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Sheffield City Region

Case Study: William Beckett  Plastics

Published: January 2014

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Left to right: William Beckett, Managing Director of William Beckett Plastics, and Ian Howson, Finance Yorkshire Investment Manager.

William Beckett Plastics is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of specialised plastic packaging for the cutting tool industry. The company was established 40 years ago and has markets in 40 countries. William Beckett Plastics has twice achieved the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade, in 2009 and 2012.

The Company

William Beckett Plastics’ manufacturing headquarters is based on the Tinsley Industrial Park in Sheffield where it employs 60 people. It is an 80% export business – its biggest market is North America which accounts for 50% of its total turnover, hence a distribution centre in Chicago with five staff based there.

The Challenge

William Beckett Plastics is an extremely strong export business and is keen to expand its international trade, particularly by seeking new markets in Eastern Europe and South East Asia. Vital to this ambition is the refurbishment of highly specialised machinery which moulds  the company’s range of packaging, designed to protect all types of cutting tool – from simple drill bits to sophisticated milling cutters.

The overhaul of the firm’s three blow-moulding machines will make them 25% more efficient – and increase productivity for the award-winning manufacturer.

The Solution

Finance Yorkshire provided a £65,000 Business Loan to enable William Beckett Plastics to embark on the refurbishment programme of the blow-moulding machines. Funding for this type of infrastructure renewal is otherwise not readily available. In addition, the machinery had to be refurbished as equipment of this type is no longer manufactured.

The Business Loan will be used to initiate the improvements which will take up to 18 months to complete.

The Investment Rationale

William Beckett Plastics is a well-established and successful business with an excellent export pedigree. The improved efficiency of its machinery will enable it to take advantage of new markets and improve its competitive edge.

Future Expectations

The company also operates Beckett MIM – a start-up specialising in metal injection moulding for the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors. This in conjunction with the established plastic packaging business puts the whole enterprise in a strong position for further innovation, development and growth.

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