with strategies developed collectively and shared throughout the company. As such, we ensure people who work for us feel part of Star Tissue and also have adequate training; in my view, there is no point in investing £5 million in machinery and then not investing in the people who will be running the equipment. Our way of working allows our employees to have opportunities to grow and develop within the company.” Alongside developing a strong relationship

Star Tissue

(L-R) Anthony Riley: Logistics Planner, Ramona Shellard: Head of Sales, Chris Edge: Sales Support Administrator.

want to push forward, particularly after investing in infrastructure, our people and a good senior management team. Now that we are in a position to grow, we will be investing in our own brand more and creating more awareness of this as they are in high demand in the market. We know there is huge potential out there for a company that offers a great service and good quality; we have built our company on the needs of this sector, which is very diverse, by remaining flexible and also conforming to the different requirements of each sector. This is our strength,” Khalid concludes.

Star Tissue with employees, Khalid says Star Tissue also has a unique way of developing long-lasting relationships with customers: “When it comes to our customer base, we operate in a different kind of way; we don’t cold call people or send out mail-shots, but instead identify the kind of company we want to work with and approach them strategically before developing a package to suit their needs. However, we only offer this service if we are certain we have the capacity to fulfill the order as opposed to agreeing to a contract and then scratching our heads as to how we can deliver. We have grown by making sure we have a good relationship with customers, which in turn has led to clients growing with us as they can sell a superior product alongside their usual items. In fact, many customers have grown at the same pace as us.” Through working with customers closely, Star Tissue and clients alike have both benefited from a more in-depth understanding of market trends or requirements, which has resulted in new products being added to Star Tissue’s range. “There has been a demand led product development strategy for us, where if a customer says they are getting a lot of requests for a certain product, we then develop and launch for resale. This way of working enables us to develop more products and benefit from a sales increase through that,” notes Khalid. Through accumulating a diverse range of customers and going above and beyond to meet each of their requirements, Star Tissue has cemented a comfortable position in the market as a company to trust when it comes to the delivery of high quality products at a costeffective price. This is a strength that is certain to come in handy over the coming years as issues

such as price pressures, currency factors from Brexit and consolidation in the market lead to further challenges. “Looking forward, we would like to continue our trend of growth; we are aspirational and

Products: Manufacturers of hygiene paper products 29


Woodway UK


The full

With close to four decades of industry experience, Woodway UK boasts a rich history in industry experience, a diverse customer base and one of the most extensive stock and bespoke packaging ranges in the UK

Left to right - Operations Director, Mike Berrisford with Joint Managing Directors Martin and Jason Inwood

Linkline Transport

At Linkline Transport we recognise that warehousing is an important link in the supply chain, helping your business to minimise stock-holdings and facilitate the speed of delivery from point of manufacture to point of consumption/use. As well as providing space for your stocks, warehousing protects against climatic conditions, theft and damage. This service also has an important role to play when demands for goods are seasonal and in international trade. Here at Linkline we operate in excess of 50,000 square feet in warehousing space and provide a 24 hour service. We offer flexible, cost-effective storage and our specialist distribution and logistics division will make sure all your goods are conveniently and efficiently located.


perating from its base in Earls Barton, Northamptonshire, Woodway UK was founded in 1978 by Norman and Liz Inwood as Woodway Packaging and is today managed by their sons Jason and Martin Inwood. Since the company was initially started, the packaging industry and its wider marketplace have both changed considerably, with clients becoming increasingly aware of types of materials they use and the environmental impact of business operations. Over the years Woodway has grown alongside its customers and today concentrates on the key areas of brand presence, environmental impact, process efficiencies and the protection of products. “What we see today is that while packaging was traditionally the last consideration when bringing a new product to market, it is now seen as an essential part of the supply chain,” explains Woodway UK Managing Director, Jason Inwood. “With the growing industry focus on brand enhancement and ensuring the environmental sustainability of packaging, it is increasingly important to be on site with customers to develop the appropriate packaging solution. As Woodway UK has grown we have developed a strong technical team that supports our sales function by fully understanding the needs of the business areas in which our customers operate. While cost is always a consideration, spending time with our clients to ensure that the final product is designed accordingly is vital.” 31


Woodway UK

C Butt Ltd

Approaching their centenary year, located in Northamptonshire, C BUTT LTD continue to provide flexible logistics solutions to suit customer requirements across many industry sectors. Their Shared User Distribution Centre (SUDC), which is situated only five minutes from Junction 15 of the M1, supports easily accessible and flexible solutions for any storage requirements. Traditional service values combined with the latest technology give the most cost effective package for your business. Both bulk and racked storage options are available for any requirement from short term to deep storage. C Butt Ltd’s modern dedicated fleet, in conjunction with their network of transport partners, guarantees full daily UK coverage at competitive rates.


Storopack is a global player in the protective packaging market. Alongside key partners such as Woodway UK it has developed the ‘Working Comfort’ principle in which its technical experts develop bespoke integration solutions that fit perfectly into warehouse production processes. The main aim is to increase protective packaging line efficiencies, and reduce operational costs. Storopack offers a free technical evaluation service and will review protective packaging processes, design customised packaging systems to reduce damage, and increase efficiency within warehouse operations. Its expertise has effectively helped many of the high street brand’s ecommerce and retail sectors optimise their operations.

As part of its strategy to provide its clients with innovative solutions and high-quality bespoke packaging products, Woodway UK announced the opening of its comprehensive new Innovation Centre in August 2014. The centre focuses on the four key areas of environment, protection, brand and efficiency and includes a hands-on training facility with an educational area to allow the company to discuss best practice for packaging with clients. Furthermore, while the Innovation Centre allows Woodway UK to assist its clients in the design aspect of packaging solutions, Woodway UK has also invested in new warehousing space to meet the growing demand for the rapid availability of packaging at short notice. “The introduction of the Innovation Centre for packaging has given us a platform with which to come speak to clients about our packaging solutions and how we can bring their

packaging to life. We can also provide real-time solutions by taking a product and designing the packaging in front of the customer so that they can have it there and then,” Jason reveals. “The packaging industry is on a constant journey and in addition to the Innovation Centre we have also opened several warehouses to accommodate the manufacturing side of the business, but also to meet the needs of customers that are increasing moving to a ‘stock and serve’ model. This means that they are able to call for stock from us just-intime to meet their demand, rather than having to take up their own space with packaging.” It is becoming increasingly clear that packaging is playing a more important role in developing the brand image of companies operating across the retail sector, both in terms of the high street and in the wake of the rapid growth of online retailing. As a result of this it is increasingly important for businesses to follow the response and reactions of consumers to the various types of packaging that they encounter in the market. To this end, Woodway UK has developed its ‘PackRate®’ system to allow consumers to share their opinions regarding packaging, which provides an invaluable tool to Woodway and its clients in analysing the demands of the market regards 33

Woodway UK

Earlier this year we were selected as one of 1000 Companies to Inspire Europe so to be recognised locally and nationally as well is a real testament to the hard work of all the Woodway team

to brand image and functionality. “PackRate® has been very successful and we have had thousands of people come to the site answer the questionnaire and leave comments, which helps us to develop a focused strategy that matches our customers’ requirements with the demands of the consumer,” Jason says. “We can analyse consumer concerns over packaging, damages, the delivery of parcels and the way in which products are packed. This helps us to reduce damages to

fragile items and is a powerful tool in helping us to understand what is required to make packaging fit for purpose, while also helping us to educate consumers about the packaging itself.” Woodway UK has enjoyed huge levels of success throughout 2016, through the award of multiple industry awards. The company was awarded Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) at the prestigious UK Packaging Awards held in the Grosvenor Hotel, London on the same night that the company was named Northampton Business of the Year and the runner-up for Barclays Business of the Year (over 50 employees). “We are very proud to receive these accolades. Our team work so hard to drive the business forward and ensure our customers receive excellent service and these awards are an acknowledgement of that,” Jason exclaims. “Earlier this year we were selected as one of 1000 Companies to Inspire Europe so to be recognised locally and nationally as well is a real testament to the hard work of all the Woodway team.” During the coming years Woodway UK will look to build on its current success, while both the UK and the rest of the world wait to see the impact of Brexit across the market. “While I think that a lot of businesses have felt the impact of the fall of the pound against the euro and the dollar, it is impossible to know how Brexit will ultimately effect business,” Jason concludes. “There are certainly opportunities in the market and we will continue to innovate while maintaining close working relationships with our customers and potential customers. Naturally a huge part of our business is to understand what the next move will be for packaging and to adapt to this to offer new products to our clients.”

Woodway UK

Products: Unique packaging solutions


Dura Automotive Systems

Filling the trophy


Dura Automotive Systems has won a number of major awards in recognition of its highly focused investments and improvements, which are propelling the company forward


ura Automotive Systems is an independent designer and manufacture of driver control systems, seating control systems, safety hardware, structural body systems, plus exterior trim and integrated glass systems, and it provides this range of services to customers which include major international car brands. It has a depth of expertise that it applies to this industry, and a prime example of its capabilities is the manufacture of full door and door structures, which are notoriously difficult and present a number of challenges in terms of tolerances and welding. Dura Automotive also provides its services for a globally recognised vehicle model, made famous in a well-known heist film. For this vehicle the company provides the majority of exterior trim on plastic areas of the vehicle, and due to the very visible and prominent position of this project it is essential to be well finished. This demonstrates the quality, reliability, and high standards that the company is known for and consistently achieves, which is indispensible to its customers. This point was something Plant Manager Martin Dinsley added to: “We have an amazing degree of control over the machines,

the equipment, and the process, and we do that really successfully, and is something we are very proud of.” The ability to meet exacting standards within every project is a testament to the innovation and expertise that runs throughout the business. It continuously pushes forward with new ways to evolve and improve, which has been a key theme of the company over the past few years. It was also an area that Martin discussed: “We encourage our people to innovate, and as a result there is always a constant stream of ideas, and we actually have an aim to achieve 450 documented completed improvements this year, it is a good indicator of how engaged our people are with making the business better. Every month staff will put forward completed changes, and these can be minor to major things, for example changing pictures in the toilets, to improving the productivity of our machines.” This approach is indicative of the overarching culture at Dura Automotive, which is one of community, quality, and progress. This is a key strength of the company and has supported it in achieving many impressive accomplishments, which includes reaching peak sales of £47 million in 2016, and the successful completion of 13

projects in the past four years, as well as a string of prestigious awards. In order to support forward thinking innovation and foster a culture of constant improvement Dura Automotive has made significant investments, which Martin provided information about: “Over the last four years we have invested 15 million pounds in new plants and equipment, this includes a number of high 35

end large injection and moulding machines that inject two materials at once, this state-of-the-art technology also includes new eco drive systems and full system integration. The new machines have come from premium manufacturers in the German and Austrian machine-building sector. However, we have also taken the time to rejuvenate the infrastructure, and that includes ensuring that the environment excels for our staff as well. This has taken many forms, such as market leading chillers, new air distribution networking, plus renovated canteen and offices.” The investments of Dura Automotive continue into other areas as well, and it has a significant drive towards sustainability, which has seen the company work on a number of initiatives to drive down energy and water use. For example, the business has now saved over £250,000 of energy on an annual basis, and in total over a £million. This is something it continues to focus on and as such has undergone the installation of energy efficient lighting in its factory, as well as the installation of sensor taps in all of the toilets. The result of which is its water usage and water heating has been reduced, and this has saved four per cent so far, however this is predicted to reach at least eight per cent savings by the end of the year. The many developments at the company are underpinned by a common attitude and culture that runs through every member of staff at Dura Automotive, which Martin highlighted: “It comes from the top down, and that sustainability is the responsibility of everyone and not just a single person that is given it as a task on their own. It needs to be integrated within the management structure, and embedded across all areas, such as the financial perspective, customer perspective, internal perspective, and the learning and growth perspective. It is not something you do when you have time as an add on, instead it is something that you do all the time.” Due to all of these improvements, investments, company ethos, and quality of staff at Dura Automotive, it has recently received impressive recognition for its hard work. At the 2016 TMMX awards the company received the award for Sustainable Manufacturing, World Class


We are delighted to congratulate Dura Automotive on winning the manufacturer of the year award and delighted to play our part in their success. We are true solution providers and partners, not only supplying the right type of machinery, but have also designed the manufacturing system to meet Dura’s specific requirements; optimised processes and CNC programmes; and support Dura at all times, especially when things have gone wrong, which we recognise can and will happen, even with the best equipment! Maka are delighted with this partnership and look forward to building on this success for many years to come.


Dura Automotive Systems

Manufacturing, People and Skills, plus The Manufacturer of the Year. Each one in itself is a huge achievement for any company, however to win three, as well as the overall winner, not only demonstrates how far the business has come, but also how far it is going. It will also no doubt make Dura Automotive an even more attractive prospective to OEMs when they consider future projects. Every member of staff throughout the company was instrumental in its success, and all got the chance to hold the awards and share in the success. However, in addition to crediting everyone at Dura Automotive Martin did highlight one person in particular: “Alison Dowd really drove the peoples and skills aspect of

what we have been doing at Dura Automotive, and we would not have won the overall award if it was not for the work we did there.� In addition to these major achievements the company also plans to continue its improvements and adoption of the latest tools with the use of collaborative robots, which will help to make the business more competitive on future projects. Furthermore, it will be focusing on smart technology in the coming years, with a target of reaching 100 per cent of its machines on smart meters by 2017, as well as the inclusion of smart flipcharts and smart meeting boards. All of which will help make Dura Automotive one to watch, not only by excelling

in sustainability, people and training, but also in utilising the latest technology. For all of these reasons and many more Dura Automotive will no doubt enjoy an increasing amount of success and awards in the future.

Dura Automotive Systems

Products: Designer and manufacturer of driver control systems, seating control systems, safety hardware, structural body systems, exterior trim and integrated glass systems 37

Adria Mobil

Active Multi-Purpose Camper

Raring to go

Through stringent quality tests, experience and a commitment to innovation, award-winning Adria Mobil has become one of the leading European manufacturers of caravans, motor homes and mobile homes



dria Mobil d. o. o. began operations in 1965, when the first caravan, Adria 375, was manufactured in Novo mesto and exported to and sold in Sweden. Indicative of the company’s future success in the European market, Adria Mobil went on to develop increasingly more sophisticated and higher quality products that have resulted in a leading reputation in a competitive market. Discussing the company’s history of success Matjaz Grm, Executive Sales and Marketing Director at Adria Mobil d. o. o. said: “The Adria brand celebrated its 50th birthday in 2015; we believe that the main reason for our success

lies in detailed adaptation to our customers’ needs, our own design and development, which is upgraded each year; close connections and fruitful relationships with our global distribution network, an extensive dealer network which encompasses more than 400 dealers and, last but not least, we strongly believe that without the dedicated work of each and every employee over the generations we could not be where we are at this moment. Complementing these strengths is the fact we allocate three per cent of our yearly income on the development of new products. This year, the three new products presented at trade shows throughout Europe were Sonic Supreme, a novelty among

Adria Mobil factory

We strongly believe that without the dedicated work of each and every employee over the generations we could not be where we are at this moment

motorhomes, Aviva, a novelty among caravans, and Active, a novelty among the van series.” The new Sonic A-Class vehicle range of integrated motorhomes is designed around the way customers use and enjoy it, with a purity of line, form and function. “It is a harmonious, uncluttered design where everything is ‘just right’, where space is uncompromised and where all the features you want are in the right place. Moreover, there is a new different exterior profile, with sweeping curves and dynamic rear

wall yet retaining the characteristics of previous Sonics when it comes to road presence and easy –to-love driving and handling. Sharper more ‘automotive’ styling and clever detailing includes LED lights and new front mask, while inside Adria Mobil has created the new benchmark with an environment of true harmony and luxury; easy on the eye wherever you look, it is designed for luxurious touring for the most discerning of motorhome aficionados,” highlights Matjaz. 39


Adria Mobil

The new Aviva caravan

Optional “secondary kitchen”, which self assembles and encourages dining outside

In comparison to luxurious Sonic range, the all new, innovative and original Aviva caravan range offers a new style of camping with a range that boasts innovative features, cutting edge style and nine layouts. Sleeping up to seven persons, the Aviva has been a stalwart in Adria’s caravan line for many years and has accumulated a significant fan base from those who seek a basic, entry level and good value for money caravan that also offers good build quality. “The new Aviva from Adria is an easy caravan to own, tow and enjoy, is original and affordable and offers a stylish interior design with refreshingly clean lines, a bright, playful interior and a choice of textiles,” notes Matjaz. “There is also of course a new entrant in the camper van market with the new Active, a multi-purpose camper that is targeting new consumers.” As part of the Adria Mobil Group, Adria Mobil today is the principal company that designs and manufactures motorhomes, camper vans and caravans that proudly take on the wellknown Adria badge; the company also produces motorhomes and camper vans under the Sun Living brand, which are also created in its stateof-the-art factory in Novo mesto, Slovenia. “The new state-of-the-art factory of Adria

Mobil was constructed in 2005 and is a leading proponent of World Class Manufacturing principles and techniques. The investment in a new production location was 30 million euros and the size of the entire factory complex is 15 ha (147.735 m2); inside of that there is a management building of 4000 m2, production facility with 36.560 m2 and a warehouse for the finished products with 49.437 m2. The work in the production hall is entirely supported by technology, based on a system of wireless data transfer with the help of a bar code reader, which results in paperless operation,” highlights Matjaz. He adds: “The production organisation follows the principles of the World Class Manufacturing approach (WCM). This is a wide array of concepts, principles, politics and techniques regarding the management and performance of a production company. The basic orientation is constant improvement in quality, costs, time, flexibility and customer services. The most visible method regarding WCM is 5S, according to which the whole production operates; only what the production process requires at a given time is in production, and what it requires is located at standard designated places.” 41

Adria Mobil

Below:The Compact Slide Out


Working alongside these superior facilities and the company’s ethos of operating in an efficient and flexible manner are two key points that Matjaz stresses have a strong influence on the quality of the end product: “Supercontrol is one of the most important control checkpoints and comes at the end of production process. It is totally independent of production control, and randomly takes into complete inspection five per cent of finished products. The time for inspection at the supercontrol is eight hours per unit on average, while individual inspections can take up to 24 hrs. One of the most important tests at supercontrol is testing the water ingression: every product at the supercontrol enters the shower cabin. The test is very demanding and simulates the most challenging conditions in use. The condition of acceptance is 100 per cent sealing rate of all the joints. “The second is plasmatreat, a robotised process that combines cleaning with an electric beam and the application of glue (adhesive) on all windows and doors built into our products. With this technology the joints between windows and body elements have become stronger and more secure and the process itself has become environmentally friendly, fast and

Below:The Sonic Supreme, left interior.

company won the gold award for innovations by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia on the national level as well as a European Innovation Award for its motorhome Compact SLS, a product that offers the benefits of a long bed in a compact 599 m motorhome, thanks to its unique SlideOut technology. Quick and silent in operation, it extends the rear bedroom to enable a full 1980 x 1680 mm wide bed when in fixed position. Renowned for consistent quality, innovation and intelligent designs, the future looks ever positive for Adria Mobil, a company that offers endless possibilities for those who are living in motion. By continuing to move forward in the motorhomes, camper vans and caravan market, Adria Mobil is certain to not only lead the way in Europe, but also on a global scale.

Adria Mobil

Products: Motorhomes, camper vans and caravans executed each time with the highest degree of precision.” Benefiting from a cutting edge facility based strategically in the heart of Europe, the company is able to reach its diverse range of customers with ease through the development of a general distribution network throughout Europe. “Our main markets are Scandinavia, Germany and France, where we grow faster than the market itself and have reached first place among motorhome and van producers and fourth place among caravan producers,” says Matjaz. “Our customers are split into three segments, distributors, dealers and end buyers; we have more than 30 distributors throughout Europe and the area, for example we also have representatives in China, Japan, Korea, Australia, Israel and Turkey. In each country distributors have dealer networks, which in the last period grew to more than 400 dealers throughout Europe.” He continues: “End users, meanwhile, differ regarding the fact whether they are the owners of our products or they rent our products for a certain amount of time. Owners of Adria brand products are mainly older couples, while people who rent Adria products tend to mainly be younger people, with or without children.” Aware that, as one of the top manufacturers of recreational vehicles, it is constantly watched, compared and copied, Adria Mobil is consistently active in seeking out new possibilities and solutions with its products. Because of this, the 43

Tronrud Engineering AS

A belief in

innovation Tronrud Engineering AS maintains its position at the forefront of the manufacturing industry through utilising the latest technology to create engineering solutions


ronrud Engineering AS has continued on the same strong strategic path as the last time that it was featured in Manufacturing Today Europe in April 2016, however, since then, it has seen a record growth. It has built on its successful move into the food sector, while also adopting and developing the latest technology and automation across all the other sectors it serves. This means that in many ways, the company’s future course will be geared towards applying its expertise in adapting to new technology in areas such as robotics to assist its customers, right from factory cleaning to providing solutions for the various stages of the packaging. In a time that has seen many companies face uncertainty, Tronrud Engineering is a prime example of stability and innovation, making it a company to watch out for in the years to come. Ola Tronrud founded the company in 1977, and its history demonstrates the company’s


commitment to manufacturing and innovation. The business started with a single workshop based in the founder’s home and in those days, he was also the only employee. Since then, there have been a number of expansions and recently, the company moved into a large and well-equipped production facility that enables it to meet the needs and demands of its customers. This move has meant that Tronrud Engineering has consolidated all its operations into two brand new state-of-the-art buildings that have a total area of 12,000 cubic metres. The passion and knowledge that Ola Tronrud displayed throughout the company’s formative years is something that carries on among its current team of highly qualified, experienced and enthusiastic mechanical, electrical and software engineers. Through the expertise and abilities of Tronrud Engineering’s staff, it can support customers throughout the lifecycle of the project, from the idea, through the design and

construction, and to the commissioning of preinstalled machines. Furthermore, the capability of those at the company is fully supported and enhanced through the company’s investments in the latest equipment and technology. It has maintained steady investments in these areas, which has helped push the company forward and provide its customers with the most effective solutions. Sales and Marketing Director Rune Nordby discussed some new additions: “We have recently added two more 3D printers, one of which is for metals and another for plastics.” 3Dprinting is just one avenue that Tronrud Engineering is pursuing for the future, and it offers increased design flexibility, functional optimisation and integration, as well as possibilities for rapid prototyping and mass customisation, plus lightweight and yet stable construction. Its dynamic approach to technology and development is a testament to the talent and attitudes of the company and its staff.

Due to the many years of investments and expertise at its disposal, Tronrud Engineering can call upon its internal and external research and development capabilities to offer customised solutions to its customers. And it is also able to leverage the strengths of manual and CNCcontrolled machines, programming of PLC, PC control, servo systems and databases, as well as design and assembly of a range of products. Most recently, its development work has taken the form of automation and robotics: “We are working on how to use standard equipment, standard industrial robots, and also speciallydesigned robots and equipment, which will be able to automatically wash and clean the factories, and also perform a range of duties and roles. For example, using robot vision systems to automate a lot of the manual operations in the fish and meat industries, as well as taking it much further into the production line, and helping to remove the heavy handling stress from human beings, and this will continue to be a focus for us,” Rune said. Going forward, the core of Tronrud Engineering’s focus will feature three key aspects, as Rune discussed: “There are three different focal areas: the production lines of machinery, end of the line packaging machines, and then, all the consumer goods. This is not only applicable to the food industry, but is also important to everyone who produces anything for the customer on a daily basis. This will be in conjunction with our focus in the area of packaging machines, and our 3D printing capabilities, plus we will continue to provide specialised machinery for our customers. These areas will be our main goals going forward.” Due to the many strengths that it has continued to leverage on since its very inception and the yearly improvements since then, Tronrud Engineering consistently builds upon what it has achieved. This has already seen the company make great inroads into automation and robotic

solutions that will help to improve speed, cost, efficiency, and of course the safety for customers. It also does not restrict its services to any one sector, and instead is a choice provider for a large number of the leading figures in the automotive, food, oil and gas industries, and many more. Therefore, with the consistent, gradual, and reliable growth that Tronrud Engineering has continued to achieve, and the level of expertise

that it offers, in the coming years, it will no doubt carry on its successful growth.

Tronrud Engineering AS Products: Engineering solutions 45


Designed for the



llard-Europe produces steel and iron castings for partners all around the world, and specialises in creating unique parts and small series, with the constant aim of improving and making technical developments. In order to supply niche markets the company continues to invest in the latest technologies and provide its customers with high-tech personalised solutions. Allard has enjoyed a number of key milestones throughout its history, however one of the most significant in recent years has been its acquisition by Royal IHC and DIHAG Holding GmbH that took an equity stake of 40 per cent and 60 per cent respectively. This has helped support the company across its entire range of products and provide the backing for Allard to excel even further in the coming years. Allard offers its services to a variety of sectors, and these include dredging, offshore, shipbuilding, energy, cement and mixing, plus metal. In all of these areas the company has added to its outstanding experience, expertise, and quality, with large-scale investments. Also, within all of these it tailors its services to meet the particular challenges and demands of Allard’s customers. In terms of its dredging provision the business has developed a lot of experience in designing, pouring and machining of castings for the dredging industry. It is due to these years of activity within the sector that its quality


Allard-Europe specialises in metal casting for a number of markets, and it has recently made significant investments and expanded its capacity to meet growing demand

department has developed materials, specific for wear-resistant applications. In addition to its dredging services, it also provides for the offshore industry, and within this Allard has a reputation as a leader in solutions. The company manages to do this in a number of ways, whether that be through extensive efforts to find the right materials, or to take a critical examination of the geometry and casting, which all helps to ensure that its customers get the best results. Allard also supports the shipbuilding sector, and has done so for many years and it utilises the experience of its staff to create the right application and keep the mechanical properties, weldability and corrosion resistance in mind. It understands that the best outcomes will only be through working closely with the customer, and this is a key part of its success throughout all of its operations. Allard also supplies the energy industry with a broad selection of castings and materials, from non-alloyed to very high alloy heat-resistant grades of steel and in weights of 50 kilogram to over 25 tonnes. The company’s expertise is targeted towards both wind and the nuclear industries, whose quality demands are very high. This is a testament to the high standards of the company, as Commercial Director Fienie Maasdam highlighted: “I think one of our key strengths in the market is that we are very reliable and are known to offer very good quality products.”

The final areas where the company applies its skills are in cement and mining, as well as metal – which includes its provision for steel, construction, non-ferro, and automotive services. In the cement and mining sector Allard often performs one-off projects in which the preliminary phase and the engineering of the castings are central. This has meant the company has invested heavily in the latest simulation software in recent years, which allows it to perform coagulation as filling simulations for new or existing designs. The metal sector is an area where Allard has a leading reputation of supplying castings to the steel industry, and has extensive services throughout this area. What unites these areas is a focus on finding the best materials, and Allard is able to achieve this through its many years of experience, and the importance it places upon working so closely with its customers to understand their needs and applications. It has also been made possible through the large investments that the company has made into its facilities and machinery, such as its CNC machines, CAM software, 3D design systems, and many more. All of which have helped support it on its path to double its capacity by 2016-17, and continue Allard’s tradition of constant improvement and development. In addition to this it has made important investments in its staff, which are a fundamental part to the business, and one way it does this

was discussed by Fienie: “We have started a development programme where we provide training opportunities for young people, and over the course of six or seven months they develop the skills required for a specific role at the company.” This is no doubt crucial to the longevity of the business and industry in general, as it helps to address the skills gap that has developed in recent years. The company combines the newly trained generation with its current staff that has vast experience, which ensures its personnel have the best of both. Therefore, with the expertise, experience, and presence within a number of markets, and large scale investments that are targeted at providing long term success, the company looks well positioned for the years to come. Fienie elaborated on what Allard would be doing in the coming 12 months: “It will be to optimise the current production cycle and evaluating whether we can do it more efficiently, and focus on that, while also giving focus to safety, plus we will be concentrating on streamlining the whole organisation.” Due to these factors and the core strengths of Allard its future looks set to be a positive one.

Allard-Europe Products: Metal casting 47

Swift Group

Spirit of

adventure W

ith roots stretching back as far as 1964, the journey of the Swift Group has continued for more than 50 years and allowed the company to evolve as a leading caravan manufacturer through the delivery of groundbreaking design and the highest levels of customer service. The company presently employs over 1000 dedicated members of staff and generates a turnover or more than £200 million annually, making it the UK’s largest leisure vehicle manufacturer. Its range of products is designed to suit all budgets and requirements and Swift is the leader in the tourer caravan and motorhome sectors with shares of 40 per cent and 22 per cent in each market respectively. With a market share of around 20 per cent, the


Embodying a reputation built on innovation, value for money and customer engagement, the Swift Group represents a trusted and reliable brand within the caravanning market across the UK and beyond

company is also amongst the leading producers of holiday homes within the UK. The Swift Group was previously featured in Manufacturing Today Europe during February 2016, when the company’s Group Commercial Director, Nick Page discussed the group’s decision to invest £1.5 million into the installation of a state-of-the-art CNC router and a further £1.75 million programme to install a new laminating facility to cope with growing demand for its market-leading leisure vehicles. Indeed, such has been the success of the business in recent years that the Swift Group has announced an £8 million investment into an all-new production facility at its Cottingham headquarters to further enable the company to improve manufacturing capabilities and increase its production capacity.

This latest round of investment was made public during July 2016 and will enable the Swift Group to establish a new production facility from scratch, which is an opportunity that is virtually unheard of within the holiday home industry. The new plant will enable Swift to create a state-of-the-art facility that will set new standards in the manufacturer of holiday homes and lodges, as well as to secure employment at the site for many years. This will emerge as a vital development for the Swift Group during 2017 and beyond as the caravanning and holiday home sector continues to grow, further driving demand for the company’s innovative leisure vehicles. “Construction of the site is currently on schedule and we are on course to commence production of the company’s holiday homes and

With spirited investment into its manufacturing facilities and the release of exciting new leisure vehicles and prestigious holiday homes, the coming years are set to be rich in opportunity for the Swift Group

lodges during the summer of 2017. The modern facility will allow us to increase our production capacity, enabling us to meet increased demand while also generating further supply and production efficiencies,” says Group Commercial Director, Nick Page. “Growth is strong within the UK market across all sectors with touring caravans also performing well in the established European markets of Germany and Holland. Likewise, the company’s target markets in Scandinavia along with Australia, New Zealand and South Korea continue to perform well.” The locally based firms Alan Wood Partnerships and Houlton were engaged to project manage and construct the new facility, which adds to the overall benefit the factory will bring to the surrounding community. Alan Wood Partnerships was established in Hull during the 1960s and has grown to provide a comprehensive range of services to the construction industry, while Houlton has previously worked with Swift during the 1980s when the company was commissioned to build its first production building at Dunswell Road. “This is an exciting time for Swift Group,” exclaims Managing Director, James Turner. “We are starting to see significant benefits from our manufacturing investments over the last few years and have high expectations for the opportunities this new facility will provide. It is also fantastic news for the local area, especially with two local companies securing the site’s project management and construction work.” While the Swift Group continues to enhance its manufacturing capabilities, the company has also remained committed to introducing innovative new vehicle designs to meet the changing demands of the market. During October 2016 Swift officially announced the launch of its Basecamp caravan design. Basecamp is an exciting all-new, sporty, fun and stylish compact crossover camping vehicle that was created with adventurous customers looking to discover new experiences away from the crowd in mind. The vehicle was developed to appeal to those engaged in outdoor activities, including high-energy pursuits and to camping enthusiasts seeking a more luxurious alternative to tents or trailer tents. During the development of Basecamp the design team at Swift created a variety of stylish and funky optional graphic schemes to choose from, all of which were intended to complement the vehicle’s unique exterior profile. Chunky graphite mouldings coupled with chrome grab handles create distinctive accents that result in an exciting exterior appearance. Tinted 49

Swift Group The new Basecamp caravan

double-glazed windows and 14” Scorpion alloy wheels serve to complete the sporty look of the Basecamp design. The interior has been cleverly designed to optimise space and provide adequate storage, even for bulky sporting equipment with access through a wide central rear door. The front profile sweeps up to a large panoramic front window and ties through to the vehicle’s rear panel. Below the front window is the housing for a gas bottle and spare wheel. Basecamp is constructed using the Swift SMART Intelligent Construction system, which was introduced by the company in 2014, with the letters of the word SMART representing the system’s specific benefits of being Strong, Modern, Aerodynamic, Resilient and thoroughly Tried and Tested. “Basecamp is a new fun, fresh and funky cross over camping vehicle, which has been specifically designed for outdoor adventurers with a host of useful features like anchor points, removable storage baskets and fold away seating to make space for bulky equipment. The vehicle only weighs 879kg mass in running order (MRO), meaning that it also towable by many smaller cars,” Nick says. “The design is built using the innovative SMART plus construction system and packs a huge amount into its compact size including panoramic window, washroom with shower, kitchen area, Grade 3 heating and seats that convert into one of the largest double beds available. Basecamp can also be customised with 13 different exterior graphic schemes to choose from and the option of a bespoke Vango airbeam awning that increases the living space.” With spirited investment into its manufacturing facilities and the release of exciting new leisure vehicles and prestigious holiday homes, the coming years are set to be rich in opportunity for the Swift Group. “Despite the political and economic changes over the last few months we continue to experience healthy growth across all sectors, driven by new developments and redesigned ranges such as Escape. We will continue to focus on the principles that have made Swift the UK’s number one manufacturer, including strengthening our partnerships with suppliers and dealers,” Nick concludes. “Strategically our focus will continue to be on new and existing product development, operational efficiencies, increasing our commercial capabilities, geographic expansion and growth.”

Swift Group Products: Leisure vehicles, caravans, motorhomes and prestigious holiday homes



No humdrum


Greif provides a comprehensive range of industrial packaging solutions that it stringently tests to ensure that they are prepared to meet the needs of challenging environments


reif is a world leader in industrial packaging and services, and provides consistently high quality and reliable products for customers across a range of sectors. A key feature of the business is that it places the customer at the heart of its operation and always seeks to build a better understanding of its client’s needs. The business is currently a leading figure within the industrial packaging sector, and it aims to improve further upon this with a focus on becoming a world leader for customer service within the industry.

In the UK due to the diverse nature of Greif ’s customer base it has an equally varied portfolio of products. It is perhaps best known for its large steel drums, small and intermediate steel drums, specialty drums, and reconditioning. Within these there are even further options that offer higher levels of specification, an example of which are the options for tight head, open head, ISO open head, or composite steel drums, all of which offer their own unique benefits to the customer. This level of customised design extends across all four of its broad categories, and indicates the level of expertise and experience that is present 51

at Greif. It particularly manifests in its specialty products, which Sales Director for the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia Chris Warren discussed: “These would be geared around stainless steel drums, from five litres up to 250 litres, and we are also producing a range of agitator drums that are designed to keep viscous materials fluid prior to application and have this particularly relevant to the coatings industry. We are also producing a number of over pack and salvage drums which are (UN) approved for specialist applications – such as airfreight, or to deal with spillage and accidents, and these drums are all produced at our Burton factory.” The extensive product range that Greif provides its customers is just one reason why it holds such a prominent position within the industrial packaging industry. It is also due to the strength of its facilities, which include its Ellesmere Port and Burton sites, and these combine to make the company the largest producer of industrial packaging in the UK. Further details were discussed by Chris: “The facility in Burton-on-Trent is involved in drum making, and has been since the early 1900s.



We have also got our Ellesmere Port site that offers two sides to the business, one of which is the steel drum production for large 210 litre products, including heads and open top drums. The other is that we have a fully accredited wash plant that is used for the wash reconditioning of steel drums and intermediate bulk containers (IBCs).” Its products supply customers from a number of sectors, and Chris provided further insight into this: “The main sectors that we provide services to are oil and lubricants, chemicals, and we also supply the coatings industry – this can be to manufacturers of paints, coatings, inks, and adhesives. In addition to these we also supply the food and beverages industry, the pharmaceutical markets, plus the flavours and fragrances sectors.” All of Greif ’s customers can expect to receive products that have been well-made and passed extensive UN testing examinations. Greif ensures that its products always meet the highest levels of standards through a number of tests, which Chris spoke about: “We have an accredited packaging test station. The test station is able to inspect packaging and run a series of checks in order to prepare that specific packaging type for UN approval, and we can run a variety of assessments, such as those related to stack tests, drop tests, extensive leak tests, and more.” The company is so confident

in the capability of its testing facility that it actively welcomes its customers to visit and get an insight into the scale of analysis that the products undergo. The forward thinking and problem solving nature of the company is demonstrated once more through its Earthminded Life Cycle Services activities. Within this part of the business it collects, cleans, and reconditions used drums and IBCs, creating a closed loop for its customers. This service has significant benefits in terms of economically and environmentally effective packaging solutions that extend the useful life of products. While there have been a number of impressive developments for the company, an area that Greif is heavily pursuing is its company vision to build even further upon its strong customer service, and it has set itself the aim of becoming a world leader for this within the industrial packaging sector. An aspect of this approach was presented by Chris: “By listening to our customers and working closely with them we want of offer packaging solutions rather than just being a transactional supplier.” Therefore, with such a comprehensive portfolio of products that are continually being enhanced to meet the needs of its customers, Greif will no doubt retain and strengthen its position as a leader within the industrial packaging industry. It will also continue to

pursue a company vision that seeks to keep its customers at the centre of its services. This vision is expected to help Greif bring its leading, reliable, and consistent products to even more customers across the world for many years to come.


Products: Steel drums, barrels, kegs, pails and specialty packaging solutions 53

Gram Equipment


cool Gram Equipment ensures customers’ success in the ice cream industry by providing know-how, innovative solutions and global services



oday Gram Equipment is the number one global supplier of advanced iced cream manufacturing equipment, with one third of the worldwide network share of the relevant market and a sales and service footprint that extends around the globe. Lasse Viegand Hansen, CEO, began by explaining that the company has a 100-year heritage upon which its success is founded. “Over this period of time Gram Equipment has established a blue-chip customer base that includes such names as Unilever and Nestle, and we now provide mission critical engineered solutions, complemented by repeatable upgrades, standard products and aftermarket sales,” he stated. “In fact 40 per cent of our total revenues

are related to service spare parts and upgrades, and in the aftermarket segment, we provide 24/7 field services and spare parts deliveries. Gram also provides extended line inspections and upgrades ensuring 100 per cent capacity at the customer’s peak production periods.” The history of Gram goes far back to the beginning of 1900 when Hans Gram started a smithy business in the countryside, which developed into a huge industrial success. Gram soon became known for its excellent quality within freezing and cooling techniques. In 1930 ice cream was introduced into Denmark and Gram supplied the first automatic machine for the manufacturing of ice creams and ice bar sticks. The years that followed saw various milestones,

including the establishment of a separate company for sales and service in the US, and the acquisition of SIDAM Srl in Italy in 1991 and Stromax and Norwood in 2005 (this rendered Gram Equipment the biggest manufacturer of stick inserters in the market). In 2010 Procuritas purchased Gram Equipment, four years later another significant acquisition combined the resources and talents of Waukesha/Cherry Burrel (WCB) with Gram Equipment and this allowed for the continued supply of advanced equipment and process installations for industrial ice production. Gram Equipment is entering 2017 with an extensive global network of subsidiaries, agents, sales and service offices and more than 330 employees worldwide. The company operates from its headquarters in Denmark, and has production facilities in Denmark, Italy and Turkey, and service entities in Denmark and the US. The business also has a Service & Repair Centre due to open in the first quarter of 2017 in Shanghai, China. As Lasse explained, geographic expansion is a major part of the company’s growth strategy going forward: “We want to deepen our presence in existing markets in Europe and North America, and also increase market share in South America, the Middle East and Asia,” he said. “We think there are large opportunities in underserviced markets, especially in China, as a consequence of further demand for higher quality products, for which only Gram Equipment can provide the equipment.” The equipment that Lasse referred to is in fact a highly complicated and comprehensive product range, with solutions ranging from individual processing lines to complete production facilities and from mixing equipment to final packaging facilities. “We serve the highest end of the market in terms of complexity and quality with the ability to develop, manufacture and deliver machines that can service the whole production line for Tier 1 and Tier 2,” added Lasse. The 55

Gram Equipment

portfolio includes mixplant, freezers, ingredient feeders, filling machines, extrusion lines, rotary mold machines, in line mold machines, freezing tunnel, wrapping machines, end of line and molds. “We are able to deliver complete turnkey lines with integrated automation solutions that provide strong lifetime cost advantages to customers,” explained Lasse, as he gave more information about Gram’s systems. “What sets us apart from the competition is our engineering experience and process and technology know-how. Our machines are well known in the market for superior quality, versatility, lifespan and ease of cleaning, as well as our very strong aftermarket offering, which includes high value services, spare parts, seminars, training, development and consulting.” Gram Equipment’s customers also benefit from the fact that the sales team are highly specialised, with significant engineering and technical

Our machines are well known in the market for superior quality, versatility, lifespan and ease of cleaning, as well as our very strong aftermarket offering, which includes high value services, spare parts, seminars, training, development and consulting 56

knowhow. “This is a key strategic advantage,” agreed Lasse. “The sales and marketing organisation combines geographic, key account, product and aftermarket sales specialists, and we have sales capabilities in all corners of the world, with an increasing presence in China. Within Europe and key accounts, the focus is on providing the top level of service and reliability with high quality and innovative technological solutions. Within MENA and APAC it is competitive pricing and supporting consulting services that help build institutional knowledge at a customer’s site – this is a top priority. We build long-term relationships and our established brand name ensures that we are well placed with new opportunities come to market.” Gram Equipment also ensures that its product range offers optimal performance and fulfils customer requirements – this requires continual investment in research and development and the release of innovative new solutions that reflect the most state-of-the-art technology available. A prime example is a new freezer design, which includes features such as a hygienic design according to EHEDG and 3A, a new level control with an analogue liquid injection valve (this is designed to maintain a constant viscosity with minimum fluctuations of ice cream weight, which will improve the standard deviation). The freezer also includes a new air regulating system with pressure booster – this will counteract fluctuations in the air supply to the ice cream. “The new Gram freezer has the lowest cost of ownership on the market and it will outperform current available products,” highlighted Lasse. “We have an outstanding track record of innovation and new product development, and new products will challenge incumbent providers in adjacent segments and will further strengthen

our position in Tier 2 market,” he continued. “We have a proven ability to keep up with customer/ market demands with solutions that satisfy ever increasing efficiency and automation requirements. We can also work with customer’s own R&D and operational functions to develop customised solutions for existing or new ice cream products Magnum, Twister or Ben & Jerry’s for example.” Since it was established over a century ago Gram Equipment has embraced change and evolution and over the course of the next few years the company has another plan for global transformation, where sourcing efficiency and manufacturing optimisation will delivery material margin increases. “Cost improvements have been implemented or are in the process of being implemented, and these will lead to annualised cost reduction,” explained Lasse. “A strong start to 2017 has already been set up through a solid order backlog and recurring revenues, but we are constantly striving to extend the portfolio of innovative solutions. We have an attractive financial model with high margin potential and our wellfounded business plan will provide solid growth. We are ideally positioned to win over customers based on quality and line efficiency, and we fulfil customers’ expectations for on-time deliveries and commissioning. We are also expanding our full line approach and moving upstream into the ice cream mixing market. We want to be best in class – driven by excellence in all we do. We want to ensure our customers’ success providing knowhow, innovative solutions and global services. This vision and mission is the foundation for all our efforts.”

Gram Equipment Products: Ice cream equipment manufacturer

Thomas Sanderson Blinds Ltd


designs A proud British manufacturer with more than 25 years of experience, Thomas Sanderson Blinds Ltd is Europe’s largest producer and supplier of conservatory blinds, window blinds and shutters


anufacturing blinds in Britain for more than a quar ter of a century, Thomas Sanderson Blinds Ltd (Thomas Sanderson) has grown from a family-run business to an international firm that offers high quality products and services throughout the UK and Ireland. Although the company has grown to a network of 160 designers, installers and surveyors and expanded its presence, it has remained true to its roots by offering a local service that focuses on close customer relationships. Indeed, Thomas Sanderson is committed to ensuring its standards of service match the high standards of its product; this way of operating means customers receive a first-class service every step of the way, from first conversations on what is required to delivery and aftercare.

Key to being able to deliver this level of service are Thomas Sanderson’s state-ofthe-ar t factories in Hampshire and Coventry, which not only ensure high quality products, but also a swift turnaround. Moreover, the company’s skilled and competent staff go above and beyond to meet the exact requirements of each customer. Once an order has been placed and a surveyor has verified the exact measurements, the company will ensure products are manufactured with optimum skill and precision through the utilisation of world-class manufacturing processes; this way of working means each conservatory blind and shutter is flawlessly produced in a quick and efficient manner. Despite manufacturing more than 200,000 individual blinds annually, Thomas Sanderson has stringent quality control processes in 57

LFE Engineering

In 2001 Thomas Sanderson approached LFE Engineering Ltd to design a market leading Awning Bracket System from stainless steel. The management from both parties worked very closely to perfect this system, and the relationship grew from there with LFE Engineering Ltd going on to manufacture countless numbers of Awning Brackets on a weekly basis. LFE Engineering Ltd was then tasked to design, manufacture and install a complete new paint plant at the TS Shutters site in Coventry, and various other items were manufactured for Thomas Sanderson include trolleys, stillages, benches and ventilation systems at various sites across the West Midlands.


place, which means no product leaves its factories without being checked, double checked and triple checked during the entire manufacturing process. This focus on quality is one reason why Thomas Sanderson invests more in people than it does in machines to manufacture products. Complementing this strength is the company’s R&D department, which receives regular investment to support ongoing product adaptations, enhancements and renovations that are required to offer customers an unrivalled system. Additionally, Thomas Sanderson products undergo robust testing to guarantee durability and exceptional performance for many years, so much so that Thomas Sanderson gives clients a five-year minimum guarantee on products. By focusing on quality and innovation, Thomas Sanderson has gained an enviable reputation as a company that delivers products with longevity. However, before any of the production takes place, Thomas Sanderson offers customers a free design consultation, with daytime, evening and weekend appointments available that give the customer an oppor tunity to view a wide

Thomas Sanderson Blinds Ltd

range of samples and working models first hand. This service is also the ideal time for customers to discuss their ideas, shading and styling requirements with an expert who can then go through all of the options available. Fur thermore, it is also the ideal opportunity to co-ordinate samples with the existing décor and furnishings in the customer’s home; what sets Thomas Sanderson apart in this area is that its designers use working models to demonstrate shutters during the consultation so clients get a full understanding as to how the product will look and work in their home. With 160 designers across the country, Thomas Sanderson is able to provide this first-class service on a local scale. Aware that a reputation for excellence is not developed overnight, Thomas Sanderson has maintained its focus on only manufacturing and supplying superior quality, highly technical home improvement products; to further guarantee a first-class finish and accurate fit, all blinds and shutters are measured and installed to perfection by the company’s own specialist installation team. Making installation a trouble-free experience, Thomas

Sanderson’s team of installers ensure poor fitting or inaccurate measurements will not affect the performance of a customers’ home improvement product. A recent product for the company is PowerView, a revolutionary new home automation system for window blinds that controls their movements at the touch of a button. The smar t way to easily adjust the light, shade and temperature of rooms, the new cutting-edge system enables customers to operate blinds remotely, from across the room or across the other side of the world via a smar t phone or tablet. Offering complete control on settings to suit any mood or occasion, it is the simplest and most convenient way to power window dressings. Other products within Thomas Sanderson’s range include designer collections, handcrafted items and child safety products; the company also offers a conservatory cleaning and valet service. Within the designer collections are Laura Ashley Conservatory Blinds, an exquisite and exclusive range of designer blinds and shutters that combine timeless Laura Ashley prints with classic contours that create the

perfect backdrop to any conservatory; there is also the Laura Ashley Shutter Collection, which offers a stunning addition to windows by combining classic styling, luxurious materials and a selection of custom paint finishes such as Duck Egg and Pale French Grey. Whatever type of blind a customer requires, Thomas Sanderson individually handcrafts each blind and shutter with precision, taking in issues such as unusually shaped window or roof panels, tilt and turn windows or roof panels. Already benefiting from a strong reputation and leading position in the conservatory blinds, window blinds and shutters market, Thomas Sanderson is cer tain to remain in demand thanks to its exper t ability to handcraft products, exclusive designer collections and continuing commitment to innovation.

Thomas Sanderson Blinds Ltd Products: Manufacture blinds and shutters 59

Halcor Metal Works

A leader in


Halcor Metal Works is a leading European manufacturer of various copper based products, which serve a range of sectors across the world


Panos Lolos, Commercial Director


alcor Metal Works represents the copper product manufacturing and trading part of Viohalco, and it offers a strong production base that includes a number of plants across Greece, Bulgaria, and Romania. These include the biggest copper tube plant in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, and this facility has such a large production that it far exceeds the second largest. This demonstrates not just the scale of Halcor, but also the commitment it has to being the very best, and offering its customers a leading service. The company produces and distributes copper and copper-alloy rolled and extruded products and cables, and is in fact the sole producer of copper tubes in Greece. The position it has at the forefront of the industry is one it intends to maintain with significant investments made in recent years and continuous efforts to evolve and improve its product portfolio. The history of the company stretches back 70 years, however it was in 1976 that Halcor was

founded. Throughout this time it has honed its skills in the copper processing and trade sector, through innovation and a variety of mergers and acquisitions, as a result the business is an entity that comprises of 18 companies. It also has eight production plants, and a significant commercial presence within European, Asian, American, and African countries. These subsidiaries are all vertical and use copper cathodes, and copper scrap as raw material to manufacture a wide range of products, from copper tubes, sheets and strips to brass circles and bars, as well as from standard copper alloy sheets and strips to special alloy products and cables of high, medium and low voltage. This means the company has great diversity and complete oversight throughout the process, from materials, and manufacture, to delivery. It encompasses all of this across three key areas, copper tubes, cables, and rollers, which all contain within them many sub groups of products and sectors they serve. Through its own

Our focus going forward remains the same, to apply our attention in response to the market and customer requests in the best ways, and where possible be proactive to meet their needs

development, as well as a number of subsidiaries, it has expanded its presence in the market and now offers leading expertise in areas such as cables for submarine applications, and for the latest developments in energy production. These were discussed by Commercial Director Panos Lolos: “We are very strong in all of these areas, right across the copper tubes, cables, and copper alloy rolled products, however we are seeing

an especially strong climate for our cables, and these will increasingly be called upon to transport energy efficiently in the future. This is needed to create the new generating of products, and a way to avoid the old fashioned ways of producing energy like plants that rely on diesel for example, so we expect this to be a promising sector in the future.” Its dominance within the regions previously 61

Durit DEDICATED TO TUNGSTEN CARBIDE DURIT has been developing and producing precision tools and engineering components made of tungsten carbide for more than 30 years. Standard or custom-made, for large-scale or individual production: At DURIT, worldwide more than 500 employees, experts, application specialists, and engineers are supporting you. Actively and curious about new experiences, we want to understand requirements, recognise concepts, and find better solutions. Combining experience, expertise, and an active handson mentality, we pursue the goal to create sustainable relationships. We are dedicated to tungsten carbide: Our principle is both our aspiration and our promise. We want to minimise wear and improve productivity for our customers. So there is one essential thing: the efficiency of your production.


mentioned is not something Halcor Group is complacent about either, and it has invested heavily in order to ensure that it remains as a leading figure for many years to come. This approach was something that Panos further elaborated on: “We have improved a lot over the last few years, and this has provided a number of benefits already, though we still plan to improve even more. This is to ensure that our customers continue to get a reliable and competitive service, and to achieve this we will commit an investment on advanced planning and scheduling of half a million euros.” This is in addition to the significant funds it has previously put into the business, and Panos gave an insight into this: “From 2000 till 2015 we invested 520 million euros, 59 per cent of this was invested in Greece, 30 per cent in Bulgaria, and 11 per cent went to Romania, for our cable manufacturing there. We will be expecting a return from the major investments that have taken from 2000 to 2015, especially for the products that are significant for us.” Due to such extensive investments it is able to provide a better service throughout its business, whether from the early stages of design, to the manufacturing, and is able to offer its clients a service that outstrips competitors: “Halcor as a

copper manufacturer has a very strong overview of the market, and can appeal to the various dynamics of the different sectors. Our focus going forward remains the same, to apply our attention in response to the market and customer requests in the best ways, and where possible be proactive to meet their needs. We are achieving this in a number of ways, and two of which are strategic planning and technical marketing,” Panos said. In addition to the standard of product, scale of range, and level of investment, Halcor also offers a customer focused approach, which places their needs at the heart of what it does. Panos explained this strength of the business: “We are very strong in manufacturing industrial products, especially industrial copper tubes for very demanding customers. Many of our clients have their own specifications, which means they want to buy their products already customised. In order to satisfy this we are very good at responding to turnkey or tailor made solutions for certain customers, and working with them to provide the expertise and knowledge required to design a product that matches their requirements. In order to excel at this we have made another investment of a thermal transfer lab so that we are able to measure and design special profiles

Halcor Metal Works

of inner grooved copper tubes together with our customers. Through this approach we create added value for the customer, and it is a service that they cannot enjoy easily with competitors.� Halcor continues to stand out in the manufacturing and distributing of copper based products, and ensures that its capabilities are focused on what its customers require not only at the present moment but also in the future. This approach helps the company solidify its position as a world leader, and the largest in Europe, and will no doubt mean that Halcor is a business that persistently grows. It already has extensive facilities that offer a leading capacity and capability, however it has continued to build upon this and make major investments to strengthen and optimise its activity. Therefore, for all these reasons and many more, Halcor looks set to increase its successful operation, and will be a leader for many years to come.

Halcor Metal Works Products:

Copper products manufacturing 63

Nowy Styl Group The National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Katowice, Poland


A comfortable With over two decades of manufacturing experience and an extraordinary history of continued development, Nowy Styl Group has grown from an office chair manufacturer to a European leader in comprehensive furniture solutions for office environments and public spaces

Part of the Tauko range



hile the roots of the Polish Nowy Styl Group can be traced back to 1990, the company was officially inaugurated in 1992 when brothers Adam and Jerzy Krzanowski established a furniture manufacturing company in Krosno, Poland. Today Nowy Styl Group is a European leader in delivering bespoke furniture solutions, while its flexible approach to customer service, innovation and an exceptional organisational culture has made the Group one of the biggest and the most dynamically developing furniture companies in Europe, with an annual revenue of over €300 million. The company combines entrepreneurial spirit and elasticity with corporate efficiency to leverage support functions and manage the whole value chain. Its customer base is strongly differentiated, from major multinational companies buying their own offices, to construction companies and smaller local organisations. To meet the varied needs of clients the company has developed

a portfolio of six product brands that includes Nowy Styl, which is its historical brand that today represents a wide product range for all channels. In addition to its traditional Nowy Styl brand, the group’s product portfolio is comprised of its BN Office Solution, Grammer Office, Rohde & Grahl, Forum Seating and SITAG lines, with SITAG AG becoming part of Nowy Styl Group during August 2015. SITAG represents a manufacturer of chairs and office furniture that operates its own sales structure and production plant within Switzerland. The addition of SITAG was the group’s third acquisition within the space of four years and will expand the company’s distribution network in the developing Swiss market. This development is in line with the group’s focus on expanding its furniture portfolio and growing both organically and through acquisitions. All of the brands operated by Nowy Styl Group are supported by the company’s international

Jaslo factories

distribution network comprising of local sales structures in 17 countries all over the world and 29 showrooms located in Warsaw, London, Paris, Düsseldorf, Munich, Prague, Bratislava and Moscow, to name a few. Nowy Styl Group manufactures its products in more than a dozen production plants equipped with the state-ofthe-art technologies that are located in Poland, Germany, Switzerland, Ukraine, Russia and Turkey. In order to allow the business to continue to develop its comprehensive portfolio of brands and furniture solutions, Nowy Styl Group announced during October 2016 that it had established a new Research and Development Centre project. The project will provide new research infrastructure, a dedicated staff of scientists and its research agenda will further increase the company’s technological development and facilitate the process of implementing new furniture solutions into the market. The new R&D Centre is valued at around €2.92 million and will be located near

Nowy Styl Group’s production plants in Jasło. The new site will employ approximately 200 members of staff and through the undertaking of opening the facility the company will modernise its current technical centre building and fit it out with new research equipment, such as a laboratory for testing furniture ergonomics, a chamber for carrying out acoustics tests and a workstation for testing the UV resistance of materials. A key objective of the new R&D Centre is to move Nowy Styl Group further in to the realm of ‘Production 4.0’. The centre will also be used to develop production and implementation processes through the use of product lifecycle management (PLM) software – a modern 3DExperience platform created by Dassault Systèmes. In connection with 3D printing technology and reverse engineering, the system will allow for changing designing methodologies for new products, which will facilitate the prototyping stage by making it faster and more

flexible. “Nowy Styl Group is a leading furniture enterprise in terms of the innovative character of its production and in recent years, our investments in the area of R&D amounted to 25 per cent of the company’s turnover. We are gradually implementing Industry 4.0 technologies: smart devices that aid in automating production and optimising processes using data gathered in the real time,” says Tomasz Bardzik, CTO at Nowy Styl Group. “By using these technologies, we will be able to shorten the time needed to implement products into the market, the so-called ‘time to market,’ and increase the manufacturing efficiency of short series at an industrial scale. This will allow us to adapt existing products to our customers’ individual needs, which is necessary in order to respond to those needs quickly and precisely.” Nowy Styl Group presently sells into more than 100 countries globally, with around 81 per cent of its products going into the export market. Investments in to initiatives such as its new R&D Centre will allow the company to continue to deliver innovative market solutions, while it seeks to further its presence across the world’s markets. To this end Nowy Styl Group attended the Orgatec trade fair in Cologne in October 2016, a major event that allowed the company to show case its current innovations and ambitions for future growth. “The fair gave us a golden opportunity to present our product novelties. For example, in response to trends in home office design we have launched two lines of wooden furniture: an office furniture range called Levitate designed by the WertelOberfell studio, and a new line of multifunctional chairs and tables called Tauko. This required an implementation of new technologies in our Wood Processing Plant in Rzepedz,” ‘ said Magdalena Tokarczyk-Cyran, 65

Nowy Styl Group Part of the Tepee range

T-Mobile Polska S.A., Warsaw, Poland

Marketing Director at Nowy Styl Group. “We also showed the Panthera chair created by Ray Carter, which ensures dynamic sitting; and the amazingly unique modular Tapa pouffes created by Przemysław Mac Stopa, which are an ideal solution for informal meeting zones. Modular systems are becoming more important as they can be used to create single sitting places in

undisturbed work zones, spontaneous meeting areas, as well as relaxation and waiting zones, e.g. at the reception. The ability of furniture to be configured in multiple ways is becoming more desirable, and this is also reflected in the Tepee range designed by Hilary Birkbeck. The Tepee walls have acoustic properties and in order to manufacture these Nowy Styl implemented a new type of a felt into its manufacturing processes.” At Orgatec Nowy Styl Group also presented products manufactured by the Swiss brand Sitag. Notable products include the SITAGACTIVE desks with manual or electric height adjustment and the SITAGTEAM chair line designed by German studio 2DoDesign (the line’s conference chair was awarded the prestigious Red Dot Product Design Award 2016). “However, I would like to stress the fact that our company doesn’t care about products only, but also about the ability to apply them to a particular office space properly. We equip office and public spaces thinking about the people who will use them – about their needs and expectations,” Magdalena emphasised. “An office adjusted to the needs of an organisation is an investment that allows employees to use their potential and helps the company function effectively. That is why later on we are going to talk with our clients about how to adapt our furniture solutions to a particular organisation in order to ensure they will serve it best. We highlight our competences in this field with the following motto: We KNOW HOW!”

Nowy Styl Group Products: Furniture solutions for office environments and public spaces


Amcanu Ltd


Plans for

With an industrious past and a passionate culture of individual development, Amcanu aims to operate as the leading manufacturer of attenuation enclosures for today and tomorrow


ince Spencer Davies OBE first established Amcanu Ltd. as a Welsh based manufacturing business in 1975, the company has evolved as a master of metalworking that has flourished and endured through both good and hard times. By 2000 Spencer handed control of Amcanu to his son Owain Davies, who has continued to build on the company’s solid foundation as a family-run business with good family values at its core. Amcanu specialises in building world-class attenuation enclosures that are designed to maintain optimum performance of pump, compressors and generators. The

enclosures are designed to protect industrial equipment, reduce noise emissions, maintain optimum performance, help clients comply with environmental regulations and improve health and safety. Amcanu products feature easy-torepair modular construction and have enjoyed significant market penetration across a range of traditional applications including construction, quarrying, energy and manufacturing, while the enclosures are also increasing being employed in emerging areas such as 3D printers. Amcanu was previously featured in Manufacturing Today Europe during March

2016, when Owain discussed the company’s exceptional progress since 2011 after enduring the global recession that rocked the manufacturing sector throughout 2009. Indeed, the company quickly reached the point of exceeding pre-recession performance by operating across three core markets comprised of industrial enclosures for sound insulation; enclosures for digital technology, such as for Renishaw’s industrial 3D printers; and small subcontracted projects for local customers. Having fully recovered form the impact of the 2009 recession and subsequently built the business to a highly favourable position, 2016 represents a milestone year for Amcanu that has been marked by major investments into its staff 67

and facilities, as well as new operating philosophy of stepping out of its traditional comfort zone and exploring new opportunities. “When Amcanu was last featured in Manufacturing Today Europe we were growing and recovering market confidence following the 2009 recession. We had been planning for the future but at that time were perhaps reluctant to make any changes unitil we felt the time was right. As 2016 has progressed we have decided to move the business forward with some important strategic investments, meaning that the past 12 months have been a time for some exciting changes for the company,” Owain reveals. “We have installed a new powder coating plant and bought new handling equipment, as well as upgrading our IT network. We have also invested further capital on training and development throughout the business. We have done all of this while considering where we would like to take the company next and having made these investments we are looking to double the size of the business over the next four years according to our ‘2020’ plan.” The major investments across the business were valued at around £300,000 and included the acquisition of two new forklifts, additional


cranes and a new IT server. These have allowed Amcanu to increase its overall process efficiency, quality of products, as well as its manufacturing capacity. By bringing new skilled staff into the business, Amcanu is increasingly well positioned to consider new opportunities throughout the manufacturing centre. “This is very much a journey and a lot of the development of the company is built on looking at where we are today and understanding what opportunities we have to improve. It is important to remember that no matter how good you think you are, there is always room to improve,” Owain says. “As a business we have gone through some ups and downs during our 42-year history and I think that it’s fair to say that 2016 has been a turning point. We’ve won awards for our manufacturing credentials and plan to keep aiming high. Six months ago we had just started on this journey but we have now reached agreements with four new clients since March 2016. This does not sound like too

many in the greater scheme of things, but when you consider that our customer base is very bespoke and that we deal with 10-30 strategic customers, it is actually a significant increase.” While Amcanu has done an impressive job of rebuilding its market confidence and growing its business, the company remains keenly aware that throughout the manufacturing industry there is a growing challenge concerning a lack of skills. To ensure that the company retains the necessary skills to continue to develop into the future, as well as to serve the local community, Amcanu works with local schools and colleges to develop training programmes that encourage students to pursue careers in science and engineering. This community minded approach is the final strand in the company’s strategy to double its size by 2020 while paving the way for a strong manufacturing future. “I think that one of the

Amcanu Ltd

most important things when talking about problem solving and serving the community is that you must be prepared to put yourself forward and ‘walk the walk’. As a business we have been instrumental in supporting the schools and we try to engage with science and technology at local primary schools and our local college, Coleg Sir Gar, which has a very strong engineering department,” Owain concludes. “We have plans to grow during the future by increasing our customer base and the number of staff that we employ. This is something we will do by trying to lead by example.”

Amcanu Ltd

Products: World-class specialists in manufacturing sound attenuation enclosures 69


A warm Celebrating 150 years of industry experience during 2016, Baxi is a highly renowned boiler manufacturer that is steeped in heritage




ith a forward thinking philosophy inspired by a passion for business and earning life time customer loyalty, it is little wonder that Baxi has enjoyed 150 years as a leading specialist boiler manufacturer. The roots of the company date back to 1866, when iron moulder Richard Baxendale opened the doors of the fledgling business. An underfloor draught system for solid fuel heating, launched in 1935, was the first product to bear the Baxi brand. By 1955 Baxi had established itself as a household name, with the company continuing to reach many impor tant milestones throughout its history, including the Bermuda gas-fired back boiler in 1966, which revolutionised home heating; the UK’s first domestic wall-hung micro-CHP appliance in 2010; the Baxi Ecogen, which was recognised with a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise and Innovation in 2012; and the

launch of the Baxi EcoBlue range in 2014. Since last appearing in Manufacturing Today Europe during April 2016, Baxi has continued to deliver the highest levels of customer service, which has enabled it build on its previous success. During October 2016 the company was recognised for its quality of service, taking gold in the ‘Contact Centre – Small – Customer Loyalty’ category at the UK Customer Service Awards. The team at Baxi fought off stiff competition from UCAS and Royal London Insurance to secure the award at a ceremony at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge in London. “It has been a golden year for winning prestigious awards at Baxi this year, with the company winning awards for all par ts of the supply chain. Further to the Baxi Customer Suppor t Customer Experience Award, Baxi Genuine Par ts won the ‘Live Chat’ and ‘Service Provider’ categories of the Top 50 Companies for Customer Service Awards,

centres, are also CIPHE Approved. Through these cutting-edge facilities, Baxi offers a range of courses, including training on boilers, and specialist courses on heating and hot water systems, heating controls, Nest, and the latest Government legislation.

The development of the company’s training programme followed extensive research and direct input from installers. “A few years ago we carried out extensive research among installers and heating contractors to find out what was impor tant to them when doing a training course, what they thought of our training, what they liked and what could be improved. We were pleased to hear that they thought our trainers were the best in the industry, however, like most other training courses, they felt that too much time was spent on theory and not enough time spent getting their hands on boilers,” Paul explains. “We took this research very seriously and our trainers completely rewrote all our courses so that at least 70 per cent of the time spent training is now spent working on live

and were fifth overall across all categories and industries,” reveals Baxi Managing Director, Paul Hardy. “We were also delighted to be named Wolseley’s ‘Supplier of the Year’ for our work with the company across all parts of its business and we won the ‘UK Business Award for Digital Marketing’ for our installer loyalty scheme. We have likewise been shortlisted for a raft of other awards this year, recognising excellence across all parts of the business, from manufacturing right through to aftersales.” Baxi has also worked to enhance the suite of products and services that it is able to offer. As part of its mission to earn customer loyalty by operating as a market leader in smart heating solutions, Baxi was the first boiler manufacturer to have its training courses approved by the Char tered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE). This followed the completion of a £250,000 refurbishment of the company’s Warrington Training Centre during 2015, which provides state-of-the-ar t classrooms and workshops. Baxi’s other training centres in Dartford and Warwick, as well as its network of satellite 71


boilers. This has meant considerable investment in our training centres to ensure that there are enough boilers for delegates to work on. Since refurbishing our Warrington Training Centre in 2015, we have invested in more live boilers at our other training centres. We will be opening a brand new training centre in Cambridge in spring 2017 and have extended our satellite training centres to give us UK-wide coverage.” During October 2016 Baxi also launched a new range of boilers, Baxi 200 and 400 Combis. These new boilers offer innovative solutions to independent merchants. “Our innovative new boilers have already exceeded expectations and are selling very well. They


were launched following 18 months of development in consultation with installers to make sure they met all our partners’ needs. They are extremely light and compact, easy to install, straightforward to service and maintain and have the capability to be connected. They have been launched with a really creative campaign that has captured the imagination of installers and increased their engagement with Baxi.” Paul concludes: “Like so many other UK manufacturing organisations, things have been very challenging around the EU referendum, because there is much uncertainty in the construction marketplace. Times are changing and we have to keep up with the pace of change. The ‘Internet of Things’ and connected homes technology will change our business in so many ways, and we have to invest in researching and developing products to match the market’s needs.”

Baxi Products: Specialist boiler manufacturer

Ransomes Jacobsen

In the


A pioneer in turf care, Ransomes Jacobsen boasts an unrivalled understanding of turf maintenance and a solid reputation for quality, innovation and green initiatives


Alan Prickett, Managing Director of Ransomes Jacobsen

ith innovation at the very core of its activities since its inception in 1789, Ipswichheadquartered Ransomes Jacobsen has produced a number of the industry’s most important ‘firsts’ over the years; these include the world’s first lawn mower in 1832, the first steam plough in 1856, the first petrol lawn mower in 1920 and the first selfpropelled high work rate ride-on triple mower in 1974. More recent innovations for the firm include the first hybrid pedestrian greens mower in 2007 and the first hybrid ride-on greens mower in 2009 as well as the first triplex mini flail mower in 2013. Today, trusted to maintain some of the world’s most prestigious fine turf areas, such as palace lawns, legendary golf courses, cemeteries,

stadia monuments and football pitches, including numerous FIFA World Cup pitches, Ransomes Jacobsen operates in 28 countries around the world. Serving its global customer base with an impressive portfolio of products that include rotary mowers, golf cars, utility vehicles, tractors, blowers, bunker rakes and sod cutters, Ransomes Jacobsen takes pride in providing superior quality turf maintenance equipment to customers around the world. “Between our three manufacturing locations in the U.K. and the U.S.A., Ransomes Jacobsen manufactures a full range of turf maintenance equipment,” begins Alan Prickett, Managing Director of Ransomes Jacobsen. “This machinery is broadly split into three sectors: golf, commercial and consumer; in the golf sector we design and build machines for mowing tees, greens, roughs and fairways, as

Jacobsen mowers maintain the turf at Le Golf National in Paris-venue of the Ryder Cup 2018 73

The Buddings Patent: the world’s first lawnmower, manufactured by Ransomes in 1832


Debach are proud to have had a working relationship with Ransomes Jacobsen for nearly 20 years, as a third-party logistics provider. We operate specialist vehicles in their Ransomes Jacobsen livery, which run all over the UK. Our drivers are trained to understand their whole product range, so ensuring safe handling and deliveries in pristine condition. Our main site is located adjacent to theirs, so we also offer over-flow storage options and back-up vehicles for them at peak times of the year, as we operate a fleet of 50 vehicles and have over 750,000 sq ft of state of the art warehousing. Ransomes Jacobsen also take advantage of our membership of the Palletforce network, so we can offer them a next day delivery service across the UK for smaller consignments of parts. We look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.


well as specialised vehicles for moving people and materials around the course and a range of aeration and spreading equipment. “In the commercial sector, we specialise in heavy cylinder and rotary products, such as the new MP range; municipal customers require high-performance, robust and stable units for use in roadside verge maintenance, park and housing estate mowing and sports fields. The consumer part of the business, Dixie Chopper, based in Indiana, in the U.S., currently manufactures zero-turn rotary mowers for the U.S. and APAC markets. Our latest platform is now being developed and utilises many of the principles contained in the hugely successful MP-series of products that we launched two years ago.” Indeed, recent additions to the portfolio include the Jacobsen HR700 and HR800 rotary mowers, which are ideal for maintaining large parts of semi-rough and rough areas on golf courses and on municipal maintenance contracts. Powered by rugged and reliable 65hp and 74hp Kubota diesel engines respectively, the HR700 is the world’s first and only wide area rotary mower with 14-foot cutting width. Additionally,

Ransomes Jacobsen

the mower complies with European Stage IIA emission regulations thanks to the direct injection 65hp Kubota diesel engine, therefore avoiding complex emission controls. Ever committed to innovation, the company recently completed a major five-year project to launch a new batwing mower, as Alan notes: “The MP Series was developed around a common platform, which allowed us to greatly decrease the number of parts used across the distinct models. The MP is now available in a wide-area rotary format configuration with 49hp The Eclipse 322 Hybrid greens engine or high-specification 65hp version. Airmower launched in 2009 conditioned cabs are also available as options. As we continue to develop the line a single-deck out-front and flail derivative are being worked on now. The MP has given us a big sales boost over the last 24 months and is a testament to the value of new product development to sustain businesses.” Another development for the company has been its conversion to hybrid drives instead of diesel driven products; discussing the importance of delivering energy efficient products, Alan various parts of the world, and the selective use says: “Ransomes Jacobsen, in common with of hybrid systems allows us to reduce the size our competitors, are having to constantly stay of diesel engines as well as being able to provide one step ahead of the emissions regulations in innovative new drive systems.”

The successful HR7002

By focusing on innovative developments that respond to market trends or customer demands, Ransomes Jacobsen has ensured it will remain profitable during economic difficulties in the sector. With an R&D programme in place, further innovations are due to be launched over the next 12 months and in the future as the company continues to bring out products that not only leverage new technologies, manufacturing techniques and materials, but also satisfy customer needs. “Generally speaking, the golf economy and municipal grounds maintenance sectors are fairly flat at present, with minimal growth in most regions. New products are key to staying relevant and we have had some real wins with our recent launches. Moving forward, the next platform under development will give us a range of new golf course maintenance products, which will benefit from the same design principles as the MP. Next generation technologies, particularly hybrid drive systems, will be utilised in some versions and the range will allow us to reduce the number of distinct product lines as well as the total parts used. This allows far more efficient after-sales cover and ensures that our manufacturing efficiencies are improved year-onyear. The first models will launch during 2017,” concludes Alan.

Ransomes Jacobsen

Products: Turf maintenance equipment 75

What More UK Limited


An international

What More UK has built upon its strong position with a range of investments, awards, and an acquisition, and is continuing to grow domestically and internationally



hat More UK is a British manufacturer and brand leader with its WHAM plastic housewares, gardening and storage products, which it supplies throughout the UK and across the world. It was last featured in Manufacturing Today Europe in March 2016, and at that time the company was enjoying the fruits of previous investments it had made. It had recorded a turnover of ÂŁ50 million and was in the early stages of a planned expansion on the site. It was also a period that saw What More

Wham machines

Injection machines

Seal It range

export to 64 countries, which was in contrast with the single one that it supplied less than two decades previously when it first started. Due to the qualities at What More it has continued to grow, and it now boasts export to 70 countries, and a turnover that has surpassed its previous figure, while also improving its equipment, capacity, and product range. What More believes in constant investment and this covers all areas, as explained by Director Tony Grimshaw: “Investment is the key word, and it is not just about investment in machinery,

we also invest in our people as they are without doubt What More’s biggest asset. Without our brilliant staff we could have the best machinery, the most innovative products, and still get nowhere. We recognise this, and therefore have spent a lot of time developing all our staff, and we ensure the best in the business are at our company in every role, within our engineering, manufacture, distribution, sales, purchasing, and at every level. That is why for us it is essential to invest in machinery, invest in infrastructure, invest in distribution, but most importantly invest in the people.” In terms of its investments in the technology side, over the course of the past 18 months What More has brought in a number of machines that provide it with further capacity to meet growing demand for its products. It has also spent around £1 million on new tooling equipment to help support its relatively young bakeware sector. In addition to this it has spent £6.5 million

on new machinery from Germany, which has made a significant impact on the business and demonstrates how important it is to make these investments: “The difference is unbelievable, the energy savings, the production rates, everything is improved,” Tony enthused. As a result of this it has also enabled the company to offer even faster turnaround and advanced services to its customers, and this capability was recently called upon to support the needs of a top five UK grocer. What More was asked to make a piece of bakeware that was not currently within its range, however due to the strength of its personnel and machines it was able to manufacture a mould and have it ready to go into production within just eight days, a major achievement made possible by its investments. In addition to its internal growth, it has also prospered from the acquisition of Pushpan, which since Tony last spoke to Manufacturing Today Europe has bedded in. This move has proven to 77

What More UK Limited

Aluminium Pushpan range

be very successful and a great addition to What More’s position in the bakeware sector. It will also no doubt be followed in future by further acquisitions, as the company is prepared to utilise advantageous opportunities if they arise. It could be perceived that there is a focus on the bakeware sector by What More, however this was something Tony dispelled, and while the business is progressing strongly in that market it is in no way at the detriment of any other area: “Our investments across all areas are continuous, every year we put £2.5 million of new product development into plastics. The money we are putting into bakeware is not being taken away from developments in plastic - as that is our main bread and butter, but we are always looking at all our product groups, and it is an ongoing process.” While there are many ways in which What More continues to improve and change, it also has a set of core strengths that never waiver, which include it being a high quality British manufacturer that assures a reliable service. This has no doubt helped it win business from countries all over the world, as there is an understanding that with British made goods comes a world-leading standard. What More’s ability to appeal to international markets has won it many plaudits, and as a result of its strengths as an exporter it won the sought after Queen’s Award for International Trade in 2014. This not only demonstrated how far the business had come, but as a world respected award it also supported the business in further establishing WHAM as a global leader in the world houseware plastics market. Therefore, with a multitude of awards to its name, and investments that continue to build on the strong team and facilities it has at its disposal, the future certainly looks positive for What More. It continues to set itself ambitious challenges, and already wants to reach a turnover of £75 million, and after that then £100 million, while also achieving export to 100 countries. Due to the company’s willingness to invest, strength of its staff, positive relationships with customers and suppliers alike, and impressive track record, it will no doubt accomplish all of these and more in the coming years.

What More UK Limited Products: Plastic housewares, gardening, and storage


Festive Productions

Best of


Producing 13 million metres of tinsel a year, design focused company Festive Productions is the largest manufacturer of tinsel in the UK


stablished in 1983 in Newport, South Wales, Festive Productions grew over the next three decades to become the UK’s largest manufacturer of tinsel. Major milestones during this period include the company’s participation in its first ever trade show in 1994 and a strategic relocation to a purpose-built, 17 acre head office in Cwmbran in 2000. Located in this office since, Festive Productions currently produces more than 80,000 metres of tinsel a day when in full production.

Further developments have taken place over recent years, with the company being acquired by the Hedlund Group in 2011; this milestone was followed by £100,000 worth of investment in new showrooms and Festive Productions opening its new showrooms for the 2012 season. In the same year, the company launched its mobile showroom, which resulted in Festive Productions taking its home and gift range on the road. To further strengthen its position in the market, Festive Productions purchased its 79

Global Purchasing Solutions (GPS)

Global Purchasing Solutions (GPS) is proud to have contributed to the success achieved by Festive Productions, supplying leading retailers within a highly competitive Christmas markets. GPS is a purchasing agency and supplier operating on a global basis with offices in UK and China. Supplying a wide range of materials and equipment to a range of industries, GPS has particular expertise in FMCG packaging and printing sourced within Europe, in addition to supply capabilities in the Far East. GPS will assist in supply chain solutions to bring critical benefits, particularly where cost and time are key factors in clients’ competitiveness.


competitor Widmanns, the oldest Christmas decoration supplier in the UK in 2012, making it the only UK manufacturer of tinsel. To further enhance its strong foothold in the market, the company brought a two-year license with Hello Kitty and Kirstie Allsopp, which allowed for licensed products to boost its range. This strategy was continued in 2015, with Festive Productions signing a license agreement with Disney; this development was followed by a license agreement with Universal to produce Minions decorations. Having enjoyed a successful first year working with Disney’s Frozen in 2015 as a UK licensee for Disney Christmas Decorations, the 2016 range continues with exciting new products from Disney Princesses, Disney’s Mickey & Friends, Disney’s Frozen and Universal’s Minions, the latter of which is in advance of Despicable Me coming to cinemas in 2017. Products within the Minions range include a 107cm inflatable Minion, eight cm hanging polyresin characters and a Minions snow globe. For those wanting to display the new License products in their stores, Festive Productions offers metal tree

Festive Productions

stands, a 107cm metal ball display tree and 200cm x 10cm Mickey tinsel in display, 2m x 100mm Frozen tinsel in display and Princess tinsel in display. When it comes to the creation of high quality tinsel, Festive Productions manufactures the tinsel from PVC that is coated with a metallic finish and then sliced into thin strips that are then spun in a drum with galvanised wired; the centifugal force then holds the tinsel and wire together to form the tinsel, much like a tinsel candy floss machine. This technique, which has been mastered by Festive Productions, is integral to the high quality production of tinsel. However, not only does the company offer standard tinsel in a broad range of styles and colours, but also has machines that can cut out shapes of tinsel PVC before it is spun together, which means anything from holly, snowflakes, Christmas trees or even kangaroos can be on the tinsel. Furthermore, tinsel doesn’t only come in standard garlands, but can actually be produced in many styles and colours; tinsel trees are also available from 30cm to 240cm. When it comes to the variety of tinsel available from Festive Productions, the range is vast; in fact, a customer can have any of nine thicknesses of tinsel from 25mm up to 250mm, with one to nine colours offered in the design. These decorations and tinsel is then sold to some of the UK’s biggest supermarkets, including Tesco, ASDA and Sainsbury’s as well as House of Fraser, Wilko’s and also popular football clubs such as Liverpool FC. In fact, 80 per cent of tinsel sales come from bespoke tinsel ranges that are supplied to the above mentioned customers. Additionally, this year’s festive collection

by Festive Productions mixes tradition with modernity to create an outstanding and memorable range that is packed full of innovative and original products. Within the Festive 2016 Collection is a brilliant mix of modern and traditional, innovative and original products that will make every customer’s Christmas both magical and memorable. Segments within the Festive 2016 collection include Home for Christmas, Metallic Luxe, Nordic Light, Essentials and Merry and Bright. With 35 tinsel machines and three dye cutting machines in its modern site, the company has been able to dramatically increase its finishing capacity, with 14 million metres of tinsel produced every year, from January to November.

As sales continue to go from strength-tostrength, this proud British manufacturer is increasingly becoming the go-to manufacturer for high quality tinsel, as top retailers recognise buying poor quality tinsel from locations such as China is a less attractive option. By continuing to deliver superior tinsel and seeking new product developments, Festive Productions is certain to have a twinkling future.

Festive Productions

Products: UK’s largest manufacturer of tinsel 81

Williams Industrial Services (WIS Group) WIS Group ACCUFORM hot drape vacuum former

Knowledge, partnership &

innovation As one of the UK’s largest providers of process control, automation, instrumentation and environmental engineering solutions, WIS has a wealth of experience, manpower and skills


s Gareth Caves, Group Business Development Director began by explaining, the business was formed in 1983 as an industrial instrumentation business, but has developed its product and service offering over the years into control panel manufacture, electrical and mechanical installation, calibration and technician hire. “WIS Limited procured TOT Technical (NI) Limited in 2008 to form WIS Group, enhancing its mechanical fabrication capability,” he added. “It is still privately owned and has enjoyed significant growth, now employing over 150 people in three main business areas:

Environmental Engineering, Renewable Energy and Industrial Automation, Aerospace and Composites.” On the Environmental Engineering side WIS Group embarked on joint ventures with civil and mechanical partners to deliver turnkey water treatment and wastewater treatment projects, mainly for NI Water, through the late 1990’s and 2000’s. “With an excellent track record of delivering high value and exceptional quality on projects of this type, the company expanded its base of utilities customers throughout the UK and Ireland,” explained Gareth. In Municipal Water WIS Group is now a renowned specialist 83

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or more information please contact Austin Kennedy on 07831 471 005 or email

Williams Industrial Services (WIS Group)


With rising energy prices, interest in energy from renewable sources is increasing. Biogas plants are among the few technologies that can be operated both nationally and locally, and in recent years, not only has the number of installations increased many times over, but so has their output too. If a biogas plant is to operate economically, it has to be highly reliable. The complexity of the installation demands high-quality components at all stages, from planning and design through to continuous operation. Here at Xylem, we are delighted to work in close partnership with Williams Industrial Services, providing them with high performance Flygt pumps and mixers for the biogas market.

in the design, operation and maintenance of water and wastewater treatment works. Often working in collaboration with civil engineering contractors, its unrivalled team of highly skilled designers, project managers, project engineers and operatives offer a range of turn-key packages for all kinds of applications. The depth and breadth of its expertise means the business can deliver a complete service that includes concept and feasibility right through to design, implementation, operations, maintenance and support. WIS Group also designs and builds industrial effluent treatment plant, which is an important factor in any industrial operation. Managing the process correctly can provide significant cost savings when environmental consent limits are not breached. WIS’ specialist teams have strong sectoral experience and are therefore uniquely positioned to advise and develop the best solution for clients. Subsequent to its work in Environmental Engineering, in recent years WIS Group has diversified into the Renewable Energy sector, in particular the turn-key design and build of Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plants. “This was not a difficult transition to make as it was supported by many years of experience in delivering wastewater treatment plants. WIS now also

has a proven track record of producing high performing AD plants with a significant number installed in Northern Ireland and a growing installed base in the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and England. As well as running combined heat and power (CHP) engines from the biogas, the company’s experience also extends to biogas upgrading for gas to grid and virtual pipeline projects,” highlighted Gareth. The third segment where WIS offers services is Industrial Automation, Aerospace & Composites (IAAC), and it provides products and services across all industrial market sectors including manufacturing, food & beverage, pharmaceuticals, chemical, natural gas and power generation. Within this area WIS Group’s customers really benefit from its long-term relationships with the world’s leading players in instrumentation, process control, factory automation and robotics, representing companies such as Omron, Eurotherm by Schnieder and Emerson Process Management. As sole representatives of these companies within Northern Ireland, WIS has exclusive access to pioneering research and world-class product design. The quality of the Group’s product portfolio combined with its in-house engineering expertise means it can integrate these products into tailored processes and 85

Edina advert_WIS advert 22/12/2016 11:16 Page 1

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Williams Industrial Services (WIS Group)

Bombardier Dash & Spraybooth

Edina UK Ltd

Edina is a leading supplier, installer and maintenance provider for combined heat and power (CHP) solutions and sole distributor for MWM gas engines in the UK and Ireland. Offering complete turnkey solutions, its packaged containerised plant and control panel systems are manufactured in-house at Lisburn, Northern Ireland. Across the UK, Ireland and Australia, it has installed over 100MWe biogas units and is proud to be supporting long-term partner, WIS, in delivering market leading CHP solutions. With over 30 years’ industry experience, Edina works closely with its customers to exceed their project requirements, from initial contact to long-term maintenance support.

systems for customers operating in any sector. These include process design, installation, project management, support and training as well as machine automation and refurbishment. “Due to the presence of Short Brothers (Bombardier) in Northern Ireland for many years, WIS has built up a strong offering for the aerospace and composites industry, progressing from instrumentation calibration and machine refurbishment to design, build and installation of automated machines and systems. This includes hot drape vacuum forming machines for carbon fibre parts, spray booths, reticulation machines and vacuum drop-test equipment,” added Gareth. With this state-of-the-art technology working in combination with the elite skills and experience of its engineering teams, WIS Group can provide a full range of tailored machines, systems and processes to meet the exacting standards demanded by the aerospace and composites industries. In this fast moving environment, it has the necessary flexibility and capability to give customers a competitive edge. The company also prides itself on its continuous investment in research and development (R&D) – it has successfully patented innovations in production machinery, such as its hot drape former hood and vacuum

membrane motion control system and quick release membrane clamping and dispensing system. Together with its integral post-cure cooling system and high capacity vacuum pump, the machine can deliver rapid membrane changeover, tensioning and faster cycle times. A multi-zoned infrared heating system guarantees temperature uniformity, even with complex shapes. These scalable machines feature ‘best in class’ instrumentation and equipment for data acquisition, precision motion and temperature control. But staying at the forefront of the market doesn’t just mean developing new products – it also requires analysis to discern what might be coming over the horizon, and as Gareth explained, WIS Group keeps a close eye on the trends that are approaching and how the organisation can best place itself in order to be ready for new demands. “Looking at the increasing use of composite material in the aerospace and automotive industries, WIS Group has appointed a Sales and Marketing Executive and a North American representative to market its range of automated machinery and systems to manufacturers particularly in the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada and UAE,” he said. The IAAC department also recently enjoyed 87

Northern Enterpises

Northern Enterprises is a leading electrical engineering contractor with its head office in Armagh City. Over the last decade Northern Enterprises has enjoyed steady growth due to the creation of strong company partnerships. Its key objective is customer satisfaction, which is achieved by understanding the scope of the project, agreeing timely project plans and on-time delivery. Embedding attention-to-detail within the company values has allowed Northern Enterprise to expand its portfolio to a number of sectors to include – FMCG, Waste/Effluent & Clean Water, Manufacturing, Health and Renewable sectors. Its in-house FM department has allowed the company to provide a turnkey package on all its projects if required. Works undertaken from design, supply, installation & commissioning for: • High Voltage (HV) installations • Low Voltage (LV) installations • Instrumentation, Control and Automation Installation • PLC and SCADA Installations • Motor Control Centres (MCC) Northern Enterprises prides itself on the services and skills available and works to the highest industry standard and is delighted to have worked closely throughout the years with WIS Group and on the Glenmore Project.


C Series console

a successful trip to the West Coast of America, which was designed to help highlight WIS Group’s capabilities to a new audience. The team visited the CAMX Composites Show in

Anaheim Los Angeles where it met with new prospects for WIS Group’s range of automated machinery for composite forming (AccuformTM), spraying (EvacoteTM), reticulation (HexbondTM) and vacuum drop testing (VerivacTM). Composite materials, especially carbon fibre, are being used increasingly in aircraft manufacture and in highend cars and there was a high level of interest in what WIS Group can offer from some of the giants of the industry including Meggit, Orbital ATK and Applied Composites. The team also visited the Californian site of Alliance Space Systems before moving on to Seattle to visit Blue Origin and Boeing, where the team highlighted WIS Group’s excellent track record in providing innovative machinery designed to reduce the cost of production of parts whilst improving their quality. During the trip the WIS Group representatives became members of the Pacific North-West British American Business Council (PNW BABC) and attended one of their large networking events hosted by Boeing at the Museum of Flight. This event allowed the group to make contact, not only with influential Boeing personnel on both sides of the Atlantic, but

Williams Industrial Services (WIS Group)

£40m in 2015-16,” Gareth highlighted. “201617 promises to deliver further growth taking it close to £60m for the current financial year. This dramatic increase requires investment in high quality employment for new project managers, process engineers, technical staff and support staff, so the WIS Group is on track for an exciting New Year and beyond!” As you might expect, its performance has not gone unrecognised by the media and industry bodies. The company has won a number of awards - most recently the UTV Business Eye Award for Fast Growth Business of the Year and a Deloitte Best Managed Companies award for the second year in succession.

Williams Industrial Services (WIS Group) also with UK companies already exporting to the region. The directors also engaged with many of the Department of International Trade employees based in the US, including their aerospace specialist, who will assist WIS Group to become established in North America. As WIS Group heads into 2017 it is clear that there is an exciting time ahead for the IAAC department, but as Gareth elaborated, one of the company’s strengths is its ability to work as a whole, sharing skills, information and technology. “WIS Group is not reliant on any one sector, and because of this wide engineering background, it can pool resources and apply technologies from other sectors to solve difficult problems,” he said. “Pooling resources across the divisions such as control panel manufacture, electrical and mechanical design, software engineering and administration keeps the business very competitive.” The skills available across the divisions are also hugely beneficial. “The ability of the organisation’s talented workforce to apply their knowledge, to work in partnership with customers, sub-contractors and suppliers and to innovate in their day to day activities, results in high-performing turn-key projects for customers,” added Gareth. “Another key differentiator is the flexibility and speed of reaction that WIS Group can draw upon. As a privately owned company, it is able to make decisions quickly allowing it to adapt to changing market conditions. This flexibility comes from continually putting customer’s needs at the centre of our thinking. Aligning those needs with core competences, allows WIS to diversify to deliver more to help customers.” As a result of the company’s growth and evolution, it has now delivered over £500m

worth of engineering projects, and is showing no signs of slowing down. “With the company pushing forward on all fronts within the sectors in which it operates, WIS has enjoyed significant growth in turnover from £26m in 2014-15 to

Products: Process control, automation, instrumentation and environmental engineering solutions 89

De Jong Packaging


Every client

De Jong Packaging specialises in manufacturing corrugated board packaging for fresh produce and industrial food, and it supplies SME’s in Northwest Europe


Founder Henk de Jong


e Jong Packaging was established 20 years ago, and since then it has gone from strength-to-strength, developing from humble beginnings into a key provider of packaging for small and medium sized companies. It currently produces over 300 million trays and boxes every year, supplying a range of companies, which includes all Dutch fresh produce growers of tomatoes, peppers, vegetables and potatoes. Though it has a large presence in Holland and was established there, it now has a strong position in a number of countries in Northwest Europe, and has most

recently started to grow itself in the United Kingdom. The company’s approach to packaging is one that ensures that its customers needs are always met, which involves flexibility, creativity, and efficiency, all of which De Jong Packaging excels at. The history of the company has provided it with a great understanding of its customers as it began as a user of packaging and then subsequently became a manufacturer. Sales and Marketing Director Arie Barendregt discussed how the business came about: “The company was founded by a farmer in fact, and this is

Sales and Marketing Director Arie Barendregt

one reason why the company still remains very connected to fresh produce packaging. He was approached by the Dutch retail sector and they wanted him to start supplying directly outside of the corporation he was a part of. This meant that the corporation would not support or supply him with any packaging, and this is when he decided to start producing his own packaging.� This was the defining moment in its history, and De Jong has developed from that

point, it has invested in various new machinery, and become a manufacturer of packaging for its home market and across Europe. Its investments came in the form of its first corrugated machine in 2007 and a second installed in 2014, plus many more new machines over the years, and these allow De Jong to design bespoke corrugated board trays and folding boxes. Due to many years of experience it has a vast knowledge and understanding of packaging, and is able to create designs that support transport, stacking, function, protection, and optimal manufacturability. This process is also all conducted in-house with its machinery, and experienced staff, all of which means that its customers can rest assured that from start-tofinish their packaging needs are being met by De Jong. Due to its growth and evolution over the years the company has transformed, and become increasingly international, with an expanding portfolio of packaging. Arie provided some information on this: “We are of course 91

De Jong Packaging

very strong in Holland, and this also extends to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Belgium, as well as in 2015 when we started to make a successful market entry in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, we not only sell fresh produce boxes - in 2011 it was approximately 100 per cent fresh produce and nought per cent in other categories, which has shifted to something akin to 75 per cent fresh produce and 25 per cent other categories. Both areas have increased and are supported by the growth of the company as a whole, which has gone from an annual


turnover of €90 million to one of €160 million.” The business has achieved this growth through working closely with small and medium sized companies to solve their specific needs, and this is an approach that De Jong will continue to pursue: “We really specialise in addressing what any small to medium enterprises want and need, and this allows us to remain flexible and work with the lowest possible cost. It also means that our capacity is never blocked due to orders from larger players, and as a result our customers can reduce stock because they can rely on us to supply them quickly. This is something we offer to customers wherever they are, for example even in the UK we can supply them in five to seven days. We ship to customers not only during the weekdays, but also weekends, holidays, in Easter, and in Christmas, whenever a customer needs packaging, we can deliver.” De Jong’s approach to its customers is something that it wants to get across to all

of the markets it is active in, which is why the business regularly attends trade shows. One of the most recent examples of which is the Empak trade show in Birmingham that De Jong used to show prospective UK customers that it offers something that focuses on the needs of every client that it works with. This engagement, and its determination to work with small to medium sized businesses, means that it can truly tailor its services to its clients. For these reasons and countless more De Jong distributes its high quality product throughout Holland, and many more countries such as the UK and Germany. Therefore, with the latest machinery in place, and a exceptional understanding of its customers, the future of De Jong will likely be one that sees the company continue to grow for many years to come.

De Jong Packaging

Products: Corrugated board packaging for fresh produce and industrial food


Sluice room

Matthew Miller, CEO

Care and


Vernacare is a leading UK-based infection control business, whose innovative single-use system and award-winning products have made it a global leader in human waste management across the healthcare sector


ernacare offers hygienic patient toileting and washing solutions through its range of innovative products that have revolutionised an area of healthcare that had not changed in many years. In 2015, the company produced around 160 million disposable products, all of which were made in accordance with tight Quality Assurance systems, confirming how reliable and robust its products are. The company works to the highest national and international standards possible, everything it makes being BSI Kitemarked. Vernacare’s products offer customers and patients an effective solution that is cost effective, environmentally friendly and designed to prevent infection. This is why the Vernacare system is overwhelmingly used in healthcare across the UK, while also widely used worldwide. 93



Final stages

Vernacare factory

From its inception over 50 years ago to the present day, the business has held a belief in innovation, which it supports with an extensive in-house research and development team and large-scale investments in the company’s capabilities. There are a number of improvements that the business has made to its facilities in recent years. One example of this is a multi-million pound investment in automated packing and inspection processes, another is its automated data collection and process monitoring using smart sensors, and there are many more. The innovation and facilities enable Vernacare to provide products that offer minimal environmental impact, enhanced care facility productivity, gold standard infection prevention as well as maximum patient and carer dignity, all at a reduced cost. The Vernacare System has disrupted the traditional method of re-using bedpans, urinals

Inspection and packaging

and wash bowls. Vernacare produces singleuse containers made from renewable natural fibres, which are then disposed of in its Vortex machines which break down the used containers and contents into miniscule particles using a fast and energy efficient cold water process. The resulting fine slurry flows freely through the drains. Over the years Vernacare’s offer has evolved and diversified into a range of products based upon the same hygienic, cost effective and environmentally friendly solution. Chief Executive Matthew Miller discussed the environmental benefits Vernacare offers: “We are an eco-friendly ISO 14001 accredited business, which has invested in a range of environmental management improvements to our manufacturing process, such as energy reduction and water recycling.” Matthew continued: “For our customers the Vernacare system uses 60 per cent less water than some alternative systems and less energy because our Vortex disposal

For our customers the Vernacare system uses 60 per cent less water than some alternative systems and less energy because our Vortex disposal machines use a cold water process and operate a fast, energy efficient cycle 95



machines use a cold water process and operate a fast, energy efficient cycle.” He added: “In recent years, Vernacare’s products have also won many plaudits as they avoid the environmental cost of chemically and thermally disinfecting plastic or metal containers and their ultimate disposal.” In addition to these benefits, Vernacare’s disposable products assist nurses in making best use of their time and abilities, which can be better applied in other aspects of patient care. On this Matthew explained: “The Vernacare single-use system saves nurses more than 27 hours per year – compared to alternative reusable systems. It also improves working conditions by eliminating the time spent washing plastic products.” The Vernacare system offers great value, as Matthew confirmed: “When all costs are considered our system is 39 per cent cheaper to maintain than alternative systems of human waste management. Our single-use process utilises significantly less energy and water than alternative re-usable methods. Further financial benefits are provided through the savings in

nursing time, the cost of treating Healthcare Acquired Infections (HCAIs) and reduced maintenance costs. Also, the Vortex disposal unit can often be significantly less costly to purchase than many washer disinfectors.” The Vernacare single-use system is a valuable tool in combating some of the most infectious and pervasive illnesses, that if allowed can rapidly spread throughout a hospital. Matthew commented: “By providing patients with a new disposable product every time, the Vernacare system helps to reduce infection risk from Clostridium difficile (C.diff), MRSA, E. Coli and Norovirus, and other highly infectious diseases, such as the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).” Vernacare offers these benefits across a large range of products, which includes the world’s first detergent-proof disposable washbowl, for which it won the prestigious Queen’s Award for Innovation, once again displaying its originality and expertise. These talents were also important in creating its Vortex+ model, launched in 2015, a waste disposal unit that does not require any operator hand contact, thus helping to 97



Vernacare’s unique female urinal, the VernaFem

Due to the important ways Vernacare benefits customers and patients, it is no wonder that it has revolutionised the healthcare sector, and is used by 96 per cent of NHS Trust and healthcare facilities in 48 countries


reduce cross-infection. Also, it has recently developed a new model of its successful VernaChair commode, which combats infection through an easy-clean design. In addition, Vernacare has once again displayed its leadership within the industry with the introduction of a single-use female urinal, the VernaFem, an award winning innovation. Through all of these new groundbreaking developments, Vernacare focuses on developing cost effective products that place patient safety, comfort and dignity, as well as the environment, at the heart of all it does. Due to the important ways Vernacare benefits customers and patients, it is no wonder that it has revolutionised the healthcare sector, and is used by 96 per cent of NHS Trusts and healthcare facilities in 48 countries. The business also looks for growth in international markets and has been successful in identifying customers and markets around the world that have a demand for its human waste management and infection control products. The company has taken a fresh approach to how it targets international markets and as of 2013 it has now put in place a more targeted policy that aims to achieve high levels of growth. One recent example of this is a new-five year deal which will see Vernacare supply Manipal – one of Asia’s largest healthcare management groups. The company expects to see over ten million pounds worth of sales to India over the next three years as a result, and with more interested parties in the region, the future for Vernacare in India looks very positive. In addition to this, the business will also seek to develop its well-established market positions in all corners of the globe. The worldwide popularity of its products demonstrates how effective Vernacare has been in addressing old issues within healthcare with new ideas. It has underpinned all of this with a commitment to quality, to minimising its impact on the environment, whilst also improving the experience and cost for healthcare providers. Due to these factors the Vernacare System is considered to be the gold standard globally, and this reputation only looks set to grow as more customers worldwide convert


to Vernacare’s products and experience their benefits. The almost complete conversion of the UK to the single-use system, based on quality, cost effectiveness and the overall benefit to customers and patients has been a solid platform from which Vernacare has taken its innovative product range to many countries

around the world and why it now looks set to increase its global share of the international healthcare market. Indeed, as prevention becomes increasingly important to health management, importance of cost benefits increase, and concerns for environmental issues grow Vernacare will no doubt enjoy even greater success.


Products: Hygienic patient toileting and washing and infection control 99

Brompton Bicycle

On your bike

Revolutionising the way people live in cities, Brompton Bicycle specialises in designing and building bicycle frames of exceptional quality


he Brompton was conceived as a product that increases people’s sense of independence and freedom in urban spaces, and this concept is still at the heart of everything the company does. In 1975 a chance meeting inspired Andrew Ritchie to come up with a fresh approach to the challenge of designing a folding bike. It was just one year later in 1976 that Brompton Bicycle was registered as a limited company, starting a history that would transform the future for intercity cycling. Conceived as a product that increases people’s independence and freedom, the company continues to develop and manufacture bikes that customers can rely on wherever and whenever they use them. The Brompton sets its users free from the constraints imposed by the combustion engine, city planners, the weather, public transport administrators, bike thieves and countless other layers of complexity. Since previously being featured in Manufacturing Today Europe in May 2015, Brompton Bicycle has continued to evolve the same product it began with more than 40 years


ago to offer enhanced rides for customers with better ergonomics. Updates include an improved handlebar shape, which includes a change to the handlebar rise that allows for longer grips and

increased comfort, which thus leads to smoother transitions. Additionally, the company has completely redesigned its gear shifters for easier transitions via a new mechanism; the shifters and brass bell have also been fitted into the brake lever to ensure they are within easy reach. “Brompton is an evolving product and in the early years you can make big strides in developing it, but as a product continues to evolve, the thought, energy and consideration that goes into performance becomes greater for a smaller return. It now takes a long time to improve things on a Brompton bicycle, and we also have to be careful of the changes we make. However, over the last three years we have been working on improvements and feedback showed that the ergonomics were not as intuitive as they could be. These days everything is intuitive, touch screens and touch phones and so on, which is why we went on to develop our gear triggers to be clever as they affected the brake levels and the bell as we integrated it all to where it intuitively ought to be. This is a unique development that stems from a vast amount of research and development,”

Conceived as a product that increases people’s independence and freedom, the company continues to develop and manufacture bikes that customers can rely on wherever and whenever they use them

says Will Butler-Adams, CEO of Brompton Bicycle Ltd. “We also changed the handle bar design, which doesn’t sound like much but a handle bar has to go through a long life and not fail, so we developed something that was different, lighter and ultimately better.” Other updates include more choice in colours, with a vibrant red and stylish grey added to the range; plus, colours no longer incur a charge so customers can have whatever combination they wish for no extra cost. This development follows the company’s relocation to a new 90,000 square foot factory in 2016, which includes the addition of a new paint plant, assembly line and brazing station for making frames. Discussing the relocation, Will highlights: “We took a huge risk to move the factory as we moved from a 30,000 square foot facility to a 90,000 square foot site; in total the move cost around £2.5 million and we then had to turn the building into a factory. We began moving in September 2015 and the relocation was complete in February 2016; we paid double rent for six months, however this enabled us to move the entire production and factory and it only cost us 2.5 days of production time. It was a successful move when it comes to our ability in delivering services to our customers during this time. “We have been here nine months and everyone has worked their socks off and it turns out we are saving more money than the additional cost of rent, which is £900,000, at the same output. If you take the £2.5 million capex out, the operating costs are now lower than the additional rent, while we are also in a fantastic facility with incredible innovative capabilities. We are very happy.” Further adding to the excitement of this major development for Brompton Bicycle was the arrival of royalty at the new facility, which was 101

WILLIAMS ADVANCED ENGINEERING Williams Advanced Engineering is delighted to be collaborating with Brompton Bicycle to develop the company’s first electric bike . Using its expertise derived from Formula One technology and its know-how from Electric Vehicle development, Williams Advanced Engineering has led the engineering and packaging of the motor, transmission, and invertor into a small diameter lightweight hub. This innovative and exciting new bike is due to be launched in 2017. Williams Advanced Engineering is the technology and engineering services business of the Williams Group. We provide world class technical innovation, engineering, testing and manufacturing services in a range of sectors, working closely with our customers and partners to meet their individual needs and the sustainability challenges of the 21st Century. WILLIAMS ADVANCED ENGINEERING GROVE OXFORDSHIRE OX12 ODQ T +44 (0) 1235 777 919 ADVANCEDENGINEERING@WILLIAMSF1.COM

WAE-Brompton-Ad-Development-V5.indd 1

05/01/2017 15:00:30

Brompton Bicycle

Williams Advanced Engineering

Williams Advanced Engineering is the technology and engineering services division of the Williams Group. We provide World-Class technical innovation, engineering, testing and manufacturing services to deliver energy efficient performance solutions for the Automotive, Motorsport, Defence, Healthcare and Energy Sectors. We are specialists in Lightweight Materials, Hybrid Power Systems and Electronics, Advanced Aerodynamics, Vehicle Dynamics, and Holistic Integration Capabilities. Combining cutting edge technology and the industry’s best engineers with a precision and speed to market derived from four decades of success in the ultra-competitive environment of Formula One, we pride ourselves on working in partnership with our customers and partners.

opened by the Duke of Edinburgh. Upon his arrival, his Royal Highness met Andrew Ritchie before proceeding with a tour of the new factory, where he viewed the processes involved in designing and building a Brompton bike and met members of staff who engineer and manufacture the bikes. Having relocated to a new factory that triples work space, been visited by royalty and developed new innovations for customers, Brompton Bicycle shows no signs of slowing down as it continues to work with Williams Advanced Engineering on the design and development of an electric bike. “Every element of this design is taken to its limit,” says Will. “The gear design is completely unique, there is nothing

like it in the world when it comes to this drive system, and we are now close to having a product that myself and our customers would want to buy. Because this is a unique development, we are taking time to get things right as opposed to following a tried-and-tested method of manufacture. We have a few prototypes around and they are nice, but they need to be better; it is an exciting development and when they are ready you will definitely want one.” Keen to change how people live in cities across the world, Brompton Bicycle offers customers the opportunity to change their lives by cycling to work, home or other locations as opposed to using public transport. “If we get more people out of the ground, out of their cars and onto one of our bikes we will have achieved something. If we can innovate and come up with cool products for our customers, there is no limit to what we can deliver; this is what we need to fulfill,” Will concludes.

Brompton Bicycle

Products: Bicycle manufacturer 103

IPG Photonics UK Static beam formed brazed joints. (sectioned view)

Living the


IPG Photonics is a specialist in producing energy efficient fiber lasers for industrial markets and continues to bring new innovations to market that are designed to drive value and efficiency into high-value production processes


s an internationally leading supplier of high power fiber lasers and amplifiers, IPG Photonics is revolutionising the performance and utility of manufacturing, across numerous materials processing applications. The company is the global leading vertically integrated manufacturer, operating from four production facilities in the US, Germany, Italy & Russia and from sales & service offices in the United Kingdom, across Europe & Asia. IPG Photonics has developed a strong reputation for leading design, quality and supply, selling products globally to OEM’s, system integrators and end users. Having developed a unique approach to


product innovation, IPG has become a leader of fiber laser based technical solutions, displacing traditional products with superior performance and value. The company is leveraging its brand and position as a pioneer and leader in the development and commercialisation of fiber lasers and amplifiers to increase its market share in broader markets; putting it simply, IPG’s products are empowering the market by enabling tomorrow’s applications today. Recent product launches of fiber lasers specifically target, welding, joining, hardening, cleaning and surface treatment applications. Fiber lasers operate in challenging industrial environments with a design that is aimed at zero

Static beam formed brazed joints. (top view)

maintenance, reducing service costs. Additionally, with high power fiber laser wall plug efficiency over 40 per cent, results in the lowest electricity costs. For maximum wall plug efficiency of over 50 per cent IPG have the –ECO series high power lasers. For demanding cutting applications a range of powers from 1-12kW is available; for example the YLS-12000-CUT cutting laser targets the most demanding cutting applications. The multi-axis work-cell product range, offered with a selection of fiber laser sources, are highly effective automated processing tools for both prototype and high-volume production environments. IPG Photonics UK is focused on bringing the fiber laser technology to customers in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The new UK Sales and Service Center in Bristol provides convenient access to the entire region. Having local UK support has improved the customer interaction for the UK’s high value manufacturing sectors such as, automotive, aerospace, oil & gas, medical and industrial manufacturing. “We have seen significant growth with the adoption of this fiber laser technology, since establishing the UK Sales

and Service Centre. Local customers have the confidence to invest in IPG technology, safe in the knowledge that they have local support. IPG offer fiber laser products that are designed for zero maintenance, however our UK service team are here for technical support and installation services that ensure maximum productivity,” says Mark Thompson Director of Sales at IPG Photonics UK. With high value innovation at its focus IPG has significantly improved laser joining. A major innovation that delivers significant value is static beam forming. Here, the use of multiple high power laser beams (combined in a single process fiber), are delivered to a single joining process. Each of the independently powered beams is then positioned to enhance a distinct aspect of processing. For example, as the name suggests tri-focal brazing is a process that uses three beams; two lead beams vapourise the metallic coating layers, ahead of a third broader beam that powers the brazing process. By removing coating material that would otherwise contaminate the brazed joint, a superior joint is formed, free from spatter or porosity. While one

laser beam is sometimes suitable, multiple laser beams operating in harmony often enhance value. This fact has already been noticed by the global automotive industry, where multiple laser beam processing is already undergoing rapid adoption. Mark continues: “There is a dedicated team at IPG who have developed this unique technology; the fiber laser offers a dramatic difference over alternative laser sources. IPG essentially provide multiple independent fiber lasers within a single industrial cabinet that allows the brightness of each beam to be independently maintained. As each customer’s material combination is specific, we take their materials and demonstrate how we can improve the joining process. We work closely with customers to achieve the quality of the join they want at commercial production speeds.”

IPG Photonics UK Products: World leading fiber lasers 105


The concept of quality As a subsidiary of R STAHL in Germany, R STAHL’s Indian operation is helping the global organisation to achieve unprecedented levels of growth


oon to be celebrating 140 years in operation, German-based R STAHL has more than 80 years of experience in the explosion protection technology industry and a global footprint. With a name synonymous with explosion protection expertise, the company operates under ISO 9001:2008 certification for the QMS, ATEX and IEC Ex approvals for all of its manufacturing facilities; here, the company manufactures worldclass components for gas and dust explosive environments, with products including light fittings, junction boxes, control panels and signaling precuts as well as system solutions. Established in 2000, R STAHL’s Indian arm, R STAHL (P) Ltd, is backed by the comprehensive support of its parent company and has become a centre of manufacturing excellence. It is here that the company mainly caters to the market needs of the EMEA countries, in addition to Asia and a small part of the Americas, mainly through


other subsidiaries and distributors or R STAHL. Alongside these operations, the company serves industries in India, such as pharmaceutical, oil and gas, fertilisers and chemicals, offshore and marine and OEMs. “R STAHL (P) Ltd is a renowned manufacturer and supplier of explosion proof equipment; our plant is ATEX, IECEx approved and we are committed to manufacture and sell quality products with the ever evolving German technology, not only to the Indian clientele but worldwide. Our products are manufactured using state-of-the-art CNC machines under the supervision of trained experts, thus a high degree of product quality and reliability, backed up with prompt aftersales service, is assured,” says Joerg Fitzek, Managing Director of R STAHL in India. He continues: “Moreover, our in-house skilled R&D team continuously works to create efficiently designed new products, along with new, improved versions of some of the existing

products. With a manpower of approximately 350, in the Indian operations, our company is the main manufacturing hub for Asia, where we have all mandatory Indian and international certifications and approvals that underline our competence and qualify our products and systems for installation worldwide.” Since previously being featured in Manufacturing Today Europe in April 2016, R STAHL has invested a huge amount of money in its cutting edge manufacturing facility and has witnessed a vast increase in demand for explosion proof equipment, particularly lighting and switchgear products. Having kept watch on market developments, the company has also made the strategic decision to focus more on the pharmaceutical and chemical industry sectors, which have promising and high growth rates in Asia. “For the pharmaceutical industry, R STAHL has a portfolio of products, ranging from automation products such as HMIs and CCTV

camera systems, remote I/O, fieldbus to signaling products like audible, visual and combination annunciation, lighting for both clean room and non-clean room requirements, switchgear like plug and sockets, and enclosures in stainless steel and GRP; control stations and equipment,” comments Joerg. He adds: “We all know that worldwide, there is a huge growth that is projected in the chemical sector. However, we must all agree to the fact that there is a lack of awareness about the potential dust hazards and, so, we decided to take the lead here and create an awareness amongst end users about the need to install certified dust-proof equipment where there are potential dust hazards. Since most of R STAHL’s products are dual certified for hazardous gas as well as dust, there will be a major thrust in the market and special efforts put in to increase customer awareness about the necessity of installing certified dust-proof equipment in the hazardous dust classified area.” With R STAHL increasing its turnover from 16 million euros to 21 million euros over the last two years, it is anticipated that the company will reach 25 million euros by 2017 thanks to additions to its product portfolio, redesigns of existing products, phasing out some old designs and networking on a global scale. “Executing a strategy of proactive marketing, adopting modern digital marketing techniques, networking between sales and marketing teams globally, better quality promotional material, strong marketing communication and brand promotion using the digital platform, and accepting customer’s valid suggestions while designing products are some of the impacting factors for growth,” says Joerg. “Further, the concept of manufacturing within the country and supplying to customers R STAHL equipment of the same international quality, results in shorter lead times, reasonable pricing, the ability to approach customers with holistic

solutions; focusing on project requirements and working with consultants closely are also among the many reasons behind the growth in sales.” Also aiding in the company’s future growth is its strategic investment in long-standing South African sales partners ESACO Pty Ltd, which will lead to development of the African market, particularly the sub-Saharan region. “Through the investment, the market development in the

region, in areas such as Angola, Mozambique, Namibia or Nigeria, will be particularly intensified. As such, R STAHL estimates that the sales increase that can be achieved in the market in the medium-term will be between 15 million euros and 20 million euros. With the proximity to African-end customers, continued success will be ensured,” highlights Joerg. Anticipating solid growth, both in terms of revenue as well as in the company’s product portfolio, Joerg believes R STAHL (P) Ltd will continue its focus on the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors as well as marine and offshore. However, for dual certified products, the company will be seeking to grow in markets such as pharmaceutical and food. “The estimated sale by the end of 2020 is 50 million euros,” he concludes.

R STAHL Products: Manufacture explosion protection and electrical products 107

Ab Solving Oy

Omnidirectional Solving Mover used for assembly of different parts to Airbus A350 XWB

Bearing the


Ab Solving Oy has achieved many years of success in the heavy load industry, providing much needed support to a variety of industries that rely upon its products to conduct their work


b Solving Oy will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2017 and since it was established has become a wellrespected specialist in the design and manufacture of heavy load handling systems. Through its products, its customisation, and relationship with customers, Solving has made itself an important supplier to major companies working across many industries, and now supplies to over 60 countries worldwide. At its heart it is a creative business that has vast expertise in engineering, which it has paired with a high level

Automated, wire guided, flexible service platforms for train maintenance depots


of customer understanding and care, and this has helped it to create products that range from simple hand-controlled devices all the way to highly sophisticated automated handling systems. The company has built upon its current capabilities with the recent investment to build an entirely new test facility, which offers many significant benefits to Solving. Deputy Managing Director Bo-Göran Eriksson provided further details on this: “We have built a very modern test facility where we have the possibility to make all sorts of simulations and test procedures, and it is an important tool for us to check that we have understood and met the specifications of our customers’ requirements in the right way. This is an essential part of our business because we do a lot of customising and it is very important to have the option of performance tests and various other analysis mechanisms inhouse. This ensures that if there was to be anything less than we would expect then we can resolve it before it is shipped anywhere.” Through taking this approach Solving not only maintains the

high standards of product that its customers expect, it also saves the expense of having to deal with an issue that arises once something has already been transported significant distances. Solving is so confident in its testing process and places such a high value in its relationships with customers that it invites them into witness the analysis procedures. This is indicative of the wider way that the company seeks to engage with its clients, as it believes in having a very close collaboration with them from the very earliest stage of enquiry right through to completion and after sales. Through taking this approach the business has excelled at listening to its customers and building a dialogue with them, which in turn supports the company in creating products that meet their specific expectations and requirements. It provides this high level of product to a number of industries, which includes paper and print, automotive, railway, aircraft, heavy electric, diesel engine, steel and heavy workshops, offshore, wind power, and nuclear power. All of which call upon the reliability that Solving’s products supply, and its portfolio of products support various different needs. Two sectors that the business has seen particular activity within are aerospace and railway, both of which

Laser guided Solving AGV for long steel bars

Solving AGVs used in assembly lines for cars

Air cushion based Solving Mover for the assembly line of heavy diesel engines

Bo-Göran discussed: “We have had a very good collaboration with one key customer in Europe and developed a good concept of products for moving different aspects of aircrafts in production and maintenance facilities. In regards to the railway industry, this is an area that is experiencing a lot of investment at the moment, particularly for the maintenance of rail cars for example.” This trend will no doubt continue, and not just within Europe but also within Asia and the Americas. Another tendency that will likely continue to grow is the role automation plays. Bo-Göran highlighted this as an area that is significant: “There has been a trend that is moving towards more and more automated equipment since we started, and today the automated guided vehicles (AGV’s) is a sector that is expanding and developing fast. The benefits of them are they can be easily integrated with robots as well as with existing and new material handling equipment. This means that you can develop a fully automated system where the automated guided vehicle is a part of that.” The range of benefits this development offers also include further improvements for the safety of workers, as well as for the goods and materials, which is incredibly important for Solving’s customers.

Solving AGVs used in assembly lines for cars

Bo-Göran added: “It’s also more flexible when compared to conveyor systems and other fixed systems. While also offering increased accuracy and productivity, at the same time as having an interface with warehouse management systems so it’s part of the production process. AGV’s are no longer used to simply move a load from point a to point b, instead they are part of a more complex system.” These are already in use in everywhere from hospitals to warehouses, and they look set to become even more significant in the years to come. Being a selected partner of Kollmorgen, an expert in flexible control solutions for driverless vehicles, Solving is a front end solution provider with competitive technology. Solving has achieved a great deal in its four decades in the industry, and it is set to continue

this in the coming years. The business has already set out a strong marker with its brand new test facility, as well as its recent developments using the latest technology in automation. Therefore, Solving has combined longevity with progress, always finding new ways to apply its engineering expertise to further enhance its products and develop unique solutions to its customer’s challenges. It will continue to do so for many years to come, and will no doubt help to shape how automation is used in the industry.

Ab Solving Oy Products: Heavy load handling systems 109

EPM Technology


momentum Having developed a solid reputation in the motorsport sector, EPM Technology is seeking to diversify operations by gaining a strong foothold in markets such as automotive, aerospace and defence


ounded by Graham Mulholland in 1996, EPM Technology was set up following developments in new thermocomposite materials, no resin, just plastics. Upon seeing a chance to establish a new composites company unlike any other, Mulholland led the company into becoming a highly successful manufacturer of high performance carbon fibre component parts and assemblies for the demanding and challenging Formula 1 sector. Discussing the company’s developments is Andrew Walker, Commercial Director of EPM Technology: “It is our 20th anniversary this year, which we celebrated with a number of longstanding customers and suppliers at the Advanced Engineering Show 2016. When we began operating we were primarily involved in working with composite materials for the motorsport and Formula 1 markets. Upon seeing opportunities in new markets, we have been diversifying our operations and expanding into


new sectors such as aerospace, defence and bespoke work, with varying levels of success. We are also increasingly working in the automotive sector, an arena where carbon fibre was typically only found in the niche high end road car, but is now becoming increasingly popular and readily available across a growing number of OEMs.” Diversification is proving a natural step for EPM Technology, which benefits from strengths such as the ability to offer a turnkey service, as Andrew continues: “We pride ourselves on our ability to do everything from design, creating patterns, creating tools as well as manufacturing parts, whilst also understanding and delivering what the customer wants, when they want it. We use many years of experience as we collaborate with customers to optimise the design for manufacture, so they leave our facility confident that they will get manufactured parts to their required standard. We have really tested ourselves in the area of visual carbon fibre, where

it is critical that parts look perfect given the amount of money customers spend on carbon fibre options. “Ultimately we focus on meeting challenging quality requirements and pushing boundaries, particularly in the aerospace sector, one we are perfectly located to support as well as one with a lot of opportunities to demonstrate composite materials.” In fact, the company has seen approximately 60 per cent growth in this sector thanks to a new customers over the last nine months due to its ability to deliver trusted, innovative, engineering momentum and is now exploring the growing use of composite materials in all aspects of aerospace. Meanwhile, within the defence sector, the company is now working with a customer on mission critical components to be used across a wide range of applications and is confident that this represents a significant growth opportunity. Originally located in Draycott in a rented

facility, the company has recently moved to a purpose built 60,000 square foot composite facility in close proximity to Derby. This new facility more than doubles the company’s previous site and has ensured EPM Technology has the equipment, space and technology to progress into new markets through the delivery of high performance, innovative solutions. “As far as we know this facility is one of its kind in the UK, it is very much set up with a focus on efficiency, cleanliness and lighting to meet the stringent requirements of our demanding customer base,” highlights Andrew. “When customers come in they are wowed by our facility and it further instils confidence in our capabilities; in fact, our customers have even brought in their customers to see where we operate and what we can do.” To further strengthen capabilities, the company recently gained AS9100 approval, an industry standard quality management system (QMS) within the aerospace sector. Commenting on this development in September 2016, Graham Mulholland, CEO of EPM Technology noted: “We’re bang on plan and growing the business consistently. This approval shows that we’re on top of our systems making truly world class and often complex parts, assemblies and system compliant products.” Closely linked to Derby college and Derby university, EPM Technology is not only cementing its future success through diversification, but is also ensuring skills and expertise within the company are passed onto future generations through its apprenticeship academy. “We take on around six apprentices a year, both on the shop floor and in the engineering department; we spend a lot of time supporting them through studies and train them at EPM Technology. There is certainly a skills gap in the market when it comes to quality engineering, which is why we are being active in encouraging the engineers of tomorrow,” says Andrew. “We have been in our new facility for two years and will continue to embed ourselves in the building through increased growth and diversification. In the longer term, we will look into potential licensing arrangements and other ways we may be able to grow the business without increasing our manufacturing footprint. We have a lot of expertise, knowledge and capability here, and it is a matter of maximising the potential of this over the coming years,” he concludes.

EPM Technology

Products: Manufacture/CAD and production of composite parts and materials 111

Oy Meclift Ltd.



Finding its roots in Finnish technology, research and development, Oy Meclift Ltd is a leading specialist in container handling and associated operations


perating from its base located in Tampere, Finland, Oy Meclift Ltd. is an independent family-owned company that manufactures a comprehensive portfolio of equipment for the fields of container handling, loading, unloading, lifting and pallet handling. The equipment manufactured by the company includes variable reach trucks, movers and side-reach stackers that are designed and assembled in Finland in association with trusted manufacturing partners. “Meclift specialises in the offering of innovative materials handling equipment for ports and industry and provides a unique product range that addresses a host of different kinds of material handling needs,” elaborates CEO, Veli-Pekka Uotinen. “Our clients include the operators of harbours, paper mills, steel/aluminium plants, terminals, offshore wind and military applications.” Meclift equipment is commonly used in ports, railroads, airports, road transport and factory


grounds across the world, most significantly within South America, the Middle East and Asia. Indeed, the company’s products are known for their strength, agility and versatility, with its range of variable reach trucks, container movers, and side reach stackers being designed to improve productivity and efficiency in cargo and materials handling. Additionally, diverse attachments such as the Meclift double forks system, air cargo pallet forks, coil ram, coil clamps, loading box, lifting beams and paper clamps are suitable for a wide range of work phases. In order to assist its clients in running their respective operations in a variety of lifting operations, Meclift is committed to meeting the individual needs of each project throughout the process of research and development and the final delivery of new machinery. Due to their high-quality materials, parts, and sturdy structure, the company’s machines function reliably in all environments, withstanding also extreme cold,

heat and humidity. This is equally true one of its latest machines, the ML4212RC variable reach truck. “The Meclift ML4212RC variable reach truck compliments our existing variable reach truck production family of ML1612R, ML1812R, ML3012RC and ML5012R and builds on this portfolio of equipment with new and exciting capabilities,” Veli-Pekka says. “With the Meclift ML4212RC variable reach truck clients can take their heavy lifting operations to the next level in terms of efficiency and safety. The design is capable of lifting 42 tons with 1.2m load centre and can reach up to 3.25 metres, taking the lifting height to as high as 7.8 metres. With its high reaching capability, Meclift ML4212RC excels on loading and unloading materials and containers. It can reach to the end of a standard 20 ft. container and still lift ten tons, making all logistical manoeuvres significantly easier and safer.” The Meclift M4212RC variable reach truck is designed to help with container loading and

unloading operations, so that customers can undertake heavy lifting into/out a container that is located on top of the trailer. Through the use of bogey rollers it is possible to move heavier loads in excess of ten tons, even while utilising the unit’s maximum reach. The addition of lifting beams makes this system a unique combination for long and heavy object handling, with which it is possible to place rods, pipes and tubes into the middle of a 40ft container. With a vertically movable cabin, the driver can also position him/herself in the right location to see either the forks or surrounding areas, whichever is needed at the time. This makes the machine much safer to operate and the unit can be fitted with cameras for even greater visibility. Further to the development of its M4212RC, Meclift has also recently introduced its new ML1812R to provide clients with a unique multipurpose machine. The machines represents the only solution on the market in the lifting range of 18 tonnes that can operate inside containers, by moving swiftly in confined spaces such as warehouses and cargo vessels. In addition to heavy cargo lifting, the ML1812R is perfect for a host of other material handling needs. This makes it an environmentally friendly solution, as less work machinery on site results in significantly less fuel consumption. Employing less machinery on site also provides greater available space and increased visibility, which in turn leads to improved safety and less damage to cargo. Owing to its compact design the ML1812R is easily transportable within a standard 20-ft container, while the machine is also designed to operate reliably in demanding conditions and supported by a base of globally available components and spare parts. By leveraging the combination of its comprehensive product portfolio and a strong history of innovation, Meclift is able to offer a unique base of material handling solutions. This will prove to be an important asset, when combined with the company’s globally available support as it seeks to expand across the material handling industry throughout the coming years. “We have an advantage in that we are family business, with a long-term focus on development and innovation that dates back to the company’s founders. This means that there is a strong culture of invention, as well as a drive to improve existing heavy-lifting solutions for our clients running through Meclift. For example, we recently developed a new 42-tone variable-reach lift truck, the first of which we delivered to a customer during October 2016. This is in conjunction with the development of our M4212RC truck that represents an improvement on our best selling solutions in the 18 tonne range,” Veli-Pekka concludes. “During the coming years we will work to make our new products better known in the market, as well as to find good partners in Europe and globally to expand our presence within the material handling industry. We are still a small company but we see a lot of market potential through the delivery of unique solutions.”

Oy Meclift Ltd. Products: Manufacturer of unique material handling equipment 113

Qi Van Systems



Telford-based Qi Van Systems is a leading manufacturer in vehicle conversion working for many of the UK’s leading utility and public sector organisations



stablished in 1984, Qi Van Systems is a Telford-based manufacturer in the vehicle conversion industry, with more than 30 years of experience working with many of the UK’s leading utility and public sector organisations. The company is committed to leading the way in the UK conversion market in terms of innovation, product quality, and customer service. In the last 12 months alone Qi has introduced over 2000 new or improved conversion components, which confirms Qi’s name as a converter who has a focus on saving customers time, money, and weight within their designs.

Qi operates from two sites in Telford totalling seven acres – one site which houses manufacturing, fitting and office staff, and a second site which is a storage facility based on a major commercial rail site. As a leader in bespoke designs, Qi has developed seven core services which combined offer a ‘one-stop-shop’ solution to customers – these services include Consultation, Design, Manufacturing, Conversion, Graphics, Logistics and Support. Setting it apart from other converters, Qi has its own industry-leading Order Management Tracking

System (OMTS). OMTS captures information from the customer specific design catalogues, tracking expected vehicle stock dates, chassis details, livery requirements and onward delivery information – having all of this information to hand allows Qi to pre-plan vehicle-specific build slots, and ensure that the conversion process is as efficient as possible. The system is accessible 24/7 and gives information in real-time to both customers and Qi alike. “As a bespoke manufacturer, we make our racking on site in Telford, which means we have

ECOBAT Battery Technologies

ECOBAT Battery Technologies; we bring to you the range, service and technical expertise of the largest supplier network in Europe, so you can boost profits by ordering batteries from a bespoke service that’s tailor-made for your needs. Partnering with ECOBAT Battery Technologies means you benefit from a range of brands, with no bias, including Lucas, VMF, Numax and VARTA batteries, among many others. You’ll also gain competitive advantage from our expert knowledge and superlative aftercare. 115

Qi Van Systems

the flexibility to produce kits to customers’ exact requirements; if a customer wants a specific type and size of shelf for a precise operator role, we can design a specification to suit. We manufacture and fit our racking and ancillary components in Telford, as well as producing and fitting our customers’ graphics on our site. We take an empty vehicle and completely kit out to meet customers’ requirements, so upon delivery to the end user vehicles are fit-for-purpose,” explains Lyndon Stonier, Managing Director at Qi Van Systems. Promoted from Commercial Director in March 2016, Lyndon joined Qi in 2013, and has used his long-term experience in asset finance to significantly improve operations within the company. “When I joined Qi the company needed a change in direction and a bit of a revamp,” Lyndon notes. “I saw that there were issues with regards to the level of service we provided and overpromising on delivery timescales - this was where I put my focus, to differentiate Qi in the market as a company who can deliver an exceptional level of service and quality

ECCO Safety Group

ECCO Safety Group (ESG) based in Leeds, Yorkshire, designs, manufactures, and markets innovative back-up alarms and amber warning lights for over-theroad vehicles, earth-moving vehicles, material handling equipment as well as lighting and sound-based warning products for emergency service vehicles in law enforcement, fire, EMS and security industries. Britax, a brand of ESG, has been Qi Van’s tier one supplier for an amber warning product, which has been fitted on many of their major fleet contracts


to the customer. By taking on a ‘big enough to cope, small enough to care’ approach, we are able to survive in the market place against major competitors, by producing high quality conversions, in a timely manner, whilst also providing dedicated support along the way. “Design was a department within Qi that needed significant improvements, when I arrived we had only one designer, but to ensure we kept up with legislative changes and an ever-evolving environment we aim to design for future requirements by investing in innovation. As such I brought dynamic, experienced people into the business – our design department now has five designers, one of which is focusing on R&D to improve the development of our products and operations. The investment in staff was not limited to the design department – although we are a competitive manufacturer, the strength of our business lies in our people. Over the past three years several of the employees we have invested in have been promoted; from sales roles to production managers, designers to manufacturing managers, from administrators to account managers and customer service managers. We believe that by investing in our people, we can cultivate a knowledgeable and loyal, integrated team who provide the exact quality and service levels that our customers demand.” Complementing the integrated operations within Qi is the company’s investment in cutting edge equipment which ensures production of high quality vehicle racking and ancillary components. In May 2016 Qi invested £500,000 to purchase a new state-of-the-art laser cutting machine, and carry out improvements to the existing powder coating plant. The fibre sheet metal laser creates a laser beam one tenth of the width of a CO2 laser,

We believe that by investing in our people, we can cultivate a knowledgeable and loyal, integrated team who provide the exact quality and service levels that our customers demand 117

Qi Van Systems

which allows for faster processing of thinner materials through the utilisation of compressed air rather than using Nitrogen gases. The machine means the company can produce a wider range of steel and nonferrous metal products at a quicker rate, while also reducing its’ carbon footprint. The powder coating plant has been improved with the installation of new recycling water tanks that offers significant water

savings of up to 60 per cent due to spent water going through cleaning tanks and being re-used. Following these investments Qi will continue to benefit from a reduction in manufacturing timescales, reduced carbon footprint, and a 25 per cent weight reduction which will help customers increase payloads as part of vehicle conversions. Converting on average more than 3000 vehicles per annum, and certified as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 compliant, the firm has enjoyed year-on-year growth since 2014. Moving forward Qi will continue to concentrate on innovation by trialling high-tensile lightweight steel and assessing the benefits of weight reduction. Investment is however not solely limited to manufacturing equipment such as lasers; Qi has recently invested in an overhaul in lighting throughout its site by introducing LED lighting. “The aim of the improving lighting provisions is part of an environmental programme, whilst also keeping our employees in safe and comfortable surroundings,” says Lyndon. “We also have planned for future investment into our software to develop our OMTS system.” The business is continuously adapting, and has differentiated itself from other converters in the market with its bespoke offering and high quality and service levels. Lyndon concludes: “Looking ahead, our objective is to increase the company turnover to £12 million, by investing in training and getting a multi-skilled workforce so that we can utilise our people more efficiently and improve service.”

Qi Van Systems Products: A full range of vehicle conversion equipment


Ebac Group Ltd.




After more than 40 years in operation Ebac Group Ltd remains a true British success story – beating global competition to become the most highly respected name in the water cooler and dehumidifier industries

he history of the Ebac Group Ltd. began in 1972 when the company was founded by its current chairman, John Elliott as a one-man business that has since grown into a flourishing international business through the development of truly innovative products in the dehumidifier and water cooler markets. Ebac is still based in the town of Newton Aycliffe within County Durham and is today Europe’s market leader for water coolers and Britain’s leading manufacturer of dehumidifiers. “Ebac is a British manufacturing company, which operates as a foundation and is owned by a Trust – there are no shareholders. All of our profits are returned to the company to

promote growth, provide jobs and support local communities, including sports sponsorship and apprentices,” reveals Sales and Marketing Director, Tony Hird. “We produce most of our products within Ebac through injection molding, sheet metal fabrication, printed circuit board (PCB) manufacture and design.” During its history Ebac has established a leading reputation as a trusted manufacturer of not only water coolers, dehumidifiers, but also chest freezers and washing machines. Indeed innovation and quality remain at the heart of the company’s operating philosophy and its dehumidifiers have led the market for over 25 years, while its water coolers continue 119

to re-define the popular perception of these products both at home and in the office. Ebac is also well renowned for its expertise in bespoke air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions for industry and the company was also the first to manufacture and retail Brita Filtered Water coolers ideal for the domestic market. Furthermore, Ebac is additionally able to offer management services and financing solutions for businesses and start-ups in the bottled water industry. Today, Ebac Group is made up of Ebac Foundation, Ebac Ltd, Ebac Industrial Products and 50 per cent of XEL Design. Ebac maintains the highest levels of quality in accordance to several respected industry standards including British Standards Institution – ISO 9000; British Electromechanical Approvals Board (BEAB); CE - product safety certification; UL and Energy Star approval; and CENELEC Pan-European equivalent to BEAB. The company employs from all sections of the community, actively promotes equal opportunities and also enjoys strong relationships with its suppliers that have each been fully vendor rated to further ensure consistent levels of quality. “Our employees and our suppliers are very important to our success,” Tony explains. “We work with our suppliers to improve our quality and our cost base, which in turn benefits everyone.” During October 2016 Ebac officially launched its new range of washing machines, making it the first company to manufacture and sell washing machines within the UK since 2009. “We believe that Britain should manufacture more everyday products. Doing this will reduce our trade deficit,


Ebac Group Ltd.

John Elliott, Chairman of Ebac Group Ltd

create more jobs, increase tax payments and overall significantly improve the British economy. Every year over four million washing machines are purchased in the UK and every one of them is imported,” Tony says. “Ebac are very good at making products which are robust, reliable and cost effective. This has been demonstrated by our long-term success in our other markets. We wanted to get into a bigger market, even though initially our volumes would be niche. We secured a £1 million government grant, which contributed to a £7 million investment into design, plant

and machinery to enable us to make washing machines and our longer-term aim is to launch additional appliances.” Ebac is proud to represent British design and manufacturing, with over four decades of industry experience. The company has developed a line of high quality and realistically priced washing machines, with some including a ten-year warranty. The range includes the ECare + 8kg, 1600 spin Dual Fill machine, which is currently its best-selling machine. The washing machines include technology such as the dual fill system, which uses hot water from the customer’s boiler, making the unit up to three times cheaper to heat when compared to using electricity. This system also saves up to 40 minutes and uses 29 per cent less energy per wash. As a result of a dedicated and comprehensive period of design the company’s washing machines have been positively received on the market, with strong sales and high levels of demand. “We took our time to get the product right, which we were able do because we are a foundation. We also researched the market and gained an understanding of what customers value in a washing machine and chose to work with the independent retailers community, initially only in the North East of England,” Tony observes. “The response we got from the retailers was

amazing. They have all supported us and the product range, which makes a huge difference to the success of the product.” While the company has enjoyed great success throughout 2016, the Ebac Group is keen to build on this momentum in terms of its washing machines sales and across the business. “We launched washing machines on the 1st October, 2016. So far sales have been higher than expected with some retailers having to sell their display stock just to meet demand,” Tony concludes. “We have a forward strategy of controlled growth. We are planning to double our turnover in the next five years. We have just won a new contract to design, manufacture and supply a new water cooler to the largest distributor on the USA, we are launching dehumidifiers into Europe and we will continue to grow our washing machine sales in the UK.”

Ebac Group Ltd.

Products: Manufacturer of water coolers, dehumidifiers, chest freezers and washing machines 121

WITH WILLE YOU GET THE JOB DONE Wille is a premium product from Finland, designed and manufactured by Vilakone Oy which has over 30 years of experience in multi-functional machines and work attachments for infrastructure and environment maintenance. Striving to be the innovative leader in our industry we constantly develop our products to meet the requirements of tomorrow. One example of this is the newest technology developed in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering that will be introduced in 2017. For more information about us, visit

Williams Advanced Engineering

Energy efficient

performance Operating as the technology and engineering services business for the world-famous Williams Group, Williams Advanced Engineering supplies first-class innovation in technology across several diverse industry sectors


hile the Williams Group is arguably best known for its rich heritage as one of the world’s leading Formula One teams, the company is increasingly establishing itself as an efficient engineering powerhouse within an eclectic range of industry sectors. The Williams name has been synonymous with top-level motorsport since the 1960s, however the roots of the modern Williams Formula One team date back to establishment of Williams Grand Prix Engineering by Sir Frank Williams and British engineer Sir Patrick Head in 1977. During its history Williams has since won 16 FIA Formula One World Championship titles, nine of which were for constructors with the remaining seven going to the team’s drivers. This has made Williams the third most successful team on the grid, demonstrating both the skill of its drivers and the comprehensive innovation and technical know-how of its engineers. “Williams has established a proven Formula One business and we want to explore how we can export our engineering technology to other areas. We have a strap line of ‘energy efficient performance’ and a lot of the focus of the F1 series is about energy efficiency, looking

at areas including fuel management, aerodynamics, weight management and control optimisation,” explains Technical Director, Paul McNamara. “At the heart of F1 is a culture of problem solving and providing solutions quickly in a shifting environment with competing teams. What we are trying to do here at Williams Advanced Engineering is to apply that expertise as well as our facilities for design, testing, manufacture and aerodynamic computation to areas outside the field of Formula One.” Williams Advanced Engineering was founded in 2010 and has since provided specialist engineering solutions to clients within the renewable energy, motorsport, automotive, aerospace, transport, defence, civil aerospace, sports science, marine and agriculture sectors. The company combines cutting edge technology and the automotive industry’s best engineers, with the know-how and speed to market operational mindset derived from four decades of success in the ultra competitive environment of Formula One. Its engineering capabilities include aerodynamics and thermodynamics; high performance hybrid and EV systems; lightweight structures; specialist low volume product delivery; dynamics; and operational performance consulting. These 123

Williams Advanced Engineering

have enabled Williams Advanced Engineering to undertake a number of high-profile projects in collaboration with distinguished clients within the automotive industry. During 2010 Williams Advanced Engineering partnered with Jaguar to create the revolutionary C-X75 hybrid supercar, which was developed and launch in just 18 months. The C-X75 represents a revolutionary design that produces CO2 emissions of less than 99g/ km, while being able to achieve a speed in excess of 200mph. The car can be driven for 50km under its electric power alone, yet is able to sprint from a stationary position to 60mph in under three seconds. Commenting on the collaboration with Jaguar Sir Frank Williams, Team Principal of Williams said: “Our new association with Jaguar Land Rover provides us with an exciting opportunity to work with one of the motoring world’s most famous and iconic brands. Williams has always considered itself an engineering company and so this project will allow us to combine our technical expertise to create something truly exceptional.” The expertise of Williams Advanced Engineering was applied in the development of the vehicle’s aerodynamics, carbon composite manufacture and hybrid technologies. Once


premiered the C-X75 was also seen on the silver screen, when Williams Advanced Engineering again partnered with Jaguar to produce several new stunt C-X75 variants for the 24th James Bond film, Spectre. During the years following the development of the C-X75, Williams Advanced Engineering has continued to introduce new technologies for the motor racing and automotive industries. “While motor racing was obviously the first logical step for the business, the second step for us was into the automotive sector. Today the automotive industry is our biggest sector, where we work with well-known clients such as Nissan and Aston Martin, helping to develop technologies including high-performance variants, where we can look to improve aerodynamics, handling dynamics and enhancing the power train. This gives us a niche vehicle to develop specific solutions,” Pauls explains. “We are probably best known for our battery technology and the application of this in bespoke projects relating to electric sports cars that use a Williams designed battery, controller and integrated gear box.” During June 2013 Williams Advanced Engineering announced that it will partner with Spark Racing Technology to design and assemble a battery system for the 42 cars that compete

in the FIA Formula E Championship. Spark Racing Technology was created in 2012 and is focused on the manufacture of the cars that compete in the FIA Formula E Championship, the world’s first fully electric racing series that began hosting races in 2014. Williams Advanced Engineering has signed an exclusive agreement with Spark Racing Technology and is the sole supplier of battery technology to the Formula E series. Later in 2015 it was announced that Williams Advanced Engineering would again work alongside Jaguar with its return to racing in the third Formula E series, building on the pair’s previous collaboration in developing the C-X75. In a press release issued at the time of the announcement, Craig Wilson, Managing Director of Williams Advanced Engineering, said: “There is a saying that racing improves the breed and Jaguar’s entry into Formula E will be a powerful way of honing a new generation of electric vehicle (EV) technologies for its products. We are delighted that they have chosen Williams Advanced Engineering as their technical partner in this new and high profile chapter in Jaguar’s racing history. Williams has extensive knowledge of EV technology, racing car design and the logistics of running a successful racing team so we are well set to support Jaguar in what

promises to be an exciting new challenge for both parties.” In addition to its revolutionary activities within the motor racing and automotive sectors, Williams Advanced Engineering is increasingly making its presence felt through the delivery of innovative projects across several new markets. Within the food retail sector for example, Williams Advanced Engineering has collaborated with UK start-up Aerofoil Energy to develop a new aerodynamic device that can significantly reduce the energy consumed by refrigerators in supermarkets and convenience stores. Aerofoil Energy and Williams are working together to develop a aerofoil system that can be retrofitted to attach onto refrigerator shelves to keep more cold air inside the refrigerator cabinet. Energy consumption makes up a significant percentage of a supermarket’s operational costs, with energy hungry refrigerators that keep the produce cool the largest consumer of power. Further to the excessive energy consumption of traditional open fronted, multi deck refrigerators lining supermarket aisles, the escape of cold air from the units can also result in ‘cold aisle syndrome’, which can be unpleasant for both employees and shoppers. By working together to apply four decades

of Formula One racing experience to the supermarket environment, Williams Advanced Engineering and Aerofoil Energy are able to apply computational fluid dynamics to model and simulate new designs before testing them at the Williams factory in Oxfordshire. The result of this is a solution that offers both significant cost-saving benefits as well as an improved environment for shoppers and store workers. A number of supermarkets are evaluating the aerofoil technology with promising results, with the Sainsbury’s supermarket chain trialling the technology at a number of its stores. “In tests that we have undertaken around this new aerofoil technology we have observed an increase in energy efficiently of around 23-30 per cent,” Paul says. “We are trying to push the business out into new markets that share our mantra of problem solving and energy saving and as we continue to move forward in the motor sports and commercial aspects of our business, energy applications will remain as an important focus.” Williams Advanced Engineering is also becoming increasingly active within the domestic market through a collaboration with the European consortium, NETfficient to develop energy storage solutions for homes.

During June 2016 the companies announced that they would work in partnership to design, develop, integrate and validate stationary energy storage in buildings on the island of Borkum, Germany. With an increasing demand for smart energy storage and efficient management, the project builds on work undertaken by Williams Advanced Engineering and Nissan Europe to demonstrate how electric vehicle battery storage technology from its cars can be repurposed to help power buildings in combination with solar photovoltaic (PV) energy. NETfficient, which is co-funded by the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, is addressing the main challenge faced by the energy industry today of being able to utilise solar, wind and tidal power in a reliable and cost effective way. With a rich heritage in the development of energy storage systems for Formula One racing and subsequently for other motorsport, automotive and energy applications, Williams has been able to use its experience and expertise to help demonstrate this application in a real world environment with NETfficient. During the coming years Williams Advanced Engineering will continue to expand its presence in new markets outside of its traditional motor racing background, while retaining its heritage and pole position within the racing circuit. With in excess of 40 years of design innovation behind it, Williams Advanced Engineering is a relatively small business that provides revolutionary designs that offer huge results in both sporting and commercial applications. “As an F1 team we are vertically integrated and all aspects of the car except for the power train is built here, including the gear box. We have several facilities on site, including a large production shop, prototyping machines, carbon fibre facility, hydraulics, testing facilities and wind tunnels. We have the ability to do more or less everything in-house and we want to take that manufacturing capability and move it to other projects,” Paul concludes. “During the next three years we expect a continued diversification of the company, while keeping the business to a size that it is still linked to the F1 team, which is a key part of what we do here.”

Williams Advanced Engineering Products: World–class engineering and problem solvers 125

Indus Motor Company

Towards the future with

confidence Indus Motor Company Limited (IMC) manufactures and markets Toyota brand vehicles in Pakistan


akistan is a very attractive market with the prospects of foreign investment in every business sector. There is substantial proximity to an array of markets because of the country’s strategic location especially to the whole of Western China, Central Asia and the Middle East. This also opens the gate to foreign investors, as they are attracted to an open economy, a proficient human resource base and a low-cost environment to manufacture for Pakistan’s exports and local consumption.


The House of Habib has been a pioneering business concern since the independence of Pakistan and to date it is a fundamental part of the country’s economy. The group has a vast business spread with several vertical businesses in finance, automobiles, manufacturing, retail, oil and gas, IT, and education. Habib Metropolitan Bank, Habib Bank AG Zurich, Indus Motor Company, Agri Auto Industries Ltd., Shabbir Tiles and Ceramics, Makro Habib Limited, Inclusive Energy Ltd. and Noble Computer services are amongst the several firms that the group handles. Indus Motor Company (IMC) was incorporated in 1989 as a joint venture between the House of Habib of Pakistan, the Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Tsusho Corporation of Japan. IMC started with a competitive edge with an abundance of strengths, expertise and investments that helped it develop in multidimensional ways within a short span of time. Today, Indus Motor Company has its own experience and name in the local arena, having excelled in the manufacture, assembly, distribution and import of Toyota

vehicles, along with spare parts and accessories in Pakistan. Located on a 105 acre site at Port Qasim, Karachi, the success of IMC has been supported by its manufacturing facility and its strong network of 41 independent 3S dealerships. In over 26 years of its history, Indus Motor Company has sold over a staggering 600,000 completely built up (CBU) and completely knocked down (CKD) vehicles. This remarkable figure has been due to its expanding scale of production - the company started with a manufacturing base of 20 vehicles per day in 1993, moving up to a prominent 240 units per day. The bestselling products that Indus Motor Company manufactures include several variants of its flagship brand Toyota Corolla in the passenger cars category, Hilux in the light commercial vehicles segment as well as the Fortuner in the SUV category (Sports utility vehicle). IMC recently launched new models of Hilux Revo and Fortuner, which have been received with open arms in the local market. In addition, 127

Indus Motor Company there are several more projects in the pipeline that the IMC is excited about. Indus Motor Company is the authorised distributor of these brands in Pakistan. IMC has also initiated the Toyota Sure program with the primary focus on providing certified used car buyers and thereby tapping a potentially new market. Toyota Sure works to facilitate sales, purchase and even exchange of any used car with a brand new Toyota vehicle. Indus Motor Company thrives on the Japanese system of management, the Toyota Way that has been integrated into its managerial system. The concept of Kaizen has been adopted with its unique way of thinking and spreading to the entire group of companies. The two pillars of Kaizen are continuous enhancement and respect for people, which are the key values of the group, overall. The company consistently invests heavily in training its 2300 plus workforce, which includes all team members and management employees. Fulfilling commitments is another area, which has been extremely stressed upon and a lot has been learnt from the Japanese. The collaboration between the House of Habib and Toyota has really helped in developing business avenues of the group that are not Toyota-related. IMC has been in the Pakistan market for a long time and knows its market very well. Though there is a lot of existing competition and with the auto policy of the Pakistan government changed, more foreign brands will be entering the market; Toyota captured the market very well and continues to be among the most preferred brands of the industry in the automobile market.

Indus Motor Company Products: Automotives

Thal Limited

Thal Engineering is a division of Thal Limited, a company listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange and part of the prestigious business group of Pakistan, House of Habib. Thal Engineering is the leading supplier of automotive parts in Pakistan, serving the needs of some of the global market leaders of the automobile industry. Utilising the latest technologies and world-class management practices, the company delivers the highest quality products and services to its customers. Under Technical Assitance Agreements with Denso Corporation, Japan, and Furukawa Electric Company, Japan, the company manufactures air-conditioning systems, aluminium radiators, aluminium condensers, alternators, starters and a wide range of wiring harnesses. 129

Standfast and Barracks

A long history, and a bright Standfast and Barracks is a world leading textile printing business that supplies high end products to customers from a range of industries


future L

ocated in Lancaster, England, with a heritage stretching back over 90 years, Standfast and Barracks is one of the most versatile and distinctive fabric printers in the world. It produces the finest quality prints for many design-led home furnishings and apparel brands on the market today. The company is an innovator, offering some of the most advanced digital printing techniques available worldwide, and in turn, it creates long-term relationships with customers. It is an expert within its field and is passionate about what it does, and always retains a focus on achieving excellence. Its history is founded in a tradition for high quality British manufactured goods, something which goes back to when its factory was established in 1924, and the heritage of the site stretches even further back to 1864 when it was a wagon works.

Premier Textiles It has now been operating from its factory for almost 100 years, however over this period the company has been quick to adopt the latest technology and spot new market trends. Through being a British manufacturer that places the standard of its product at the heart of what it does it has become a leader in its field. Standfast and Barracks continues to find a way to combine the experience and strengths it has

developed in its many decades of business with an innovative mentality that embraces the future. This can be seen in the range of services that the company currently provides its customers, which were discussed by managing director Stephen Thomas: “We have three types of printing on site here, we have flatbed printing, rotary, and digital printing, and digital printing is a particularly big growth area. The customers

Premier Textiles is the leading importer, stockist and converter of textile materials, delivering complete supply chain solutions to textile processors and manufacturers throughout Europe and North America. Sourcing and stocking fabrics from its global supplier network, enabling just in time delivery or innovating process and chemistry which exceed industry standards, Premier is the ideal partner for textile supply. Premier Textiles congratulates Standfast on their BIBA Manufacturer of the Year award and look forward to many more years of mutual co-operation and success. 131

Standfast and Barracks

that we supply our products to are across the UK and Europe, and these include examples such as the furnishing industry with upholstery and curtains, as well as fabrics for fashion houses.” Within all of these areas the company is considered an expert and has built a reputation for continuously pushing the boundaries, and it consistently delivers the best results. Its impressive success over the years was faced with a significant challenge in December 2015, in the form of Storm Desmond that hit Britain, and as a result Standfast and Barracks factory was badly flooded. However, it is a testament to the company’s resilience and determination that it was able to recover within six months. Stephen discussed two of the key reasons behind its quick turnaround: “One of the advantages of being part of Walker Greenbank PLC is that you have very good insurance. Also, we had a workforce that very quickly helped the business to get back up and running.” Due to these factors the company went from devastation in December to being at full production in June, an impressive achievement and one that ensures its customers know it’s open for business again. The company was able to not dwell on the adverse effects of the storm,


but instead focused on moving forward and harnessing new opportunities. It had a strong unity at the business, and was able to shift its production capabilities even further towards the growing digital printing sector. This meant that in addition to replacing the damaged equipment from the flood, it also made significant investments in the latest technology, which helps to ensure that it remains a leader in the industry. In addition to the restoration of its facilities and their improvement it has also maintained a tradition of high levels of training for staff and nurturing of British talent. Stephen highlighted this focus of the company: “Over the last few years we have done a lot of training in the business, and we have apprentices that work here both within the engineering side and design. Also, at least a third of our workforce are going through a business improvement-training programme, and there are a number of other training processes we have in place as well.” All of this culminated in Standfast and Barracks being the recipient of the Be Inspired Business Awards (BIBAs) for Manufacturer of the Year 2016. This recognition demonstrates how far the business has come in many ways, such as its achievement in overcoming the challenge

of Storm Desmond. In addition to these factors: “It was also to do with our innovation and our people, and the scale and standard of training that we conduct, as well as our ability to recover from the flood. This was a great accolade to receive, and to be named as the best manufacturer in the North-West is a real statement,” Stephen said. Therefore, despite the challenges that Standfast and Barracks has faced it continues to excel in many ways, gaining from the security it earns as part of Walker Greenbank PLC, its large investments in state-of-the-art equipment, and its dedicated workforce and the extensive training and apprenticeship opportunity it

provides. The Manufacturer of the Year 2016 award only further reinforces the impressive year Standfast and Barracks achieved. The future for it will no doubt be a positive one, and it will be able to utilise the investments it has made both in its facilities and personnel to help take its high quality products to even more customers.

Standfast and Barracks Products: Fabric printing

Artisan Home Fabrics

Artisan Home Fabrics is a textile factory based in Bangalore, India, manufacturing silks and blended fabrics for Standfast & Barracks. We have been innovative in developing new samples keeping in mind their needs. It’s been a well-rounded partnership thus far as we have both supported each other when required. We’ve always believed that timely and transparent communication is key to a healthier long-lasting relationship and we’ve ensured it stays that way with Standfast & Barracks. We are now laying special emphasis on the apparel industry and periodically providing Standfast & Barracks with new qualities for them to do trials on. Artisan Home Fabrics is always looking out for new partners in the Home & Apparel industry to collaborate with. 133

Pathfinder Homes Ltd

Buildings designed for the


Pathfinder Homes Ltd designs and manufactures award winning bespoke homes for customers across the UK


athfinder Homes Ltd has over 60 years of experience in providing expert services in designing and building unique residential park homes and holiday lodges that aim to bring something different to the market, and the client. Its commitment to innovative design and a customer-focused approach has resulted in a number of awards for its homes, and explains why Pathfinder Homes has become a firm favourite for many across the UK. The company aims to understand what its customers want and to provide all the services needed from start-to-finish to achieve this. This explains why Pathfinder Homes’ popularity among its clients has continued to rise, which has seen its high quality and unique homes develop a growing presence within the market. As a result of the increased demand it has expanded its facilities, which took it from


operating out of one factory to a considerable increase of three factories, and managing director Bruce Macdonald discussed the role each has: “Factory one is used for larger or more unusual homes which go into production, and this is due to its space and ease of access for the homes. Factory two is where we build all single and standard double homes, and factory three is where all homes are internally finished.” Bruce went on to describe the benefits this system offers: “With the investment into our headquarters production has significantly increased and we are now able to build beautiful, high quality homes in shorter timescales, and continue to meet the expectations and demands of our clients.” The expansion of the facilities is a direct result of the increase in sales of the homes, which has come from the reputation for quality and design that its homes have earned. The company

Furniture Centre thinks differently from others within the market, and it prides itself on being an innovator in its industry, and providing cutting-edge designs. In order to achieve this Pathfinder works closely with its customers from start to finish, which Bruce elaborated upon: “Our attention to detail throughout the whole process is always the thing our customers rave to us about. Hand-in-hand

with our bespoke service we offer information, advice and assistance on all aspects of owning a Pathfinder home, from siting to insurance.� This helps to support the company in offering a market leading service to its customers, which allows its clients to decide as much or as little as they want of the design, build, and decoration of their bespoke home.

Furniture Centre specialise in providing full furniture packages for various industries particularly in the leisure sector. Our tailored services include the assembly of furniture, removal of packaging and timed deliveries to suit the needs and resources of your business. The majority of our upholstery products are handmade on site by an expert team of craftsmen, making them unique and our offering more flexible. 135

Pathfinder Homes Ltd

Another factor that assists Pathfinder Homes in providing homes of such popularity is the priority it places upon utilising the best technology, materials, and personnel, which enables it to not just meet the expectations of its customers but to exceed them. One of the most important ways it achieves this is with its purpose designed selection studio at its headquarters that allows clients to explore their vision of the home. In addition to this Pathfinder Homes boasts a large number of talented personnel that are able to


guide customers through the process. Bruce emphasised the quality of its staff: “I strongly believe that our strongest asset is the people that work here. They lead the product, the service and the image, they make us unique.” Pathfinder Homes’ staff has the expertise and experience required to provide all of its customers with a home that is specifically designed for their needs and preferences. Therefore, with such a commitment to creating great homes, and team of staff with the ability to achieve this, it comes as no surprise to know that Pathfinder Homes designs have won a number of awards. It has for the past three years been the recipient of the ‘Ultimate Lodge of the Year’ for the quality of its homes. The award was based upon votes by the public, which demonstrates that Pathfinder Homes is appealing to the most important group, the customers. The company works hard to maintain this appeal to its customers and places their satisfaction at the heart of everything it does. One way that Pathfinder engaged with its clients is that it held a VIP weekend on the 26th and 27th November 2016. It offered them the chance to visit its headquarters and view the collection

of the best homes of the year, which included four new designs. This event also involved tours of the factory and provided an opportunity to speak to members of staff at Pathfinder Homes. Furthermore, customers had a chance to see how they can create and design their very own bespoke, luxury inspired home. The positive relationship that Pathfinder Homes fostered with its customers is essential to the success of the company and is a key factor behind it becoming an award-winning designer of high quality bespoke buildings. Pathfinder is helping to change the landscape of homes, whether for holiday and residential parks, or for private landowners. Therefore, with expanded facilities, a number of awards, and new designs, Pathfinder looks set to bring the ideal home to many more customers.

Pathfinder Homes Ltd Products: Designs and builds bespoke holiday homes

Tetronics International

The fourth



hile societies discard items at a particular stage, that time isn’t always the end of the material’s life. Most have the potential to be reused, recovered or recycled in some form in order to generate further value, so allowing the resource to effectively become an ‘urban mine’. With waste being the only global resource not in decline, it makes sense that we change our behaviour to extend the lifecycles of our resources and maximise their value – a more sustainable and future friendly approach. This is where Tetronics Plasma technology comes into its own – rather than disposing of materials that are considered ‘waste’, it is used to recover valuable materials where present and to transform the remainder into a safe inert

A leading environmental waste management company with over 50 years’ global experience, Tetronics delivers clean plasma technology for maximum resource recovery and the highest levels of hazardous material destruction

product. Indeed, the company sees everything as having an opportunity for a closed-loop lifecycle. However, to fully understand how Tetronics technology works, it is first necessary to examine what Plasma is. Plasma is simply an ionised or electrically charged gas, and is often described as the fourth state of matter, i.e. when energy is added to a solid (first state) it becomes a liquid (second state); with more added energy it becomes a gas (third state) and when further energy is added it eventually disassociates to become a plasma. Examples of plasma are lightning, sparks coming from static electricity, fluorescent lights, arc welding and the aurora borealis (northern and southern (polar) lights). Ninety-nine per cent of the Universe is made up of plasma.

Harnessing and enhancing the power of plasma, Tetronics’ process allows material feedstocks to be fed into a sealed furnace and heated in a controlled environment using a plasma arc created by either a single or multiple plasma electrodes/torches. The process chemistry is designed to preferentially separate and recover the valuable metals, minerals and other materials from the feedstock while destroying the hazardous elements, leaving behind a non-hazardous vitrified material. This vitrified material, called Plasmarok, can be employed as a building product for the construction industry. The superb operating performance of plasma technology combined with its unmatched environmental compliance characteristics 137

Tetronics International

provides the secure business option for the treatment of and recovery from waste streams. Furthermore, the intense temperature and ultra-violet light applied in the plasma treatment process results in an extremely high resource recovery rate and maximum Destruction and Removal Efficiency (DREs) of hazardous components for waste disposal and waste treatment. In fact, plasma is one of the cleanest thermal processing technologies available, and this enables Tetronics’ systems to support an extensive range of applications, from recovery of precious metals and platinum group metals from spent catalysts, mining ores and electronics waste, to removing the toxicity of industrial materials such as asbestos and air pollution control residues. The company focuses its solutions in three key areas: resource recovery, hazardous material disposal and waste to energy.

Resource recovery In this area Tetronics International is the global leader in the supply of clean plasma systems for a wide range of resource and precious metal recovery applications. Its solutions offer class leading recovery rates and are perfectly suited to treat a range of waste streams, including, but not limited to the following: Recovering precious metals from electronics; recovering


platinum group metals from spent catalysts; recovery metals and minerals from ores/mining tailings; and recovering base metals from steel plant dusts.

Hazardous material disposal Tetronics International is also the global leader in the supply of clean plasma systems for a wide range of hazardous and industrial waste treatment applications. Its systems are able to combat the asbestos hazard, where other technologies fail, as well as destroy chemical and biological warfare agents and their precursors, not only because of its tolerance to different waste material types but also crucially because of its ability to destroy the hazards these incredibly harmful wastes and to and transform any residues into a stable vitrified material. The organisation can also deal with nuclear waste and in this area, Tetronics has a strong track record of working within the nuclear industry on a range of demonstration and R&D activities, and especially in the area of intermediate level waste. Tetronics’ plasma technology is also capable of treating organic wastes including Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and other types of Persistent, Bio-accumulative, and Toxic (PBT) pollutants at very high efficiencies across a wide range of concentrations.

The other areas that can benefit from plasma technology are petrochemical wastes, which offers commercial advantages over existing waste management options: residue wastes, where Tetronics has been providing clean plasma technology to its customers for over 20 years, particularly for the management of fly ash and Air Pollution Control residues (APCr) generated from incinerators and other Waste to Energy (WtE) processes. Finally Tetronics offers a safe and permanent treatment solution for Spent Potliner (SPL), thereby overcoming one of the biggest challenges faced by the global primary aluminium production sector. Tetronics’ robust solution delivers leading environmental credentials for the management of this highly problematic waste stream.

Waste to energy and fuels The Tetronics solution that produces energy from waste is supplied via its partner, Advanced Plasma Power (APP). Working with Tetronics, APP has developed the Gasplasma process, a clean, modular and scalable advanced waste to energy and fuels technology, which delivers high efficiencies, whilst minimising visual and environmental impact during waste recycling. The Gasplasma technology is a two-stage advanced conversion process. It combines two

long-standing and well-proven technologies (gasification and plasma conversion) in a unique configuration. After the removal of valuable recyclates, the Gasplasma process treats a wide range of non-recyclable feedstocks produced from residual municipal solid waste and commercial/industrial waste converting them all into two high value outputs: a clean, high quality, energy-rich synthesis gas (syngas) and a solid, vitrified product (Plasmarok) – each with multiple applications.

Summary It is clear that Tetronics’ success is based around its expertise in technology, and this level of technological innovation can only be maintained by a constant dedication to investment - the company currently has 109 patents either

granted or pending across 12 families. It also has a long list of successful projects that it can draw experience from, including a UK pilot project converting household waste to methane, a metal recovery plant in Russia and a recycling plant in Germany. This means that to date, it has used its plasma technology to process a huge range of materials; therefore, it is highly likely the company can assist almost any customer with their hazardous waste disposal questions. As the company states on its website, it is continually listening, learning, responding and adapting its solutions to customer needs, and constantly stretching itself to remain at the forefront of technological advancements for delivering effective resource recovery, hazardous waste disposal and plasma waste management services.

‘At Tetronics, we have been innovators since our inception, pushing back the boundaries of the possible for 50 years, sharing our expertise to solve real-world problems across diverse sectors, geographies and technology environments,’ the company states. With this know-how, Tetronics’ customers can rest assured that they will be completely supported in dealing with their material challenges in the most stable and cost effective way.

Tetronics International Services: Clean plasma technology

Spang Power Electronics

Spang, an innovator in power control and conversion, is pleased to work with Tetronics to provide DC Plasma Power Supplies which are critical to the successful implementation of Plasma Technology. Tetronics’ customers can be confident in the quality, reliability, and international service and support that come with every Spang DC Plasma Power Supply. Spang applauds Tetronics for their clean plasma technology vision and looks forward to helping solve real-world problems with innovative power control and conversion solutions. 139

Lambert Engineering

Value through



Operating in the field of advanced technology with precision engineering, Lambert Engineering is a world leader in specialist automation projects across several industry sectors

mbodying more than four decades of industry experience, the roots of Lambert Engineering date back to 1973 when Chris Lambert and Peter Wainman joined forces to make machine parts for the paper and printing industries. The company initially had four staff and a small machine shop, but quickly struck a chord with clients allowing the business to rapidly expand. As Lambert Engineering continued to grow it soon had to relocate to much larger premises in the Yorkshire town of Tadcaster, where the company continues to be based to this day. While Lambert’s niche business has evolved


into a multi-skilled, technology-led enterprise, its resources have grown even more significantly in recent years to meet the rapidly changing needs of the market and the rising demands for its services. The company today operates on a global level with approximately 180 dedicated staff and a global network of suppliers and technology partners. Throughout its history Lambert Engineering has grown to establish itself within the original equipment manufacturer (OEM); fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG); medical and healthcare; food; automotive; and energy markets. Across these sectors the company

specialises in combining technology with precision engineering to create bespoke turnkey automation solutions for special assembly. These engineering operations are undertaken by three dedicated Lambert Engineering business units, comprised of its automation systems, equipment engineering and precision components divisions that each provide unique manufacturing capabilities to the wider business. The automation systems business unit for example, designs and builds bespoke production systems that deliver maximum cost-effective and reliability, while its equipment engineering division specialises in build-to-print projects and

repetitive build roll-outs. Here Lambert’s world-leading engineering and project management expertise enables its customers operating in fast moving and highly competitive sectors to launch new products quickly across multiple markets. The company’s design and build expertise provide an overlapping dimension to Lambert’s final business unit, its precision components division, enabling it to optimise component forms for both function and efficient manufacture. Each of these business units has proven to be highly successful within its individual niche, with the company’s automation systems division achieving 1600 systems installed, while its equipment engineering unit has delivered and installed circa 2000 systems. Lambert’s precision components unit likewise achieves approximately 1100 orders per year. Throughout the business Lambert Engineering has enjoyed success 141

Lambert Engineering

To gain one TMMX Award is an achievement, but to walk away from the event with three titles and the main ‘Manufacturer of the Year’ award has surpassed our wildest dreams


over the past years. During 2015 for example, the company was named ‘Manufacturer of the Year’ on the same day that it announced its best ever sales. Lambert Engineering was awarded the prestigious title of Manufacturer of the Year at the 2015 TMMX Awards, hosted by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and The Manufacturer magazine. The event’s judges selected Lambert Engineering from over more than 100 rivals from across the UK, with the company also taking the awards for Customer Focus; Leadership and Strategy; and Innovation and Design. This news came as the company also announced a new contract valued at £9 million – the largest in its 42-years of trading. “I don’t think we’ll ever have another day like it. To gain one TMMX Award is an achievement, but to walk away from the event with three titles and the main ‘Manufacturer of the Year’ award has surpassed our wildest dreams,” exclaimed Lambert Engineering Sales Director, Matthew Cox. “We involved 30 of our people directly in the judging process and many more across the business when completing the applications. It was a real team effort and highlights how passionate our employees are in delivering world-class innovation to our customers,” he continued. “The TMMX Awards are a great marketing tool and we’ll be using them to open doors with potential customers and for attracting new members of staff. We’ll also do our bit to promote manufacturing in the UK and will be more than happy to hold best practice visits so other firms can take a look at how we do things.” Indeed, 2015 represented a major milestone for Lambert Engineering and its determination

to deliver the next technology step-change to market, helping it to develop new business partnerships. The recent £9 million order is set to be delivered over the course of 18 months and will incorporate a new modular manufacturing platform for medical devices that will be installed throughout Europe and South America. The year was also an important step for the company towards achieving its five-year strategy to increase its turnover to £28 million by the end of 2016 and by 90 per cent by 2020. This will require the continued execution of highly technical projects of all sizes, as well as the further development in the company’s staff and technology. “Automation is such a popular topic at the moment, with even the emerging countries looking at how they can take labour out of the equation to improve productivity. A lot of our work is to strategically help our customers and their production lines work smarter by developing highly innovative, affordable automation solutions,” explains Warren Limbert, Managing Director. “Working with some of our key supply partners, we have developed technologies that truly differentiate our customers, elevate them beyond their competition and help to make them ‘number one’ in their respective market places.”

Lambert Engineering

Products: Produce bespoke turnkey automation solutions for specialist assembly requirements

The technology of



eggett & Platt Components Europe Limited is part of the International Bedding Components Division of Leggett & Platt Incorporated. This company is 133 years old and made up of 17 business units, 20,000 employee-partners and 130 facilities located in 19 countries. Further information about Leggett & Platt was provided by managing director Darren Rhodes: “Formed in 1998, the International Bedding Components Division strategically positions Leggett & Platt as the largest supplier of innerspring components to the bedding and furniture industry within Europe, South Africa, the Middle East, and AsiaPacific.” According to Darren, being part of Leggett & Platt strengthens the company in a number of ways. “Being part of the largest innerspring unit manufacturer in the world allows us to share knowledge and tap into the many innovative ideas that come from our corporate IDEA Centre and all the other plants around the

Leggett & Platt Components Europe Limited is a leading designer and manufacturer of innersprings for the bedding industry – and is always striving to improve its products

world. We have our own world-class machinery division that supplies much of the manufacturing equipment we need and probably, most importantly, Leggett’s willingness to continue to invest in growing our business.” Crucial to any business in the manufacturing market is the facilities it uses, and this is a feature of Leggett & Platt that is very strong, and something Darren elaborated on: “We have two plants in the UK; the main plant in Barnsley which focuses on the production of pocket spring units whilst Barnoldswick produces open-coil type units, specifically Mira-Coil for Silentnight – a company that we have had a very long and very successful relationship with, that has benefited both companies’ growth. Leggett & Platt’s two factories in the UK produce over 30,000 tonnes per year of our own wire that we then use in the production of the innerspring units. Both sites have full supply chain capability from receiving raw materials, production, quality and testing facilities, finished goods warehousing, 143

Wrexham Wire With over 40 years’ experience in manufacturing high quality drawn steel wire Wrexham Wire now brings automotive industry levels of customer service, product quality and process efficiencies to the drawn wire industry. An influx of high-calibre, professional senior management, new owners and the long-standing technical expertise of the incumbent team define the customer centric approach of the UK’s premier drawn wire solution provider. Significant capital investment in the high-carbon (bedding and seating) and low-carbon (cold heading) processes continues to add capacity, increase range and enhance efficiencies. Modern defined capacity production planning systems support the drive to achieve world-class OTIF performance. Located on the Wrexham Industrial Estate in North Wales, the business employs circa 85 people and has a capacity of 75,000 tonnes per annum and manufactures products from mild steel, boron and alloy grades, in various size ranges, choice of coatings and qualities to suit many applications. In addition to its standard specifications, the business can develop bespoke products that can be


designed, implemented and supplied to suit specific client requirements. Wrexham Wire’s facilities are equipped with Bullblock, Multiholer, Rotodie and Galvanising production lines (located in the Wrexham Plant), but Cut & Loop, Straightening and Mesh Making can also be carried out in West Bromwich by established service partners. Both continuous and batch annealing furnaces are employed on site and it offers both mechanically and chemically cleaned products. Wrexham Wire caters to the requirements of the UK market and 60 per cent of sales are exported to Europe and around the world. The company’s mission is to be the leading European wire drawer in cold heading, bedding & seating, galvanised and engineering wire by providing the best quality and service to customers. The business employs stringent quality control processes at every phase of the supply chain to ensure all goods are manufactured, shipped and delivered in strict compliance to key European standards, including ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

Leggett & Platt Components Europe Ltd

dispatch and customer service.” The scale of Leggett & Platt’s two facilities means that over the course of a week it will produce over 30 million springs. There are plans to improve what the business can do even further, which Darren discussed: “We have invested approximately 18 million pounds in machines, facilities, and warehousing in the last four years, a trend we plan to continue. We employ 20 per cent more people than we did two years ago and have invested over 100,000 pounds in learning, development, and training for our employees in that time.” The company wants all of its customers to be happy with the products it makes, and Leggett & Platt does not achieve this by any one means; instead it takes a multifaceted approach, which Darren explained: “We focus on innovation, customer service, consistent high-quality products and commitment to continuously

improve everything we do. People are a big part of it – anyone can buy machines and buildings, but it’s the people and relationships that make the difference.” One of the overwhelming features of Leggett & Platt is innovation, and Darren provided some instances of this: “Since we have the ability to design and build our own machines it gives us a major advantage and keeps us at the forefront of spring-making technology. We manufacture heat-treated springs at a rate of over 140 springs per minute from 25mm high to 200mm high, which can be used in the core and comfort layers within a mattress, allowing us to make a single spring unit with over 4,000 springs in it. Another innovation is our variable-rate springs that offer different levels of progressive support and pressure distribution within the spring unit and hence mattress, depending on the load applied; this creates a very comfortable and independent-feeling mattress for lighter and heavier people on the same bed.” There are also developments being made at the company, which makes it evident that the business is forward-thinking, and Darren provided some examples of ways Leggett & Platt is pursuing this approach: “We have just installed

five state-of-the-art advanced pocket-coiling machines and plan for six more over the next six months. These are among the fastest and most efficient coiling machines in the world and will allow us to make more ergonomic pocket units with reduced environmental impact. We are also due to take the first of its kind continuous coil machine in Q4. This machine is a brand-new development made by our Swiss sister company which produces a type of open coil spring unit like no other.” Leggett & Platt has already achieved so much, and yet the company has its eyes firmly set towards the future. Leggett & Platt knows exactly what it wants to achieve and how it will do that, something that Darren concluded with: “We deliver to our customers the capacity, technology, innovation, and service levels they need. Which is why our focus for the future will be to become the first-choice supplier of innersprings for the bedding industry – and we will do this by continuing our policy of pursing investment, service, improvement, and developing our people. With a focus on quality, cost, and service, we have built and will further advance strong and long lasting relationships with our customers, suppliers, and employees, and will continue to invest for the long-term benefit of all.”

Leggett & Platt Components Europe Ltd Products: Innerspring components 145

Ballyclare Limited



With a manufacturing heritage dating back to the 1980s, Ballyclare is a leading British designer, manufacturer and distributor of high quality, functional workwear, protective clothing and specialist personal protective equipment (PPE)


rom its smart new headquarters in Hercules Business Park, Stockport, Ballyclare operates as a trusted supplier of specialist firefighting kit and protective clothing for the emergency services and armed forces as well as supplying managed services encompassing garment supply, leasing, repair and laundering. The company combines a strong base of knowledge and experience gathered across several industry sectors to provide the best protective workwear available, whether for a single worker or to meet the needs of an entire workforce. Since its foundation, Ballyclare has developed a strong manufacturing heritage that reflects both the earliest origins of the business and its development into new areas of high-quality workwear. “The name Ballyclare dates back to when we had a factory in Ballyclare, Northern Ireland. Whilst we no longer own that facility it remains part of the company’s heritage because it was used to manufacture firefighting suits that


are still part of the Ballyclare range today as well as workwear, protective clothing and Gore-Tex waterproof garments,” reveals Managing Director, Carlton Greener. “The company’s knowledge and know-how within the firefighting and utilities industries was developed back in the early days of the business and we have continued to establish the brand around the Ballyclare name,” he continues. “Ballyclare also has a second strand of heritage that dates back to when the company operated as part of Cosalt, which had its history in delivering workwear and Gore-Tex waterproof clothing for the rail industry. Cosalt acquired Ballyclare in 2001 and merged its workwear range with our technical fire and defence products to form the core of what Ballyclare ultimately offers today.” Ballyclare continued to operate as part of Cosalt until taken into private hands through acquisition by one of its principle shareholders, David Ross in 2013. Since becoming a stand-alone business, Ballyclare has

Carlton Greener

enjoyed the freedom to continue to grow its product portfolio and expand into new areas. During 2016 Ballyclare acquired its main distribution centre in Barnsley and also owns its new headquarters offices in Stockport. Further to these significant investments, Ballyclare also recently made a bold move to open new offices in Germany to allow greater trade with the European market. “The markets between the UK and the continent are quite different and while the Ballyclare brand in the fire sector has been very well known in the UK for many years, it is not so well known in continental Europe. However, we have a strong range of products and related services that we believe a number of European markets will be highly receptive to,” Carlton says. “We have taken on a team of people who have been selling into the German market for several years and are very knowledgeable. We also have a group company based in Holland that undertakes distribution and holding stock for our clients in Europe and this is obviously vital to our success.” Further to its comprehensive range of industrial PPE products, Ballyclare is also able to offer high-quality office wear through the Simon Jersey 147

Ballyclare Limited brand. David Ross acquired Simon Jersey in 2014 and has since grown the brand and incorporated it within the range of products available from Ballyclare within the UK and Europe. “While it is quite early days for us in Europe, we have already enjoyed success on the corporate side through Eurowings, a client in the air travel business which has already entered into a contract with our company in Germany,” added Carlton. Within the UK, Ballyclare has also recently won a significant contract to supply Network Rail with hi-vis, wet weather and flame retardant garments. This will provide a significant boost to the company’s presence in the rail industry and a platform with which to increase its standing in the rail and highways industries as the market increasingly looks to enhance worker protection. “There are huge opportunities within the rail market, where we supply around 20 per cent of the sector leaving plenty of room to grow. The credibility of supplying Network Rail and the quality of the products that we have are factors in improving our market share in both rail and highways, where traditionally these markets tend to buy cheaper products,” Carlton concludes. “Within the firefighting sector we have around 50 per cent of the UK market and I believe we have a leading offer in the sector that we can increase over the next 12 months. The production quality of our products is also critical for everything that we offer and we only use factories with which we have very long-standing relationships. The focus on quality is a key proposition for us and something that we do not compromise on.”

Ballyclare Limited Products: Designer, manufacturer and distributor of high quality, functional workwear, protective clothing and specialist PPE


FSL Aerospace Ltd



Through heavy investment and continuous improvements, world-class stockist and distributor of fasteners, fixings and associated components, FSL Aerospace Ltd has enjoyed rapid growth over recent years


elebrating its 30th anniversary in 2015, FSL Aerospace Ltd (FSL) has been supporting the aerospace and defence industries since 1985. In close proximity to Heathrow airport, the M25, M40 and M4 motorways, the Uxbridge based company’s impressive logistical services and unrestricted product range ensure FSL can add value to its clients supply chains. Products within the company’s complete range include nuts, bolts, screws, washers, rivets, pins, collars, bushes, bearings, adhesives and lubricants, and it also supports products made by many proprietary manufacturers. They can also offer

a complete sourcing service on ‘made to print’ parts, utilising their extensive manufacturing contacts. These can be manufactured from a wide variety of materials and with a complementary range of surface treatments, if required. “FSL offers stock management services to monitor and replenish clients’ products on-site, which significantly reduces overheads. Moreover, in-house inspection facilities, clean room and kitting areas enable FSL to satisfy customer demands; this strength is complemented by our ability to listen to the needs and expectations of our customers as well as our commitment to expanding product ranges and services to stay one step ahead of

market trends,” says Richard Woodward, General Manager of FSL Aerospace Ltd. Small enough to care, yet flexible enough to adapt rapidly to every-changing dynamic conditions, FSL aims to not only be a supplier to its clients, but also a partner, as Richard notes: “We want to work together with our customers to achieve common goals by adding value. To do this we give our clients the best possible service levels by looking after the details, using our knowledge and long-term skills in the industry and operating with integrity and honest communication throughout. Our performance is critical to clients as a late delivery could cause delayed production or for the line to stop; we know that product quality is paramount due to the stringent regulations in place within the industries 149

we operate in. The highest levels of quality are expected, which is why we have a knowledgeable quality team in place, as well as extensive inspection facilities.� FSL was awarded its fifth consecutive SC21 Bronze Award by ADS at the Farnborough


International Airshow 2016. FSL has embraced the SC21 national aerospace and defence sector improvement programme to drive continuous improvement throughout the organisation. Designed to accelerate competitiveness in the aerospace and defence industry by raising the performance of supply chains, adherence to SC21 has resulted in FSL delivering more than 98 per cent of its products on time, 99.3 per cent of which have reached quality expectations the first time; these improvements have resulted in the company achieving a sales increase of 18 per cent this year. “International competition, together with the challenges posed by the defence international strategy, necessitates rapid improvement in the effectiveness of supply chains. At the same time, the industry must ensure that it delivers competitive solutions for customers while maintaining profitable business growth. We use the SC21 excellence programme to examine every element of the business to measure key performance areas and to analyse, remove waste, drive efficiency and, most importantly,

FSL Aerospace Ltd

personnel levels. Furthermore, our investment in the SC21 programme has also made us leaner and more efficient,” says Richard. “Moving forward, we have been significant in signing long-term contracts with our main clients, which has been key to our success so far; to remain competitive, we need to get closer to our clients to ensure we are the first choice service provider for the next generation projects that are constantly being developed. The industry is very buoyant, even with political uncertainties that the UK is going through at the moment; however, we need to be aware of any changes that could affect this and be ready to react in a positive way for the business,” he concludes.

FSL Aerospace Ltd

Products: Fasteners, fixings and associated components for the aerospace and defence industries continuously improve,” highlights Richard. “FSL’s SC21 scores in the three key areas are currently: Business Excellence: 450, Manufacturing Excellence: 469, and the recently introduced Relationship Excellence: 431. Our continuous improvement activities are driving us towards SC21 Silver standard.” Having developed operational effectiveness within its purpose-built, highly efficient environment, FSL is in a strong position for further growth as the aerospace and defence market remains buoyant thanks to an influx in civil aircraft being constructed. “The challenge for FSL is to get involved with important programmes and platforms early in order to reap rewards when the projects go into production. To remain competitive, we have a team of experienced sales people with contacts at our major clients who are always pushing for the next opportunity. We have worked hard to achieve 18 per cent growth in 2015 and increase turnover by £1 million; a positive development that stems from the signing of long-term agreements and certain projects coming to fruition. We anticipate this trend will continue and expect a further five to ten per cent growth for 2016,” explains Richard. Moving forward, FSL will seek to consolidate on the rapid growth it has enjoyed throughout 2015 while also continuing to enhance operations with strategic investments in IT, stocks, training and improvement projects. “We believe that IT development is essential to keeping systems effective and efficient without having to add to 151


Watch this


Manufacturer of precision machined components, fabrications, assemblies and kit sets Senior Flexonics LPE (formerly Lymington Precision Engineers) anticipates diversification into new markets and increased growth following its acquisition by Senior plc in 2015


producer of precision machined components, fabrications, assemblies and kit sets for industries such as oil and gas, telecommunications, land and sea systems, nuclear and marine and aerospace and defence, Senior Flexonics LPE, as it is now known (LPE) has developed a strong reputation in the market as a company that can meet the immediate and diverse needs of its customers. Privately owned for a number of years, the company swapped hands before being acquired by Senior plc in March 2015 and placed in its Flexonics division; discussing this major milestone in LPE’s recent history is the company’s CEO Martin Barnes: “This was a significant development for LPE, which represented an excellent addition to Senior plc’s portfolio, while also providing a very sound financial footing for LPE to support continued growth. “With Senior keen to strengthen its precision machining capabilities and build on the strong relationships we have formed over the last 30 years, we anticipate continued growth as part of Senior plc as we benefit from access to new


markets thanks to the range of companies within the wider group.” Operating from its 121,000 square foot manufacturing facilities in Gosport Street and Gordleton, the company prides itself on its ability to produce highly complex components and assemblies through long-term expertise and state-of-the-art equipment. “A definite key strength of ours is the quality of people we have working for us and their level of experience, and the broad range of capabilities we have under our roof. We like to think that we are the go-to supplier for parts that other companies can’t make, so if you are manufacturing parts that are highly complex and are struggling to conceptualise how the parts will get made, this is our niche area. Thanks to the skills of our personnel and the way we work collaboratively with our customers during the design and development of the product, working with them to make any improvements to ensure the delivered product does exactly what is required by the client,” explains Martin. Continually investing in technology and

machinery, LPE’s site includes a number of multi axis CNC machines with turning and milling capability up to four metres in length and flexible manufacturing systems that are capable of working unmanned to produce components to close tolerances 24 hours per day. Revealing other notable investments, Martin comments: “In response to one of our new product development programmes with one of our key customers, we invested in a brand new stateof-the-art Danobat HG-72-3000-B11 precision grinding machine; this piece of equipment is truly cutting edge and possibly, in terms of sub contracting, the largest CNC grinding machine available in the UK for the sort of work we provide. It is a very accurate machine that allows us to precision grind very large components to extremely tight tolerances.” Not only competitive thanks to its cutting edge facility, with the pound becoming weaker due to Brexit, the company is also benefiting from customers in the US, Europe and Far East taking advantage of the weaker pound. “We already had a strong selling point as a British manufacturer

commercial aerospace, for which the company has recently achieved AS 9100 accreditation, while also providing superior service to long-term customers in its established sectors. “Although there have been low points in some of our customer bases, such as the oil and gas sector, we are now seeing some shoots of recovery in this business segment that have made us optimistic as we have longstanding relationships with our clients in this market. We are working hard with our customers, both in oil and gas and other sectors, to support them going forward; the UK industry is in a great place for those who grasp opportunities with both hands, which is why we have set up a five-year plan to ensure continued growth that we believe will result in doubled revenue in that time frame. With these plans in place, we will also continually focus on finding ways to develop the business so we can handle this anticipated level of growth,” Martin concludes.

Senior Flexonics LPE Products: Precision machined components, fabrications, assemblies and kit sets

with a focus on quality, however, the weaker pound has resulted in new customers looking to procure product from the UK rather than places such as Asia or central Europe. Other long-term customers, some of which have been served by us for ten or 20 years, have also decided to stick with us so we fight to maintain our competitive position in a world where other countries are working hard to catch up to our level,” says Martin. “We are looking to continually improve our business, particularly since the acquisition by Senior plc has opened up a lot of opportunity for us; however there are equally lots of other ways we can improve in little ways that will enable us to enhance operations on a day-to-day basis. Putting these small improvements together will soon result in a huge difference when it comes to making our business better and helping us to maintain our competitive advantage,” he adds. Moving forward under the wings of Senior plc, the 170 people strong LPE will remain committed to its can-do mentality in growing markets such as nuclear, marine and particularly 153

Yazaki is the world’s largest manufacturer and marketer of automotive wiring harness systems and supplier of innovative solutions to all OEMs.

Here, our special focus has always been on creating a reasonable balance between our customers’ needs and a responsible use of our environment.

Our product portfolio contains smart junction boxes, control modules, connectors & terminals, highvoltage systems, instrument clusters, displays and components.

CONNECT to the Future - to reach this goal constant innovation is necessary.

The success story of the family-owned company began in Japan in 1929. We now have more than 289.000 committed and highly motivated employees working at 478 locations in 45 countries contributing to Yazaki’s global success. Customers appreciate our expertise and core competencies in consulting, development, industrialization and manufacturing.


Our guiding principal is vertical integration and the constant optimization of products, processes and services. Modern and customer specific solutions are only possible through the close interaction of electronics, electrical components and wire harnesses whether applying fast BUS systems like Ethernet for highly flexible platforms or product scaling in a challenging global market. Yazaki connects its customers with the future – worldwide.


Drive for


Celebrating 100 years of innovation and technology in 2015, Ricardo is renowned for delivering class-leading, cutting edge services and products to customers in sectors such as transportation, energy and scarce resource


he history of Ricardo stems back to the childhood of Harry Ricardo, who from a very young age was interested in all things propulsion and even built steam engines as a child. As Harry’s passion for propulsion continued, he went on to design and build his first combustion engine by the age of 17; this was used to pump water from the well at the family home. Forming Ricardo in 1915, Harry became one of the foremost engine experts of his generation and received a knighthood for his work in internal combustion engineering in 1948. The first major project for Ricardo took place in 1915, when Harry was commissioned to apply his advanced combustion knowledge to the mark five tank engine. To solve the issue of smoke emission, Harry came up with an engine that not only significantly lowered the copious amounts

of smoke but was also far more powerful; more than 8000 of these engines saw military service since 1917, making it the first engine to be mass produced. Following this innovative development, the company went on to create the turbulent cylinder head during 1918 and 1919; this was a low cost combustion system that increased the power of side valve gasoline engines. The variable compression ratio E35 research engine, developed in 1919, followed, and enabled the combustion properties of fuels to be accurately analysed; this innovation also laid the groundwork for today’s octane rating system. Over recent years, the company has strengthened its foothold in the motorsport arena, a development caused by the Ricardo’s invention of viscous coupling in the 1980s. Viewed as one of the company’s most significant

Ricardo-engined Mark V tank


Yazaki has been a supplier to Ricardo Engines for premium, niche applications since 2011. The close co-operation and good relationship between Ricardo and Yazaki is based on the successful joint collaboration on engine harness design projects. Both Ricardo and Yazaki are innovative companies using the latest technology and design to provide engines of the highest quality to the customer. Yazaki congratulates Ricardo on their success and achievements in the field of engine design, on their high-quality manufacture and on being a key supplier to multiple premium brands operating in the niche engine market. Yazaki is looking forward to future joint projects with Ricardo and the continuation of the excellent partnership.

Ricardo powered JCBDieselMax - Successful record breaking attempt at Bonneville Salt Flats 155

ASSO WERKE was established in 1973, carrying on the activity of Pistoni Asso, initially started by Mr. Silvano Ferrucci in 1949. Today his daughter Mrs. Elda Ferrucci who is continuing her father’s mission holds the company’s ownership. In early times ASSO WERKE had the opportunity to mature significant experiences in the piston manufacturing area: the two stroke combustion engines represented one of the main strengths of the whole production. Later on the product range has been extended to cover all main engine applications, both for mass production and competition: automotive - petrol and diesel -, motorcycles, scooters, karts, snowmobiles, off-road vehicles (ATV), marine, light agriculture machines, air and refrigerating compressors. Currently ASSO WERKE produces in-house pistons, cylinders and cylinder liners, piston rings and gudgeon pins, with a complete engineering service, going from the client preliminary data entry requirements to the part feasibility study, rapid prototyping and test bench samples, to the final high volume mass production. Special attention is given to the development of four stroke engine pistons for OEM high performance applications. For its parts ASSO WERKE can provide the customer with suitable advanced and superlative design solutions. ACT© special nickel and silicon carbide coating suitable for liners, with high wear resistance and oil retaining effects. PTWA© by Comau is our plasma spray coating suitable for automotive engine block coating solutions. KDN5© special ASSO WERKE patented piston ring alloy for superior tribological and durable behaviour. NIT: Gudgeon pins in nitrided aerospace steels, also with a selection of DLC coating specifications.

ASSO WERKE is able to produce cast and forged pistons for 2 and 4 stroke high performance applications using special aluminum alloys, with in-house produced low and high layer thickness selective anodizing treatments, suitable for long life turbocharged applications. In 2015 ASSO WERKE started with new challenges: become the reference point for forged piston manufacturers, starting from several innovative high fatigue property aluminium alloys to a state of art forging equipment.

Today many dream sportscars worldwide have an ASSO WERKE heart inside and we are proud to be the sole piston and cylinder liner supplier for the RICARDO’s engine programme.

+39 0587 282111 | F: + 39

0587 421760 | E: |


US FED Alpha protected vehicle

transmission innovations, viscous coupling transformed world rallying in the pioneering group b rally cars. The runaway success of these four wheel drive cars led to a whole new market sector for all wheeled drive passenger cars and led to Ricardo assisting the likes of Bugatti and McLaren in delivering high quality, high specification engineered solutions. In 2001 the company assisted Bugatti in the design, development and manufacture of driveline, a highly advanced, four wheel drive, dual clutch driveline system, for the world’s most powerful road car, the Bugatti Veyron. “This project is a clear example of our ability to engineer and manufacture complex and high value systems. A lot of traditional tier one companies can provide a full engineering service for their components or subsystems, but we offer something unique in our ability to take a clean sheet concept through to production and onto supply into the market. For the Bugatti Veyron project we provided all engineering, supply management and warranty management services for Bugatti throughout the lifecycle of the Veyron,” says Mark Garrett, Chief Operating Officer at Ricardo.

The 7-speed dual-clutch transmission for Bugatti Veyron, designed as collaboration with Ricardo and Bugatti and manfactured by Ricardo

Using this expertise, Ricardo went onto collaborate with McLaren on the design, development and manufacture of the M838T 3.8 litre twin turbo V8 engine; as part of the project, Ricardo also developed a dedicated assembly facility to supply the engines within a timeframe of 18 months. This groundbreaking engine has three times been named international Engine of the Year in the three to four litre category. While continuing to supply transmissions to many motorsport formulae and deliver worldfirsts in four-wheel drive systems, the company also works in a range of sectors. One notable example of this is Ricardo’s work with JCB to

Ricardo designed and manufactured Foxhound on active service with the British Army

deliver a groundbreaking solution for the JCB DieselMax in 2006. With the JCBDieselMax powered by two JCB444 backhoe loader diesel engines, the two companies worked together to boost the power to produce a total of 1500 horse-power from the two engines; in 2006, this vehicle took the FIA international diesel powered land speed record of 350.092 miles per hour. Having previously demonstrated its whole vehicle design capability with the US FED Alpha protected vehicle which delivered over 70 per cent fuel savings vs the current HHMMWV, Ricardo went onto deliver innovative solutions in the defence sector with the development of the Ocelot/Foxhound for the UK Ministry of Defence. The Ocelot/ Foxhound was created from a clean sheet of paper through to full production in less than two years. “Another example of our ability to engineer 157



and manufacture complex and high value systems is our successful project with the British Army on the Foxhound/Ocelot light protected patrol vehicle. Developed to support troops in Afghanistan, we were involved in the project from the start, working with Force Protection Industries, now part of GDLS, to bring this vehicle to market. In total we manufactured 376 vehicles, which are in service with the British Army today,” highlights Mark. At the heart of Ricardo’s success in a number of demanding business sectors is its forward thinking approach to market trends, its commitment to innovation and its cross industry skills, the latter of which has resulted in the development of novel technologies that are then carried over into other business sectors. “One example of our cross industry skills is our strategic decision to bring sensor technology from the wind industry into the rail industry, which has resulted in the monitoring and performance of the rail network and the ability to sense cracks appearing in rails before they become an issue,” reveals Mark. Another major strength of the company is its continued investment in facilities. In fact, the company marked the start of 2016 with the launch of a newly expanded engine assembly plant. While another state-of-the-art facility based in the Midlands has the equipment and machinery necessary to produce complete transmissions and driveline systems or produce separate components on a ‘make to print’ basis for a range of sectors. Ricardo is keen to stay ahead of the competition and has made further investments throughout the year. These include machine tools to ensure the machine shop can offer full


The Bott Group is a world-leading manufacturer and supplier of workshop equipment, in-vehicle equipment and workplace systems. As well as production facilities in the UK, Germany and Hungary, Bott also has a worldwide service network, enabling the company to respond to local needs. From design and manufacture to supply and installation, Bott has a strong reputation for high product quality, service excellence and value for money. An integral part of its corporate philosophy is meeting customer specifications and project requirements with meticulous attention to detail. Bott is constantly working on new and innovative solutions, focusing on creating better working environments, efficient working and user safety.

Vehicle Emissions Research Centre (VERC)

prismatic facilities of turning and milling as well as wire erosion, shaping, hobbing, spiral bevel-axles, computerised heat treatment, grinding and gear grinding. The prismatic machining offers 16 CNC and conventional lathes as well as 12 milling stations/ machining centres, which includes five axis and both horizontal and vertical capability; the horizontal machines with pallet change means that HPTP (High Performance Transmissions Products) Division are able to carry out transmission case machining. Furthermore, the new Hofler PROMAT 400 machine offers non helical form or spur gear grinding. “We take a very pragmatic view in how we will continue to invest in our in-house manufacturing, but one of the most important aspects is our ability

to support our programme development that in turn results in product development for our customers. The ability to machine one-off prototype components for engines, transmissions and hybrid systems gives us the flexibility and speed in then bringing products to market,” says Mark. “We also have high performance transmission production and manufacturing capability, which is an intense machining and heat treatment capability that enables us to develop high quality, high spec components for customers. In this area we do a lot of gear sets for motor sports as well as actuation components for the aerospace industry; we are also able to machine large castings, gear cases and transfer cases so we can manufacture and supply full transmission systems for our customer base in batch volumes.” 159


Ricardo High Performance Engine Assembly at Ricardo’s Shoreham Technical Centre

Complementing these strengths is the company’s commitment to collaboration, whether that is with customers or organisations such as the University of Sheffield. “We are currently involved in the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre collaboration, otherwise known as AMRC, which is affiliated to Sheffield University that was funded originally by Boeing. We have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to develop highly advanced manufacturing technologies that will allow the automotive industry to both make complex high value components in a cost effective manner. We have teamed up with AMRC to bring its background knowledge in high quality aerospace systems into the automotive space, which is then complemented by our expertise in the automotive sector. By applying this knowledge and experience that this joint partnership will bring some real added value to customers,” comments Mark. “AMRC has a lot of experience in complex machine tool processes, tool vibration and cutting speeds that enable them to look for fundamental improvements to machining processes and thus reduce operation times;

the organisation also works with carbon fibre reinforced composites, complex assemblies and robotised assembly systems, which is where our knowledge of the automotive application and process advancements can bring something unique into the automotive sector,” he adds. With the project beginning in October 2016, Ricardo will remain focused on collaborating with some of the UK’s leading academic research groups, while also seeking out its own fuel efficient solutions to bring forward cutting edge technologies for the future generation. As demand increases for a more green planet, the company is committed to playing an integral role in the delivery of a lower carbon and increasingly sustainable transportation sector.


Products: Manufacture engines, transmissions, vehicle systems, intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and hybrid & electric systems

Manufacturing facilities at Ricardo’s Midlands Technical Centre


Our relationship with Ricardo started in 2008 with the launch of activities that lead them to start production of the engine of a supercar. With our expertise on plastic parts for most applications on vehicles we helped them define some raw materials and routings for various plastic tubes that we have been supplying to them ever since. Ricardo was our first customer in the UK and for this reason is a particularly treasured one. 161

Caetano Bus

The buses of the

future Caetano Bus has a long tradition as being a leader of its industry and helping to innovate, which in recent years has been demonstrated as it has taken a determined approach to developing the latest electric buses



aetano Bus manufactures buses and bodies mounted on chassis of various brands that are designed to different specifications for areas such as urban, tourism and airport services, as well as other products with unique solutions for niche markets. Caetano is the most important manufacturer of buses and coaches in Portugal and most of its products are intended for export, which transport people in locations across the world. It is a company that uses technology, innovation and design to always be one step ahead, and is creating vehicles that will appeal to the market now and in the future. The company begun in 1946 when its founder Mr Salvafdor F. Caetano set up the business and built wooden framed coach and bus bodywork. From the very start of the business its founder

installed a mentality and approach within the company that focused on being quick to adapt to changes, and to look to the future and secure it. This is why throughout its history the company has improved upon what it does and diversified, and it has become a leader in the industry for adopting the latest technology. There are countless examples in which Caetano has done this, and the first took place in 1952 when it became the first coachbuilder in Portugal to use composite wood and steel construction. The company made a similar move in 1955 when it conducted another first for Portugal to become the first to use a new technique involving all steel construction. It has also continued its forward thinking attitude to this day, which has seen the company shift towards creating electric buses, and this

is an area that looks likely to be the future of automotive industry. CEO Jorge Pinto expanded on this: “We have invested over the last four years in the electric side of the business with a figure of â‚Ź7 million, which we are confident will be returned over the next few years. As a part of this we have also conducted the necessary integration of all the different systems within the electric area, and to support this we have a continuous process of training and reinterpretation of our quality standards, as well as safety rules in production.â€? These factors have helped to create a new wave of buses that are pushing the industry into a bold new future that is centred on electric vehicles. The flexible and positive mentality at the company was displayed once again during the economic crisis in Europe, when it was able to 163


Caetano Bus

successfully weather the challenging period and come out the other side with a larger portfolio of products and markets it was supplying these to. Jorge discussed the two-pronged approach that Caetano took: “Basically we were working two dimensions, one was new markets for our existing products and the other was to find new ranges of products – an evolution of our designs. The first allowed us to venture into new markets, and as a result we have found several that are already proving very promising. These have largely come from the Middle East and Gulf regions, with countries such as Oman and Qatar. In addition to this we are continuing to

explore the market for smaller city buses that offer more mobility. In terms of the second part of the strategy it involved developing new products and this saw us diversify into district mobility with electric models. For example, the electric city bus model called e.City Gold, which is a very reliable, very low fuel consumption, but high performance bus, as well as the e.COBUS, an electric airport bus.” Its range of modern buses are for a diverse number of locations, and it is intent on increasing this even further and making its buses resilient to extremes of heat and cold. Caetano’s products also supply many different sectors,

which include minibuses, buses for tourism, buses for urban areas, and those that serve airports. Due to the quality, diversity, and electric focused approach of Caetano, its products are proving popular around the world. Caetano Bus is the exclusive manufacturer of COBUS, with more than 3000 airport buses worldwide, and of LEVANTE, a coach developed and manufactured exclusively for National Express in the United Kingdom. This presents an insight into the varied nature of Caetano’s application, and with many 1000s of its buses in operation in over a 100 countries it is no doubt a business with a positive future. 165


Caetano Bus

The work that Caetano has done on developing the future of buses is exciting, not only has it helped lead the way in terms of electrical vehicles, but is also looking ahead at the possibility of buses that use autonomous technology. In regards to this Jorge said: “We think that autonomous vehicles pair well with the electric solutions to a much greater degree than with traditional diesel, and we have a variety of future strategies that are all within

the electric model area. There are a number of different autonomous functions that will help to improve these vehicles, whether that is systems to watch for cyclists or other vehicles, or the ability to process traffic signs, all of these functions are associated with electric designs.” Jorge went on to discuss the future he sees for these vehicles: “I think it could become quite similar to airplanes that are built now, which have a pilot there but most of the flying systems

are automated. It is not unlikely that a similar thing could happen in cities with buses, where there is a driver for emergencies and other factors, but it is significantly autonomous. This would mean we can optimise consumption and running of the vehicle, and it would make the driver’s life much easier, and this is the sort of direction we are working in.” Therefore, with the automotive world changing significantly, and big shifts towards environmentally friendly vehicles, plus leaps forward in technology, within all of these aspects Caetano is shaping the future of the industry. Through taking an approach that embraces and harnesses the latest innovations Caetano is creating electric buses that are reshaping the transport world, and offering an alternative that is better for the planet and the customer.

Caetano Bus Products: Manufactures a variety of coaches and buses mounted on chassis of various brands 167

JC Metalworks



Following investments in facilities, personnel and process improvement, family-owned sheet metal fabrication firm JC Metalworks has achieved record sales in 2016


elebrating 30 years in operation, Loughborough based JC Metalworks has grown from its humble beginnings in founder Jesukh (Jack) Chauhan’s garage to become a highly successful sheet metal fabrication firm that delivers superior solutions to its diverse customer base. Offering a total in-house solution for all metalworking manufacture requirements, from design and precision engineering services through to product manufacture, assembly and delivery, the 95 employee strong JC Metalworks produces parts and assemblies to range of industry sectors; these include retail, HVAC, automotive, enclosures and electronics. Able to manufacture almost any item produced out of


metal and tube, from a tiny component within a light fixture to housing for a television point of sale display, the company is committed to delivering just-in-time working practices that ensure tight deadlines are met. Proud to add value for clients, JC Metalworks can undertake an entire product manufacture journey from concept design through to assembly and delivery; it can also provide account managing and oversee the entire project to save customers’ time. Seeking to understand the exact requirements of each client, the company will recommend the most cost-effective engineering solution before any manufacturing takes place, with clients also able to outsource a portion of their product

development. “We pride ourselves on being able to take a creative picture from our clients and turning this into a finished unit or assembly. The level of fully managed service differs by client, with some wanting to provide engineered drawings, while others will provide a sketch that our engineering team will draw up,” says Nick Oakland, Managing Director at JC Metalworks Ltd. “Many clients wish to purchase a finished assembly from us, which means we source plastics, electrics, prints, woods and fasteners for the final assembly process. We take away the hassle from clients managing the supply chain for these products and control both quality and delivery requirements through our purchasing function,” he adds. Having achieved record sales in 2016 that are set to continue over the coming years, Nick goes on to discuss JC Metalworks’ success story: “Over the last 30 years we have focused on strengths such as flexibility and reactiveness, the skill sets of our employees and our engineering knowledge to become a well-reputed business with a turnover of 169

JC Metalworks

£5.5 million in the last financial year. The reasons for these record sales are heavy investment in plant, people and process improvement over the last 12 months. However, this is only part of the reason for our significant growth as we also pride ourselves on delivering an overall package in terms of service, price and quality that sets us apart from our competition.” Recent investments include a four kilowatt

Frontline Recruitment Frontline Recruitment is the sole supplier of agency staff to JC Metal works. David Essam, Frontline Recruitment’s General Manager commented: “We are proud to work in partnership with JC Metal Works. As the sole supplier of agency staff Frontline have built up an excellent working relationship with all staff and senior management. We look forward to extending our contract with such a prestigious local business.”.

Amada fiber laser, Salvagnini P4 panel bender and a fully automated powdercoat line; the company’s latest addition to its folding operations is a 2.5 metre Amada 80 tonne press brake, which was commissioned at the end of April 2016. Investment is anticipated to continue as the fabrication department undergoes a full refurbishment in December 2016, which will include new extraction and welding bays.

Not a company to rest on its laurels, JC Metalworks has continued to enhance operations in other areas of the business to further boost its competitiveness in the market, as Nick reveals: “It is integral for our continued success to have the correct structure in place to manage customer’s work once we have won the contract, as such, our project management structure was implemented in the final quarter of 2015. This has shown immediate gains by ensuring we maintain the focus on our clients’ work while also ensuring the customers’ requirements are clearly understood by all departments within JC Metalworks; this results in the whole team working towards the same common goal. In addition to the establishment of this department, we have invested in our sales function by recruiting a business development manager as we seek to widen our scope across the industry sectors we are targeting.” On top of this, the company is preparing for the future with its apprentice scheme, which is currently in its second year. Run in conjunction with Loughborough College, the apprentice scheme saw JC Metalworks take on three apprentices in 2015 and another three in 2016. “The apprentices all complete a carousel where they spend a certain amount of time in each department across operations. Moreover, when it comes to our employees, we have a training strategy in place to ensure our personnel remain experts in their fields, particularly when it comes to understanding the capabilities of our machines,” notes Nick. Keen to continue improving and developing its services, JC Metalworks will continue to focus on having the right equipment, people and processes in place to serve both new and existing clients while also seeking out new developments in the machine market at exhibitions such as EuroBLECH. “We have plans to look at robot welding and a new laser over the next 12 months so it is vital to maintain our knowledge of the market place,” says Nick. “Over the next few years we have ambitious growth targets that read £10 million for 2018/19; to reach these targets, we will invest in machinery and ensure our people strategy aligns with this growth; to do this we will expand our skill base and continue our apprenticeship programme,” concludes Nick.

JC Metalworks Products: Components and assemblies for a number of industry sectors


Saxon Packaging

Traditional material, modern


Today Saxon Packaging is one of East Anglia’s leading designers and manufacturers of corrugated products, cardboard packaging and boxes

Litho laminating 171

Litho printed packaging



axon Packaging was established in 1986 and has three decades of expansion and experience to draw upon. As Sales Director Mike Impson began by explaining, the company’s capabilities have evolved significantly over that time, to keep up with market demand: “When we started we were operating from a small industrial unit where we employed just three members of staff, and we only had a die-cutter and press machine. Since then we’ve experienced steady growth; in 1991 we purchased our second unit and a new printer slotter machine, and five years later we installed an AG/CAD plotting table to speed up sample making. By 1997 employee numbers had grown to ten. In 2000, 14 years after we started the business, we installed a Piemme casemaker and a year later doubled the size of our premises.” This investment in machinery and manufacturing facilities has enabled Saxon Packaging to offer its customers a more comprehensive and high quality range of products. The expansion, however, did not stop at the turn of the century, as Mike highlighted: “During 2010 we purchased a Jagenberg Diana gluer and in 2011 a second AG/CAD table and Martin 3 colour casemaker. “But it was 2014 which saw us as a business really develop – we purchased a Bobst Visioncut

flat bed die-cutter which enabled us to reduce lead-times and implemented a more controlled shift pattern in the factory, as well as improving our cutting accuracy. At the end of 2014 we won a large account that was predominantly for litho printed packaging. This new contract initiated our purchase in 2015 of a Lamina Blackline FA 1600/800 fully automatic sheet to sheet laminating and mounting machine.” More recently Saxon purchased a Paperplast Dry 70 Thermal laminator and a Solema Andax Partition Assembler with Duplex Feeder and Collapser to further expand its product offering and increase capacity. What unifies these investments is that they are part of a targeted strategy to significantly push the company forward in terms of capability, and Mike confirmed that this approach has been extremely successful: “We are quicker, more accurate, and have a higher quality than ever before. We have seen an increase in demand for lithographic printed packaging with varying print finishes and we are now able to offer a majority of the processes in-house.” Saxon Packaging is also able to offer a bespoke packaging design service to clients meaning the company can help create an exact solution to any problem. “When a customer approaches us seeking a new packaging requirement we take the time to assess their product, consider how it will be displayed and transported, and look at the best design that will support all of these factors,” confirmed Mike. “Our in-house design team enjoys working with our customers to come up with intuitive designs, and the benefits of this service to customers include better protection

Saxon Packaging

Beer packaging

to achieve this, a waste extraction system is linked between our main machines, which collects the off-cuts and feeds them into our K500 SemiAutomatic Horizontal Baler.” The result is that Saxon Packaging is able to return approx. 655 tonnes per annum of waste and off-cuts into the corrugated recycling chain. It is thanks to innovations such as this that Saxon Packaging has forged a reputation within the market as a reliable, high quality, and

environmentally friendly supplier. The work done at the company has also resulted in some recognition in the form of awards; in 2015 it was awarded a bronze from the Suffolk Carbon Charter for its sustainability efforts, and in 2016, it received a Supplier Associate of the Year Award from SIBA and Highly Commended Certificate from Adnams in its ‘Always Evolving’ category. From small-scale beginnings, over the past 30 years Saxon Packaging has grown its offering from the traditional brown box to high quality lithographic printed packaging in a range of print finishes. The company’s forward-thinking approach has brought it into the future as a strong and innovative partner, and as it looks towards to its next three decades, Saxon will maintain its solid foundation as well as grow and strengthen its presence in the new markets it has entered.

Saxon Packaging Products: Design and manufacture of corrugated packaging

of their products, reduced material wastage and minimised storage space requirements.” Clients can also benefit from Saxon’s environmental credentials and going forward the green issue looks set to only increase in importance. “At Saxon Packaging we are always striving to be as environmentally friendly as possible,” confirmed Mike. “All the materials we use come from FSC approved suppliers, the majority of boxes we produce are made from approximately 75 per cent recycled material, and are all 100 per cent recyclable. “We also aim to be environmentally-friendly wherever we can in our processes and so we recycle as much cardboard as possible. In order Die cut packaging 173

Morgan Advanced Materials

Built to


Morgan Advanced Materials works collaboratively to develop materials, components and sub-assemblies to help solve the challenges of a rapidly developing world


ounded 160 years ago, global engineering company Morgan Advanced Materials is one of the oldest listed companies on the London Stock Exchange. With an established track record for producing specially-engineered ceramic, carbon and composite materials for use in a diverse range of applications and sectors, including aerospace, automotive, medical and oil and gas, Morgan Advanced Materials has developed a strong reputation as a forward thinking innovator, renowned for the performance and overall reliability of its solutions. As the company has evolved over the years, it has been re-structured into 12 global business units spread across three separate operating divisions, of which Thermal Products is the


largest. Within the Thermal Products division are six principal product groups; ceramic fibre products, insulating fire bricks (IFB), microporous products, refractory ceramics, heat shields and the original crucible products the company was founded on 160 years ago. These products are used as standalone solutions, and integrated into complete engineering solutions, particularly in major process engineering industries. The largest product group within the Thermal Ceramics family, ceramic fibre is formed by extruding fibres from molten ceramic streams at temperatures in excess of 2000°C. The resulting products offer a range of characteristics which make them suited to a range of form factors. These properties enable significant reductions in overall energy consumption, emissions and operating costs across a range of

energy-intensive industries, including industrial processing of metals, petrochemicals, cement, glass, and ceramics. Offering world-leading competencies in materials science, specialist manufacturing and applications engineering, the company focuses on the delivery of high quality solutions to the most pressing engineering challenges of its global customer base. This proven approach has enabled the company to address worldwide trends in areas such as energy demand, healthcare and environmental sustainability. “Throughout our history, Morgan has remained at the forefront of our chosen industries. Nonetheless, we continue to harness our unrivalled expertise in the field of materials science, in response to the challenges of industry,� says Duncan Emery, Operations

Director at Morgan Advanced Materials. “Our success to date is built on close relationships with customers, offering us a unique perspective on the current and emerging needs of our clients and wider industry. In line with this strategy, we restructured the business in March 2016, establishing a global team structure based on core product groups. This philosophy allows us to support our global customer base, while enabling us to remain agile and responsive to local market needs. This way of working has allowed us to develop a greater level of coordination across our core business activities, from R&D to key account management.” He continues: “Our unique structure helps foster closer working relationships with other divisions within Morgan Advanced Materials. We find this allows us to take advantage of commonalities across the markets we serve. From an employer perspective more opportunities for our employees to collaborate with one another allows us to provide them with more varied and stimulating work and to develop their own knowledge base for the benefit of our customers. For example, we have

sought opportunities to collaborate with the Electrical Carbon Division to utilise our shared expertise in automotive and rail.” Within R&D the company has sought to develop new ceramic formulations adapted to specific customer requirements and has particularly focused on bringing low-bio persistent products that can be used by its customers, as well as its customers’ clients. “In addition to investing in fundamental materials science, we spend significant time and resources on applications engineering to adapt products to each customer’s unique requirements and fit with new applications. Alongside product developments, we also seek to innovate our core manufacturing processes to improve the capability, quality and production efficiency of our products,” notes Duncan. Since making these improvements, the company has already seen benefits such as enhanced efficiency and effectiveness. “We are building on these strengths by rolling out lean manufacturing and performance benchmarking initiatives to create a step-change in operational performance. To leverage the benefits of

La.So.Le. Est

La.So.Le. Est industrial wood flours are made from a careful selection of raw materials, using only beech and spruce wood, and a technologicallyadvanced production system supported by an in-house laboratory that ensures the efficacy of the quality controls. With its vast product selection, La.So.Le. Est operates in a wide range of industrial sectors. Wood flours act as structure-reinforcers, fillers, carriers and additives in many technical applications, giving a complete coverage of the most different tasks possible. La.So.Le. Est’s focus on the customer means that even specific enquiries are welcome, with the possibility of creating tailor-made solutions for very precise purposes. 175

Morgan Advanced Materials

Looking ahead, with our manufacturing effectiveness and product capability, we foresee steady growth for Morgan Advanced Materials, with a strong focus on op ex, including process efficiency

our global footprint and scale we are also establishing a global procurement function. This will ensure we are sourcing all of our goods and services as efficiently and as effectively as possible,” reveals Duncan. Alongside these operational enhancements, Morgan Advanced Materials has also continually invested in its manufacturing technology as well as enhancing capacity to meet growing customer demand. “One example of this is our commissioning of a new manufacturing facility for refractory ceramics in Dalian, China, in 2015. Following on from this development, two new world-scale ceramic fibre manufacturing plants will be commissioned in the next few months in Dalian and Abu Dhabi,” says Duncan. Historically strong in major process engineering sectors such as iron and steel, petrochemical, energy, aluminum, cement, and ceramics, the company is currently responding to challenging market conditions by focusing on developing an increasingly stronger presence in sectors such as automotive, semiconductor and domestic appliances. “The markets are highly competitive with customers demanding high levels of product integrity and service delivery. Many of these markets are exposed to macroeconomic factors, which impact global demand. As part of our growth plan, we continually seek new market opportunities with more stable demand characteristics, particularly those niches where we can demonstrate a sustained competitive advantage,” highlights Duncan. “Looking ahead, with our manufacturing effectiveness and product capability, we foresee steady growth for Morgan Advanced Materials, with a strong focus on op ex, including process efficiency. Ultimately, we are a business with a long history that has a very strong future ahead,” he concludes.

Morgan Advanced Materials Services: Developer of materials, components and sub-assemblies to address specific customer requirements



The WORLD pallet

The pallet of the future – with a Trademark known around the world European companies in all sectors of industry, trade and logistics use WORLD brand 800 x 1200mm Europallets


he brand WORLD was established at the beginning of 2008. The vision of the brand was to create a worldwide standard for pool pallets under uniform dimensions, to improve international movements between the European, American and Asian continents. Being a global market player, WORLD Pallets AG strengthened the market position with its innovative ideas. This is the first Trademark which started the serial-production of RFID wooden pallets, and its originality looks set to revolutionise the logistics market. The mainstay of the WORLD brand is to provide a product with constant and irreproachable quality guidelines. In order to pursue excellence, WORLD co-operates with two powerful and internationally recognised third party quality auditing organisations, SGS Germany GmbH, which provides quality pallet assurance on the European market’s WORLD Europallets; and Timber Products Inspection, which performs primary independent pallets quality control in North and South America. Through SGS & TPI quality auditing WORLD commits to ensure its customers with the highest degree of product quality, uniformity and reliability. In 2016 GS1 Germany described flat pallets made of wood (800 x 1200 mm)* in order to develop a recommendation for the loading tools (pallets) that can be used by suppliers in various sectors of trade, industry and by service providers. GS1 described the quality

classes, the production, and quality auditing process of the four-way Europallets and defined the official organisation under which the Europallets can be produced in line with the standards. The WORLD Trademark is accepted as the officially licensed Trademark organisation under which can be produced flat pallets made of wood (800 x 1200 mm)* according to the Type description of GS1 Germany. For more detailed information about Trademark WORLD please check or the webpage of its biggest and most powerful Pallets Manufacturer Falkenhahn AG 177

Giuseppe Desirò




Giuseppe Desirò designs and builds automatic assembly machines for the manufacture of aluminium caps and plastic composed closures

ver the course of its 100-year history, Giuseppe Desirò has overcome challenging conditions within the packaging industry – continually evolving and developing to ensure that it meets the needs of clients and provides only the best automatic assembly machines. The history of company stretches all the way back to the 1860s, and the strategies formulated over these years have laid the foundations for how the company functions today. Discussing how the company has grown with the times, Administration Manager Manuela Desirò and Sales Manager Riccardo Desirò explained: “We are a family company and our history started well over a century ago. During this time we have changed our production focus in accordance with the latest developments in the market and within society. So for example, in the 19th century


we were manufacturing tram wagons and since then our ability to adapt has time-and-time again been called into action. We began the production of machines for manufacturing stoppers, crown closures, and aluminium caps in the 1950s, and with the advent of a plastics revolution in the packaging industry we once again moved with the times, as it prompted us to diversify into the design and manufacture of automatic machines that would assemble several types of plastic caps and closures.” The significant difference between what the company was during its formative years and what it has grown into today is a testament to the attitude, values, and spirit of the business. Always prepared to embrace the latest in technology and innovative solutions, it is now able to design and manufacture assembly machines for plastic precuts serving the alimentary, cosmetic,

chemical, pharmaceutical and domestic homeproduct sectors. The process of designing its automatic machines starts with the utilisation of stateof-the-art CAD technology, which helps to transform innovative ideas into a design. The investment in technology such as this helps the company to continually adapt its offering, as Manuela and Riccardo noted: “We have always offered a wide range of assembly machines but over the last few years we have added to production with a new generation of machines with single, double, and multiple heads for slitting, pleating, and wadding of closures.” As a result of its continual improvement process, today Giuseppe Desirò’s range of machines addresses applications in four categories; pilfer-proof caps, composed closures, pharmaceutical closures, and special machines. Its

automatic assembly machines for pilfer-proof caps involve a complete work-cycle process, starting from raw material in the form of reels or strips of aluminium. The product is then concluded with liner, and finished with personalised raised writing on the cap. Giuseppe Desirò is able to address all the requirements of its customers throughout the process, and its machines are able to reach a production capacity of between 18,000 and 50,000 caps per hour. Composed closures are the second area of specialisation, and here the company’s machines offer high levels of control and personalisation. They also offer a user-friendly interface that constantly keeps the operator up-to-date with production parameters and data. This section of the business has two main sub groups, which include continuous machines for composed closure that produce between 200 and 1000

pieces every minute, and indexing machines for composed closure that produce 30 to 400 pieces every minute. Pharmaceutical closures are the third sector and this has various categories of closure machines that have been developed to comply with both hot and cold requirements. This is particularly the case for the assembly machine that works with aluminium or plastic injection containers that are always in the process of being improved to the most recent standards. As a result, this equipment has a production capacity of 1000 pieces every minute and a 100 per cent production-control factor. The final area that Giuseppe Desirò provides its expertise and high quality machines for is special closure assembly. In this area it combines the experience it has gained through many years of activity in the traditional closure and cap

assembly sectors to excel in the fabrication of specialist machines dedicated to diverse assembly requirements. This includes closure variations for inhalers and dispensers, for vaginal cannulae, for teaspoon binders, all individually designed for personalised control systems according to the specific needs of its clients. It is clear that Giuseppe Desirò’s machines are designed with foresight of what customers will require and a willingness to embrace the latest technology. Such has been the success of this approach that the company is experiencing high demand. Manuela and Riccardo added: “At the present moment in time there are 15 assembly machines produced per year, but there are several investments that we have planned that will increase this capacity in the very near future.” As the company grows its output, so too does it continue to expand its global market reach, and in order to support this ambition it will be attending a major event in the industry, as Manuela and Riccardo highlighted: “Interpack 2017 is a really important worldwide event where we will show our capabilities off to the global market.” The Exhibition is a key place to hold a stand for all those involved in the food, beverage, confectionery, bakery, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, non-food and industrial goods sectors. There is no other trade fair in the world that presents the entire supply chain, and for this reason and many more the event is an essential date in the calendar for all in the industry Giuseppe Desirò is very much anticipating a successful event and looks forward to showing its machines to a whole new audience at the show. While the market has been challenging for some over the past few years, thanks to its family run approach, its many decades of experience within the industry, and the sheer standard of its machines Giuseppe Desirò has weathered any adverse effects from the economic problems that have faced Europe. It has continued to prosper, and remained a modern and technologically advanced option for customers, understanding their needs and providing a tailored service. In addition to the expansion and improvement of its assembly machines, it has also sought to engage with the leading figures within the industry at major events. Therefore, the company represents the most important values in the market – quality, reliability and flexibility. These standards will no doubt ensure that Giuseppe Desirò’s history and achievements will continue to grow for another century or more.

Giuseppe Desirò Products: Automatic assembly machines 179

Encocam Ltd


the best for its clients

Encocam Ltd provides market leading engineering solutions that will solve the needs of its customers across a variety of sectors, and aims to drive new ideas and innovations forward



ncocam Ltd is the parent company of eight divisions with almost 30 years’ manufacturing and product development experience, spanning across a large range of industries from energy absorption, automotive safety testing solutions, composite panels, interior design and architecture, to motorbike distribution and a range of manufacturing and engineering services. Encocam prides itself on being a leader in innovation and creativity as well as being a forward thinker in technology and manufacturing, believing strongly in continuous improvement. In order to keep up with its increasing reputation and growing demand, Encocam has expanded its site in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. It has put in place more testing facilities, stateof-the-art milling equipment, five-axis machine,

3D printers, and continues to recruit more staff. There is also a huge focus on having a strong engineering team in place at the business and providing them with the facilities, support, and numbers within it, so that they can come up with market leading solutions. The focus on this area has resulted in the number of engineers at the business increasing, which required it to purchase a building for its central services teams. This has meant that all of these departments are located together and will provide an improved service to customers, and it also freed up more space that the engineering team could expand into. Its investment in equipment, buildings, and personnel has supported the continued growth of its eight divisions, and its automotive sector has been one of particular success in recent years. Traditionally Encocam has provided crash test

barriers, which have seen increased demand from its global customer base and the industry in general, with a reputation as being the best and most reliable in the market. Its aluminium honeycomb deformable crash test barriers, and other impactors, are a crucial element in both passive safety regulations and consumer information tests worldwide. Due to the quality of its barriers and the reputation it has built in the market, many within the automotive industry trust Encocam to help solve other challenges they face. This was reinforced at its 25th anniversary when it announced it was embarking upon a new product range, which Managing Director Dr Mike Ashmead discussed: “We had a big celebration for our 25th anniversary in 2013, and we invited all our major customers and had a number of industry leaders give speeches and presentations. We considered it to be the perfect opportunity to launch our move into making crash test dummies – also known as Anthropomorphic Test Devices (ATDs). The move into a new sector was born out of feedback from customers who were saying ‘Your barriers and other test equipment are great but we struggle with the ATDs we need to perform the tests’, 181

Encocam Ltd

and this was a consistent theme over a long period of time. Therefore, we took the decision to address this, as we believe if our customers have a problem then we need to help them solve that. This has been a very active area of the business since our 25th anniversary, and we have made leaps and bounds in the sector and have developed a very credible reputation in the market.” Due to the strength of Encocam’s performance within this sector it has supported a number of major projects that are at the forefront of the industry, and Mike expanded on one in particular: “The US army is developing a new crash test dummy to assess the impact of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on personnel in vehicles. This is a big area of concern for the US army, and many other modern militaries, and it has been identified as a significant problem. We have been working with another company to make some critical parts of the new ATD, which will help to improve the safety for people in those vehicles.” Encocam being chosen to support this project demonstrates the position it now has in the market and the level of quality it provides its clients. Composite panels is another division of


Encocam that has been particularly successful in recent years, and is also a growing part of the business, and within this it offers niche bespoke panels. This is an area that more customers are looking for support with, and due to the strong engineering team at Encocam it is able to make these very complex structures to fulfil any of its client’s bespoke requirements. In addition to its composite panels, Encocam also supplies motorbikes under the name Herald Motor Company. Currently it imports and then improves them before sending them out to

dealers, however this is set to change in the next few years: “One of the ambitions is to develop our own motorbike and we are currently working on a project to manufacture our own 400cc motorbike. We expect this to be completed and on the market in the next 18 months,” Mike said. This once again demonstrates the varied areas that Encocam is able to be active in, while never diluting its engineering quality, and maintaining the same passion and customer-focus across all of the eight divisions. This has meant that the business is always pushing the market forward with new products that aim to solve its clients’ needs. Therefore, with a reputation that is going from strength-to-strength, its investments in its people and facilities, as well as its quality of products and services, Encocam will no doubt record many more achievements over its next 25 years.

Encocam Ltd Products: Diverse range of products including crash test dummies, automotive crash test barriers, composite panels, motorbikes, and more

Belfield Furnishings


comforts UK based Belfield Furnishings is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of upholstered furniture, beds, window coverings and caravan interiors


ince its establishment in 2002, the Ilkeston (Derbyshire) based Belfield Furnishings has grown significantly over the years to become the UK’s largest white label manufacturer of home furnishings. Originally a designer and manufacturer of furniture and home furnishing products for the leisure industry, the business diversified its operations to become a significant player in the supply of upholstered furniture, mattresses, curtains and window coverings in the retail furnishings market. Today the group generates a turnover of £160 million per annum, employs approximately 1800 people and has built a reputation for its commitment to innovation, with an experienced and talented workforce and flexibility in providing solutions that suit each client.

Having proven its capabilities in the manufacture of home furnishing products, Belfield Furnishings is a key supplier to leading high street stores in the UK, as well as caravan and leisure holiday home manufacturers. Longstanding partners of Belfield Furnishings include leading UK retailers such as Marks & Spencer, Next, IKEA, Furniture Village, John Lewis and Willerby Holiday Homes; for these organisations the company produces high quality own brand ranges. Discussing the reasons behind the company’s success, Stephen Hampton, CEO of Belfield Furnishings, comments: “Belfield Furnishings has grown rapidly over the last 14 years of our existence and we have established ourselves as a leading furniture and soft furnishings supplier to the retail and leisure industries, as 183

Aydin Tekstil

Aydin Tekstil are one of the largest fabric producers in Turkey and Europe, exporting to over 70 countries worldwide and with a 50year experience and 48 million metres annual fabric production volume. We have a variety of woven, knitted & contract plains, impressive jacquards, velvets, check & stripes for upholstery manufacturers, woven and knitted mattress ticking fabric for bed manufacturers and all kinds of decorative rugs. With digital printing increasing in the market, Aydin have a vast array of designs & base cloths for you to choose from, with an in-house design team to assist.


well as being the largest upholstered furniture manufacturer in the UK. Virtually all products are manufactured in the UK, although some cut and sew production is sourced from Eastern Europe and Asia. Our key strengths are our design and development resource and our manufacturing capability, which enables us to compete at all price points in the marketplace and offer a complex range of products efficiently, within short lead times. “The group’s product offer ranges from upholstered furniture such as sofas, chairs, bedsteads and headboards, to mattresses and soft furnishings such as curtains - these can be both made to order and ready made - and cushions. We are currently seeing increased demand in all product areas, and continue to win new customers.” Divided into four business segments, Westbridge Furniture, Soft Furnishings, Duflex and Belfield Leisure, the group operates out of three large manufacturing facilities in North Wales, four large facilities in Ilkeston and a spacious facility in Castle Donington. Established in 2004, Westbridge Furniture was set up and operates with a clear vision to develop the highest quality furniture, by the finest of craftsmen. It manufactures (under white label) sofas and chairs for the vast majority of the leading retailers in homeware and also under its own brands, Spirit, Westbridge and Elements for the independent retailers. This is the group’s largest division and has seen annual growth of 15 per cent since 2012. It operates from 500,000 sq ft across the three sites in North Wales. Belfield is an extremely environmentally conscious business and Westbridge has the first UK Marks & Spencer Plan A accredited facility. The Soft Furnishings division supplies a long list of blue chip retailers with manufactured curtains of superior quality, as well as cushions, fabrics, roman blinds and tie backs. Operating within a 75,000 square foot manufacturing space, the Soft Furnishings division is home to the ready-made curtain collection, which has been designed and selected to offer a diverse range of choice in both traditional and contemporary designs.

Belfield Furnishings

Meanwhile, the Soft Furnishings division also boasts a selection of more than 500 beautiful fabrics from around the world, which can be used to create an inspirational range of the finest quality made-to-measure curtains. An extensive array of cushions is also available to enhance the customers’ home. Much like the two aforementioned divisions, Belfield Leisure has made a name for itself as one of the UK’s leading suppliers of caravan interior furnishings and caravan upholstery. The Duflex business manufactures foam and pocket sprung mattresses and is a key player in the rapidly growing online market that more conveniently seeks a ‘bed in a box’ approach. As well as the growing online route to market, the manufacture and supply of its high quality mattresses goes to major names on the UK’s high streets. “Duflex’s mattress business is well invested with high levels of automation. We continue to embrace the use of technology, enhance our customer experience and our environmental impact across our business and are proud that each business division has its own dedicated and high quality management team and manufacturing facilities to do this,” explains Stephen. In addition to these locations, the group also has a wholly owned manufacturing base in Romania and a Chinese sourcing office; all facilities benefit from regular investments to ensure they have up-to-date technology in place. As it continues to expand its business through design, quality and impeccable service, Belfield Furnishings’ commitment to flexibility and innovation is certain to serve the company well as it uses knowledge in the latest trends, materials and manufacturing techniques to remain at the forefront of the home furnishings market. By listening to customers and developing products that enhance each customers brand values and thus ensure success

in the market place, Belfield Furnishings too will cement its own success as a manufacturer to be trusted. “Our ongoing large investments in our design and development resources, as well as our ability to offer exclusive designs to each customer with excellent levels of service, has been key to developing the partnerships we currently have.

“Moving forward, we plan to continue developing the business and gain further market share; there may also be opportunities for strategic bolt-on acquisitions,” Stephen concludes.

Belfield Furnishings Products: Manufacturers of furniture and home furnishing products 185

Mack Rides GmbH & Co KG

A wild With over 200 years of manufacturing experience, Mack Rides GmbH & Co KG represents a world leader in the development and production of amusement park rides


ride F

ounded in 1780, the German based Mack Rides is able to look back over a 236-year history as a family business with a strong heritage in the development and construction of amusement park rides and attractions. During its earliest history the company was involved in the construction of carriages and stagecoaches, before beginning its journey in the manufacture of amusement

park attractions through the development of saloon caravans for travelling showmen and circuses. Mack Rides began its first development of rides for funfairs, completing its first wooden rollercoaster in 1921 with the company continuing to grow as a leader in the field of attractions and rides over the subsequent years. “Using innovative new developments and customer-oriented ride construction, Mack Rides has always influenced the world of theme park rides like almost no other company,� explains Mack Rides Chief Officer Sales & Marketing, Thorsten Koebele. “The unique combination of being a ride manufacturer

and park operator allows us to develop optimal solutions for our customers. It is exactly this uniqueness that builds the solid foundation of our areas of expertise, comprised of quality, reliability, durability, investment security and design.” During its long history Mack Rides has played a key role in the development of some of the world’s most impressive and exciting theme park rides and attractions. Debuting at the Walibi Belgium theme park outside Brussels during spring 2016 for example, the $9 million ‘Pulsar’ represents the first PowerSplash water ride to be built by the company. “Pulsar is presently both exciting and refreshing the guests of Walibi Belgium. The first-of-its-kind ride lifts passengers some 150 feet above a lake before plummeting at 60 mph towards the water creating an impressive tidal splash,” Thorsten reveals. “Its large 20-seat boats are driven by a strong linear synchronous motor (LSM) and launches back and forth three times, until the final splash slows the boat down. Reaching heights of more than 35 metres, the PowerSplash is already a huge hit for Walibi.” Mack Rides also worked with the Walibi Belgium sister park, Walibi Holland through the development of the ‘Lost Gravity’ BigDipper rollercoaster, which opened during March 2016. The rollercoaster features special newly-designed cars that allow passengers to feel as if they are flying over the track, with the

outer seats of the eight-seat cars located next to the track without having a floor underneath. Lost Gravity was designed as a new thrill coaster for all of the youngsters visiting the Dutch theme park and due to the fact that the ride uses single cars, its is able to employ narrower turns and rapid transitions. Further notable openings during 2016 include the development of the Flash (aka Lightning) rollercoaster at the Lewa Adventure Park in Xi’an, China. “Standing 68 metres tall the Flash Hyper-Coaster simple cannot be missed when visitors enter the park,” Thorsten says. “After a spectacular first drop the ride the executes a rapid loop around the lift hill reaching a record-breaking height of just over 200 ft. The trains then rush at full speed over airtime hills

and turns, as well as a heart-shaped roll. After an airtime filled first part of the ride the passengers experience quick transitions low to the ground before entering the station.” Operating from its single factory and headquarters in Waldkirch, Germany Mack Rides employs a full portfolio of equipment ranging from bending machines, robots and sandblasting machines to paint halls, with a further four hectares of space available for further development. The opening of a new internal logistics centre during 2013 has enabled the company to undertake the internal handling of materials much more quickly and efficiently, as well as to increase its logistic capacity for spare parts. In addition to its robust manufacturing capabilities, research and development (R&D) represents a vital component within Mack Rides for the design and production of exciting new rides. “The R&D is crucial to the success of our company and so we keep looking for new ideas on a daily basis. The industry demands new rides and world-firsts each and every year 187

Mack Rides GmbH & Co KG

so the pressure to bring something new is always present,” Thorsten elaborates. “With three prototypes this year and a new ride system in 2017 we see a great future for the coming years, however we still need to supply many rides that are not prototypes and that keeps us busy as we continue to take orders for 2020 and even further in the future.” Future designs include the delivery of a new rollercoaster at the UK’s Blackpool Pleasure Beach. This

project will utilise the combined experience of the company’s long history, which will also prove vital as Mack Rides develops ever more adventurous designs over the coming years. “The launch of the coaster that is coming to Blackpool Pleasure Beach is a very challenging project as we are building it into the existing ride portfolio of Blackpool. Therefore we need to make sure that we calculate the crossings of each attraction by millimetres and the track is also extremely precise. With that much interaction with other rides the ride itself is getting even more fun. You can watch people on other rides passing by and cheering with you as you ride along, but the ride elements on the ride are also very surprising and the pacing is like a Formula One car driving through the busy city of Monte Carlo,” Thorsten concludes. “We have full order books for the upcoming two and a half years, so we are focusing on producing the Blackpool coaster and our other orders. Our new prototypes will open in 2017 year and are already in the making. We will see soon how the market and the fans of rollercoasters react to them.”

Mack Rides GmbH & Co KG Products: Development and production of amusement park rides


Perspex Distribution Ltd

Growth through


Formed in 2003 to enhance Lucite International’s Perspex® acrylic sales performance in the UK, Perspex Distribution delivers industry leading service and support to customers


distributor of Perspex® cast acrylic and a range of other thermoplastic sheet, rod and tube, Perspex Distribution Ltd (PDL) operates under the Lucite International (LI) umbrella. Using LI’s manufacturing capability and resources, together with Managing Director of PDL Keith Piggott’s long-term knowledge of the market, PDL has grown from one branch in Chelmsford in October 2003 to five branches strategically located throughout the UK. “Thirteen years ago I met with the directors of LI to discuss possible solutions that would improve Lucite’s Perspex sales performance in the UK market. I had previously been founder and Managing Director of Amari Plastics from 1975 to 2001, a new business started as part of Amari Group; using this experience and LI’s manufacturing capability and resources, PDL has taken Perspex® cast acrylic sheet from a UK market share of 18 per cent to over 50 per cent.

In fact, PDL has achieved financial returns that are industry-leading within both plastics distribution and the wider industrial distribution sector,” says Keith. “In line with overseeing the successful development of PDL as MD, I was also appointed General Manager of the EMEA Sheet and Composites production business at Lucite in 2014. As a result of this development, PDL and LI now work even closer together and we have improved the way with which we respond to changes in the market and the speed of our new product development,” he adds. As a global leader in the design, development and manufacture of acrylic-based products with capabilities across EMEA, the Americas and Asia Pacific, LI has been producing Perspex® acrylic in Lancashire since 1934. Offering a strong heritage, expertise and stability, LI’s capabilities were further strengthened when it was acquired by Mitsubishi Rayon Co Ltd (MRC) in 2009. As part 189

Perspex Distribution Leeds branch

Perspex Distribution Leeds Opening: (L-R) Cllr. Richard Lewis, Phil Bailey,-Lucite International VP EMEA, Keith Piggott-Perspex Distribution MD and Roger Marsh OBE

of LI, PDL has been given the freedom to grow and develop its operations, however, the company maintains close ties to LI’s manufacturing plant, regularly delivering invaluable knowledge and feedback on both manufacturing and product development. “Our factory in Lancashire is one of the largest cast cell sheet facilities in the world, however the strength of LI extends further than purely cast acrylic production. Our ability to customproduce products is a key reason customers choose Perspex® acrylic; our expertise includes our own team of colour technicians and we can produce bespoke colours, textures and light diffusion within our sheets at our in-house colour lab and semi-tech plant,” highlights Keith. “With all products produced in the UK, it is particularly useful to European manufacturers who are looking for bespoke products and a quick turnaround time.” With PDL’s business foundations built on a core customer base of signmakers and plastic fabricators, the company has developed a strong presence in sectors such as construction, printing, retail and lighting. While sales of Perspex® acrylic remain key to PDL’s activities, over time the company has successfully diversified into a number of complimentary sheet products and technologies, which now represent a significant proportion of the business. The diversified range now includes polycarbonate, aluminium composite, PVC foam, PETG and LED lighting, which has thus expanded its target markets and activity. Discussing recent product developments, Keith highlights: “In the last four months alone we have launched four new ranges in the commercial lighting and illumination industries with great success: Perspex® Edge, Perspex® Diffuse, Perspex® Reflect and Perspex® G-Lux. These particulate-filled technologies give opportunities for more creative designs, offering brighter, slimmer lighting units that weigh and cost less, without the need for additional fabrication costs required in other light guide panel technologies.

Palsun Polycarbonate clouds produced by Inplas Fabrications for an Intel exhibition stand


Perspex Distribution Ltd Perspex® Naturals range

Perspex Distribution Leeds branch, Holzma beam saw

This offers a much more compelling proposition all round. “As we have extended our product offering, our customer base has grown with us into new markets. Today, our customer base is as diverse as the products produced, with Perspex® cast acrylic seen in luxury yacht glazing, exterior building cladding, medical equipment and fine writing pens. Furthermore, it is also being used to promote the world’s largest brands in store promotions and fashion shows. “Our range of non-Perspex acrylic products is also highly visible on a daily basis once our customers have transformed them into finished goods. Our aluminium composite panels are printed and used to build TV studios, for example, while our polycarbonate may be used to protect your local bus shelter glazing; our LED lighting, meanwhile, will be providing brand recognition and atmospheric lighting at your local restaurant chain. Each month we supply material to more than 1000 UK creative and manufacturing businesses with the only limit on the end use being our customers imagination,” he adds. Following this expansion of products and increase in demand from both new and existing customers, PDL has expanded its operations into Leeds; this strategic decision that will not only enable the company to meet this increase in supply requests, but also provide PDL with a strong foundation for further growth of both products and clients over the coming years. “We specified the site design, which has enabled us to house our largest levels of stock for local distribution as well as establish a purpose built storage and distribution area for smaller products such as LEDs, which are centrally dispatched throughout the UK. Basing the branch in Leeds places us in a central location for many key customers; our location within Leeds City Region enterprise zone also offers a fantastic base for distribution,” comments Keith. With demand for Perspex® acrylic growing by 20 per cent in the UK and Continental Europe over the last four years, PDL is keen to continue this remarkable growth through the continuation of a competitive service that adds value without compromising on quality, service and safety. “We believe that our commitment to product development and adding value to our customers provides us with a strong foundation for further growth in the years to come,” concludes Keith.

Perspex Distribution Ltd Services: Distributor of thermoplastic sheets 191

Hobbs Valve Ltd

The end customer comes


Hobbs Valve Ltd has a combined experience of over ten years in triple offset valve design and manufacture, and leads the way in terms of innovation and design


obbs Valve Ltd’s success has been based on a significant step forward in valve design that founder Alun Hobbs devised, and it was the first in a series of design revisions and innovations for the triple offset butterfly valve. This innovation was created to solve the needs of valve customers across the world, and customer focus continues to be a fundamental part of Hobbs today. The company is a key supplier of valves to customers from industries such as oil and gas, nuclear, petrochemical, defence, and many others. Hobbs has been in activity for over a decade, and this period has seen the business grow significantly, which continues to be underpinned by the same founding principles of innovation, flexibility, and a customer first approach. The result of this has been the development of key features of Hobbs products that are aimed at solving its clients needs better than any other valve. Examples of this in action are significantly easier maintenance, and the quickest change out-times for spare part replacements in the market. This reduces the amount of down time, and means customers benefit from drastic cost


savings. Therefore, a Hobbs valve is arguably the best-designed option and the best value one. In addition to the individual quality of Hobbs valves, the company also provides a number of different ranges for its diverse customer base. Firstly, there is the standard range that is based upon the triple offset butterfly valve,

and it has been redesigned to incorporate new performance enhancing operational features. Hobbs offers customers its exclusive patented range of zero leakage bi-directional triple offset butterfly valves, which are perfectly suited for extreme pressure and temperature applications. Secondly, it designs and manufactures cryogenic valves that are for severe low temperature conditions (as low as -196°C), and these offer customers a Hobbs level of performance, safety and reliability. Thirdly, the company also applies its expertise in producing double block and bleed valves with increased cavity between both discs, thus reducing the possibility of a breach during full pressurisation and enhancing safety performance in critical applications. Hobbs once again demonstrates its leading presence in the market, by eliminating many of the problems that are associated with conventional double block and bleed valves, whilst also reducing weight, space and cost. All of Hobbs products are designed and built using its own in-house facilities, which Chief Operating Officer Ron Cowley discussed: “One of our key strengths is we are vertically

integrated, and most of what we do is in-house, and this means that we are able to better manage quality and achieve short lead times. In order to continually improve the facility we are installing £1.5 million worth of machines, and this will support us in our ambition to offer a complete one-stop-shop for our clients.” He added: “We understand that our end customer always wants to reduce costs and improve reliability, and that is what our designs aim to provide.” In order to be able to create such high quality products Hobbs places a great importance on its staff, as Ron stated: “One of our greatest strengths is the people within the organisation, for example we have an integrated apprentice training programme, as well as a strong push towards training and development, which helps to support job enlargement and job enrichment. This has meant that we have assisted our staff in developing a lot of skills and we do this at Hobbs because we want to grow them to meet their full potential.” Concluding that: “Successful companies are based upon successful people.” Its long-term attitude to its staff also translates to its approach to the market, and is no doubt an important factor behind how well it has handled events such as Brexit. Ron expanded on the

years it has built a successful business that offers success of Hobbs recently: “We have doubled customers a better alternative, and provides them our turnover, and part of the strategic move with valves that are designed with their needs in forward for us is to diversify and invest. Another mind. The company is also set to further improve part of the strategic development plan is we have its products and facilities, plus make a number created a group called The Great British Valve of acquisitions, all of which will no doubt help Group, and in this have been waving the British maintain Hobbs position as a market leader. flag very strongly throughout the world to say ‘this is our brand, and we can offer the best Rob Cowley valves and services.’ As such we are aiming to have new products, new processes, and new acquisitions in 2017.” The reputation that Hobbs has built within the market was once again demonstrated when it won a multi-million pound appointment to the North Sea Culzean Project. To win this Hobbs had to beat competition from others within the valve industry, and due to it being a major project it shows the kind of competitiveness and design quality that British industry, and Hobbs itself, offers. Due to being awarded several significant Hobbs Valve Ltd contracts in the face of stiff competition from across the world, it demonstrates the quality Products: of Hobbs’ valves and British competitiveness, Designs and manufactures valves and the reputation for reliability and value that it has within the market. In around ten short 193


Laser focus W

A world leader in the manufacture of high-precision tool grinding machines, EWAG AG continues to find solutions to customer demands with its innovative new products such as the LASER LINE PRECISION machine and LASER LINE ULTRA

ith origins dating back as far as 1946, EWAG AG began its operations as a supplier to the Swiss watch industry; over the years the company has not lost its focus on meeting the high precision requirements of those in the tool machining industry and has developed an impressive product portfolio in response to market trends and customer demand. “EWAG has more than 35 years of experience in giving diamond a superb cutting edge with grinding and the latest laser technologies,” begins Christoph Pluess, CTO at EWAG. “For re-sharpening and


production of diamond tools, we start with manual precision grinding machines like the successful RS15 and go onto high-end CNC grinders with five and six axes such as the COMPACT LINE and EWAMTIC LINEAR; we also have our newest products, the LASER LINE SERIES machines, which enable us to process diamond tools by laser ablation. “These products are complementary; where the limitations of a specific machine are, another kicks in. Diamond and superhard materials are our main business field; diamond cutting tools have an increasing market demand as they are

needed more than ever before, particularly for the machining of carbon reinforced plastics (CRFP) and lightweight alloys, which can only be processed in a satisfactory manner with laser processed diamond cutting tools. This is because very sharp and flawless cutting edges are required for acceptable tool life and reliable machining processes.” Operating under the United Grinding Group since 2000, the company was linked with Walter Maschinenbau GmbH in 2010 to form the WALTER EWAG Tooling division of the United Grinding Group. Today the Tooling division is the leading supplier for machine tool solutions in the area of manufacturing with grinding, EDM, laser and measuring technologies. “Over 95 per cent of our machines are exported all over the world. To be globally present we have as the WALTER EWAG Tooling division, our own sales, application and services present in all major industrial countries. In the USA, China and India we are using local organisation of the United Grinding Group to cover local market needs with sales, service and application specialists,” said Christoph when speaking to Manufacturing Today Europe in January 2016. Since then, EWAG AG has noticed increased demand and investments in its laser machine products, most notably in Asian markets driven by the electronics industry. “This is particularly true in high-end markets, where laser processed

diamond cutting tools have become the standard. In general it seems as though the new technology has finally found acceptance in the cutting tool market; this is highly beneficial for us as this market development fits our strategy,” says Christoph. “We are also pleased with the portfolio development of our two laser machines, LASER LINE ULTRA and LASER LINE PRECISION, since we last spoke.” The LASER LINE PRECISION machine is a smaller, more affordable option to those seeking all-in-one laser processing of diamond cutting tools. Replacing previous methods for grinding and eroding ultra-hard materials such as PCD and CVD-D through the use of lasers, the LASER LINE PRECISION provides efficient machining results and can be used to achieve highly complex geometries with excellent surface quality. It also holds rotationally symmetrical tools of up to 200 mm diameter and 250 mm length as well as indexable inserts from three mm inscribed diameter and up to 50 mm circumscribed diameter. Much like the high-end laser-machining centre LASER LINE ULTRA, the LASER LINE PRECISION can be equipped with a six-axis folding arm robot with various gripper systems to achieve increased levels of productivity. However, when it comes to superb laser ablation machining quality in a wide variety of cutting materials, then the high-end lasermachining centre LASER LINE ULTRA is the preferred choice. Although EWAG AG boasts a strong presence in the global market, the company is aware that precision laser machining with ultrashort and short pulsed lasers is a relatively young field, especially when it comes to cutting tool processing. Because of this, EWAG AG continues to invest in R&D to retain its leading position as a technology leader. “One example of us surprising the cutting tool industry this year was when we showed a world premiere at the Grindtec exhibition in March of the manufacturing of spiralled fluted micro tools out of a solid blank. This created a great deal of momentum and interest around our laser machines.” Another example of the company’s commitment to R&D can be seen in its recent completion of a 42 month EU project that was co-ordinated by the Institute of Machine Tools and Manufacturing at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. Established to address the need for an efficient, precise and flexible processing technology for ultra-hard materials, DIPLAT (an acronym for enabling advanced functionalities of Diamond and other ultra-hard materials by Integrated Pulsed Laser Ablation – PLA - Technologies)

resulted in a tooling technology based on 3D PLA being developed. Discussing the challenges of operating in an ever-evolving sector, Christoph notes: “The machine tool industry is facing some challenges with substantial growth potentials such as Industry 4.0 and 3D printing. We feel that the power and force of the United Grinding Group, holding company for the machine tools business area in the Körber Technology Group, will bring us a substantial technological advantage; we will also focus, as part of United Grinding group, on grasping joint efforts when it comes to future potential developments. “Just recently, United Grinding established

a joint venture named Irpd AG, with the university affiliated inspire AG of ETH Zurich; IRPD specialises in additive manufacturing processes such as laser-based processes and 3D printing. The Irpd AG joint venture is the new Centre of Excellence for Additive Manufacturing of the United Grinding Group and is collectively managed by both joint venture partners. Irpd AG concentrates on the manufacture of industrial metal or plastic prototypes, through to the production of small series of complex workpieces as a service for customers. We see great potential to combine 3D metal printing with our technology portfolio of precision parts finishing of the United Grinding Group,” he concludes.

EWAG AG Products: High-precision tool grinding and laser machines 195

Fairport Construction Equipment Ltd

A tradition of quality Fairport Construction Equipment Ltd is a manufacturer of construction equipment including Plate Compactors and Vibrating Pokers based in Sheffield, UK


airport Construction Equipment Ltd has a long history within the construction industry, which helps to provide it with market leading expertise and experience when approaching the design and manufacture of its light construction products. It began operations in the 1870s, and was a family run business aimed at providing for the needs of those working in mines and quarries, which it did to such a successful degree, that its rock drill became widely used by customers across the world. This continued until the 20th century, by which point Fairport made the decision to diversify into designing tools for the construction industry. Due to the depth of experience and knowledge it can call upon, Fairport understandably has a strong reputation in the market as being a high quality and reliable supplier of construction products. Fairport makes its ambition to provide those within the construction industry with a full range of equipment that will enable them to use it as a


one-stop-shop for any and all light construction needs. The company is able to offer this through its core business, however it also has an area called Flexible Drive and Tool which is able to support its customers in the design of bespoke solutions, as well as standard products for flexible rotary shaft drive solutions. General manager Ian Morris elaborated upon both of these areas of the business: “Fairport has the capability to fabricate, weld and machine components for its products but also makes use of a wealth of local manufacturers that provide services such as fabrication, CNC machining, grinding, injection moulding, polyurethane moulding, plastic rotational moulding and powder coating.” Ian continued: “Flexible Drive and Tool prides itself in being one of the last remaining manufacturing facilities for rotary flexible drive cables. It has a bank of five specially designed automatic wire winding machines fed by spool winding machines for taking raw steel wire from supplied drums. Induction hardening facilities and quench tanks

finish off the manufacturing process and are complimented by an production assembly and test area.” Due the range of services and products that Fairport excels in, it has an equally diverse range of customers. Its customers include national and independent tool hire companies, as well as worldwide dealerships and various OEM construction equipment manufacturers. Flexible Drive and Tool in particular is growing into other markets, such as agriculture, marine, food, plus industrial cleaning and general engineering, all of which it provides its bespoke and series production capabilities to. In addition to the popularity of its products Fairport understands the need to not rest on its laurels, and to continue its tradition of high quality goods, but to combine this with an evolving modern approach to branding and customer interface. Fairport embarked upon this in 2016, and it has redeveloped its websites for both Fairport and Flexible Drive and Tool. The new

websites will make it possible for its products to be sold directly to the end user from this source. Another way in which Fairport has sought to modernise its look has been with the creation of a new logo, which had remained unchanged and unremarkable for many years. However, now it is a design that used the ideas and suggestions of the company’s employees in the process to create a new logo for the business, which will make its branding as recognisable as its quality. It is clear that an attractive logo and user friendly website are important to a modern business, and so too are the latest product developments Fairport has made. One of which will be available for customers in the first quarter of 2017, and it was something that Ian Morris discussed: “Fairport has been working on a design for a tip up concrete mixer targeting the professional and DIY builders. The product will challenge a dominant market leader and that challenge will be focused on improved mixing performance enabling the end user to reach ideal mix consistency with only 50 per cent of the energy use of the market leader. In times of rising energy costs this can only be seen as a real benefit.” In addition to this, Fairport will be busy working on a range of areas of the business in 2017: “Fairport and Flexible Drive and Tool continue to use their in-house design team to expand their product offering. In 2017, we will see developments in the compaction, breaking, pumping and flexible drives along with the possible expansion of its mixing products. Of particular note is the plan to give the current range of plate compactors a technical upgrade and face lift.” Fairport brings a market leading level of quality to all of its products, and this is a value that has come from its many years of working within the industry. The company has combined this high standard of product with a modern and customer focused approach, that with the latest improvements to its branding and website will make it easier than ever for its clients to purchase a Fairport or Flexible Drive and Tool product. Therefore, whether in its domestic market, or in its large and growing export market, Fairport can provide the very best service for all of a customer’s light construction and flexible drive equipment needs.

Fairport Construction Equipment Ltd Products: Manufacturer of construction equipment 197

Coveris Advanced Coatings

Coatings of many



Coveris Advanced Coatings’ focus is on helping customers to deliver high value added products in technically demanding applications

ith a long history of delivering innovative packaging solutions and coated film technologies, Coveris is today regarded as a leading international manufacturing organisation. Reporting third quarter 2016 net sales of $616 million, the multi-award winning company’s products can be found in a whole host of sectors and applications, protecting everything from fresh food to touch screen devices, contributing to the lives of millions every day. Indeed, it is true to say that Coveris provides one of the largest product offerings in the industry, working with markets ranging from protein, cheese, dairy and spreads, to petfood, household and personal care, healthcare, beverage, coatings and mailing. These sectors are addressed through a range of divisions, with the coatings offerings


handled by Coveris Advanced Coatings, a global leader in the development, manufacture and distribution of precision coated papers, films and speciality substrates for electronics, medical, optical technologies and other demanding niche applications. It also offers unique speciality films and coating services including contract coating (toll coating) and converting – this latter option offers a range of benefits to its customers, including enhanced flexibility. By using the expertise and facilities of Coveris Advanced Coatings, customers can avoid added investment in equipment and workforce, as well as benefit from working in partnership with an organisation that is experienced in developing products that are ideally suited to downstream processes and final end user requirements. Clients can come to the business with a well defined set of objectives for their coating project

or they may just have the seed of an idea, but in either scenario, Coveris Advanced Coatings can discuss how its team of experienced scientists and engineers could be of assistance, as well as explain its processes, and adaptable, reliable and confidential approach to projects. Once a customer chooses to work with Coveris Advanced Coatings they benefit from its ISO 9001-certified state-of-the-art facilities, which are located in North Wales in the UK and North Carolina in the US and feature multiple coating lines from 12” (300mm) to 65” (1650mm), cleanrooms and laboratories. An ISO-certified converting and distribution centre in China complements these factories, and the combination creates a truly global reach for the business. From these facilities Coveris Advanced Coatings supplies products via three main channels: ownbranded products, innovative proprietary products

What unites all of Coveris’ operations is its dedication to innovation and determination to remain a trendsetter and leader within its sectors. Going forward into 2017, Coveris Advanced Coatings has established a firm foundation on which it can build new business, as well as continue to support the leading international blue chip partners with which it already has close working relationships. By providing a unique combination of world-class facilities, customised equipment, skilled personnel and expertise, the business looks set to continue to create products with the optimum balance between cost and performance.

Coveris Advanced Coatings developed under partnerships and OEM or distributor labelled products. While it already provides an exemplary range of services that have been honed and refined over its five decades of existence, Coveris Advanced Coatings is aware of the need to constantly update its expertise in material science, coating technology and process improvement to deliver cost effective solutions. For example, to support new business development, in 2013 the business added a new coating line in the US and pattern coating capability in the UK, and more recently the business has invested in its clean room capabilities and has implemented camera inspection on many of its coating and converting lines. It is thanks to this forward thinking approach that Coveris Advanced Coatings has received a variety of industry plaudits – most recently, in 2015 insider magazine ranked the company as one of the Top 100 manufacturers in Wales, moving up four places from its ranking in 2014. Discussing the win, Peter Morris, Managing Director of Coveris Advanced Coatings stated: “Once again, we are proud to see ourselves in the Top 100 manufacturers in Wales. The company has grown year on year and this is reflected in the results. We continue to focus on our customers, employees, the community and the environment. We are also looking to the future and have implemented a strategy to expand the company in different regions and implement products into new markets.” The expansion strategy noted by Peter in 2015 is now well underway, and as recently as November 2016 the organisation announced a series of changes and new staff appointments, all designed to aid its transformation to a growth company and support best in class commercial excellence, CPS implementation, and a global ‘oneteam’ approach to implement the strategic plan. November also saw the company represented at

the Compamed 2016 exhibition in Dusseldorf; a show which attracts 700 exhibitors from around the world and which showcases technology and service solutions for use in the medical-technology industry – the business is a frequent exhibitor at major shows, as it is keen to share the latest in technology and materials to both existing and new customers.

Products: Develops, manufactures and distributes precision coated papers, films and speciality substrates for digital imaging, electronics, medical and optical technologies 199

Penny Hydraulics Ltd

Raising the



enny Hydraulics was founded in 1978 by mining engineer, John Penny, as a company offering nationwide hydraulic garage equipment and mining equipment repairs. As Japanese imports started to become more common and the mining industry started to decline, the company diversified into new markets, primarily lifting equipment including cranes for commercial vehicles. Today, although the core business remains cranes for vans, the company has diversified, venturing further into the lifting equipment industry with goods lifts, winches and tyre handling equipment. One area that sets Penny Hydraulics apart is its market leading product design capability, which general manager of sales Jessica Penny discussed: “We undertake these activities in-house, which means we can develop new products and get them to market quickly.” This is something the business has undertaken frequently over the years, and it was especially beneficial during the recent recession when confidence in the economy dropped resulting in a change in the market. Many businesses that needed to free up space opted to implement mezzanine floors in their current sites instead of investing in entirely


Penny Hydraulics carries out all the functions of a fully integrated manufacturing company. The lifting equipment manufacturer offers design, manufacturing, quality control, after sales support and a nationwide service operation

new facilities. This resulted in a large number of companies requiring Penny Hydraulics’ expertise to develop a lift that could facilitate the use of mezzanine floors, and since then this has been an important part of the business. Dedication to innovation also extends to the production process. Penny Hydraulics has made a number of improvements in this area, some of which have been recognised by awards.

These include a regional Chamber of Commerce Business Improvement Award, as well as being in the running for National Business of the Year, and a number of others. Many of these were won for one specific improvement, which involved the company using a productivity tool called iLogic to solve a bottleneck in design for the bespoke goods lifts. Jessica laid out the extent of its benefits: “This enabled us to develop a process where it is possible to reuse design and automate repetitive tasks in Inventor. That has meant we are able to reduce manufacturing drawing times from two hours per drawing to five minutes per drawing, without throwing any more people at it. It is a really good example of the use of design automation, and has lead to a manufacturing capability increase by 40 per cent within the division, turnover increase of 60 per cent, as well as a net profit increase of 140 per cent within the division.” Due to the high level of demand for its equipment, Penny Hydraulics is currently expanding its facilities, which it expects to finish in the first quarter of 2017. This investment will expand production space, increase warehousing space, create a larger office size to handle more personnel, as well as providing larger

parking facilities. Another positive impact of the improvement was presented by Jessica: “Many of our key customers are really big blue chip companies, and the new site will convey an image of the size and level of quality that Penny Hydraulics offers today. We have changed a lot over the last 37 years, so it is important to provide our customers with a perspective that tells them who we are now.” In addition to Penny Hydraulics’ innovations, improved efficiency, and facility expansion, it also aims to play an important role in engaging with the next generation of engineers. The skills gap and the lack of young people pursuing a future in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects are commonly discussed among those within the industry. However, Penny Hydraulics aims to help counter these issues, as Jessica elaborated: “We liaise with primary and secondary schools, as well as colleges and universities. We feel that engaging with children as young as possible about STEM subjects will greatly increase the likelihood of them going into a career in engineering. We have apprentices; children that come here on long-term work experience and a partnership with Sheffield Hallam University. This is in the form of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership scheme, which enables engineering students to gain practical experience on specific projects with us while studying. This is beneficial for the students as they get some hands-on experience, and we get to test them out and see if we want to offer them a job upon the completion of their degree.” This partnership continues to be a great success for all involved, and one specific example highlights this: “We had one chap called Simon that came to us on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership through the university, and his task was to create a strategy for us to break into the nuclear industry. As a result of his work this area of the business has come on in leaps and bounds,

and he now heads up our nuclear department,” Jessica said. Penny Hydraulics is helping to bring through bright talents into the industry, offering them real opportunities to get them involved and interested in an engineering career. The company has found great success in hard times, and repeatedly demonstrates its ability to be flexible and adapt to changing markets and has built a stronger

business because of this. All of which suggests Penny Hydraulics is one to watch for many years to come.

Penny Hydraulics Ltd Products: Lifting applications 201




With a growing membership of companies and national associations, Fecc promotes initiatives to ensure policies remain feasible, long-term sustainability is guaranteed and innovation is encouraged in the growing chemical distribution sector


ormed in 1954 when the National Associations of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK agreed to create a ‘Liason Officer of Chemical Traders’, the Belgium based Fecc (Federation Europeenne du Commerce Chimique) took on its name in 1960. In order to facilitate the continuing dialogue on a number of legislative and technical issues with the European institutions, Fecc’s first permanent office was created in 1973. Discussing a major milestone in the history of Fecc, Director General of Fecc Elisa Setién comments: “The current Fecc came into being on 14th June 1998 when its General Assembly approved a new constitution, structure and focus for the organisation. For the first time, Fecc had individual direct company members, in addition to its traditional membership of National Associations.” She continues: “At the time, Fecc’s three main objectives were to monitor and influence European legislation, to promote the chemical distribution industry and to promote responsible care. In 1999, the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) and Fecc signed a partnership agreement to promote responsible care throughout the supply chain; the first result of this initiative was the joint development and launch of the European Single Assessment Documents (ESAD) for chemical distributors. Meanwhile, on January 2005, Fecc statutes, which are still in force today, were published in the Belgian Official Journal.”


Today operating as the voice of the chemical distribution industry in Europe, Fecc represents approximately 1600 companies, many of which are SMEs. Contributing to innovation and sustainability, Fecc and its members add value to the supply chain through sourcing, developing, marketing and distributing a diverse range of specialty chemicals and ingredients to more than one million downstream users. These include automotive, electronics, paint and coatings, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, construction, food and nutrition industries, each of which has its own unique requirements. For those seeking to potentially become a member, benefits of being part of Fecc include having a voice in European policy development, unrivalled networking opportunities with other Fecc members, business leaders, key stakeholders and representatives from the EU institutions and access to key industry information. Members can also track EU developments and relevant legislation thanks to Fecc’s close relationship with European legislative bodies, as Elisa explains: “The relations with the European Institutions have been a constant since Fecc was officially recognised by the EEC on 13th February 1962, when a meeting between the EEC and Fecc representatives was held in the offices of Giuseppe Caron, Vice President of the EEC Commission. Today, Fecc participates in several working committees of the European Commission and is an accredited stakeholder of the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) and stakeholder of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

“Fecc membership includes 39 companies, 15 national associations and nine associated and affiliated members,” says Elisa. “The national associations represent chemical distribution and trade in their respective European countries, while company members are chemical distributors with a focus on operations in at least one European countries; associate members are European companies or associations engaged in producing chemicals and affiliated members are companies that supply products and/or services to the chemical industry or, alternatively, are directly involved in the chemicals supply chain.” The number of people currently operating within the chemical distribution industry is estimated to be more than 30,000, with annual sales at approximately 28 billion euros. To safeguard the industry’s competitiveness, Fecc promotes initiatives such as responsible care, as well as good trade and distribution practices; the organisation also provides extensive information on current and proposed legislation to its members and also acts on behalf of members during dealings with the European institutions. Elaborating further on how Fecc supports its member’s specific needs, Elisa highlights: “When it comes to responsible care, this enables the industry to demonstrate how its health, safety and environmental performance has improved over the years, and to also develop policies for further improvement. The Fecc European Responsible Care programme is based on eight guiding principles: legal requirements, management of risk, provision of information,

Fecc President Mr. Neville Prior

Mr. Edgar E. Nordmann (International Chemical Trade Association-ICTA-President) from Fecc company member Nordmann Rassmann

training; emergency response, ongoing improvements and community interaction. Additionally, the Good Trade and Distribution Practices Committee is focused on European and World Health Organisation (WHO) initiatives, which affect the chemical distributors in the fields of pharma, cosmetics and food and feed ingredients.” Alongside this work, Elisa notes that Fecc organises an annual congress each year, which has gained recognition as a key event that allows the chemical distribution industry to come together and discuss current issues within the industry: “From 1970 Fecc’s general assemblies were linked to Fecc congresses; the congress became an annual event after that date, focusing on contemporary issues for the industry. Over time the Fecc Annual Congress has become

the leading event for the European chemical distribution industry and a key date in the European chemical industry’s calendar. The next Annual Congress will take place from 12-14 June 2017 in Warsaw and will focus on the transformation of the chemical industry through digitalisation and the innovative business models being created by the distribution chemical industry.” Working as a platform to share experienced and knowledge, as well as to voice views with other industry associations and key stakeholders, Fecc’s programme for 2017 will be orientated around issues such as international trade, in which the organisation will closely monitor emerging markets, Free Trade Agreements

Presentation of the Xperiment App-Chemistry at home for kids (downloadable free of charge for your iPhone or iPad :

(FTA’s) and the EU and United Kingdom’s negotiations surrounding Brexit. Meanwhile, in the area of Good Trade and Distribution Practices, Fecc will continue to be involved in the EXCiPACT certification scheme in the area of environment, health and safety. “The focus will be on the REACH 2018 registration deadline and the use of communication and implementation of exposure scenarios, as well as the provision of advice regarding the new notifications to poison centres,” says Elisa. “In the area of Responsible Care, we will update the Responsible Agreement between Cefic and Fecc. When it comes to developments in the area of ESAD, we will continue to promote SQAS/ESAD as the preferred assessment scheme for evaluating the Responsible Care and HSSEQ compliance. In other business segments, we will also finalise for the UN committee the revision of the Industry Guidelines for the Security of the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and will also participate in the re-drafting process of the EU’s Guideline for Operators – advocating the standpoint of European chemical distributors.” With a busy 2017 coming up for the organisation, Fecc is certain to remain a heard and respected voice at the forefront of EU developments when it comes to chemical distribution.


Services: Acts as the voice of the chemical distribution industry in Europe 203


The best


for all

Interallis provides leading expertise and service in chemicals for a range of sectors in SEE


nterallis is an international chemical distributor network, which represents the major producers across South East Europe. Its expertise spans a number of sectors, which include human nutrition, coatings and construction, lubricants and rubber, agrosupplies and chemicals, plastics, as well as home, personal care and industrial chemicals. While it does cover a large range of sectors all of its customers can expect a personalised and tailored service that understands the needs of that industry and of that business.


Executive Corporate Director Panagiotis Magas provided an introduction to the business: “The company was formed as a group in 2011, through mergers, acquisitions and local startup companies, in order to achieve full geographic coverage in the South East of Europe, a fact on which our business model is based. We are active in 12 countries with ten local legal entities, we distribute for more than 150 chemical producers and move over 80,000 tons of products annually. We serve more than 5500 customers regionally, providing B2B distribution solutions and linking chemical suppliers and customers in the most profitable way.” Panagiotis added: “Also, we do not simply represent, we distribute on our suppliers behalf. In a practical sense this means we are their long arm in each of the countries we are active, and we develop their products, we apply their policies, we realise their strategies, and we defend their interests.” Interallis serves seven market segments, one of which is home, personal and industrial care, that distributes speciality and commodity chemicals, and within this sector it offers an extensive portfolio of the latest high-tech solutions. It sources all of these products itself, which ensures that there is maximum oversight by Interallis. Those that use this service include chemical producers and pharmaceuticals, industrial and institutional companies or

household and cleaning, metalworking, and many others sectors. In addition to this it also provides polymers, and this part of the business offers a wide range of commodity and engineering materials. Once again, there is a great deal of care that goes into the sourcing of these polymers, and it uses both local and international manufacturers, all of which comply with the highest quality and environmental standards. It also is active in serving the agrochemicals sector, and this is in the form of high quality seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, which it acquires from key European suppliers or are in house developed products as a result of company’s R&D. Similarly, Interallis also supports the agricultural sector with animal nutrition, and has high quality products that are designed to enhance the health and performance of animals. The company works within the lubricants and rubber sectors as well, and in this area Interallis is a leading South East European distributor for the rubber and base oils industry. It offers a full range of products that include elastomers, natural and synthetic rubber, chemical additives and fillers such as silica, carbon black and pigments. The business supplies these to many of the largest members of the market, once again displaying that Interallis is a leader across many sectors within the region. The final area where 205


daily basis to maintain the balance between our social obligations as an employer and a member of the community, with our financial growth and continuous improvement as an effective organisation. That is what we believe makes us a great company to work with.” Due to these many strengths, the coming years look set to see Interallis record a continued seven per cent growth yearon-year, and expects to see a number of developments. It will expand its presence within nanotechnologies, as well as the creation of new innovative fertilizers in the agrochemical sector, and strengthen its activity in human nutrition. In all of the diverse areas that Interallis applies itself it does so with the same high standards of quality, service, and expertise, which ensures all of its customers consistently get the very best.


Services: Chemical distributor the business applies its expertise and services is within the coatings and construction sector. It offers a wide range of resins, pigments, additives, fillers and solvents to cover all the needs of its customers for industrial and decorative paints. Due to the vast array of areas that Interallis addresses it has an extensive portfolio of products and a depth of experience to assist its clients, which is unparalleled in the region. It achieves this through a number of methods, and Panagiotis highlighted some: “We have very dedicated, highly experienced sales, technical support and handling personnel that always provide the best service to our customers. We also have deep market knowledge and a strong network of infrastructures, which better enables us to find solutions to our clients’ challenges. In addition to this we offer quality assured business practices, as well as responsible service levels, plus full control and accountability at every tage through handling, storage, transport and delivery.” Interallis will also continue its tradition of investment in research and development, as well as the high levels of service to customers that it prides itself on. Panagiotis mentioned other features that will remain at the heart of the company: “We are a very flexible organisation, so any change needed in order to support our operations is done so quickly. We like to change, to develop and to adapt according to market requirements and trends. We also strive on a


Macpac Ltd

Investing in the next


With over four decades of industry experience, Macpac Ltd is a leading provider of bespoke thermoformed packaging options


rom its base in Stockport, Cheshire, Macpac manufactures specialist thermoformed packaging solutions, supplying a diverse cross-section of industries across the food and non-food markets. The company was established by its original Managing Director, Chris Kershaw, as a family-owned business in 1974 when vacuum forming was still in its infancy. The business quickly developed a reputation for innovation as pioneers in new techniques in thermoforming technology, becoming the preferred to supplier to the classic Meccano and Dinky Toys brands. Graham Kershaw took over the running of the business from his father

as Managing Director in 2003 and today the company continues to supply a wide range of point-of sale and specialist bespoke packaging solutions to a diverse cross section of food and non-food industries and blue chip retail companies. Presently around 60 per cent of the products provided by Macpac are delivered to clients operating in non-food markets, while the remaining 40 per cent are used within the food industry, particularly for chocolate products. Macpac is dedicated to making the task of sourcing effective packaging a simple endeavour for its clients. This includes a turnkey service from design concept through all stages production and final delivery, thus 207

eliminating supply chain problems and reducing costs. Core to enabling Macpac to effectively meet the needs of its clients and the wider thermoforming industry, is its focus on offering a personal service built on family operation and co-operation. “We try to maintain family values throughout the business and this means providing high levels of service and actual personal contact with clients, rather than operating a faceless account. Often in dealings between companies the client will never speak to the same person, whereas we have appointed individuals that manage accounts so that all of our clients know exactly who they are working


with,” explains Managing Director, Graham Kershaw. “This creates a personal touch that I think is very important and is certainly at the heart of Macpac culture. All of our sales people do not simply sell out of a catalogue; they are fully experienced sales engineers who understand the thermoforming process and how it works, so can offer proper advice on projects instead of simply taking briefs.” Further to its commitment to providing a high level of customer service, Macpac has implemented an extensive programme of investment into its facilities. During 2010 the company unveiled an ambitious three-

staged growth plan, including a significant factory extension. In the summer of 2011 Macpac acquired the thermoforming business of Hamilton Plastics Packaging based in Northampton. Production was moved from Northampton to Stockport along with selected machinery and the sales engineering team, allowing clients converting over to Macpac to benefit from the company’s expanded service portfolio. The second stage of this development was completed in 2013, while the third round of investment was completed in 2015 with a 50 per cent increase in factory capacity through the acquisition of several new thermoforming machines. Today Macpac has 12 large thermoforming machines, all of which are newly acquired within the past seven years meaning that the company can boast a modern and efficient portfolio of equipment. In the spring of 2013 Macpac announced a world first in thermoforming technology following an intensive 12-month collaboration with the German manufacturer Illig. The development of the new thermoforming technology permitted the forming of increasingly complex shapes that can be formed at higher speeds while lowering tooling costs. Following the success of the new machine, the company added a second to its portfolio in autumn 2014 and a third machine in January 2016. “The acquisition of three machines in only 12 months represents a significant investment of around £1.8 million. The new machines allow for the rapid turnaround of products for our clients,” Graham says. “Because we manufacture all of our tooling in-house, we have also recently invested in a new CNC machine so that we can offer even faster turnaround. As much as

Macpac Ltd

half of the lead time on a project is in getting the tooling made and the faster this can be completed the quicker a new product can be turned around for the customer, which is an essential side of the business.” With its continued investment into its manufacturing capabilities and focus on customer service, Macpac has enjoyed significant success throughout 2016. During September the company completed its investment into a new cleanroom for handling medical packaging trials. During November 2016, Macpac also presented at the GroSouth exhibition where it won the Innovation of the Year Award for its Plantpac Letterbox size range of thermoform products. The Plantpac range of thermoformed

packaging was developed in collaboration with a major mail order plant supplier, resulting in an easy to assemble product that provides maximum protection and ventilation for plants during transit and display. With the completion of its three-staged growth plan and several accolades under its belt, Macpac is set to take full advantage of its strong position to continue to provide a comprehensive level of service over the coming years. “Now that we have consolidated in terms of machine investment, we will now be focused on optimising the usage of our machines,” Graham concludes. “There is considerable scope in the business to be highly flexible and that is what we want to major on now. We have always aimed to be the best, but we now want to take this flexibility to the next level.”

Macpac Ltd

Products: Specialist thermoformed packaging solutions 209


Advanced thermal


Incorporated in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during 1917, Chromalox has grown as a leading manufacturer of advanced thermal technologies with a network of production plants located across the world


he roots of the business date back to 1915 and the introduction of a groundbreaking patent of a resistanceheating element embedded in an insulating refractory and enclosed within a metal sheath, developed by the company’s founder Edwin L. Wiegand. Using this technology, Chromalox began producing its strip heater for what would eventually become the modern electric clothes iron. The following decades represented a boom period for the business, as electricity became increasingly present in homes and manufacturing plants. As heat controls were further integrated into electrical systems, Edwin Wiegand developed several new patents


that found many applications within both the residential and commercial markets. Over close to a century in operation, the everchanging and dynamic energy sector has opened up several areas of growth for Chromalox. Indeed, the company was the first supplier of pressurised heaters used in nuclear power stations and submarines, while also keeping up with the demands of the energy market with an expansive portfolio of products as the world increasingly moves from fossil fuels to electric solutions. Today, Chromalox continues to develop thermal technologies for some of the world’s toughest industrial heating applications and excels in market sectors that traditionally have high expectations. The company’s clients include businesses operating in challenging environments such as the alternative fuel, biopharmaceutical, chemical processing, commercial food, rail, energy and power generation, laboratory and analytical, marine, medical equipment, nuclear energy, petrochemical, oil and gas, solar energy, transport and wastewater treatment markets. Although Chromalox continues to be headquartered at its Pittsburgh, PA location, the company has grown to maintain a presence on six continents that enable it to provide rapid service and support solutions whenever and wherever they are needed. Furthermore, Chromalox operates a comprehensive network of factory offices, stocking representatives and over 2000 authorised distributors worldwide,

as well as engineering, warehousing and sales locations throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. In terms of its fabrication capabilities, Chromalox operates six state-of-the-art manufacturing plants throughout the world that incorporate a total of more than 634,000 ft2 of production space. The company’s plants utilise automated machinery to ensure tightly controlled, repeatable quality standards and are vertically integrated to provide final assembly and functional testing. To guarantee peace of mind for its customers through the highest levels of quality, Chromalox maintains numerous global product and plant certifications, including ISO 9001:2008, ATEX/IECEx, ASME, PED, ABS, EAC, National Board, KOSHA, and SELO. As the business has grown into a leader in advanced thermal technologies, Chromalox has continued to develop new products and solutions across several applications. During May 2016 for example, the company announced the award of a US patent for its medium voltage, DirectConnect heating products. While conventional electric resistance, metal-sheathed heating has been limited to operating at 1000V, Chromalox has created a breakthrough in heating technology that allows voltages of up to 7200V to be used in multiple heating products. The

DirectConnect heating system was developed through a combination of material science, design engineering and proprietary manufacturing techniques. When compared to a traditional low-voltage design, DirectConnect products can slash installation costs up to 90 per cent and also improve operational efficiency. By harnessing the power of higher voltage, end users can gain the benefit of zero on-site emissions, while enhancing effective and scalable power control. “Customers have instantly recognised the financial savings DirectConnect provides for their heating project,” says Global Product Director of Packaged Systems and Service, Mark Wheeler. “Chromalox has several sites already operating with DirectConnect products and our customers are pleased with the heater operation and appreciate the immediate payback.” In addition to the development of its patented DirectConnect thermal technology, Chromalox also announced the new availability of wireless temperature sensing for heat trace applications in both ordinary and hazardous areas. This new capability provides enhanced application flexibility, improved safety and measured installation cost savings while maintaining system integrity. Wireless can be an ideal temperature sensing solution for

both new and expanding heat trace systems, as the portability of wireless transmitters permits temperature profile optimisation throughout plant piping systems. Indeed, process safety and integrity can be significantly improved through the inclusion of redundant wireless temperature sensors to a system’s heater circuits. Installation costs such as wire, conduit and associated labour for typical hard-wired sensing solutions are also significantly reduced when wireless components are employed. The Chromalox Wireless Temperature Sensing system includes the IntelliTrace ITAS or ITLS Series Heat Trace Control Panel and specific industrial wireless transmitters, which are paired with appropriate temperature sensors. The IntelliTrace system is the only fully integrated Wireless Temperature Sensing Heat Trace system available, with a panel that seamlessly facilitates both wired and wireless temperature sensor inputs and the touch-screen computer HMI distinguishes wireless circuits from wired ones. “Wireless temperature sensing of heat trace circuits addresses critical customer pain points such as cost, safety and flexibility,” reveals Global Director of Control & Panel Development at Chromalox, Scott Treser. “Our

seamlessly integrated IntelliTrace solution ensures comprehensive system integrity that other systems simply cannot provide.” Across the company, Chromalox takes a principled approach to its business objectives through its mission to pioneer new thermal technologies and shape the future of industrial heating. Its core values dictate the way in which the company treats its associates and enables it to become true a strategic partner with its customers. Chromalox is dedicated to offering an innovative solutions, rapid delivery with careful attention to detail and maintaining honest, ethical and transparent approach with its clients. This combined with its history of developing revolutionary thermal products across various applications will enable Chromalox to continue to serve its clients as a leader in advanced thermal technologies.

Chromalox Products: Manufacturer of advanced thermal technologies 211




MANUFACTURING Editor: Libbie Hammond Sales manager: Joe Woolsgrove

Schofield Publishing Limited Unit 10, Cringleford Business Centre, Intwood Road, Cringleford, Norwich, NR4 6AU, UK Tel: +44 (0) 1603 274130 Fax: +44 (0) 1603 274131

Manufacturing Today Europe Issue 136 January 2017  

The latest edition of Manufacturing Today Europe

Manufacturing Today Europe Issue 136 January 2017  

The latest edition of Manufacturing Today Europe