Celebrating 25 years of high quality and service
BSA Mouldings, the King’s Lynn based and family-based injection moulding company where exceptional standards are realities rather than abstract concepts...
We tend to take the plastic around us for granted. Whether it’s a ﬁrst aid box or a child’s lunchbox, we’re often more concerned with the contents than in the boxes themselves, and schoolchildren are generally more interested in the lessons in front of them – rather than the plastic chair they’re sitting on.
But there’s a fair chance that those very items (and countless others around us) started their life at a plastic injection moulding factory in King’s Lynn.
Currently celebrating its 25th anniversary, BSA Mouldings was founded by Arnie and Sue Giles in 1991, working from a converted grain store in Clenchwarton until moving to the Saddlebow Industrial Estate in King’s Lynn some seven years later.
For the uninitiated, injection moulding is a widely-used manufacturing process that allows simple and complex shapes to be produced extremely quickly from both thermoplastic and thermosetting polymers. It’s a highly eﬃcient and a highly cost- eﬀective manufacturing option, and it’s one in which BSA Mouldings have become true pioneers.
Having enjoyed two decades of continued success, the company suﬀered a major blow with Arnie’s tragic death ﬁve years ago, but his family – and the company’s workforce – have remained true to his original vision.
“It was a massive transition not to have Arnie here,” says Sue. “Losing someone is hard enough anyway, but he was like an eagle over the whole company. It was naturally very diﬃcult for us to adjust, but the desire not to fail Arnie was a great incentive and helped us all enormously.”
Today, BSA Mouldings is guided by Sue herself as Managing Director together with her two sons –Commercial Director Ben Giles and Production Director Alec Giles. Alongside Business Development Manager Richard Bromley the family oversees a quite remarkable operation.
At BSA Mouldings, the factory ﬂoor is graced by 14 injection moulding machines ranging from 22 tonnes to 1300 tonnes , all controlled by CNC robots and capable of handling tools weighing anything from 200 kilos to 15 tonnes. It also has one of the largest hot plate welders in Europe. It’s an operation that can cater for virtually any project for products weighing as much as 10 kilos or as little as 1 gram.
“Essentially, we’ve got the capability to make pretty much anything in plastic,” says Ben, “but our service goes a lot deeper than the pure manufacturing side. We build relationships with our customers, managing projects through the various stages of design, analysis, modelling and toolmaking – all the way through to ﬁnal production.”
The factory is a constant hive of activity, producing everything from chairs to odour-free nappy bins, and from plastic kerbstones to plastic ﬂooring so strong it can withstand a tank or the landing of an airplane.
“We’ve just ﬁnished moulding a run of Super-Trac pedestrian and marquee walkway,” says Alec. “For about 8 weeks, the machines were running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, producing about 14,000 pieces a week. Injection moulding may not seem terribly entertaining, but it’s a quite exciting and fascinating process to watch!”
The products go across the country and around the world from Canada and Barbados to France and Saudi Arabia, and while at heart it’s a factory, it certainly doesn’t look or feel like one. “We’ve always taken a huge amount of pride in our factory,” says Sue. “For an injection moulding company it’s an extraordinarily clean and tidy environment. I think that reﬂects the huge amount of care we take with every single part of the operation.”
To ensure BSA Mouldings maintains those high standards throughout, the company has developed a quality control system it calls Total Involvement. Based on the well- known Japanese TQM (Total Quality Management) system, it includes every member of staﬀ – all of whom are trained to become familiar with each product the company produces.
“Delivering an excellent service to our customers has always been a major priority for us,” says Richard. “Everyone does a quality
check every day, phones are never allowed to ring more than three times and we aim to answer all e-mails within an hour and a half. I think that commitment to quality is one of the reasons we’ve retained so many customers for so many years.”
BSA Mouldings currently comprises a team of around 25 people, several of whom have been with the company for many years and who fully embrace the family-run ethos of the business.
“Employing the right people is probably the most challenging part of any business,” says Sue, “and it’s tremendously important to us that our people enjoy their work. BSA Mouldings has always been a very rewarding place in which to work. Take Tim Matkin, for example – he’s been with us for almost 20 years and still works with us as a consultant, despite the fact he planned to retire some years ago!”
Although the company has a variety of international suppliers and sources a large number of precision tools from China, BSA Mouldings is very proud of its local roots, its place in local industry, and its support of the local community.
“We have a huge amount of respect for our local suppliers,” says Ben. “The small engineering and packaging companies in King’s Lynn we work with are truly amazing. We often expect them to jump through hoops for us, but they never fail us – and they’ve been integral part of our success.”
As the company celebrates a hugely successful 25 years in business, what’s next for BSA Mouldings?
“We’re very well established ﬁnancially, and every year we invest a huge amount back into the business,” says Sue. “We don’t want the business to develop on growth alone as there’s a danger of that diluting our quality and service. The future will be characterised by strengthening the business. We don’t necessarily want to be bigger, but we’re always looking at ways we can be better.”
And in her sons Ben and Alec it looks as though the next generation will continue taking the company she founded with her husband in the right direction.
“Despite the fact they’re opposites in many ways, they complement each other very well,” says Sue. “They balance each other out perfectly, and that’s exactly how Arnie and I started the business. I know he’d be very proud of what we’ve all achieved. It’s a great honour to work with your children and it’s not an experience I would have wanted to miss.”
For more information, contact BSA:
BSA Mouldings Ltd
Larch Road, Saddlebow Industrial Estate
King’s Lynn, Norfolk, PE34 3HW
United Kingdom (UK)
Phone: 01553 772555
Fax: 01553 776294
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