December 2019 / January 2020 issue of the independent North Devon-based business magazine covering news about business and enterprise in Barnstaple, Bideford, Braunton, Chulmleigh, Combe Martin, Holsworthy, Ilfracombe, Lynmouth, Lynton, South Molton, Torrington, Woolacombe and more.
This issue includes the event guide for the BBxpo business exhibition and networking event in Bideford on Thursday 24 October 2019.
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graphics design teams produce fully functional prototypes so that each design can be tested to ensure that shapes, folds, assembly and visual appearance combine to provide the best possible product for the client. The importance of people Complementing this investment in equipment and technology, Jason emphasises the importance of all the people working in the business. “We have a very loyal workforce,” says Jason. “Many people have been with us for over 20 years.” While it’s a challenge to keep everyone happy, Jason adds that the company aims to demonstrate its appreciation for everyone’s hard work. This includes providing an impressive range of benefits including MANUFACTURING Manufacturer always moving forward Atlas Packaging, like many manufacturers, operates a sophisticated, modern business hidden away on a business park. As a result, few people in North Devon may realise that, as an independent corrugated cardboard packaging specialist, Atlas Packaging supplies packaging to household brands including Riverford Organics, St Austell Brewery, Adidas, Asda, Baileys and Johnnie Walker. Inside the Atlas Packaging plant at Roundswell, Barnstaple, a team of 150 works to design, print and manufacture a range of packaging that is shipped to customers across the country. The company’s success has enabled the team to grow from 130 two years ago, while continued investment has increased its capabilities and capacity. In 2012, it invested £2.5 million in new machinery with further investments of £500,000 in 2014 and £1.75m in 2016. Planned investment in 2020 will increase capacity even more. Technology in packaging Managing director Jason Sharman acknowledges that there is never certainty in business and that all businesses need to be prepared to respond to changing circumstances, whatever they may be: “We are always looking at the next requirement. Our approach to business is always to try to move forward.” Atlas Packaging approaches this in a number of ways. In addition to investing in efficient machines that print, cut and fold cardboard into packaging that looks like a work of art, Atlas has a fully equipped structural design studio which uses CAD technology to push cardboard engineering innovation to its limits. This enables it to develop tailored designs for individual packaging products optimised for transportation, storage, assembly and display. Alongside this, the graphics design team uses proprietary and specialist design software to ensure that packaging looks as good as it functions. Working together, the structural and Manufacturers play a vital role in the North Devon economy, but because many don’t supply consumers their success is not always visible. As part of BusinessAction’s mission to cover all areas of business, editor Robert Zarywacz met Jason Sharman, managing director of Atlas Packaging, to find out more about the company The Atlas Packaging team in Barnstaple free gym membership, cycleto-work scheme, free fruit and childcare vouchers. It also provides extensive performance data on the company so that everyone can understand the importance of working well as a team to maintain high standards and productivity in a very competitive marketplace. As a growing business, Atlas Packaging invests in its people and continues to employ apprentices to learn and develop valuable workplace skills on the job. Recognising the common challenge of attracting new talent to manufacturing, it plays an active part in the community and has partnered with local charity Chemohero for 2020. It also sponsors the ‘Our School Orchard’ project to support Philip Sweetland (second left) and Jason Sharman (to his right) receiving Atlas Packaging’s Careers Excellence Award from the Gatsby Foundation primary school students in planting and maintaining small school orchards and is sponsor of the Annual Bideford Cardboard Boat Regatta. As well as supplying free cardboard to teams constructing vessels, in 2019 Atlas Packaging enabled three students – Fahren Woollacott, Callum Rippon and Joe Passmore, all aged 15 – to develop their concept and design it with CAD software before building it as part of their work experience. Their boat still sank! The company has also aligned with Ilfracombe Academy and recently participated in its Year 7 roadshow to demonstrate the breadth of manufacturing careers available, from accounts and drivers to machine operators, designers and IT. As a result of this commitment to future manufacturers, it was recently awarded the Small Employer of the Year Award at the Careers Excellence Awards 2019 in London run by the Careers & Enterprise Company in partnership with the Gatsby Foundation. Environmental care Jason adds that Atlas Packaging is fully aware of its environmental responsibilities as a packaging manufacturer. While corrugated cardboard is one of the most environmentally friendly materials, there is no complacency. As well as holding both ISO 9001-2015 and BRC – 2015 Certification accreditation for quality control, the company has achieved ISO14001 environmental management system certification. In addition, its FSC® Chain of Custody certification ensures checks at every stage of the supply chain so that customers can be confident they are purchasing genuine FSC-certified goods. With this commitment to the environment and its approach to investing in technology and its people, Atlas Packaging maintains its readiness to meet the challenges that future manufacturers will face. ■■Details 01271 344055 or atlaspackaging.co.uk 14 business action | December2019 / January2020 | business-action.co.uk
Engineering firm continues to invest in apprentices (from left) Lilley Precision Engineering’s Suzanne Lilley, Jacob Bartynski with his apprenticeship award and managing director Darrian Lilley Jacob Bartynski, one of two apprentices at Lilley Precision Engineering in Barnstaple, was recently awarded Group Training & Development’s Apprentice of the Year Award – 3rd Year Mechanical. Lilley Precision has been working with Group Training & Development since 2011 and has provided opportunities for four apprentices to date. “The apprenticeships work really well and we feel proud to be able to provide them with Manufacturing apprenticeship specialist Group Training & Development recently held its annual awards event, attended by more than 100 employers, apprentices and family members, to celebrate the successes of all its engineering apprenticeship completions and award winners. Guest speaker Tim Puttick, manufacturing director of TDK Lambda, Ilfracombe, gave an inspirational speech to students just starting out in their careers in engineering. Sponsored and supported by local engineering companies, the event reaffirmed the important role GTD plays in providing quality apprenticeship training to engineering companies across the North Devon area. 2019 awards winners 1st Year Electrical/Electronic Nathan Sinclair – NDE 1st Year Mechanical Victoria Morton – Whiteland Engineering 2nd Year Electrical/Electronic Lara Brett – TT Electronics 2nd Year Mechanical Karl Moore – TDK Lambda the ability to learn a variety of skills at the start of their career path,” says administration and quality manager Suzanne Lilley. “Being a small business, our team all work closely together and we do feel like a family. “It is always sad to see our apprentices move on but we love that they always keep in touch with us.” Steve Killner, training officer with Group Training & Development Ltd, adds: “Lilley Precision and Group Winning manufacturing apprentices at Group Training & Development’s annual awards celebration Manufacturing apprentices celebrate success 3rd Year Electrical/Electronic Charlie White – Eurofins 3rd Year Mechanical Jacob Bartynski – Lilley Precision Engineering 4th Year Electrical/Electronic Lewis Burton – SEA Ltd 4th Year Mechanical Jamie Witherington – SEA Ltd Special Achievement Award Thomas Maslen – Brimar Technique About GTD GTD was established more than 40 years ago by a number of like-minded North Devon Training & Development have worked closely together for many years training, mentoring and supporting engineering apprentices with their learning to enable them to obtain engineering skills and qualifications that will stay with them throughout their career. We look forward to continuing to work alongside Lilley Precision to train more apprentices which will help to strengthen their business and increase the pool of engineering talent in North Devon.” manufacturing companies to promote and advance the provision of apprenticeships, primarily within engineering, and to provide apprenticeship training support to local employers and their trainees. GTD continues to work closely with local businesses in a multitude of engineering and manufacturing disciplines by supporting them in the selection of apprentices and by tailoring apprenticeships to meet the individual training needs of each of their trainees. ■■Details 07805 696783 or gtdev.co.uk Lilley Precision is also committed to working with local schools including the Park, Pilton, South Molton, Ilfracombe and Torrington to provide work experience placements for students. “We’ve provided work experience every year for the past 10 years and it works well,” adds Darrian. “One of our previous apprentices was as a result of one of our work experience placements.” ■■Details 01271 370601 or lilleyprecisionengineering.co.uk Looking for independent financial advice? Call us on 01237 426450 for a free initial consultation firstname.lastname@example.org https://dscottfinancial.co.uk Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. @businessactionm | December2019 / January2020 | business action 15