Counterplas Invests for Continual Growth

Leading technical injection moulder, Counterplas, has set ambitious growth targets, buoyed by their recent move to a large new facility in South Staffordshire.

Originally founded in 1990, Counterplas was bought by current M.D. Paul Isherwood in 2004.  The company was relocated from Swadlincote to West Bromwich in 2005, where it grew and prospered during the following 14 years.

Annual turnover increased from £500k to £4 million during this period, added value activities contributing to revenue generated from injection moulding a wide range of products. Clients include major players within the building and DIY sector, specialist healthcare & rehabilitation device providers and blue-chip customers such as Siemens.

The West Bromwich site allowed space for twelve moulding machines, the largest of which was 550 tonnes. Counterplas wanted to continue with the growth of the business.

Paul Isherwood commented on this situation: “Counterplas has developed a reputation for providing a complete solution, from design, development and manufacturing of components, through to complex assembly work. Our growth was becoming limited by a lack of space, particularly with regard to the installation of larger moulding machines. We wanted to take advantage of new projects with existing and potential clients, as well as those involving our own internal product ranges.”

In August 2018, the decision was made to relocate to South Staffordshire, where an ideal 68,000 square foot self-contained site had become available.  As well as already having suitable services in place, two acres of valuable yard space further increased the site’s potential.

Just ten months on, there are now 19 machines on site, ranging from 70 tonnes to a 1600 tonne model with a 12-kilo shot weight.  Two additional machines will arrive during the next two months, a 1200 tonne model being shortly followed by a 1500 tonne machine.  Both come with automation cells and gravimetric dosing equipment. This £750,000 investment is the first stage of the company’s ongoing Capex plans. There is also twin-shot capability, up to 550 tonnes, and some machines are equipped with gas injection technology.

Following their relocation, the company has already benefited in terms of financial gains and the ability to expand the management team. Paul commented: “We have already doubled our turnover, and plan to double up again over the next three years.  To achieve this, we have invested heavily in developing our existing workforce and adding new levels to our management team.  Our internal training programme is driven by our philosophy of continually improving our skill sets, with our key focus being on lean manufacturing and product quality.”

“We also now have dedicated managers for sales, purchasing and production activities, as well as a full-time quality manager who oversees our ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001 and IATF 14969 accreditations.  This has, and will, allow us to manage our business activities efficiently.”

Another contributor to the company’s success has been its track record of developing new product lines, particularly those made from recycled materials.  For example, Counterplas developed the award-winning loft stilt product range for a client, now manufacturing these in very high volumes.

The company’s latest product line is a range of niche material handling containers with volumes from 0.5 to 32 litres. This is the start of a range that they will continue to develop and expand.

As for the company’s focus over the next 12 months?

Having so much additional space has allowed us to specialise in the production of much larger products.  Our focus will, therefore, be to attract new clients looking to manufacture such components in the UK, and as such, we are looking to invest in additional high tonnage machinery.  This may well include a machine in the 2,500-tonne range.”

For further information, you can call Counterplas on 01922 419203, or email them: sales@counterplas.co.uk.


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