Plastics firm seeks growth

State of the art: Caledonian Plastics managing director John Laing with the firm's new machine
State of the art: Caledonian Plastics managing director John Laing with the firm's new machine
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An injection of advice is helping a Sheffield-based plastics moulding firm to drive up turnover.

Precision injection and blow moulding specialist Caledonian Plastics has introduced a series of improvements that have cut running costs and brought in additional sales, with the help of the Yorkshire and Humber Manufacturing Advisory Service.

“MAS acted as a catalyst and gave us a wake up call to put the wheels in motion for long term improvements, to help safeguard our future,” says managing director John Laing, whose late father set up the business in 1966.

“Our decision to call in MAS was based on the fact that its advisors all have a background of working in industry and we quickly realised they were also very hands on.”

MAS consultants Simon Lamb and Dean Morgan carried out an efficiency improvement project which included a review of Caledonian’s manufacturing processes.

MAS also helped the firm secure a Business Resource Efficiency Improvement Grant towards a £7,000 Carbon Trust project that cut running costs for the firm’s compressed air system by £3,000 a year and has led to a reduction by 26 tonnes in the amount of carbon dioxide the firm’s activities put into the atmosphere.

Other benefits included an increase in Gross Value Added – a key economic indicator – of £41,000, additional sales of £85,000 and the safeguarding of 10 jobs.

Now, the company’s turnover is on target to increase from £1.7 million to £1.8 million this year.

John Laing says Simon Lamb and Dean Morgan had taken the time to chat to members of staff individually, convincing even the most cynical of the benefits the changes could bring.

“We are in a very competitive marketplace, especially from foreign competition.

“Offering quality products and being flexible on the size of orders, however small, has helped us to remain successful,” says Mr Laing.

“We have recently invested £150,000 in a new, state-of-the-art injection moulding machine and are also planning to purchase a new blow moulding machine.”

Caledonian Plastics makes a range of products, including parts for medical products, Triumph Motorcycles and devices to secure bicycles, used in the cycle hire scheme championed by London mayor Boris Johnson.