Headquartered in Italy and part of Barnes Group Inc., Thermoplay specialises in the design and manufacture of hot runner systems for the plastic injection moulding industry. Matthew Moss, Technical Sales Engineer from its UK arm, is next to face the HotSeat…
What trends do you think will shape the future of UK plastics? How will Thermoplay respond?
We are heavily focused on all things sustainable, looking at how we can help increase the efficiency of moulders’ operations through reduced scrap and energy consumption and provide hot runners and controllers that allow moulders to process more sustainable material.
Thermoplay has recently implemented a bolt-down manifold solution, leveraging from our sister company Männer, that decreases energy consumption by up to 50% from a reduction in heat loss through contact with the mould.
In terms of sustainable materials, Molding Solutions, the family of brands owned by Barnes of which Thermoplay is a part, is working to provide integrated solutions to answer the call of the future of plastics.
How has Thermoplay developed during your tenure?
During my time at the company, there have been many changes: none bigger than when Barnes acquired Thermoplay in July 2015. Within this group, which also includes Männer and Synventive, Barnes Molding Solutions has evolved.
This has given us a great position in the market, not only with shared technologies and product development but with vastly increased global coverage. Our customers now have access to the full suite of the Molding Solutions product line and the service and support coverage that comes with it.
What do you credit as the key to your success?
Since joining Thermoplay eight years ago, I have been very fortunate to work with many great minds who are vastly knowledgeable about our industry. I use this to my full advantage and not a working day goes by where I don’t learn something new from their experience. Learning from those with a deep knowledge of a niche part of the industry is invaluable and I have greatly appreciated all the support I have received along the way.
What has been the greatest challenge in your career?
I’ve no doubt that we can all look back and relate to many of the same challenges, especially over the past decade: the 2008 recession, COVID, and ever-shrinking budgets and project timelines, to name a few, but what feels like the largest challenge I’ve faced is the current shift in our industry to more sustainable materials.
Challenges like the recession and pandemic can be temporary and require a defensive mindset. Still, there are also challenges, like the sustainability shift, which drive positive change and allow us to make sizeable improvements and measurable progress in our industry collectively. It’s an interesting task that we are all facing together and allows the full supply chain to step up to meet the needs of our OEMs and moulders.
At Thermoplay and our sister companies, we are prepared to meet these challenges with a mix of different product solutions and innovations launching each year.
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?
Do not be afraid to ask questions, no matter how simple they might feel. I am sure I asked many questions when starting out, but I could have certainly asked more. We work in such a complex industry I’m sure I will still be learning the day I retire.
In fact, knowledge sharing is one of the best resources I can offer our customers. Rely on us as your hot runner supplier for training and knowledge transfer. We want to support your project from its conception throughout its full lifecycle. I encourage all our customers to take advantage of this and include us early in your mould build development to enhance your trial and production strategy.
What hidden talents do you have?
As a keen carp fisherman, my hidden talent is outwitting some of the crafty carp at my local syndicate lake.