PlastikCity on Tour – BPY Plastics

Our next stop was in Brackley, Northamptonshire, to meet Sarah and Patrick Boyd of BPY Plastics. With over 30 years in the industry, small to medium-volume injection moulding specialists BPY have built a strong reputation for manufacturing high-quality and tight-tolerance components in a range of challenging materials.

Formed in 1992 by husband-and-wife team Tony and Sarah Boyd, BPY Plastics has been successfully providing high-quality precision injection mouldings from its Northamptonshire site for 30 years. Following Tony’s sad and untimely passing in 2015, son Patrick, then aged only 19 years old, stepped forward to take a significant role in the company’s future.

We met with Patrick, now a company director, for a tour around the BPY Facility and then sat down with Patrick and Sarah over a cuppa to discuss the company’s history, current focuses, and plans for the future.

[Pictured L to R – Carl Futcher, PlastikCity, Patrick Boyd and Sarah Boyd, BPY Plastics and Will Clarke, PlastikCity.]

BPY Plastics operates from a modern moulding facility in the market town of Brackley in South Northamptonshire. Historically, the market town was involved in the wool and lace trade and is conveniently located on intersecting trade routes between London, Birmingham, the Midlands, Cambridge and Oxford. Today, the town is known as the home of the Mercedes Petronas F1 team and has a strong motor racing history mainly due to its proximity to the Silverstone racing circuit.

BPY’s moulding facility houses its suite of machinery, a mixture of moulding machines with between 22 and 120 tonnes locking force from various manufacturers, including Boy, Sandretto and Haitian. This line-up gives a clue to BPY’s specialisms, mainly low to medium-volume projects, often with technical, tight-tolerance components requiring patience and precision to manufacture to the highest quality levels.

So readers can gain a better understanding of BPY Plastics’ offerings, we asked Patrick to summarise the company’s key services and which target markets they serve:

“We are injection moulding specialists with over 30 years of experience in moulding with many different polymers, but with a particular specialism in PVC moulding. We mould everything from high-volume commodity material parts to low-volume, high-precision engineering components.

“We also offer single-shot moulding, insert moulding, over-moulding and a variety of post-mould processes. We recently acquired a hot-foiling machine, which I’m excited to experiment with! We can machine, fabricate, weld, solder, paint and much more, and we’re always looking to expand our services to meet the needs of our customers.

“In terms of target markets, we work alongside market-leading customers in various sectors, including rail, automotive, electronics, water management, roofing, landscaping, oil & gas and more. We also have our own range of products comprising of widgets, wedges, washers and spacers used in the construction industry, which we manufacture and sell directly to trade customers.”

Whilst PVC is an extremely versatile material, giving a hard and glossy finish to moulded components, with high-impact strength and durability, it is also known for its difficulty to process. PVC is extremely sensitive to excess heat, and if processing temperatures are too high or residence time in the barrel isn’t kept to a minimum, it could result in the degradation of the polymer.

Thermal degradation of PVC leads to discolouration of the material and the release of corrosive (HCl) gas, which, as well as being harmful to the operator, can damage moulds and machinery. This means PVC processors often require specialised equipment such as screw tips, carefully selected machine sizes and barrel capacities, and may need extended maintenance routines to protect equipment and moulds from corrosion damage.

With this information in mind, we asked Patrick: What sets BPY Plastics apart from its competitors?

“Firstly, I’d say our focus on quality and our proficiency for moulding precise, tight-tolerance, tricky components. I love getting my teeth into jobs that other moulders might not even look at and coming to a solution with a customer. It might be due to the difficulty of the materials involved, as over the years we’ve become real specialists in rigid PVC moulding, or maybe due to the difficult technical nature of the components.”

At this point, an audible sigh and an eye-roll from Mum and Managing Director Sarah indicate that Patrick’s enthusiasm for the unusual and challenging may not always be appreciated! What is clear, however, from spending the afternoon ‘talking plastics’ with Patrick is that he is an incredibly passionate and knowledgeable moulding engineer, highlighted by his impressive progression within the company despite his relatively young age.

Patrick explained that he has been involved in the family business for as long as he remembers and was employed as a setter as soon as he was old enough to work full-time. Since then, he moved to Production Manager before becoming a company Director in 2019. Whilst Sarah manages the company and the finances, it is Patrick’s passion and moulding expertise that drives the shop floor, managing production and business development for the company.

Patrick continues:

“I’d also say that price is a differentiating factor for us. We run an efficient facility with modern energy-efficient machines and low overhead costs, meaning we can deliver a reasonable price for every customer. We’re often in the region of 10% cheaper than our competitors when quoting for projects.

“This means our customers can receive premium quality, technical mouldings for a reasonable price. It also makes us an attractive option for partnerships with other moulders, either subcontracting jobs, or tricky parts of a job to us, whilst keeping everyone’s margins reasonable.”

At this point, Patrick handed us a selection of moulded components from recent projects for us to get our hands on, explaining the moulding intricacies of each. Unfortunately, we cannot share too many details, but the stock was diverse, with air rifle components, railway track components and an exciting project involving interlocking sections of a wind-turbine assembly currently under production at the company.

Next, we asked Patrick and Sarah if the company had any plans for the next 12 months?

“We’ve recently taken delivery of a new 25T moulding machine and are planning to purchase a new 160T press, expanding our machinery range from our current 120T maximum. This means we’ll be better equipped for new and more diverse projects, with a reshoring project already lined up for the new machine once it arrives.

“We also operate from the adjacent factory unit, so we can further expand into this new space in the future if required.”

Finally, we asked if BPY Plastics has a company philosophy or mantra?

“A policy introduced by my Dad way back, was our zero rejects policy. We take pride in our technical acumen and strict quality control processes, and this is something we still stick to today!”

Thank you to both Patrick and Sarah for their warm hospitality during our visit. We enjoyed our time in Northamptonshire, and with Sarah and Patrick at the helm, we’re certain BPY Plastics will see another successful 30 years of moulding ahead. We wish this friendly family company every success in the future!

 

 

Look out for the next edition of ‘PlastikCity on Tour’ to learn more about our excellent UK-based partners.

There are now well over 260 active partners represented on the PlastikCity site, many of which offer highly specialised products or services to our sector.

During our everyday course of business, we’ll be making a point of visiting as many of these partners as we can and using the time to better understand what they offer the market. We’ll then showcase them through this ongoing series of articles.

Maybe you can benefit from their services!


BPY Plastics
01280 706335
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