Fibrax’s Process Design Engineer Joins Six Sigma Black Belt Elite

 

Michael Buckley, a Process Design Engineer at Fibrax Limited, has achieved the highly coveted Lean Six Sigma Black Belt status.

 

Michael was awarded this prestigious status by designing and developing a bespoke production line that incorporates best lean principles. The production line will be used to assemble components used in the highly regulated automotive sector.

 

The production line – the first of its kind at Fibrax – introduces a 1-piece flow, 1 defect flow, 2-bin Kanban system, production control board, 6S (5S plus safety) standard and visual management techniques.

 

Michael used the skills and principles he acquired during an initial training programme delivered by Zenith Lean Training. Jamie Rimmer, Fibrax’s Continuous Improvement Manager and fellow Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, mentored Michael throughout the project. Reflecting on Michael’s success, Jamie said:

 

“From the very outset of this project, Michael has been willing to learn and eager to apply his new skills and best practice techniques to great effect. His enthusiasm made him easy to mentor and his achievement of black belt status is very well deserved. Congratulations Michael.”

 

The assembly line will be used across three shifts, five days a week, to assemble steering column seals supplied to a leading vehicle manufacturer.

Engineering Apprentice Joins Fibrax Limited

 

Engineering enthusiast, Alex Gelder, has accepted a three-year apprenticeship with injection moulding specialists Fibrax Limited at its manufacturing facility in Wrexham, North Wales.

 

Alex was studying towards a Level 3 Diploma in Enhanced Engineering at Deeside College when the opportunity to embark on his dream job arose in his locality. Alex was initially seeking work experience to extend his skills and knowledge of engineering within the automotive sector. He has always had a keen interest in product design and development, and throughout his formative years, he could often be found working on mechanical projects at home. His new role as an Apprentice Project Engineer will see him develop new skills in product design and project management, predominantly in the manufacture of vehicle components moulded from rubber, TPE or plastic.

 

Commenting on the new appointment, Glenn Griffiths, Technical Manager at Fibrax Limited, said:

“We originally met Alex at a Meet the Engineering Employer event hosted by Coleg Cambria. He immediately displayed a passion for engineering and design. He was clearly focused on developing new skills and had his sights set on the competitive world that is the automotive industry. That in itself was impressive, given his young age.

 

“We invited Alex to participate in a week’s work experience where he and a number of his peers demonstrated great potential and all worked enthusiastically throughout. Alex stood out as having a mature attitude to his work and positive vision regarding his future. We therefore offered him an apprenticeship here at our Wrexham facility.

 

“Alex has quickly become an instrumental part of our team. Whilst he quietly gets on with his work, he does so with great diligence and has acquired the respect of our entire engineering team. Alex is keen to develop his own designs and take complete ownership of certain projects, which is great to see. He is extremely proactive and we have been impressed by his ability to pick up new skills quickly. We are delighted with his appointment and believe him to be a great fit for our company.”

 

Alex is working towards a three-year apprenticeship in project engineering and will attend Deeside College on day release to complete his L3 Diploma in Technical Support in the Workplace.

Fibrax Appoints New Key Account Manager

 

The Fibrax Group of Companies has appointed Louisa Jones as a new Key Account Manager.

 

Louisa brings with her a wealth of commercial and operational expertise having worked with a number of blue-chip companies throughout Europe. Skilled in process optimisation, Louisa will predominantly manage automotive accounts with the aim of identifying mutually beneficial expansion opportunities leveraged through Fibrax’s global R&D and manufacturing facilities.

 

Louisa has amassed almost twenty years’ experience in service innovation, analytical sales and project management. A multi-linguist fluent in English, German and Italian, Louisa graduated with a BA in Modern European Languages from Durham University where she went on to achieve an MA in Management.

 

Commenting on her appointment, Louisa said:

 

“I am delighted to join Fibrax at a time of significant expansion. The company has already invested in establishing a global infrastructure and has ongoing plans to further develop operations at its three manufacturing sites. I am looking forward to supporting our clients in the automotive industry by developing high performance mouldings that meet the rigorous demands of this ever-evolving and highly regulated sector.”

 

Louisa will be based at the company’s UK manufacturing facility in Wrexham, North Wales. Having welcomed her into his team, Rob Winterbottom, Technical Sales Director, said:

 

“We are thrilled to appoint Louisa as a new Key Account Manager within our automotive manufacturing division. Her appointment will greatly benefit our growth strategy. She possesses a number of competencies that will immediately benefit our customer base, including excellent analytical skills and strategic project planning. She is clearly determined to add value to our account management strategies and we believe she will optimise the relationships we share with our customers operating in the automotive sector.”

 

With global manufacturing facilities in the UK, Poland and Morocco, Fibrax specialises in the design, development and manufacture of high-performance custom rubber, TPE and plastic components.

 

Fibrax raises £635.57 for Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning

 

Staff at Fibrax’s manufacturing facility in Wrexham have raised an impressive £635.57 for people living with cancer by taking part in the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

 

Macmillan is almost entirely funded by donations and simply cannot support the growing number of people with cancer who need them without the public’s help. Every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer. There are over 2.5 million people living with cancer in the UK and this is set to grow to almost 4 million by 2030.

 

John O’Brien, Managing Director of Fibrax, said:

 

“We are proud to support this annual event and delighted to have raised such a good amount for Macmillan Cancer Support. Our team at our Wrexham manufacturing facility has been incredibly generous. A number of fantastic raffle prizes were donated by kind staff members and local businesses, including Sylvia Jeffery Limited in Wrexham, The Carriage Tea Room in Llangollen, Avatan Wrexham and Dickens Butchers in Gresford. Every penny counts and we hope our fundraising efforts will make a difference to people living with cancer. I extend thanks to everyone who came to our event and made it such a success.”

New Learning and Development Manager for Fibrax

 

Fibrax Group of Companies has appointed Przemyslaw Solowiej to the position of Learning & Development Manager within the HR department.

 

Przemyslaw has been effectively and efficiently coordinating the company’s UK training and development needs for a number of years. His recent upskilling in education, including the achievement of his CIPD Level 5 qualification and practical trainer development, has highlighted his potential and scope for responsibility.

 

Commenting on Przemyslaw’s new appointment, Lyndsey George, Fibrax’s HR Manager, said:

 

“As the business evolves and grows, we are in the process of developing a stronger focus on our people and their contribution to the Group. With this in mind, we plan to continue investing in the development of our people and the Learning & Development Manager role will be key to achieving this.”

 

In his new position, Przemyslaw will be responsible for overseeing the development and training requirements at our Wrexham site, including the evaluation and coordination of external training activities. He will also deliver various internal training programmes to support manufacturing and will be leading the way in motivating people to learn, acquire and develop new skills.

 

Additionally, Przemyslaw will manage and track the delivery of our internal induction programme and will adopt the Task Book programme to evaluate and develop its purpose and suitability going forwards.

 

Lyndsey added:

“I am proud to join with my colleagues in congratulating Przemyslaw on his significant achievements. I fully envisage he will excel in his new role and I look forward to supporting him in his endeavours.”

Fibrax’s Sylwia Gorska Awarded NEBOSH General Certificate

 

Sylwia Gorska, EHS Practitioner at Fibrax Limited, has been awarded the NEBOSH General Certificate in Occupational Health & Safety.

 

In her role as Environment and Health & Safety Practitioner at the company’s manufacturing facility in Wrexham, Sylwia is responsible for promoting good working practices that benefit company stakeholders and ensuring Fibrax complies with relevant legislation regarding all activities onsite.

The NEBOSH General Certificate is an internationally recognised Health & Safety standard. Its aim is to help minimise the risk of workplace injuries and illness, increase employee morale and demonstrate a company’s commitment to the health, safety and wellbeing of its employees, customers, visitors and contractors.

Sylwia’s role requires her to carry out regular risk assessments and inspections to ensure any potential hazards are recorded and rectified immediately. She delivers training to company employees on relevant safety matters, including the correct use of PPE as well as environmental issues. She proactively escalates any safety issues and makes recommendations as part of Fibrax’s continual improvement strategy.

By gaining the NEBOSH General Certificate, Sylwia has acquired the necessary skillset to implement robust strategies that will help prevent accidents, injuries and work-related illnesses. Commending on her achievement, Sylwia said:

“I am delighted I have successfully achieved the prestigious NEBOSH General Certificate! The programme aligns with my role and I am looking forward to implementing many of its best practices to help maintain a safe working environment for everyone working at and visiting our injection moulding facility in Wrexham.”

Prior to this achievement, Sylwia was awarded the NEBOSH General Certificate in Environmental Management.

Fibrax Invests in Shini Rubber Granulator to Reduce Outgoing Waste

 

Global rubber and plastics injection moulder, Fibrax Limited has invested in the installation of a Shini SG-50 sound-proof granulator that will process rubber waste generated at its manufacturing facility in Wrexham, North Wales.

Fibrax continually seeks to identify the ways in which it can reduce its impact on the environment. The company implemented a closed-loop recycling strategy for thermoplastics some years ago, with scrap plastic waste being re-processed and put back into production. This £20,000 investment in a granulation system for thermoset elastomers is part of a wider programme that seeks to divert waste from landfill and third-party recyclers to alternative value-added streams.

The new granulating equipment will be used to produce high quality fine rubber granulate that is free from contaminants and suitable for use in the sports and leisure industries. Commenting on the investment, Material Technologist, Jonathan Coupe said:

“By installing the Shini SG-50 granulation system, we are able to process EPDM rubber waste effectively and create a quality material for manufacturers of safety play surfaces, 3G sports pitches and equestrian arenas. This investment will reduce our waste management costs and create products that will go directly back into the supply chain.

“As well as granulating our waste, we also manufacture products using raw materials made up of post-consumer waste. By combining these processes into our recycling strategy, we hope to significantly reduce our outgoing waste via third parties.”

 

Recently, Fibrax has passed its latest ISO 14001 environmental audit. Reflecting on this success, Sylwia Gorska, Environment Health & Safety Practitioner at Fibrax said:

“We are delighted this investment into our waste management strategy enables us to reduce our impact on landfill and demonstrate our ability to meet the requirements of ISO 14001. Our aim is to implement a similar waste management scheme with silicone scrap so we can close the loop on the recycling of waste here at Fibrax.”

 

 

Fibrax Supports Engineers of the Future

 

Fibrax Limited, a global manufacturer of plastic and rubber injection mouldings, has collaborated with Coleg Cambria to give four aspiring engineering students the opportunity to gain practical work experience at its facility in Wrexham, North Wales.

 

Earlier in the year, Fibrax was invited by Coleg Cambria to exhibit at a Meet the Employer event. Many promising engineering students attended the event in an effort to secure an apprenticeship with a local business.

 

Over 20 students expressed an interest in learning more about various positions at Fibrax. Having shared career and engineering advice with many on the day, Fibrax invited four students to attend a site visit.

 

The students were keen to accept the invitation and met with department heads in Fibrax’s Technical Engineering and Tooling divisions. Everyone was so impressed by the students’ attitudes that they were offered the opportunity of a week’s work experience at the company’s manufacturing facility.

 

The work experience week gave the students a greater understanding of what their intended careers involved whilst providing an insight into the ways they could progress and advance within an engineering role.

 

Commenting on the opportunity, Lyndsey George, Fibrax’s HR Manager, said:

“The engineering students engaged with great enthusiasm during the week they spent onsite here at Fibrax. They absolutely made the most of the opportunity, participating in various activities and presenting their learnings to the business at the end of the week. We were delighted to host a work experience week for such promising engineers and we are sure they will go on to enjoy very successful careers. We look forward to continuing our affiliation with Coleg Cambria in the future.”

Annual report 2018

2018 was a very eventful and exciting year for Fibrax! As well as exceeding our growth targets for the year, the most notable highlight was the opening of our injection moulding facility in Morocco. This investment will support the needs of our customers operating in this region and beyond. Growth in Morocco’s automotive industry is set to continue and we look forward to playing an active role within its supply chain.
2019 looks set to be a busy year, as we continue to work towards an ambitious growth strategy. We look forward to supporting our existing client base whilst branching out into new markets and streamlining processes throughout the business.
Read more...

Fibrax Focus:
Paul Davies

Each month, we shine the spotlight on the people making a difference at Fibrax. Paul Davies, our Production Manager, has never had a day off work in 25 years! Here he shares his greatest achievements, why family is so important and how a life-long passion combined with his attention to detail revealed a hidden talent for motorbike restoration!

Please tell us about your role here at Fibrax.

As Production Manager for Fibrax Limited in Wrexham, I oversee operations throughout our production facility, which includes the management of a 150-strong workforce that makes up this division. I am responsible for running a highly efficient production facility, ensuring our injection moulding machines are fully operational and adequately staffed. I also manage the recruitment and development of employees within my division.

 

How long have you worked at Fibrax?

I have worked at Fibrax for over twenty-five years and have never taken a day off!

 

What qualities do you bring to your team?

To maintain an efficient manufacturing facility, I am required to be organised and communicate effectively with my team at all times. However, it is my ability to smoothly implement changes as demand dictates that really makes a difference. Change management is a challenge many manufacturers face, as it can often be unsettling but, with an open-door policy and upbeat attitude, I actively encourage people to share their concerns in an open, honest environment. In doing so, I strive to maintain a positive working environment and relationships based on mutual respect.

 

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I am privileged to be in a position to help others and I try to do so whenever I can. In such a sizable workforce, it is inevitable someone will be facing some sort of challenge, either in their work or personal life. Taking care of employee wellbeing is vital to the success of our company and a responsibility I take seriously. Whilst working in an incredibly fast-paced manufacturing environment is exciting, being able to make a difference to others is what I enjoy most.

 

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement at work?

I am very proud of the working environment we have developed here at Fibrax. It has changed considerably since I joined over twenty-five years ago and I am proud to play a role in creating an efficient, clean and agile production facility.

 

What 3 words best describe you?

Loyal, trustworthy and helpful.

 

Who inspires you?

I work with a fantastic management team but it is my wife who has taught me the most about life! As well as helping make the most of my family life, she continually reminds me to see the best in people.

 

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

My wife and I have two very active sons and we spend much of our free time watching them enjoy a variety of sports, including football and kickboxing. Personally, I have a passion for motorbikes and love to get out on the road whenever possible!

 

Have you any hidden talents?

Some may say I have a talent whilst my wife would say it’s a time-consuming hobby! Many people will know that I’m a stickler for detail; combining this with my love of motorbikes has led to me successfully restoring several bikes. Due to my fastidious nature, my restored Kawasaki Z1B was featured in Classic Motorcycle Mechanics magazine and it now resides in South Africa with an avid collector!

We are attending Automechanika Birmingham 2019

We are pleased to announce that Fibrax will be exhibiting at this year’s Automechanika Birmingham from 4th to 6th June 2019.

We will be showcasing a range of products and systems at Stand F80. We look forward to meeting show visitors and exhibitors from across the automotive market.

 

With over 500 exhibitors and 10,200 visitors, Automechanika Birmingham is the UK’s leading exhibition for the automotive aftermarket and vehicle production sector. Held in association with the SMMT, it brings industry professionals together under one roof.

 

Automechanika Birmingham is open from Tuesday 4th June to Thursday 6th June at the NEC Birmingham. For more information, please visit www.automechanika-birmingham.com. Please click here to register to visit this exhibition.

 

If you want to know more about our products and capabilities, we’d love to meet you at Stand F80!

Fibrax Focus:
Debbie Lonsdale

Each month, we shine the spotlight on the people making a difference at Fibrax. To kickstart 2019, Debbie Lonsdale, a Trimming Inspector, talks about her role, charitable contributions and talent for boules!

Please tell us about your role here at Fibrax.

I work as a Trimming Inspector in the Assembly Division here at Fibrax. We check and assemble products to ensure they are completed to the highest standard.

 

How long have you worked at Fibrax?

I’ve worked here for over twenty-five years!

 

What qualities do you bring to your team?

I’m very organised and enjoy working as part of a team. I work with a great group of people and we all get along very well. I’m also very keen to promote charitable events within the workplace. The management team at Fibrax will always support our efforts if we decide to raise funds for charity. Over the years, I have helped organise fundraising for international crises, coffee mornings for Macmillan, a trolley dash for Children in Need and support for Save the Children. We really have raised a lot of money for good causes and I enjoy promoting these events throughout the business.

 

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I work at Fibrax alongside many family members and close friends. There is a lot of camaraderie amongst us, which creates a supportive working environment. After 25 years, I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else!

 

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement at work?

The work I do for charity gives me the greatest pleasure, as it brings people together for good causes. I am also proud to be a Union Representative; I am responsible for discussing employee concerns with senior management to ensure communication channels remain open.

 

What 3 words best describe you?

Friendly, happy and helpful.

 

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Family time is very important to me and I love spending time with my grandchildren. I also enjoy socialising with friends.

 

Do you have or have you ever had a nickname?

I’m not sure why but my brother calls me Marge!

 

Have you any hidden talents?

I enjoy playing boules when I’m on holiday and I’m pretty good at it! If we had a local boules club, I would probably take it up as a regular hobby!

Zip Wire Challenge Raises £727 for Nightingale House Hospice

Carole Parry, a Production Operator at our manufacturing facility in Wrexham, completed a daring Zip Wire Challenge following her 70th birthday in aid of Nightingale House Hospice.

On her 70th birthday, Carole received a gift voucher for Zipworld Velocity 2 in Snowdonia. She bravely accepted the challenge and decided to raise money for the local hospice, amassing an impressive total of £727!

Velocity 2 is the fastest zip line in the world and the longest in Europe! Reflecting on her epic feat, Carole said:

“I had talked about taking on the challenge but never thought it would actually happen. When my daughter bought me the voucher, I didn’t hesitate and thought it would be a good opportunity to raise money for charity. My colleagues at Fibrax, along with staff at JCB Transmissions and Ipsen Biopharm, family and friends all contributed to raising this fantastic amount. I was very proud to present the cheque to Nightingale House Hospice.”

Commenting on her achievement, Fibrax’s Managing Director, John O’Brien said:

“We are very proud of Carole. We couldn’t believe it when she explained what she was doing but were delighted to support her. It was very kind of her to raise such a fantastic amount for our local hospice, which does so much for our local area.”

HotSeat - John O'Brien, Managing Director of the Fibrax Group of Companies

Established in 1902, Fibrax has become a leading force in the global supply of rubber and plastic mouldings. John joined his family’s business in 1992 as a plastics and rubber specialist. In 2004, he was appointed managing director of the Fibrax Group, and has actively promoted growth and innovation across all areas of the company in both the UK and new global territories. John recently sat in the PlastikCity HotSeat to discuss latest trends, company growth, greatest challenges and hidden talents!

 

What trends do you think will shape the future of UK plastics? How will Fibrax respond?

In an effort to create an agile, responsive and efficient supply chain, manufacturers across all sectors are increasingly seeking to work with OEMs that can fulfil a range of needs. Inevitably, this is reducing the need for multiple suppliers and companies are having to innovate to keep up with this demand.

Fibrax originated as a rubber moulding company but in the 1990s we progressed into rigid plastics. Whilst we have been doing this for some time, we are now realising the great advantages of being able to overmould (2 shot) rubber and TPE/TPVs onto rigid substrates, as this significantly extends our production capabilities and enables us to support our customers in both automotive and non-automotive industries. We have seen this as a great way of adding value.

How has Fibrax developed during your tenure?

I assumed the role of Managing Director of Fibrax Limited in 2004 and at that time we were based solely in Wrexham, North Wales with a turnover of sub £6m. In just under 15 years, we have opened manufacturing facilities in Sanok, Poland and Casablanca, Morocco. Across these three sites, we now employ over 400 people with a turnover of £20m (2017).

What do you credit as the key to your success?

Our entire team is committed to meeting the needs of our global client base, often assisting them in the development of their products. By driving growth, we are able to invest in our people, technologies and facilities. This continued investment enables us to realise greater opportunities and respond efficiently to customer demands.

What has been the greatest challenge in your career?

Keeping calm when not all is going to plan!

What advice do you wish you’d had on entering the industry and does that differ from the advice you would give to an Apprentice joining now?

I embarked on a career in engineering through a simple desire to make things that work! Growing up, the example I was set was very much focused on getting on, so I was well supported to progress with my goal. I have always worked to find the right solution with the understanding that everything can be improved. I advise new design engineers that their first ideas might not always be the best; what they must do is work without limitations as only by pushing boundaries will they truly innovate.

What hidden talents do you have?

Professionally, visualising how we can make products in a different way has certainly helped my career.

Personally, some might say my talent lies in my ability to fall asleep anywhere, anytime!

 

Read the interview on PlastikMedia here

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Press Contact:
Kathryn Jenkinson | pr@fibrax.co.uk

Fibrax Successfully Transitions to IATF 16949:2016

Fibrax Limited has successfully transitioned to the new IATF 16949:2016 standard.

Published by the IATF and replacing TS 16949:2008, this new standard clearly defines the requirements of an effective quality management system for organisations operating within the automotive industry.

The Compliance Team at Fibrax has worked tirelessly to ensure all operational practices meet the stringent requirements of this new standard. Commenting on this transition, Neil Andrew, Fibrax’s Compliance Manager said:

“By successfully transitioning to IATF 16949:2016, we can demonstrate our ability to manufacture products of the highest quality for the automotive industry. We work closely with our customers to ensure our products and manufacturing processes meet relevant regulatory requirements. This approach not only ensures we comply with necessary standards but also that we consistently meet the needs of our customers. Our advanced manufacturing capabilities enable us to deliver high performance solutions in a responsive and efficient way.”

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Press Contact:
Kathryn Jenkinson | pr@fibrax.co.uk

Laser Technology Collaboration Enhances Fibrax's Tooling Capabilities

Fibrax Limited has extended the capabilities of its toolroom by collaborating with mobile laser welding specialists, Harrisons Laser Technology.

Harrisons recently worked onsite at Fibrax’s Wrexham injection moulding facility to make alterations to two existing multi-cavity mould tools that required changes to the cavity engraving. Obsolete characters were removed effectively by laser welding and replaced with new characters using laser engraving technology. Working accurately to within 0.025mm with zero mould distortion ensured the quality of the mould was not compromised.

Through this collaboration, Fibrax can speed up onsite repairs and reduce unnecessary downtime. Commenting on the productivity benefits of laser welding technology, Fibrax’s Technical Sales Director, Rob Winterbottom said:

“Laser welding and engraving offers many benefits to us and our customers, not least the fact that production lines can be reinstated quickly with significantly reduced downtime. From  a quality perspective, seams are slim and flat, and the surface is oxide-free. Dust is not a factor and the contact points on the mould are not impacted.”

He continued:

“Laser welding technology offers a vastly improved marking quality compared to traditional TAG laser systems and we are delighted to be working the Harrisons Laser Technology in this way to deliver an efficient and durable solution for our customers. Harrisons specialises in precision mobile laser welding services to the automotive industry, amongst others, making them a good partner for Fibrax.”

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Press Contact:
Kathryn Jenkinson | pr@fibrax.co.uk

Fibrax Backs Women V Cancer Cross-Channel Charity Ride

Manufacturing components for the automotive industry, including some of the UK’s most iconic vehicle brands, requires an unwavering ability to Wrexham cyclist, Linda Hampton-Jones joined the fight against cancer by riding from London to Paris in a Women V Cancer charity cycling challenge.

Fibrax has proudly sponsored Linda’s efforts and Ellis Blackman, Sales Manager for the Cycling Division, has provided technical support and advice throughout her training.

Linda took on this challenge in memory of her friend’s daughter, Hayley Jones, who sadly passed away at the young age of 36 years old having been diagnosed with cervical cancer.

This cycle ride was the ninth Women V Cancer challenge; the ladies cycled a total of 240 miles in just three days, ending at the Eiffel Tower! All monies raised will be used to support the work of Breast Cancer Care, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and Ovarian Cancer Action.

Linda had to raise an incredible £1,600 to take part in the challenge but, with the help of Fibrax and over 50 other supporters, she smashed her target by raising £3,475!

Commenting on the charity challenge, Linda said:

“This was a tough, rewarding, emotional and utterly enjoyable experience! My thanks go to Fibrax Limited and Ellis Blackman for the sponsorship and help in preparing my bike. Helping me through training, servicing my bike and offering general advice was invaluable. So many people have donated or supported me in one way or another and I am delighted to have completed such an epic challenge for a great cause!”

Linda is still accepting donations at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lindaltp.

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Press Contact:
Kathryn Jenkinson | pr@fibrax.co.uk

Fibrax Promotes Precision Through 3D Technologies

Manufacturing components for the automotive industry, including some of the UK’s most iconic vehicle brands, requires an unwavering ability to consistently maintain the highest possible quality standards.

As one of the UK’s fastest-growing injection moulding companies, Fibrax understands the importance of supporting its customers to develop high performance components, from conception to completion.

Fibrax operates a highly skilled design division where a team of multi-lingual designers and engineers use the latest CAD and CAM software yet the key to the success of many projects delivered in 2018 was the installation of an Objet30 Prime 3D Printer from Stratasys.

This intelligent printer uses Polyjet technologies and complements the SLA and FDM printing technologies already installed at Fibrax’s 3D Print Suite. This technology works in a similar way to inkjet document printing but instead of jetting drops of ink onto paper, the print head jets microscopic layers of liquid photopolymer onto a build tray where it instantly cools under UV light.

The Objet30 Prime offers a range of rigid materials, including flexible, transparent, bio-compatible, high temperature resistant and simulated polypropylene. This considerably extends the scope of Fibrax’s prototyping capabilities and can also be used for short runs of technically-complex components.

Commenting on the company’s investment in 3D Technology, Glenn Griffiths, Technical Manager at Fibrax, said:

“Investing in the Objet30 Prime has contributed greatly to our ability to operate efficiently without compromise. Not only has it helped to speed up product design and development but it has reduced the need for conventional prototype tooling for customers, particularly in the automotive sector. Additionally, it has assisted the development of production cells in the form of jigs and fixtures. This means we are able to support the needs of our customers using incredibly cost effective and time efficient methods.”

At Fibrax, all research, design and development is backed by lean manufacturing facilities and stringent testing laboratories. As well as offering precision prototyping, Fibrax has set up its testing facilities to satisfy the exact needs of its customers. This commitment to quality is demonstrated in the company’s adherence to internationally recognised accreditations, including IATF 16949:2016 Automotive Quality Management, ISO9001:2015, ISO14001:2015 and a number of customer-specific standards.

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Press Contact:
Kathryn Jenkinson | pr@fibrax.co.uk

Fibrax Celebrates Double Six Sigma Success!

As two more members of its management team achieve the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt award, Fibrax Ltd, one of the UK’s leading rubber and plastic moulding manufacturers, is becoming a force to be reckoned with when comes to continually improving business performance.

Six Sigma is a methodology that sets out to improve the overall performance of a company by increasing operational efficiencies through the encouragement of effective internal collaboration and removal of unnecessary processes and behaviours. Material Technologist, Jonathan Coupe and Jamie Rimmer, Fibrax’s Kaizen Manager, have both successfully achieved the coveted black belt status.

Jonathan and Jamie were trained and mentored by Lance Nicholls of Zenith Lean Ltd. Commenting on the managers’ successes, Lance said:

“The project Jamie and Jonathan completed over 12 months was very comprehensive and contained so many Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques, I couldn’t keep up at times! A great example of ‘the students becoming the masters’ and the savings are incredible! Well done both.”

By achieving their Lean Six Sigma Black Belts, Jonathan and Jamie will play a significant role in the manufacturer’s growth strategy going forward. The depth of knowledge held by the team at Fibrax will deliver significant business benefits as the company continues to expand its global operations.

Robert Winterbottom, Fibrax’s Technical Sales Director, is optimistic about what these achievements mean for the individuals and the company has a whole. He said:

“Having a further two members of our management team holding Lean Six Sigma Black Belts contributes considerably to the company’s depth of knowledge and extensive capabilities. This achievement signals a bright future for both Jamie and Jonathan; we are exceptionally proud of the dedication they have shown over the last 12 months. In terms of the benefits for the company, increasing our skill set collectively strengthens our proposition and sets us apart as a forward thinking, dynamic organisation.”

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Press Contact:
Kathryn Jenkinson | pr@fibrax.co.uk

Fibrax MD John O'Brien Raises £2150 For Cancer Research

In special memory of close family members and to raise funds for Cancer Research UK, John O’Brien, Managing Director of the Fibrax Group of Companies, completed a challenging 35-mile walk in the hills of North Wales.

In special memory of close family members and to raise funds for Cancer Research UK, John O’Brien, Managing Director of the Fibrax Group of Companies, completed a challenging 35-mile walk in the hills of North Wales.

The Llangollen Round is a 35-mile circular route that takes in the picturesque views of the Vale of Llangollen whilst challenging participants to a gruelling 2,000 metre ascent! John and his friends completed the walk over two days, traversing heather moorland, limestone grassland, coniferous forests and open mountain tops.

Commenting on the challenge, John said:

“Cancer seems to be one of those things that affects us all at some stage. We completed the Llangollen Round in memory of much-loved family members who were very fond of this area. We were proud to support Cancer Research UK in this way.”

Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading charity dedicated to beating cancer through research. It is committed to fighting cancer by finding new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat it to save more lives.

To date, John has raised an impressive £2,150 for the charity. If you would like to support this fantastic cause, please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/john-o-brien20.

Image L-R: Jonny Doerr, Lizzie Lamb, John O’Brien, Sarah O’Brien and Donna Glossop

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Press Contact:
Kathryn Jenkinson | pr@fibrax.co.uk

Fibrax Group Invests In Engel’s Victory To Increase UK Capacity

The global injection moulding manufacturing group, Fibrax, is continuing to invest substantially in its production capabilities to support its strategic growth strategy.

Part of the Fibrax Group of Companies, which operates in the UK, Poland and Morocco, Fibrax Limited has invested in two Engel Victory machines with tie-bar-less technology, to increase the company’s plastic moulding capacity at its facility in Wrexham, North Wales.

The modular Engel Victory is ideal for a wide range of technical plastic mouldings. With its tie-bar-less technology, the Victory provides more flexibility and greater efficiency than traditional injection moulding machines.

Fibrax operates a range of injection moulding machine sizes, including 30 to 560 tonnes for rubber and 50 to 450 tonnes for plastic, enabling the manufacturer to meet an extensive variety of needs. The company also specialises in precision overmoulding of multi-part components and offers a multi-component assembly services for sub-assemblies and completed products.

Commenting on the decision to invest in two Engel Victory machines, Rob Winterbottom, Fibrax’s Technical Sales Director, said:

“Engel is well known for creating machinery of the highest quality, developed using the latest technologies. Their integrated systems have been designed to drive efficiencies without restricting mould functions or performance. By investing in the 50 and 120 tonne Engel Victory machines, we are able to extend our UK manufacturing capabilities, whilst harnessing greater control of smaller shot weight tools. The tie-bar-less technology complements our continual improvement strategy, as we are able to drive greater efficiencies in the future.“

This investment is part of the company’s sustainable growth strategy. 2018 will see the installation of a range advanced technical equipment aimed at streamlining manufacturing processes, implementing efficiencies and optimising performance.

Fibrax recently announced the opening of its new manufacturing facility in Morocco, which will trade as Morocco Precision Mouldings and serve the global automotive supply chain.

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Press Contact:
Kathryn Jenkinson | pr@fibrax.co.uk

Fibrax Group Expands Global Operations

Fibrax Limited, one of the UK’s fastest-growing manufacturers of rubber, TPE and plastic components, has extended its global manufacturing capabilities by establishing an operational facility in Morocco.

The new manufacturing plant will trade as Morocco Precision Moulding and form part of the Fibrax Group of Companies, which also has established operational facilities in Wrexham, UK and Sanok, Poland. Specialising in the design, development and manufacture of high performance custom rubber mouldings and plastic components, Fibrax supports many of the most strictly regulated sectors worldwide. The demand for quality automotive components has significantly increased in North Africa and this investment will ensure the Fibrax Group is well placed to provide outstanding technical support and a responsive service delivery to companies operating in the region.

Fibrax has maintained an operational presence in Morocco since 2012 having worked collaboratively with a local supply chain partner. A recent surge in demand has enabled the company to invest in a fully controlled facility in the region with further rapid growth anticipated over the next five years. Morocco Precision Moulding will operate from a 3,250m² manufacturing plant, which currently employs 60 employees. The site has been strategically selected, as there is scope to extend the facility and employ a larger workforce.

Commenting on this expansion, Robert Winterbottom, Technical Sales Director, said:

“The opening of Morocco Precision Moulding as part of the Fibrax Group of Companies signifies a very exciting time in our history and an important milestone in our continued growth and development. We have been very keen to expand our global presence and this site will enable us to proactively support the needs of our customers operating in this region. Growth in Morocco’s automotive industry is set to continue and we look forward to playing an active role within its supply chain.”

Fibrax Limited currently employs over 330 employees across its three manufacturing facilities. As well as moulding thermoset and thermoplastic precision parts, the company designs and tests complex prototypes.

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Press Contact:
Kathryn Jenkinson | pr@fibrax.co.uk

 

 

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HotSeat - John O'Brien, Managing Director of the Fibrax Group of Companies

Established in 1902, Fibrax has become a leading force in the global supply of rubber and plastic mouldings. John joined his family’s business in 1992 as a plastics and rubber specialist. In 2004, he was appointed managing director of the Fibrax Group, and has actively promoted growth and innovation across all areas of the company in both the UK and new global territories. John recently sat in the PlastikCity HotSeat to discuss latest trends, company growth, greatest challenges and hidden talents!

 

What trends do you think will shape the future of UK plastics? How will Fibrax respond?

In an effort to create an agile, responsive and efficient supply chain, manufacturers across all sectors are increasingly seeking to work with OEMs that can fulfil a range of needs. Inevitably, this is reducing the need for multiple suppliers and companies are having to innovate to keep up with this demand.

Fibrax originated as a rubber moulding company but in the 1990s we progressed into rigid plastics. Whilst we have been doing this for some time, we are now realising the great advantages of being able to overmould (2 shot) rubber and TPE/TPVs onto rigid substrates, as this significantly extends our production capabilities and enables us to support our customers in both automotive and non-automotive industries. We have seen this as a great way of adding value.

How has Fibrax developed during your tenure?

I assumed the role of Managing Director of Fibrax Limited in 2004 and at that time we were based solely in Wrexham, North Wales with a turnover of sub £6m. In just under 15 years, we have opened manufacturing facilities in Sanok, Poland and Casablanca, Morocco. Across these three sites, we now employ over 400 people with a turnover of £20m (2017).

What do you credit as the key to your success?

Our entire team is committed to meeting the needs of our global client base, often assisting them in the development of their products. By driving growth, we are able to invest in our people, technologies and facilities. This continued investment enables us to realise greater opportunities and respond efficiently to customer demands.

What has been the greatest challenge in your career?

Keeping calm when not all is going to plan!

What advice do you wish you’d had on entering the industry and does that differ from the advice you would give to an Apprentice joining now?

I embarked on a career in engineering through a simple desire to make things that work! Growing up, the example I was set was very much focused on getting on, so I was well supported to progress with my goal. I have always worked to find the right solution with the understanding that everything can be improved. I advise new design engineers that their first ideas might not always be the best; what they must do is work without limitations as only by pushing boundaries will they truly innovate.

What hidden talents do you have?

Professionally, visualising how we can make products in a different way has certainly helped my career.

Personally, some might say my talent lies in my ability to fall asleep anywhere, anytime!

 

Read the interview on PlastikMedia here

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Press Contact:
Kathryn Jenkinson | pr@fibrax.co.uk

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