HotSeat – Paul Wright, CEO at GSM Valtech Industries

Ioniser-Pro is a UK manufacturer of static elimination and control products, and is a brand name of GSM Valtech Industries Ltd. CEO Paul Wright has been managing the company for 32 years. He is the next PlastikCity Partner to face the HotSeat…

What trends do you think will shape the future of UK plastics?  How will Ioniser-Pro respond?

With the current explosion in plastic waste and the media attention it has attracted, I believe we will see the development and use of more easily biodegradable plastics accelerate. Inevitably there is the usual conflict between degradation rate and useful shelf life for certain products. I think we’ll see the answer come through the further development and adoption of smart coatings applied to the active face.

Ioniser-Pro products are ideally placed to negate static build-up during the moulding and coating processes. Being the designers, developers and manufacturers of our own products all within the UK leaves us ideally placed to work with plant manufacturers and processors to deliver both bespoke and off the shelf solutions.

How has Ioniser-Pro developed during your tenure?

Ioniser-Pro was the first start up to come out of the GSM Valtech Industries Ltd strategy to develop its’ own suite of products. GSM Valtech are one of the UK’s leading precision sheet metalworking and assembly companies, however, we recognise the need to diversify. Many of our customers operate within the electronics industry and this made it very easy for us to select the correct partners to assist with Ioniser-Pro product development.

In 14 months we have gone from offering the Ioniser-Pro 600 to adding a full range of bar lengths, Ioniser-Pro Blow & Pro Blow-F with it’s fine particulate filters to capture airborne contaminants. Also in the range we have static dissipative curtains, particularly useful in plastic bottle & pipe manufacture, together with complimentary products such as wrist and heel straps, static mats etc. The next product to be launched will be the Ioniser-Pro Air Assist which is being developed to fill the gap between the Ioniser-Pro bars and the Pro-Blow range.

It is challenging for a young company such as Ioniser-Pro to break in to a market with long established competitors, but we have made significant headway. The feedback we’ve received so far has been fantastic and having full control over our products & processes leaves us ideally placed to remain agile.

What do you credit as the key to your success?

I have been blessed throughout my career to work with inspirational people, offering first class mentoring from an early age. We cannot succeed without the strength of the team, it is vitally important we provide a structure and working environment within which individuals can contribute. Every person within our company should feel they are able to make a difference.

What has been the greatest challenge in your career?

Taking on the sheet metalworking department of Farnell Instruments and guiding it through the process of becoming a successful company in its own right, just as its largest customers move production to China. Our strategy was to add value to our sheet metal offerings, basically doing everything our customers didn’t want to. This strategy has seen us grow and develop into the successful business we are today but without the strength of the team it wouldn’t have been possible.

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?

Gain as much exposure as you possibly can, never dismiss anyone’s opinion or advice, instead seek their perspective. It’ll help you become a more rounded and empathetic leader.

What hidden talents do you have?

I’m a keen cyclist and runner, it gives me time to clear my head ready for the day to come.

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