Mark Adair

Washington-based manufacturer moves to 24 hour production to meet 'unprecedented demand'

A boost in business has led to a North-East manufacturing specialist moving to a 24-hour operation to meet ‘unprecedented demand’ for its expertise. Fairgrieve Compression Moulding, in Washington, Tyne & Wear, has more than 100 years’ history in plastic moulding, supplying a wide range of industries from construction and mining to offshore and marine.

The company was bought by UK manufacturing investor Daniel Beaumont last year, and led through a rapid transformation by general manager Barry Davidson, who joined soon after the business changed hands.

Mr Davidson admits business was slow when he joined 12 months ago, as the company was emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic and as the manufacturing sector was still adjusting to the impacts of Brexit.

But he says Fairgrieve Compression Moulding is now reaping the rewards of a positive market and one with a renewed commitment to buying British leading to the business recruiting extra staff to work on the factory floor.

Barry said that, “since the turn of the year we have been incredibly busy and seen unprecedented demand for our products. I think much of that is down to the manufacturing sector benefitting from more businesses being back at work, and more decision makers being on site and on the factory floors,” he said.

“We are also seeing a real commitment to buying British from our customers due to the long lead times on products from Europe, and the rising costs. One of our longstanding customers always previously asked us to source the raw materials abroad, but we’ve actually been able to find a UK supplier where the lead time is much shorter.

With the business seeing a number of customers placing orders for the first time in a number of years, and a number of new clients secured this year, Barry added that the decision to switch from a 9-5 operation to a 24 hour production facility was a necessity.

“We’ve had to change the way we work, but again it has been another move which has increased our efficiency and productivity, and the staff have all supported it. We have a lot of employees who have been with us for a number of years, and they have really bought into what Daniel and myself want to achieve, and are delighted to see the business doing so well.”

Owner delighted to be outperforming targets as more investment planned Daniel Beaumont, owner of Fairgrieve Compression Moulding, said the company was performing more efficiently and ahead of targets set when he bought the business.

“We’ve had an excellent first half of the year and we are ahead of expectations. Much of that is down to smarter ways of working we have introduced, and from reducing overheads and ensuring efficient systems are in place. We now have more investment planned into our factory for later in the year.”

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