Sandretto UK & Ireland supply Injection Moulding Machines to various manufacturers for use in Contract Moulding. These manufacturers are independent non-specialist moulders who use Sandretto machinery to provide flexible, reliable services to their customers.
Click on any of the stories below to read more about how our clients make use of Sandretto Injection Moulding Machines and automation equipment:
Merit Plastic Mouldings
‘PURPOSE-BUILT’ SANDRETTO GOES INTO CLEAN ROOM AT MERIT PLASTIC MOULDINGS
Modular construction of the Sandretto ‘Serie Nove’ injection moulding machines has proved of considerable benefit to Merit Plastic Mouldings of Diss in Norfolk. The company has recently installed a 65 tonne, a 100 tonne and a 125 tonne.
A ‘285’ injection unit has been fitted to the injection machine with a 125 tonne locking force, thereby allowing use of notably higher injection pressures. Furthermore, with only a 30 mm diameter screw, the machine performance meets precisely MPM’s requirements for producing a series of laboratory test mouldings.
These are to be moulded from Barex 210I, an impact modified acylonitrile-methyl methacrylate copolymer selected for its gas barrier and chemical resistance properties. The material’s high viscosity and shear sensitivity require that it is processed on high torque, low shear machines. The Sandretto 125 injection machine with a ‘285’ injection unit provides the necessary high injection pressure combined with a very low barrel residence time.
CLEAN ROOM CONDITIONS
As a company describing itself as “a precision injection moulder” serving a wide spread of industries, MPM processes a wide range of engineering-grade and high performance polymers, of which Barex 2101 is typical. The company also boasts specialist capabilities, one of these being the facility to produce mouldings under a controlled environment. The new Sandretto ‘Series Nove’ 125 tonne is the latest addition into this area which is strictly monitored and maintained by specialist contractors.
Due to the material’s high moisture absorption rate, Barex 210I needs drying. For moulding in the clean room, MPM has arranged for the polymer to be fed direct to the machine from an external drier.
The ‘Serie Nove’ 65 tonne and 100 tonne machines are an essential part of a general, on-going programme at MPM to increase both moulding and post-moulding capacities. Moving all of its post-moulding operations – including ultrasonic welding, metal insert fitment and assembly and various decoration processes – into a new factory building has permitted the company to restructure its current mould hall. This will accommodate the new Sandrettos as well as anticipating future expansion plans.
Remarkably, perhaps, MPM continues to expand on a customer base which is largely confined to what Managing Director Tom Palmer describes as Greater East Anglia. “We do have customers elsewhere in the UK and on mainland Europe, but the bulk of our work is produced for manufacturers in, typically, the truck, garden equipment, household appliance, television and medical equipment industries, all relatively close by.
“Amongst other benefits, this enables us to maintain ‘ship-to-line’ status with several customers and to respond rapidly to customer requirements.”
MPM operates 20 injection machines from 25 tonne to 250 tonne clamp. Until recently the company had specified Sandretto for its medium-to-large machines. The move to order their first 65 tonne from Sandretto was, states Tom Palmer, influenced by the performance of the larger ‘Serie Nove’ machines combined with their low energy requirements. This is made possible by the high energy yield of the hydraulic system, translating into a significantly reduced demand for oil cooling.
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DATON TOOLS DESIGNS AND DELIVERS TOOLS FOR OVERMOULDING - IN EIGHT WEEKS, REGULARLY
As a toolmaker, Daton Tools of Welwyn Garden City consistently proves itself as a more-than-capable contract moulder. Conversely, for a small trade moulder now operating five Sandretto machines from 50 tonnes to 200 tonnes clamp, the company has a remarkably well equipped toolroom with wire-eroding and CNC machining centres, all supported by full CAD technology.
What is particularly significant, states Managing Director Geoff Taylor, is that this toolroom regularly proves wrong the oft-made claims that British toolmakers cannot match the quality, even less, the delivery times offered by overseas companies.
He cites one example after another of six-week and eight-week delivery times for mould tools which, almost without exception, are complex. Most recent example is a suite of six tools for a Prada consumer device designed by IDEO. Ranging from a single-cavity tool for the 180 mm x 80 mm x 35 mm main body moulding, to a 7-cavity family tool for items as small as 4 mm diameter, all six moulds were completed in less than eight weeks from completion of the component drawings. The main body mould tool was completed in six weeks.
ESTABLISHING A REPUTATION
Although its roots as a toolmaker go back 35 years, Daton Tools functioned for some of this time as part of larger organisations until 1998 when it was re-formed under Geoff Taylor and Technical Director Graeme Inge. Together they succeeded in winning back old customers, notably in the field of overmoulding where Geoff was already establishing a reputation for what remains a specialist process.
The Prada project quoted above is consequently something of an exception as a new project as it can be described as a conventional plastics moulding. It is, however, extremely complex and has to be moulded to within very tight tolerances for which Geoff Taylor relies substantially on his five Sandretto moulding machines. “I’d used Sandretto before we formed Daton Tools and it was an obvious move to specify them in the new factory.
“As far as I’m concerned Daton and Sandretto has become a sound partnership. They’ve never let us down – there’s an engineer here if we need one and we can always rely on first class assistance at Rugby when required.”
QUALITY AND TIGHT TOLERANCES
Overmoulding carried out by Daton Tools is always a two- or even three-part process. Small call-off numbers do not justify the investment in a two- or three-shot moulding machine, states Graeme Inge who maintains that the over-moulding process is ideal to maintain the quality and tight tolerances on the one-piece parts demanded by customers such as Blue Arc, Desoutter and IDEO.
Typical of their work is the range of acrylic lenses moulded in to components such as baby monitors used in hospitals, instrument enclosures for earth-moving vehicles and ocean-going yachts and hand-held industrial data-gathering equipment. All require a guaranteed moisture, oil or weather seal provided by the bond between the acrylic lens and the, typically, ABS or PC/ABS body moulding. Earlier development work has enabled Daton Tools to refine a process which overcomes the inability of techniques such as gluing or welding to create the necessary complete seal.
At the small end of the scale, in a four-cavity mould, Daton produces 5 mm diameter seals comprising a polypropylene core (for flexibility) with a PBT outer to provide the necessary rigidity.
“Materials with different properties inevitably induce stresses, so it’s still not an exact science” states Graeme Inge. However, the regular business of the company is to overmould rubber elastomers and polyurethanes successfully over materials such as nylon, PTB and PC/ABS.
THREE-PART MOULDING PROCESS
All of the suite of tools to produce the Automotive Sander for Desoutter are particularly complex. First, the main body is moulded from glass-filled nylon and then inserted, with threaded inserts, into a second tool and over-moulded with Hytrel.
Other air tool mouldings for Desoutter are manufactured by the elastomeric overmoulding of precision turned or CNC machined aluminium cores. This is where careful mould design is essential to maintain a perfect shut-off between the elastomer and the substrate within the required, confined area.
Specification of a soft-feel elastomer as an overmoulding on these applications is to provide comfort and vibration reduction for the operator and insulation against the effects of the inherently cold compressed air. (Two sentences deleted)
This is one reason why Daton Tools identifies its CAD-based mould design capabilities as a prime reason for remaining busy in a market which is becoming “frighteningly” competitive. The second reason, already mentioned, is short delivery times. Part of a joint development project, completion of the Desoutter mould tools took less than eight weeks from acceptance of the part drawings.
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G H Maughan Plastics Limited
NEW SANDRETTO AND NEW TOOL DOUBLE OUTPUT FOR G H MAUGHAN PLASTICS
Both customer and custom moulder are reaping substantial benefits from their complementary investments in a new hot-runner tool and a Sandretto ‘Serie Nove’ 125 tonne injection machine.
For one of its customers, Bolton moulder G H Maughan (Plastics) Limited produces spools in very large numbers. Informed that the customer was prepared to invest in a new multi-impression mould tool, the company immediately agreed that a comparable investment on their part in new moulding machinery would be justified.
Serie Nove 125 in use at G H Maughan Plastics
They were right; within three weeks after commissioning tool and machine, cycle times of 7½ seconds were being achieved. This has to BE compared with, “at best, but inconsistently”, 13 seconds with the old tool on the moulding machine which the new Sandretto has replaced.
TIGHT DIMENSIONAL AND AESTHETIC STANDARDS
“Furthermore” states Technical & Sales Director Steve Riding, “we are finding it far easier to maintain the tight tolerances – it’s a dimensionally critical part which has to meet certain aesthetic requirements, and output has to be maintained at around ½-million a month. Like other jobs, we deliver on a Just-in-Time basis; the higher throughput and much improved consistency enables us more readily to satisfy these conditions.”
With capital approval from the Board, it became Works Engineer Gary Meekin’s responsibility to identify the most suitable machine for the project. “We investigated on the basis of specification, availability and reliability. The proven reputation for a comprehensive and extremely reliable after-sales service offered by Sandretto became key factors.” The ‘Serie Nove’ 125 tonne machine adds to the existing 12 injection moulding machines installed at G H Maughan.
“UNIQUE” WITH FOUR PROCESSES UNDER ONE ROOF
Established over 40 years ago, this family-owned business believes it could well be unique amongst custom moulders as it operates four different polymer processes on the same site. As well as its 13 injection moulding machines, the company runs rubber injection moulding machines, five extrusion lines producing pipe and profile and a fabrication shop manufacturing tanks, drums and point-of-sale work.
The four manufacturing units, housed in separate areas of the factory, are ISO 9002 accredited and hold the specific European certification for the various markets in which they operate.
“ FLEXIBILITY IS ESSENTIAL”
The injection moulding plant, for example, supplies components and assemblies for the automotive, white goods, brown goods, building and pharmaceutical industries. Steve Riding explains that production at G H Maughan is backed up by an in-house CAD-based design unit, the facility for 24-hour rapid prototyping and both soft tool and production tool design and manufacture.
“Up against some 250 other custom moulders in the North of England alone, this degree of production support is essential. Flexibility and service are proving to be the core of most customers’ requirements.”
Our photograph shows Steve Riding (Technical & Sales Director, right) and Gary Meekin (Works Engineer) with the spools now being moulded in half the time on the new ‘Serie Nove’ 125 tonne Sandretto.
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AAC Structural Foam
SANDRETTO 1300 TONNE INJECTION MACHINE IS THE LATEST ADDITION AT AAC STRUCTURAL FOAM. NEW, LEAN MANAGEMENT STYLE BRINGS PROFIT BACK TO TAMWORTH SITE
Delivery of this Sandretto 1300 tonne machine, complete with de-mould CNC robot, to a factory in Tamworth brings to eleven the number of injection moulding machines operated by AAC Structural Foam. Occupying the site previously owned by Tamworth Plastics, this 2½-year old custom moulder is on course to equal the turnover of its predecessor with less than half the number of moulding machines and with 25 on the pay roll compared with more than 90.
It is not, however, solely in the production area where massive changes have taken place; if first impressions count, then the minimalist but extremely well appointed customer reception suite might score even higher.
NEW LIFE AND PROFIT FOR TAMWORTH
After leaving Britton Plastics, Mike Elms purchased the defunct Tamworth Plastics and set up AAC Structural Foam. This was a joint exercise with André Elshout of the Elco International Group which, between them, turn over in excess of £20M operating a range of predominantly plastics manufacturing companies across the Midlands, from Nottingham to Banbury and from Leicester to Walsall.
First step was to appoint, as General Manager, Ray Waspe who brought with him extensive moulding and management skills from companies such as Thurge Bolle, Britton Plastics and Linpac. He worked with Mike Elms to identify the profitable work as well as the better and more suitable moulding machines to meet the new company’s business plan. From £4½ M, this exercise reduced turnover to a profitable and sustainable £1M; at the same time all but five of the 26 moulding machines were sold.
DIVERSE SKILLS, IN SPITE OF NAME
Machinery remaining was large, from 650 tonnes lock upwards, producing traffic furniture, air conditioning assemblies and components for the automotive and building industries. The name AAC Structural Foam identifies particular skills offered by the company, a typical example being a large inspection hatch-and-cover assembly designed to be set into a roadway.
Subsequent machines purchased – such as the Sandretto Mega T 750 tonne – were equipped specifically for structural foam moulding; in this case, a 7 kg capacity barrel was supplied. The aim is to seek long run contracts, but flexibility is essential; all of the large injection machines, now numbering seven, are capable of both conventional and structural foam moulding.
CONTINUING, LARGE INVESTMENT PROGRAMME
The massive programme of investment, commencing almost from day one, continues. Half-way into its third year and £½M has already been invested in machinery, robots and cranage.
Necessary for handling the very large mould tools, a 40 tonne gantry crane has been installed, running the full length of the moulding shop. A similar 20 tonne gantry crane is currently being installed at the far end of the mould shop, to cover four much smaller machines – two 150 tonne Sandrettos and two 95 tonne.
BROADENING MANUFACTURING BASE
An important part of the company’s plan is to continue building on the profitable base of producing very large mouldings. Mike Elms has, however, identified another, quite different area into which the new company could move.
To this end Moira UK was purchased for its expertise in producing and assembling components under clean room conditions. The four small Sandrettos, all having close-fitted covers, are aligned side-by-side, feeding parts on totally enclosed conveyors into a purpose-built clean room. With full FDA approval for this installation, AAC Structural Foam has improved on Moira’s reputation and is supplying a range of assemblies to the food packaging industry.
With one of the leanest management structures in the business of custom moulding, AAC Structural Foam is, nevertheless, well equipped to offer a “comprehensive design and project management service” to customers. So states Ray Waspe who explains that he can call upon expertise such as design and mould making from the various sister companies within the Elco International Group. He can turn to other injection moulding companies as well as being able to extend the “package” by calling on skills such as vacuum forming and the design and production of display products from MDF. A number of examples, on display in one of the larger rooms leading off the reception hall, demonstrate the effectiveness of this facility.
AAC Structural Foam is extremely focused in its approach; it is busy and profitable, as are its sister companies. Ray Waspe finds that they approach him for his skills almost as much as he does them for what they can offer.
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BSR Technical Moulding Services
SANDRETTO PRODUCTION CELLS EXTEND MOULDING CAPACITY FOR BSR, TAMWORTH
CUSTOM MOULDER CAN NOW INTRODUCE PROPRIETARY LINE
Two Sandretto injection machines, complete with colour dosers, hopper loaders, conveyors and chiller units, have been installed by Tamworth moulder BSR Technical Moulding Services, primarily to meet the requirements of two new moulding contracts. The machines will, in addition, provide capacity for the introduction of the ‘Plasticon’ range of tube fittings.
The major contract requires the Nove 300 tonne to produce a new kitchen jug body in polypropylene whilst, alongside, the Nova 220 tonne moulds the matching lid. This is a fast-cycling operation, hence the need for the Dal Maschio colours dosing and complementary ancillary equipment, supplied and commissioned by Sandretto as a total package.
MACHINES OF HIGH RELIABILITY
“The factory runs from 6 am Monday until 3 pm Friday, non-stop” explains director Bill Jones. “This alone demands reliable machinery. Then, late last year, we made the decision to broaden our moulding business by the introduction of a proprietary line of high pressure pipe fittings. Choice of Sandretto, was influenced by our need for high performance and reliability.”
BSR was established 12 years ago as a family business by Bill Jones, using the Christian names of himself, his wife and daughter for the company name. It is run by two working directors – Bill, trained as a toolmaker, and Peter Lowe who is an experienced moulder.
The company built its reputation on the production of technical mouldings, the bulk of them in engineering thermoplastics such as acetals, polyesters and nylons, and has grown steadily, supplying the automotive, white goods, housewares and similar industries. In January this year, by now employing eight people, BSR moved to substantially larger premises, enabling it to increase both its production and its post-moulding capacities.
‘PLASTICON’ HIGH PRESSURE PIPE FITTINGS
Knowledge that it would shortly move to larger premises has also permitted BSR to broaden the base of its operation as a custom moulder by purchasing the ‘Plasticon’ range of high pressure tube fittings. The two new Sandrettos are consequently easing the load placed on the company’s four existing moulding machines by the demand for these fittings marketed from its Tamworth premises.
Capable of handling both liquids and compressed air, the range of imperial and metric connectors, adaptors and tees are moulded in nylon 66 and has been pressure tested up to 1000 psi. A major advantage of the ‘Plasticon’ fittings, also used in the dairy industry, is the positive sealing action achieved by only finger tightening. Bill Jones reports that quality approval to ISO TS 16949 has recently been achieved.
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Tex Industrial Plastics
TEX CONCLUDES NEW ‘MEGA’ DEAL
A Sandretto ‘MEGA TW’ 610 tonne injection moulding machine has recently been installed in the newly opened Derby factory of Tex Industrial Plastics. Supplied as a complete cell with hopper loader, Nepal S3 all-electric drive de-mould robot and indexing conveyor, the new machine is to be used primarily for producing parts for Heatrae Sadia’s ‘Megaflo’ domestic, unvented water heating system.
Tex Industrial Plastics employs what Managing Director Peter Stevenson describes as “a real partnership approach” with its major customers. Typical is Heatrae Sadia for which Tex has been moulding a range of parts for many years. Post-moulding work includes printing, ultrasonic welding, sub-assembly and packaging.
Part of the Tex Holdings plc group of companies which also includes Tex Plastics Products in Barnstaple, Tex Industrial Plastics made further extensions to its Derby factory earlier this year to accommodate an 11% business expansion.
The company has operated Sandretto injection machines for over 20 years; four years ago, Tex Derby took the opportunity of a move into an earlier plant extension to introduce cell production techniques when it installed Sandretto 270 tonne and 380 tonne Series 8 injection machines. Investment continued with a new Serie NOVE 125 tonne machine.
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800,000 DRINKS CAPSULES MOULDED EVERY WEEK BY FOURFOLD MOULDINGS FOR H P BULMER’s NEW ‘CHASER’
Flavoured schnapps for the newly launched ‘Crack-a-Glass’ chaser from Cider producer H P Bulmer is contained in 30 ml capsules moulded in PET by Fourfold Mouldings of Keighley in Yorkshire.
Two Sandretto injection machines – both Serie Nove 220 tonne units – have been installed by Fourfold Mouldings specifically to produce the capsules which are designed to fit over either the rim of a drinking glass or the neck of a bottle. H P Bulmer anticipates a high demand for this totally new concept; consequently two, 16-cavity, hot-runner moulds have been constructed. Current output is 800,000 per week and this is anticipated to increase to 1.2 million per week by March of 2001.
NEW, PURPOSE-BUILT CLEAN ROOM
Fourfold had been approached by Wakefield-based Design For Plastics to carry out what would clearly be a demanding moulding contract. “We’d worked together on earlier projects” explains …(title)… Martin Wilson, “and were confident that, not only could we produce the parts, in PET, but mould them under strict clean-room conditions to meet food standards.”
Both injection machines, together with dessicant driers and automatic bulk packing equipment, are housed in a separate clean room, complete with suspended ceiling, constructed within what had been a storage area on the Keighley site. Mouldings are produced on a 20 second cycle and, after bulk packing, are delivered direct to H P Bulmer for filling and labelling.
40 YEARS OF MOULDING EXPERIENCE
Fourfold Mouldings was formed 40 years ago from toolmakers Fourfold Precision which had been set up in 1946. In addition to the two compression presses from its early days, the moulding shop now houses 20 injection moulding machines, of which the company has invested in 5 new Sandretto’s this year.
Choice of the Serie Nove injection machines for the H P Bulmer contract was influenced by the performance of the existing Sandrettos at Keighley where Fourfold had recently installed three Micro machines. These hydraulic clamp tonne, 40 tonne, 50 tonne and 65 tonne machines are equipped with Dal Maschio sprue pickers, also supplied by Sandretto UK. Work for these machines includes small, glass-reinforced nylon components for the automotive industry and, from a total of 30 mould tools, a variety of equally small and intricate parts for fishing tackle.
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EP Moulding Limited
EP MOULDING INVESTS IN TWO MORE SANDRETTO MACHINES TO “MAINTAIN BUSY MOULDING SCHEDULE”
Two further Sandretto injection machines have been installed by Liverpool custom moulder EP Moulding. The larger machine – a Series Nove T 500 – is to be used primarily for producing a range of mouldings for the white goods market.
The success of the management buy-out in 1997 can be measured by the volume of work on hand. Since January of this year alone, more than £1M-worth of new tooling has been commissioned. Currently, the moulding shop is working seven days per week.
Installation of the two new machines, raises the number of Sandrettos at its Knowsley factory to 16 – from a Micro 60 tonne to the Series Nove T 500 – out of a total of 26 injection machines. Managing Director David Nelson, who headed up the MBO, explains: “We have long found the Sandretto machine ideal for our work and extremely reliable – essential if we are to sustain our plans to continue increasing our trade moulding activities.”
Both of the new machines were supplied as independent production cells, complete with Dal Maschio driers, hopper loaders, de-mould robots and conveyors. “We are making increasing use of robots” states David Nelson “in our efforts to control and even reduce costs. A mechanised cell takes the concept a stage further.”
A QUALITY SERVICE
Eleven years of plastics moulding experience lie behind EP Moulding being able to offer a comprehensive custom moulding service, from product and tool design through to production, printing, sub-assembly and packing, to companies in markets which include teletronics, IT equipment, microfilm equipment and automotive accessories as well as the white goods industry.
"These are all quality mouldings” states David Nelson, “in materials such as polystyrene, polypropylene, ABS, nylon and acetal; and we have ISO 9002 accreditation.”
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SANDRETTO SUPPLIES EIGHTH MACHINE AND ROBOT CELL TO ALDRIDGE PLASTICS
A Sandretto ‘Nova T’ 500 tonne injection moulding machine, equipped with a Dal Maschio ‘Nepal’ servo drive de-mould robot, material drier and insulated hopper has been supplied as a complete package to Aldridge Plastics in the West Midlands. This is the eighth moulding cell commissioned for the customer by Sandretto in the last twelve months.
A major custom moulder, Aldridge Plastics puts the noteworthy upturn in its business over the last twelve months down to an on-going programme of automating its moulding processes. During this twelve month period the company has installed eight machine/robot cells supplied by Sandretto UK, including the recent commissioning of a Dal Maschio Nepal S1 de-mould robot on an existing Cincinnati 500 tonne injection machine.
The first machine/robot cell produced what Works Director David Breese describes as “a dramatic, overnight improvement in output”.
Time taken for manual removal of the components when run in semi-automatic mode was, he said, restricting output. Furthermore, the operator dependent cycle was inconsistent and this was having an effect on component quality.
An easily adjusted head kit is supplied with every Dal Maschio robot to accommodate the shapes and requirements of different mouldings.
NEW TOUCH SCREEN CONTROL
Machine interface of the 3E 1200K robot supplied with the 500 tonne Sandretto is by means of a key pad, employing a control which is extremely easy-to-use. The programming system comprises pre-set blocks of sequences with free moves in the ‘mould’ and ‘deposit’ areas. Pre-set sub-programmes, such as labeling and gate cutting, will assist Aldridge Plastics in reducing set up times.
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SHEP PLASTICS BENEFITS FROM MOULDING MACHINES WITH PROVEN ENERGY EFFICIENCY CAPABILITY
A number of pressing reasons – not the least, the Climate Change Levy – is requiring Sussex custom moulder Shep Plastics to install machinery with a proven record of energy efficiency. A typical example, and latest addition to the company’s moulding shop, is a Sandretto ‘Serie Nove’ 300 tonne. In replacing a 320 tonne machine it is also providing considerably greater production capacity through having a larger platen area and improved control and processing capabilities.
Shep Plastics has “always been prepared to invest money in technology" states CEO Malcolm Bradshaw. “We are maintaining our progress towards a Sandretto workshop; with the new 300 tonne, 14 of our17 machines are now Sandrettos.”
It is indicative of the urgent need for increased throughput whilst, at the same time, reducing manufacturing costs, that more mouldings are now being produced from fewer machines compared with six years ago when the company operated over 20 injection machines.
Around 40% of Shep Plastics’ final turnover comprises down-stream, added value work, notably printing, various welding techniques and general assembly. For many years, a substantial proportion of Shep Plastics’ production has been exported, mostly as part of the products manufactured by customers. The continuing growth in the order book over the last six months has maintained this pattern and, currently, 65% of output finds itself in mainland Europe. Malcolm Bradshaw remarks that new customers are largely from within a radius of 100 miles from the company’s Hailsham factory.
"We also pride ourselves in our high level of technical quality and we continue to offer a full design facility to customers” continues Malcolm Bradshaw. “We have ISO 9002 certification and are working towards ISO 9001 to cover the design capability. We also expect to have ‘Investors in People’ by the year end – our investment in the future!"
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