An additional half a million pounds worth of investment at George Utz UK has created new jobs and cemented the Swiss-owned company’s capability to rapid re-tooling to meet the exacting demands of the retail and automotive supply chains.
The investment by one of the world’s leading manufacturers of multi-use plastic containers and pallets further underlines its 2016 business strategy to move into the bespoke plastic pallet market to support an expanding automotive portfolio.
The creation of two new posts – a tool room manager and toolmaker –comes on top of a £5m investment in a new manufacturing facility at its Alfreton (Derbyshire) plant, which more than doubled in size during 2015.
In line with Utz’s growth ambitions to double its turnover by 2020 – along with its workforce, the new tool room includes advanced equipment and the latest CAD software, as well as a CNC milling machine with Heidenheim control unit capable of the latest automated precision engineering.
The investment is expected to deliver faster response time to tooling issues during five day, 24-hour production schedules and can produce Utz’s own vacuum forming tools, as well as alter existing injection moulding tools – all part of the company’s broader manufacturing optimisation strategy.
Managing director of George Utz UK, Carsten Diekmann commented: “Our launch into the bespoke plastic pallet market required a faster turnaround as clients, primarily in the automotive sector, have very specific requests to optimise movement of components from the point of manufacture to the production line.
“Precision, state-of-the-art engineering and the ability to offer rapid tooling is a pre-requisite of a very high-pressure sector where any delays to a production line can cost thousands of pounds.
“Offering a fast turnaround on bespoke plastic pallets – some reinforced with steel to meet the specific, weight-reinforcement requirements of the client – is business critical, which is why the new tool room was so important to us, as part of our broader investment strategy. ”
In the past 12 months, Utz has spent more than £4m on three high-pressure injection moulding machines, and increased its number of plastic raw material storage containers to 16 giant silos towering over the Derbyshire facility to keep pace with national and international growth.