Caffeine jolt for UK manufacturing at EEF Awards

Posted on 1 Feb 2013 by The Manufacturer

Birmingham-based Fracino, a manufacturer of cappuccino and espresso coffee machines scooped the Winner of Winner prize at EEF’s fourth Future Manufacturing Awards last night.

The ceremony was hosted in London at the Grand Connaught Rooms. Around 500 manufacturers attended.

Fracino carried the day with victory in the Winner of Winners category having already received recognition for Outstanding Export achievements.

“We love manufacturing in the UK. It’s the best,” said Fracino’s leaders as they grasped their trophy.

Fracino began life as an importer of Italian espresso machines to the UK but patented its own products and began manufacturing 20 years ago for a UK customer base.

The collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 and the beginning of the Global Financial Crisis made company chairman and founder Frank Maxwell realise that “we had all our eggs in one basket,” and an aggressive export growth strategy was adopted.

The company now derives around 25% of its turnover from export sales and is pushing hard into fast growth markets in south America and south east Asia this year its leaders told EEF’s guests. This is partially in order to counteract the negative impact of eurozone uncertainty on key markets closer to home.

A revamped website and online sales strategy will be at the center of Fracino’s continued  international growth.

But Fracino was not the only jubilant manufacturer at last night’s awards.

A whole range of companies running the gamut of sectors and company sizes celebrated their successes across the EEF award categories. The apprenticeship achievement and young engineer awards received particular attention and acclaim.

EEF Terry Scuoler thanked the “youngsters” especially for their contribution to the awards and the proud parents of the Outstanding Achievement by a First Year Apprentice, Devon Sumner (Airbus), spoke to TM about the positive impression they had gained from the evening, from their daughter’s career, and of the UK’s “fabulous” set of manufacturing employers.

A full list of winners is below:

Business Growth Award

Runner Up: Milltech Precision Engineering

Winner: Express Engineering (Thompson)

Skills & Training

Runner up: Calsonic Kansei

Winner: SCA Hygiene

Innovative Operating Practices

Runner up: Calsonic Kansei

Winner: Medimmune UK

People & Management

Runner up: Kerry Foods

Winner: Devonport Royal Dockyard, Babcock International

Environmental Efficiency

Runner up: Qioptic

Winner: Nuaire

Green & Growth

Runner up: Parker Hannifin UK

Winner: ABB

Outstanding Exports

Runner up: Solagen

Winner: Fracino

Outstanding Achievement by a First Year Apprentice

Runner-up: David Firth, Marshall Aerospace

Winner: Devon Sumner (Airbus)

Outstanding Achievement by a Final Year Apprentice

Runner-up: Jamie Barlow, Xylem

Runner-up: Neraaj Sunger, Rolls-Royce plc

Winner: Oliver Jukes (Rolls-Royce)

Young Engineering Student of the Year

Runners up: Shaun Hughes (Fazakerley High School) and Macaully Kearney (Derby Moor Community Sports College)

Winner: Anna Ebblewhite (St. Bede’s Catholic Comprehensive School College)