Called Voyager Park, the company’s new technical centre is set on a 7.25-acre site on the south coast (close to the three other manufacturing facilities from which it currently operates) and increases production space by 80%, taking Formaplex’s total footprint to 270,000 sq ft across the four sites.
Established in July 2001, and from its roots as an F1 supplier, Formaplex is today a world-class manufacturer of tooling and lightweight component solutions for a global market. Its services include support and advice, tooling design and manufacture, injection moulded plastic parts, composite tooling and composite parts to meet rapid delivery schedules. Parts are supplied as individual items, complete assemblies, with jigs and fixtures, or finished and painted.
The additional investment at the new facility takes in five additional injection mould presses, ranging from 2,000 to 70 tonne, plus a new assembly and finishing department to include a semi-automated paint line, spray booths and some robotics.
A total of 15 injection mould presses will subsequently be operational at the new facility, supporting an increased demand for lightweight moulded components.
Says CEO Mike Bryant: ‘’ We have experienced rapid and steady growth for the last five years, resulting in our current sites working at full capacity. The growth has been positively impacted by confidence in the automotive sector and increased international demand for UK premium car brands.
“We are currently producing 600 injection mould tools and moulding approximately three million thermoplastic components per year, predominantly for the automotive industry. Our new premises will ensure that we have the additional capacity to continue to provide our services and world-class products to our blue-chip customer base.
“Our 400-plus-strong, highly skilled workforce has also increased significantly over recent years. Approximately 100 new job opportunities will become available at Voyager Park.’’
Over recent years, Formaplex has invested £15 million in operating assets, with its plant now taking in 44 5-axis and 3-axis CNC milling machines and 16 injection mould presses. The company is certified to ISO 9001, TS 16949, AS9100C and VW FORMEL Q. It achieved a record turnover in 2015 of £45.3 million. Since 2007, Formaplex has had private equity firm Dunedin as a financial backer, initially supporting an MBO in December 2007.