Triple R Oil Filters are known industry-wide as a leading method of oil management, removing over 99% of oil contaminants to improve machinery availability, longevity and efficiency. Triple R Industrial Services (TRIS) UK has been the UK and Irish importer and distributor of Triple R products for over twelve years since it was founded by Managing Director Andrew Thoms. Andrew is the next PlastikCity Partner to face the HotSeat…
What trends do you think will shape the future of UK plastics? How will TRIS UK respond?
Having been in plastics since the 90s, I’ve seen a lot of changes. Two recent trends I see gaining momentum are the move towards electric and servo-hydraulic machines. For us, this has been really interesting as oil cleanliness is even more critical to the design of newer hydraulic moulding machines, which rely on finer tolerances (thus clean oil) to produce such incredible results. Consequently, we’re being asked more and more to assist with oil management to keep production running.
What I find incredibly exciting is the creativity in British plastics, both in the sense of how manufacturers work and the products they produce. With this willingness and foresight to adapt, the future looks bright.
How has TRIS UK developed during your tenure?
When we started, the importance of clean oil in preventing pump and valve failure, machine downtime, and remedial works was simply not known. In fact, it was common (and still is) for brand new oil to be sold as ‘clean’ (albeit inferred), whereas in reality it’s classed as too dirty for machines. Because of this lack of awareness, we did struggle at first.
Thankfully, I built up a lot of trust with engineering and maintenance managers with whom I had worked over the years and were willing to trial our filters. Once they saw the results – for example – not having to replace parts at thousands of pounds a pop every few months – orders started to roll in, and the business grew. We were quickly able to move TRIS UK out of the spare room at home and into a boiler house in an old textile factory, and then again to a large modern facility in Galashiels, Scotland, where we have been serving clients across the UK and Ireland for nearly seven years.
In addition to the workshop floor, we built an office in the unit along with a mezzanine floor for storage, plus a clean and normal workbench for servicing systems. We currently stock a range of our most popular oil filter elements along with Triple R systems for rental.
What do you credit as the key to your success?
Building relationships, hands-down. Trust and good communication are priceless in business, and two things I would never trade.
Now clients contact us for advice as soon as they have an issue with a machine that doesn’t have one of our filters on. They know that we’ll accurately diagnose the problem, offer the correct support, and assist them until their machine is back up and running better than before, even going the extra mile where needed, such as arranging remedial works via one of our partners. That’s an incredibly privileged position and not one we take lightly.
What has been the greatest challenge in your career?
About 16 years ago, I had the misfortune of having a heart attack. Sitting at home for four months gave me time to reflect on my life and how to live more purposely from then on. It was then that I decided to create new opportunities in my life.
Lo and behold, I was introduced to Triple R Oil Cleaning Systems soon after and immediately saw the benefits and advantages of embracing the technology. It was simply a lightbulb moment, and in February 2006 ChA Oil Systems Ltd – now known as TRIS UK – was formed.
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?
The first piece of advice I ever received was from an old colleague, Mr Fred Parry. He said to me: “When you go to a job, listen to everyone from the director to the cleaner; they will all have a bit of the puzzle you are trying to piece together.” Over the years, this has served me well.
As for advice to any new apprentice, I would give the following:
- You have two ears and one mouth for a reason; listen and learn.
- Own your mistakes! You will not learn much if you don’t make mistakes.
- Enjoy your job; you’ll spend more than half of your time doing it.
What hidden talents do you have?
I used to love treading the boards. I played in the local panto for about 10 years, appearing as the dame in two productions. I then moved on to a Local Musical Society and Drama group, playing Albert Blossom in Dr Doolittle. Just before Covid 19, I directed Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Ernest.’