UK manufacturer, Speed Plastics specialises in high frequency welding of flexible plastics. Examples include PVC, polyurethane film, polyester and polyurethane-coated textiles. The resultant materials find their way into a variety of products, from pressure ulcer mattresses and seating solutions to child learning aids.As well as manufacturing its own range of products, the Chesterfield-based company also offers customers a range of bespoke engineering solutions including concept design, product engineering and on-site manufacturing. We talked to Speed Plastics Operations Director Jane Collyer about her role, and how the company ensures each product that leaves the door is manufactured to the highest quality.
What is your role at Speed Plastics?
I am Operations Director, which is a job that I absolutely love. I have worked for Speed Plastics for 21 years continuous service. During this time, we have built up a comprehensive range of state-of-the-art equipment, including the UK’s largest high frequency welding machine. This was specially commissioned for Speed Plastics! The manufacturing industry is a great industry and I work with a fantastic team.
What does an average day consist of?
We offer a complete design and development service from concept idea through to the finished commercial product. This means that no two days are ever the same for me. My day can range from production planning, meeting customers and suppliers, staff welfare, problem solving and even helping out in production when needed. I love this variety and it means I get involved in all aspects of operations from both the customer and employee point of view.
What challenges do you face within your role?
At Speed Plastics, we consider ourselves experts in using thermoplastics. As such we manufacture a range of state-of-art products using advanced technologies and innovative processes. We are committed to developing the best solution possible to suit budget and requirements. This can be the challenging part – ensuring products are made to the highest quality but keeping lead times as low as possible. What we are very good at is meeting deadlines, even if this means working extra hours, including weekends. This can be difficult sometimes but we are committed to delivering 110% for all our customers.
What do you enjoy most about it?
I love to be involved in all aspects of production and take pride in what we produce. I love using the potential offered by our state-of-the-art machinery, complex and intricate tooling and cutting-edge techniques. After all it’s this capability that enables us to deliver products that are manufactured to the highest specifications. At the end of the day though, while we are immensely proud of our people, skills and technological capability, what really matters to us is customer service. I have worked in the industry for a long time now and it’s something I am very passionate about.
How important is it to build up a personal relationship with your customers?
At Speed Plastics, we like to think we enjoy strong and rather unique relationships with everyone we work with. We believe that developing the best product possible comes from understanding customer needs, which often means behaving more like business partners. Our expert engineers work as an extension of our customers’ in-house facilities to transform concept designs into completed commercial products, ready for market.
Always top of the list is quality, and this is a culture that is evident across the company. We work closely with everyone we work with to ensure that we deliver exactly what they require. Turning their ideas into reality.