Advanced Plastics Ltd has just added a new Wittmann Battenfeld production cell to its growing production capabilities on its new purpose-designed 50,000sq ft site in Sutton Fields, Hull, East Yorkshire.
Advanced now has a 95% Battenfeld equipped mould shop with a total of 19 Battenfeld moulding machines on site. The latest addition – a new Wittmann Battenfeld EcoPower 180 moulding machine - will be making glass-filled PP metal-insert moulded components for the automotive industries. It will be joined by a W822 rack and pinion robot system; bowl feeder and other peripherals supplied by Wittmann Battenfeld.
Advanced Plastics director Chris Pearson notes that ‘Battenfeld supported the business when we bought our first machine and we have made our supplier partnership work ever since then. We also greatly appreciate the one-stop-shop aspect now available to us in the Wittmann Battenfeld era. And since we always think of automation from the outset we have much to choose from in the Wittmann range.’
The new site move for Advanced – completed in January of this year - has heralded new horizons for the business in many directions. Pearson notes ‘when we bought this site we made sure that we could make it as ergonomic, efficient and energy efficient as possible. We have stripped back the infrastructure to remodel the interiors in optimum fashion, insulated the whole, and are now set on encouraging the future growth of our moulding work in all areas.’ Advanced took the opportunity to carry investment through to complete plant service, including compressors, process chillers, factory heating and lighting. ‘All of these have been replaced with the latest low-carbon alternatives and we have also invested in three overhead cranes with up to 10t lifting capacity.’
Advanced is now pursuing a goal of full capability in all machine sizes; from Battenfeld micromoulding expertise up to production on moulding machines of 1500 tonne locking force. The company’s markets for its technical mouldings include heating, automotive, defence, construction, healthcare and general trade work. Pearson says that ‘the Advance focus is on the supply of highly technical products; our techniques include twin shot moulding; linear vibration welding; hot foil, tampo and screen printing and extensive assembly capabilities through the company.’
New business and new projects at Advanced have been steadily rising. Some 30 new mould tools have been commissioned annually for the past two years at a total outlay of some £1.5million for the past two years.
Investment has been forthcoming and in a number of areas. The work for the new Wittmann Battenfeld EcoPower 180 for example has involved some £50,000 in spend in supporting CNC measuring devices and peripherals. Here Pearson acknowledges the support and facilitating role of both the Yorkshire Regional Growth Fund and HSBC Asset Finance in helping the company with its ongoing investment proramme of some £3 million.
Pearson says that ‘in addition to this assistance I suppose that there are a number of keys to our continuing success:
- We choose our customers carefully and we give them unrivalled customer service
- We stay close to our customers; and recognize our strengths are most evident nearest to our Hull base and through Yorkshire and the North East.
- We have an expert and self sufficient management team that knows its business and is expert in running a variety of continuous improvement programmes.’
Advanced now employs some 94 individuals across a three shift production system. The current turnover of the business is approximately £7.5 million and according to Pearson this is set to steadily rise as the company attains its ambitions for work and growth in the mid-size to large shot moulding areas.