3PA are a UK supplier of plastics processing machinery and equipment with a portfolio full of high-quality brands, such as Motan Colortronic, GDK, and Plasdan. The company was founded by Dave Evans in 2005. Dave has over 30 years’ experience in the plastics industry, having started as an apprentice in the automotive industry. He is the next PlastikCity Partner to face the HotSeat…
What trends do you think will shape the future of UK plastics? How will 3PA respond?
I believe, as I always have, that use of the latest technology, which is an ever-moving subject dictates the future of this industry. We increasingly get enquiries from entrepreneurs who have come from other industries into ours who have ideas they want to turn into reality. Or dedicated moulding companies even who are surprised when we can offer turnkey packages to make complex multi material or multi component plastic products, in mould, on one machine with clever use of second injection units and servo turning devices in moulds.
We recently worked with a company, ‘Pokito’ whom we helped to develop a twin material reusable collapsible multi sized coffee cup that consisted of PP and TPE bands to provide collapsibility. It has transformed this product making it better, lighter and cheaper.
We continue to push boundaries asking ever more from our suppliers and surprising our customers with what is possible, what we can offer and how we can help them and importantly learning from the experiences.
How has 3PA developed during your tenure?
We started as an ancillary supplier offering Motan-Colortronic products, which we are still proud to represent. We have developed and added complimentary, carefully selected brands to offer high quality technical equipment which is reliable, easily serviced and in many ways niche to our industry. Our moulding equipment range has grown in its customer base and reputation from selling our first blow moulding machine back in 2012. We now offer all electric extrusion blow, injection blow machines and bolt on secondary injection equipment now becoming widely used at customers with respected names in our industry.
What do you credit as the key to your success?
Good brands of course from diligent, established suppliers coupled with enthusiastic customer partnerships, and above all responsive, and proactive service back up.
What has been the greatest challenge in your career?
Starting up a business and growing it from an experience base derived from a service engineering/management career experience with a large multi-national.
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?
Have confidence in your abilities, your training and drive to achieve, and I would say step out of your comfort zone and strive to be different. Then, and now the advice would be the same that I would offer to apprentices today. As my dad said, ‘be a tradesman and you’ll never be out of work’.
What hidden talents do you have?
I am a typical Welshman really, love rugby, and I sing as a first tenor soloist with the Oxford Welsh Male Voice choir. There’s nothing that gets the heart beating and the mind focussed more than the prospect of standing up and singing to a discerning audience on your own – worse still with your fellow choir members all assembled and keenly listening for any flat notes or hesitation when performing your piece.