Manufacturing Today Europe Issue 135 December 2016

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Rise of the


135 December 2016

MANUFACTURING machines Wha robo t influe Brita tics ha nce is in’s w ving on orkf orce ?

Also in this issue:

• Cloud computing • Dust extraction • Cash flow • Agricultural technology

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 Production 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 Laura Thompson Advertising Sales Joe Woolsgrove - Sales Director Mark Cawston Tim Eakins Darren Jolliffe Jonas Junca Dave King Theresa McDonald William Ramanauskas Mauro Berini

Heading to



ell, here we are in December! 2016 has certainly been a year to remember and 2017 looks like it will have some issues of its own to contend with, as the UK deals with Brexit, and the US finds it feet with Donald Trump as president (if you have opinions to share on either of those issues, do let me know!) But there is some good news for the end of this year. Results from a major survey from EEF, the manufacturer’s organisation, and business advisory firm BDO LLP, point to early signs that the sector has left behind the negative effects of the low oil price and concerns about global growth and is now seeing opportunities from a resilient UK market and brightening export prospects. However, there are still a variety of risks remaining on the horizon, as EEF Chief Economist, Ms Lee Hopley noted: “Brexit aside, global growth is not yet on the firmest of footings and, with volatile exchange rates also in the mix, UK manufacturers will need to continue to be nimble in their responses to emerging challenges and opportunities in the months ahead.”





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135 December 2016


Rise of the

machines Wh rob at influ Brita otics ha ence is in’s w ving orkfo on rce?

Schofield Publishing

Cringleford Business Centre, 10 Intwood Road, Cringleford, Norwich, NR4 6AU, U.K. Tel: 044 (0)1603 274130

Also in this issue:


©2016 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 Cloud computing

10 Cash flow

As SaaS is used by almost all of us everyday, why does the mention of cloud based solutions still make manufacturers recoil?

With the right credit and collections strategy and smart software manufacturers can generate substantial cash flow

4 Cloud computing

6 Dust extraction On a business level, dust extraction will help improve product quality as it removes dust from both the product and the packaging

12 Agricultural tech

8 Smart robots

12 Agriculutre tech 8 Smart robots One of the best ways to look at the effect of machines in the workplace is through the recruitment sector


Agriculture and technology must collaborate and develop at pace to cope with the increasing demands for food

14 Manufacturing news Updates and announcements from the manufacturing arena


Profiles 18 London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) 20 BOFA International Ltd 24 Paladon Systems Ltd Ballyclare Limited

26 29 32 35 42 48 51 54 57 58 60

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

Ebac Group Ltd

63 Ebac Group Ltd. 66 Indus Motor Company 71 Williams Advanced Engineering 74 Pathfinder Homes Ltd 77 Belfield Furnishings 80 Lambert Engineering 82 Chromalox 84 Standfast and Barracks 88 QI Van Systems 93 Macpac Ltd 96 Perspex Distribution Ltd 99 Leggett & Platt Components Europe Ltd 102 Mack Rides GmbH & Co KG 106 Hobbs Valve Ltd 108 EWAG AG

Mack Rides GmbH & Co KG

110 Fairport Construction Equipment Ltd 112 Coveris Advanced Coatings 114 Penny Hydraulics Ltd 116 Fecc 118 Interallis

Penny Hydraulics Ltd 3



Andy Graham looks at how the cloud can be used to deliver ‘always on’ access to data to enable smarter decision-making, improved scalability, security and mobility Manufacturing environments require a high-level of co-ordination, planning and precision. Providing anytime, anywhere access to data – even on a production line – can help improve productivity and drive operational efficiencies, particularly for businesses with multiple sites. Despite this, there remains a reluctance to embrace cloud services such as Software as a Service (SaaS).


ur manufacturing environments are now filled with multiple devices collecting data from every end point and an average site can easily generate, and store, millions of data points every day. Harnessing that data is vital for effective decision making, but finding a way to access, analyse, and manage vast volumes of data is easier said than done. For years, many manufacturers have feared connectivity, believing it opens the door for


security breaches. However, for manufacturers looking to initiate an IoT strategy, connectivity is a must and it’s here that Software as a Service (SaaS) comes in. Software as a Service does exactly what it says on the tin (metaphorically speaking). It is software that is delivered to you as a service, which you can access via a web browser or app, as opposed to software that you have to purchase upfront and install on your computer or machine. Think Google, Facebook, YouTube

- these are all examples of SaaS solutions. You haven’t installed them on your machine; you simply use them as a service. Although SaaS solutions are used by almost all of us in our everyday life, the mere mention of a cloud-based service still makes many manufacturers recoil in horror. But the reality is that cloud services are here to stay and will only bring benefits to your company. Do you use Office365 in more than one location across your business? If so, you’re already embracing Software as a Service. And if you trust the cloud with your accounting and confidential business data, why not trust it with your production data? In manufacturing, the cloud is your friend. Nobody is suggesting you operate your realtime production there, but a cloud-based

Cloud computing

service such as SaaS can correlate all the other business data you collect – across multiple sites and historians – before collating and presenting it in a way that does not require additional IT expertise or capital expenditure. For example, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) could leverage cloud-based services to monitor machines remotely, analysing energy consumption data and production data, providing valuable insight to their customers to help them to drive efficiencies. Manufacturing is an industry in a constant state of change. Increased external legislation and regulation means increasing numbers of manufacturers are required to provide regular data to third parties. Cloud assists this level of collaboration by ensuring that data

is readily available and collated, meaning that information for metrics such as energy usage can be accessed by those with relevant security clearance, whenever they need it. Manufacturers with multi-location operations are also potential beneficiaries of cloud. Historically, each site would be managed independently, with data and process information never leaving the plant. However, when data is fed to the cloud, a business can then get a real-time overview of the operation and performance of all its sites, making it easier to compare productivity and measure efficiencies. This can prove invaluable when identifying why plant X outperforms plant Y. The connectivity within each site is also improved through cloud, paving the way for the implementation of mobility across the facility. This gives everybody who needs it instant access to real-time data and analytics of the running of the plant. Such has been the development of mobile technologies, this can now be tailored to specific areas, meaning relevant data is made available when engineers walk into a different zone. Similarly, devices tailored for use in hazardous zones have also risen in prominence. Improving Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), the metric that looks at the availability, performance and quality of operations, is also a key driver for switching to the cloud. Cloud can help reduce system downtime due to its ability to readily monitor and react to data, meaning that systems outages can be pinpointed before they become a reality. Similarly, cloud also provides a low-cost and easy way of upgrading systems, as there is no expensive hardware required and system updates can occur without costly downtime. There is an increasing view that intelligent analysis of data will be one of the key factors used to differentiate between the most

successful organisations in future. This is particularly true for manufacturers facing their own specific set of challenges where many are fighting for survival, not only against their competitors, but sometimes internally against other plants and sites based in other countries which enjoy lower cost bases. SaaS solutions such as Wonderware Online InSight deliver powerful data intelligence to the people who need it, when they need it, where they need it, all supported by the highly secure Microsoft Windows Azure Cloud Services environment. As a SaaS solution, Wonderware Online InSight allows you to use the software without being responsible for its implementation, maintenance or upkeep. Security is often one of the objections raised by manufacturers when talking about the cloud. However, many manufacturers are already utilising cloud services in their corporate and commercial processes, whether that be email, accounting or even online services such as DropBox, and, as such, there is no reason why non-critical manufacturing processes shouldn’t be moved there too. v

Andy Graham Andy Graham is Product Manager at Wonderware UK and Ireland. Wonderware UK & Ireland is a division of SolutionsPT. Wonderware has over 750,000 active licenses in over 100,000 customer locations, and has customers in virtually every global industry - including Food & Beverage, Power, Water & Wastewater, Facilities, Transportation, Upstream Oil & Gas, Mining, Metals and many more. Wonderware offers software solutions that tie together multiple fleets of plants and facilities, and enables new ways for customers, suppliers and producers to collaborate. 5


control James Miller takes a look at dust why it’s an issue and what industries should be doing about it


ust is a major problem across a wide range of industries. From construction, to food, metalwork to ceramics, its impact is widespread. But despite its prevalent influence, many workers in many industries don’t seem to be aware of just how serious or how important the issue of dust really is. Not only do they underestimate the seriousness of the issue, they fail to appreciate how tackling the problems caused by dust can both improve business turnover and provide a ‘greener’ way of working. The negatives of industrial dust are manyfold.


It creates a dirty working environment, hinders production efficiency, lowers staff morale, affects product quality and provides a health and safety risk. There are companies that do attempt to address the situation, but unless they’ve enlisted professional help, most of these are not being as effective or efficient as possible in their approach. If you walk into manufacturing plants and factories, in many cases you’re likely to see an abundance of cheap mobile dust extractors. The fact that an attempt is being made to rectify dust-related issues is certainly a positive. But it’s

often the case that in large-scale facilities these can become more of a nuisance as opposed to providing any real assistance in resolving the matter. The mobile dust extractors used in these instances are often fitted with low quality filtration and are poorly maintained, as personnel are unwilling to take responsibility for keeping them clean and ensuring that they’re looked after. It’s also more than likely that they constitute a health and safety risk, with leads and cables stretching across the production area. These not only pose the risk of tripping, but also make the area look untidy, which isn’t

Dust extraction James Miller

When a material, such as foodstuffs or wood dust, is suspended in the air in a finely divided form, in the right concentration and in the right conditions, explosions can occur

ideal during a client factory tour. There’s also often a lack of understanding on just how these extractors should be used, with many companies opting to use them after processing rather than during. Mobile dust extractors might seem like an attractive short-term solution to workplace dust and the balance sheet, but they usually fail to achieve the desired results with running costs actually making them more detrimental in the longer term. The best way for manufacturers to address the issue of dust is to install centralised vacuum systems for dust extraction directly from a process and for powerful and convenient general

vacuum cleaning. These can fit into the building in question, and have a number of plug-in points running off them, avoiding the need for messy leads running everywhere. The systems can run for 24 hours, and are even self-cleaning. Lease finance for this type of equipment is becoming a much more common way of avoiding large Capex sign off and helping to manage cash flow. Central vacuum systems are also energy efficient. Depending on the number of open outlets, the RPM of the vacuum producer can be optimised, generating just as much vacuum as needed. And when no outlets are open the vacuum automatically switches to a saving mode, thus reducing both carbon emissions and running costs. What’s more, a centralised vacuum system can help solve any ‘product loss’ issues - where what’s coming out at the end of the production line is less than what’s being put in at the start. The systems can show visibly what they’ve collected during the process, so if there are still serious ‘product loss’ issues these can be backed up with accurate data. Dust or product that it is removed during the extraction process can also be recycled where necessary. The benefits of a centralised vacuum system are many. Working in a cleaner environment will

not only improve staff morale, it will also reduce the risk of potential health issues for employees. Dust extraction at source improves air quality, helping to tackle occupational asthma and other such respiratory illnesses. It’s also important to bear in mind the fact that many dusts are combustible. When a material, such as foodstuffs or wood dust, is suspended in the air in a finely divided form, in the right concentration and in the right conditions, explosions can occur. It’s therefore imperative to reduce the risks posed in an environment where these materials are both in abundance and being processed in a way that causes dust to form. A centralised vacuum system is one of the key methods of doing so. On a more business minded level, dust extraction will help to improve product quality as it removes dust from both the product and any associated packaging, whilst also reducing the need for maintenance, which allows valuable resources to be spent elsewhere. v

James Miller James Miller is managing director at Dustcontrol UK, dust extraction specialists. Dustcontrol UK manufactures and customises portable dust extractors and industrial extraction systems with very high levels of filtration. The company supplies a complete range of products and accessories for large and small companies in all types of industries, all over the world. 7

Rise of the



Smart robots

What influence is robotics having on Britain’s workforce?


The less desirable and monotonous jobs no longer require humans to do them, this allows workers to focus on jobs that stimulate and excite them, consequently improving morale in the workplace


n a digitally forward society, technology is fast becoming the life-blood of businesses and communities. Robots are now capable of doing pretty much anything. For example, in April of last year, the UK company Mobey Robotics launched the world’s first robot chef. It was capable of mimicking the kitchen skills of a human chef and recreating them without error or breaks. It is now possible for robots to complete creative tasks such as writing basic music, art and writing articles. It feels as though there isn’t a profession that won’t be affected by the rise of robots in the workplace. The case for machines in the workplace has been proven again and again. Robots mean increased efficiency and quality along with decreased error and waste. Economically they are a strong investment for a company looking to cut costs. However, despite an initial sinister exterior, there are a number of benefits to employees. The less desirable and monotonous jobs no longer require humans to do them, this allows workers to focus on jobs that stimulate and excite them, consequently improving morale in the workplace. Robots were designed to aid humans in their everyday lives not to make them obsolete. In fact the word ‘robot’ comes from the Czech word robotnik; a term used to refer to slaves. There will always be a need for humans to oversee machines; they need constant maintenance and repair and in a technologically forward society machines need to be consistently updated to ensure they remain compliant and current. Therefore it can be said that instead of robots taking over our jobs, they are creating more. Even though it is difficult to see, there will need to be a lot more service technicians to ensure the machines continue to run at the standard businesses need to remain competitive in their respective markets. Moods about the rise of technology vary but a new millennial generation who have grown up only knowing the digital world and are open to change are making their way into the workforce, this means companies are now able to be more open to adapting their technologies. The new generation are well equipped to deal with

changes, the producers of the machines take a lot of the social software on smartphones and tablets that Millennials have grown up with and adopt it to newer technologies. One of the best ways to look at the effect of machines in the workplace is through the recruitment sector. Cordant Recruitment is the second-largest privately owned recruitment company in the UK and has seen first hand how recruitment over the last 20 years and changed as a result of the rise of technology. Shaun Simmons is Managing Director of Cordant Technical and Engineering, part of Cordant Recruitment. He commented: “We’ve have not necessarily seen a dip in requirements of a human workforce. More that there is a different skill set needed to supplement the change in how companies work. Previously there were men and women working in factories putting car parts together, sorting food and packaging products, now that is done primarily by a machine.” He continues. “However machines are unable to truly think for themselves, when they approach a problem they need a human to help resolve it. They also need a human to update and maintain it. So it is not that we are seeing a reduction in the number of staff required, it is just a different type of people with different skills.” It will be a while before robotics actually becomes a task force in the average business; the cost of human labour is, currently, much cheaper than the cost of installing and maintaining a machine. This may change over time but at the moment it means jobs are somewhat safer than initially thought. v

Cordant Technical & Engineering Cordant Technical & Engineering has over 21 years of experience in providing highly skilled technical blue, white collar and professionals, within specific engineering sectors. With 85 per cent repeat business its holistic approach and strategic response to future skill requirements has enabled it to create a wide spectrum of talented engineers and satisfied clients. industry-sectors/technical-and-engineering 9

Go with the



Michael Facey highlights the ten essentials of credit management for manufacturing

anufacturing is used to facing high competition and pressure on prices and margins. At the same time it is a capital-intensive industry so every manufacturing company needs strong cash flow to operate smoothly. Yet, research from PwC shows that the industrial manufacturing industry has over ₏141bn locked up in poor working capital management practices. It’s time the industry takes charge of its cash flow. To do this, you can’t just look at top-line growth or increasing sales. You also need to increase the speed of receivables - monetary and other obligations owed to you by customers or debtors. Accounts receivable is one of the largest and most liquid of corporate assets. Many manufacturing organisations are struggling with effective management of the process and consider


it a cost centre. However, with the right credit and collections strategy and smart software you can reduce accounts receivable balances and generate a substantial cash flow. Here are ten ways to plan and execute credit management and increase the cash flow to keep your organisation healthy and competitive.

1 - Credit management equals customer relationship management Credit and collections management is a fundamental part of customer relationship management. In this challenging economy some customers will delay payment for as long as they

possibly can. In other cases, invoices are not paid on time because of issues that must be addressed before payment will be made. Your task is to apply payment pressure without creating undue friction that can negatively impact customer relations.

2 - Divide your customer profiles Are all your customers the same? Probably not! Some customers have been doing business with you for years while others are new and unknown. It is likely that you have customers that purchase large volumes while others only place small orders. Divide your customers up in (similar) groups to get more insight.

Cash flow

3 - Provide a feasible plan If your plans are too ambitious you can confront your employees with an excessive number of actions. If there is no overview, you run the risk of demotivating your team. By segmenting your customers well and monitoring which approach yields the desired result, you can make the most of your credit managers.

4 - Determine appropriate monitoring Verify how you currently deal with your customers. When do you contact them? And at what time? Do you do this by letter, mail, phone or otherwise? By approaching your different customers appropriately (according to their customer profiles) you spend your time efficiently and you achieve the greatest return.

5 - Pay suppliers on time Do not pay your dues early or late. If you pay them early, you’re reducing cash flow. If you pay them late, you could be hit with fees. There is one exception: if you’re offered a steep discount by paying upfront, consider it. This will hit current cash flow, but it will benefit future cash flow.

6 - Pull receivables in before accounts payable If receivables are coming in faster than payables are going out, you’re in a good spot. If this isn’t a possibility, at least reduce the average accounts receivable by several days. Start by focusing on

reducing your days sales outstanding, even just by a few days, and put major amounts of cash back into your business.

7 - Involve sales Credit and collections should be an integral part of the sales process. This should help establish an initial framework for a long and mutually beneficial relationship between buyer and seller and completing the final step in the sale-to-cash cycle. If viewed from this perspective, credit and collections becomes a sales enhancement function and a profit centre, not an administrative cost centre that inhibits the sales process.

8 - Get your organisation on board From management to sales, get everyone together to announce that cash flow is now the top priority and that your focus will be on increasing the speed of receivables. Make sure you’re armed with answers to likely questions so the meeting moves fast and little time is lost. When everyone has the same goal, it becomes more attainable.

9 - Keep in touch with your customers Communication is key! Reserve time for personal contact with your customer. Only by actually speaking to each other can you figure out what the motivation is behind a failure to settle. Discuss what you can do to speed up the payment and jointly determine a feasible payment agreement.

10 - Use reports for insight Regularly assess the effectiveness of your credit management department. Is the workload realistic? Do your employees manage to follow the planned policy and planning? Are you achieving the desired results with your current policy? Flexibility in your approach keeps the focus on results.

The bottom line Making the credit management operation run more efficiently will help improve cash flow for any manufacturer. There are many ways to plan and execute credit management, and credit management software is the perfect technology to support it. v

Michael Facey Michael Facey is Head of Marketing and Product Management at OnGuard. Founded in the Netherlands in 1993, OnGuard is a leader in software solutions and services in the order-tocash operating field. OnGuard has an impressive worldwide customer base that achieves faster payment of invoices and actionable insights with the sophisticated software. OnGuard integrates and structures accounts receivables, from credit and collections management to complaints management and cash allocation. 11

Depth, Dispersal, Development and Drive The 4D’s of agri-tech in the 21st century. By Mike Edgett


he world population continues to grow. At the same time income levels are rising in growth geographies, causing a switch to protein-rich foods requiring a profound growth in livestock production. By 2050 annual cereal production will need to rise to about three billion tonnes from 2.1 billion today and annual meat production will need to rise by over 200 million tonnes to reach 470 million tonnes1. Faced with the global challenge of establishing a sustainable supply of food, animal and fish farms must substantially increase efficiency and performance, whilst making the most of the limited resources available.


Henry van de Ven, CIO of animal nutrition and fish feed producer, Nutreco, paints an alarming picture: “Current global food production needs to increase 70 per cent by 2050 in order to feed the additional two billion people that are forecast to inhabit the planet by that date. This means that we will need two planets by 2050! The crux is that the whole value chain must become much more efficient.”

Depth: the need for a micro-vertical application of technology To deliver efficiency improvements on this scale, technology across the food industry will need to be drastic. This spans agriculture, aquaculture

and the supply chain throughout farming, food production and processing. Technology will be a critical part of these developments, but it needs to be closely aligned to the idiosyncrasies of the specific industry segment within food manufacturing. The demands of agriculture are radically different from baking, which are again different from meat processing, or brewing. Deep, specific expertise is the order of the day to drive efficiencies. It was the realisation of this need for such focused know-how that led Infor to not only develop and continually invest in its microvertical strategy but also create a Micro-vertical Specialisation Program for the Infor Partner Network (IPN). This enables partners to combine industry-specific strengths and capabilities with Infor solutions in deep, niche markets. What does this look like in practice? One example is the supply chain planning and demand forecasting at use within Marine Harvest, the world’s largest producer of farmed salmon. Here, the integration of ERP and supply chain planning has enabled Marine Harvest to improve visibility into future demand from three to six weeks to

Agricultural tech up to three years. That is the basis of a huge leap in efficiency and one that can be easily applied to agriculture.

Dispersed operations At any point in food production, variation means additional cost and causes delay, so, as part of this drive for efficiency, agricultural producers will need to impose standardised procedures and processes throughout operations that can span the globe. Even within a single facility or location, standardisation is often a challenge because of the sheer scale of production. Seaboard Foods, an Infor customer, needs to maintain visibility and consistency across 6.5 million pigs per year. The pigs are raised on farms specialised for the pigs’ stage in life, such as sow farms, nursery farms and finisher operations – and all of these facilities are linked to a computer network to monitor the environment. 290,000 sows are artificially inseminated and their pregnancy is carefully checked using ultrasound technology. From the breeding barn, they are moved to the gestation barn, where they are given individual care and a special diet, which again needs tracking. The sows are then moved to the farrowing barn, where they will give birth to ten to 12 piglets. They will nurse the piglets for about three weeks and then are returned to the breeding barn. Each year, a sow averages birth to 25 weaned pigs, so the entire cycle usually happens twice a year. To ensure consistency across so many variables, in different locations,

cloud technology is vital to not only ensure that the same systems are implemented across the enterprise, but that they are all kept consistently up to date.

Development: the need for adjacent innovation It may seem a little hard to believe but the mud, rain and raw nature of agriculture is proving to be a hot bed of innovation for some of the most forward thinking, cutting edge technology within all of manufacturing. Farmers and producers have recognised that implementing technology out in the fields, in some cases in the very soil itself, can have incredible results. As a whole, smart agriculture will be worth around $18bn by 2022, growing at a rate of approximately 13 per cent per year. This level of opportunity will drive huge waves of innovation. Infor customer Fullwood manufactures a range of milking technologies, including sophisticated automated milking solutions that incorporate laser-sighting technology. Fullwood is more than an equipment provider, though. It can place identity tags on each cow and use the latest herd management software to provide the intricate details of each and every cow’s milking habits. This is vital information for the farm manager, as Spencer Davis, director, Fullwood Limited explains: “Understanding the characteristics of individual cow’s milking patterns is pivotal in maximising the production of milk from a herd.” Elsewhere, agri-tech innovation has led to vertical farms in urban cities such as Singapore,

solar powered drip-irrigation of fields, dronecontrolled crop management and wireless surveillance of crops. The number one tool for an agricultural producer is now his or her mobile phone.

Driving it all forward Pulling together the need for deep expertise, the ability to cover dispersed operations and a drive to develop innovation, producers and farmers are now looking to established and new names alike when it comes to choosing technology partners. One hallmark of those partners that take agri-tech seriously is how senior are the personnel allocated to this market. Nutreco CEO, Henry Van de Ven commented: “In certain phases I was even in contact with the CEO, Charles Philips. He was genuinely interested in the functionality and wanted to understand what we needed in full detail.” The increased demand for food will be one of the key trends shaping business and society in the next 20 years. Agriculture and technology must collaborate and develop at a phenomenal pace if the challenges of this demand are to be met. v

Mike Edgett Mike Edgett is industry and solution strategy director, process manufacturing, Infor. Mike is a business strategy executive with global B2B experience in diverse industries. He is responsible for the Infor marketing message and strategic direction in the Food, Beverage, Chemicals and Life Sciences markets.

1 13

News in brief Acquisition trail

Gruppo Bianchi, parent company of Antifriction Components Limited, is making a significant investment in Ehrco, an independent supplier of hydraulic hose and fitting products in the UK distribution market. The new collaboration will help Antifriction, an Ehrco distributor, significantly expanding its capabilities in the fluid power sector. Antifriction now offers an inventory of over 200,000 line items, which includes bearings, power transmission, pneumatics, gearboxes, electric motors, lubrication and sealing products from leading brands.

Four-year milestone

Winder Power, the leading UK manufacturer of power and distribution transformers, has recorded a hugely significant four years, the equivalent of 1460 consecutive days without a lost time or reportable incident, reflecting the company’s resolute effort towards constantly improving its health and safety performance. During challenging market conditions in the energy industry, Winder Power remains committed to health and safety, and was awarded in July of this year with a Gold Award at the prestigious RoSPA Awards. Winder Power’s record extends back to 2012 and encompasses all of Winder Power’s projects across the UK and worldwide, as well as within their own state-of-the-art factory in Leeds.

Award winners

Counterplas has won the Plastics Industry Award for its product Loft Stilt. Designed in collaboration with Birmingham Innovations, Loft Stilt raises the floor height in a loft space to enable the homeowner to achieve a maximum insulation thickness of 270mm. The product maximises energy saving efficiency while maintaining a useable loft storage area. The product is distributed via major DIY retailers. Counterplas is one of the UK’s leading technical injection moulding specialists. Stephen Hall, operations director received the award in front of 650 industry professionals. He said: “This award is a tribute to the hard work and innovation of our staff and the loyalty of our customer Birmingham Innovations, who we worked closely with to create the product.”


Robot accuracy

Amada Miyachi Europe now offers a range of robot dispensing system options that can be fully customised for use in the automotive, electronics and solar cells, information technology and multimedia, medical, aerospace, and defence industries. Amada Miyachi Europe combines its standard desktop XYZ fluid dispensing systems with high precision, userfriendly JANOME Industrial Equipment desktop robots that can dramatically boost productivity. To meet the demands of accuracy, speed, flexibility and cost-efficiency, Amada Miyachi Europe offers a complete line of products and solutions that can process materials with a viscosity of one millipascal-second (mPa·s) (water) to 500.000mPas correctly and accurately. Available options include single component positive displacement dispensing, single component time/pressure dispensing, two component dispensing, and jet dispensing. Combining JANOME Industrial Equipment robots with Amada Miyachi Europe dispensing products, Amada Miyachi Europe provides customised application-specific solutions for solder paste dispensing, as well as adhesive dispensing for speakers and lamps, gluing, dispensing silicone for gasketing, spraying lubrication material, and many more. The high precision, user-friendly, JANOME desktop robots provide companies with a solid platform to implement multiple dispensing solutions for manufacturing. Dialog-based operating software makes programming easy. The robot easily performs 3-dimensional linear and arc interpolations with positional repeatability of +- 0.01mm.

Advanced manufacturing

Further demonstrating Westinghouse’s commitment to partnering with the UK Government, Westinghouse Electric Company is continuing to work with the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) on an additional advanced manufacturing study to explore potential design efficiencies to reduce significantly the build lead-times of the Westinghouse Small Modular Reactor (SMR). These efficiencies can provide important reductions in costs to customers while promoting growth in manufacturing within the UK, an important part of Westinghouse’s SMR programme. “The Westinghouse SMR is an innovative, industry-leading technology that builds upon the company’s extensive reactor and fuel technology expertise,” said Jeff Benjamin, Westinghouse Senior Vice President, New Plants and Major Projects. “Nuclear AMRC has broad experience in design for the manufacture of large, complex parts for safety-critical applications, and its support will help to increase the efficiency of our design, while building on our specialised UK value proposition.” Earlier this year Nuclear AMRC conducted its first advanced manufacturing research study on the Westinghouse SMR’s Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV), one of the largest and most demanding parts of any reactor. The study concluded that Westinghouse’s design had the potential to be efficiently manufactured in the UK, a significant growth market for Westinghouse. For the latest advanced manufacturing study, alongside Nuclear AMRC, Westinghouse has also partnered with Cammell Laird. “Cammell Laird has over 40 years’ experience in the design, manufacture, assembly and transport of large complex modules to a number of safety critical sectors. We are pleased to bring this knowledge to support the Nuclear AMRC in undertaking the Nuclear Module study for Westinghouse,” said Jonathan Brown, Managing Director, Cammell Laird.

MANUFACTURING NEWS Digital disruption forecast Half of all UK business leaders (50 per cent) fear that their industries face significant digital disruption within the next two years, according to new research published by Microsoft. The financial services sector, which employs 2.2 million people and contributes £66bn in taxes to the UK economy, is demonstrating the highest level of anxiety, with two-thirds (65 per cent) of respondents fearing the impact of disruption on their markets over the course of the next 24 months. The report, the most extensive of its kind to date, finds that whilst disruption is imminent for a wide range of industries, the shelf life of current business models is also extremely limited – nearly half of UK business leaders (44 per cent) say their existing business models will cease to exist within the next five years. Despite the potential threats such disruption will mean for British businesses, many organisations seem unwilling to face the coming changes. Almost half (46 per cent) of business decision makers say senior leaders in their organisations are unwilling to disrupt their existing businesses to grow and compete. “The dawn of the fourth industrial revolution is a massive opportunity for British businesses but many are still living in an age of innocence or inertia when they need to be innovating,” says Nicola Hodson, General Manager, Marketing & Operations, Microsoft UK. “Whilst this research indicates that business models are breaking, many business leaders appear unwilling to address them.” The Microsoft study, Digital Transformation: The Age of Innocence, Inertia or Innovation?, examines how organisations across vertical sectors plan to compete and ‘survive’ in response to this unprecedented pace of change. The research, which was fielded by YouGov on behalf of Microsoft, consolidates the views of more than 1000 UK business and IT leaders from large UK organisations and represents the most extensive research into the state of digital transformation in the UK. Speaking about the seismic levels of disruption occurring in the UK and around the globe, Hodson added: “New challengers, many who are digitally savvy start-ups, are disrupting established markets by deploying new technologies quickly, and luring expectant customers away from established competitors. For many larger organisations, the challenge is how to react to this market disruption in a considered way and how they maintain competitiveness in a rapidly shifting landscape.” For the full report visit:

44 15


Get cracking International consultancy Columbus and The Aston Business School Group have launched a new, free to use, online game that helps manufacturing firms assess their competitive strengths, their current position on the transformational Servitisation journey and facilitate a foundation for a future strategy. Servitisation is the concept of manufacturers offering services tightly coupled to their products. It’s about moving from a transactional (just sell a product) to a relationship based business model (delivering a service) featuring long-term, incentivised, pay-as-you-use contracts. A study by the Aston Business School shows Servitization can sustain annual business growth by five to ten per cent, and reduce costs by up to 25 to 30 per cent. The new game is designed to be a quick and fun way to take a snapshot of current strategy with regards to the add-on services a firm provides to its customers. The tool also challenges manufacturers to think about how they will compete in three to five years’ time. Play the game here:

Flying high

A ‘one stop shop’ control system solution from Siemens UK & Ireland is delivering operational, safety and cost benefits for the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft and its UK manufacturer, BAE Systems. Chris Dowson, Product Specialist-Machine Tool Modernisation at Siemens UK & Ireland, explains the background: “Following a long-standing service relationship with the maintenance team at BAE Systems, we assisted in the appraisal process of the legacy control system used in the spray booth for the Eurofighter Typhoon. We concluded that it was becoming increasingly obsolete which could, in the future, potentially present issues around safety, operational efficiencies and resourcing. “In particular, we focused upon the ‘man movers’ – a set of moving platforms controlled by a CNC controller which are used to support the skilled personnel hand spraying the aircraft’s exterior. BAE Systems wished to identify if there was a solution to minimise any potential for the platforms to inadvertently strike the aircraft during the spraying process. In addition, through our discussions we were also able to develop and


Investment in a specialist video camera has seen increased efficiency for a corrosion resistant tubing manufacturer. Tungum Ltd purchased the industrial videoscope, a specialist hand held video camera with flexible insertion tube, to help monitor the quality of their Tungum tubing. The instrument means that they are now able to visually inspect the bore of the tube (up to six metres in length) without having to cut it, resulting in less waste and saving staff time. “Tungum is used in variety of demanding environments from pneumatic, hydraulic and instrumentation system applications, so it’s vital that it is free from contamination,” said John Zbihlyj, operations director. “Using the videoscope gives us and our customers the quality reassurance we need, while also improving our operational efficiency too.”

propose additional enhancements to both the diagnostic and overall process supervision aspects.” The Siemens team devised a new holistic control system to support BAE Systems. Overview ATEX Zone 1 pc-based HMI panels running Siemens TIA Portal WinCC SCADA were mounted onto the man mover spray platforms to generate maximum transparency and control over the system. They control 840D sls on each of the four operational man movers to govern overall trajectory, movement and control as the sprayers undertake their tasks. They are linked to a supervisor PC located in a nearby office to provide additional supervision on the process. However, the real evolution within the system involves the specification of the Siemens Sinumerik 840D sl Collision Avoidance software package, as Chris Dowson explains: “The inclusion of this elevates the overall solution, eradicating the potential for preventable damage to the aircraft during the spraying process by ensuring a safe distance is maintained at all times between the man mover platforms and the aircraft surface. “The company helpfully provided CAD drawings of the outer surfaces of the Eurofighter Typhoon and from these we were able to devise a software package that would prevent any collisions whether the platforms were in automatic or manual mode. Testing was a critical phase before installation could proceed and rather than risk anything going wrong with an operational aircraft, we were able to borrow a full-size model from an aircraft museum to prove the functionality worked before engaging the solution on site. This satisfied the BAE Systems team that the Collision Avoidance software technology would provide an operationally reliable and safe answer.” As well as an enhancement to the spraying process via the anti-collision software, the improved diagnostics of the Siemens solution has driven tangible process availability and reliability advances for BAE Systems. The combined efficiencies generated by the overall control system in the spray booth upgrade means that BAE Systems expect to realise a return on its investment within 24 months.



Focus on: London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) BOFA International Ltd Paladon Systems 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 Ebac Group Ltd. Indus Motor Company Williams Advanced Engineering Pathfinder Homes Ltd Belfield Furnishings Lambert Engineering

Chromalox Standfast and Barracks QI Van Systems Macpac Ltd Perspex Distribution Ltd Leggett & Platt Components Europe Ltd Mack Rides GmbH & Co KG Hobbs Valve Ltd EWAG AG Fairport Construction Equipment Ltd Coveris Advanced Coatings Penny Hydraulics Ltd Fecc Interallis



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

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 27

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 29

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 31


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 33

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 35

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.

T: +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 37



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.” 39


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. 41

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 43

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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. 45


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 47

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 49

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 51

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 53

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. 55

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 57

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 59

Encocam Ltd

Engineering 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’, 61

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

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 63

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 65

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, 67

Indus Motor Company

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.

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

Indus Motor Company Products: Automotives

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

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. 69

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 71

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 73

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. 75

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


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 77

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 79

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 worldleading 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 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 81


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 83

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. 85

Standfast and Barracks

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


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,

Artisan Home Fabrics

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 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. 87

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. 89

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 91

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


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 93

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 95

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


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. This offers a much more compelling proposition all round.

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

Palsun Polycarbonate clouds produced by Inplas Fabrications for an Intel exhibition stand 97

Perspex Distribution Ltd Perspex® Naturals range

Perspex Distribution Leeds branch, Holzma beam saw

“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


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, 99

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 101

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 103

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


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 107


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 109

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 111

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 113

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 115




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 117


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 119


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





MANUFACTURING Editor: Libbie Hammond Sales manager: Joe Woolsgrove

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