Rutland Plastics is celebrating its 65th Birthday this year and while most 65 year olds are thinking about retirement we are definitely not. This year has seen us move to a 24/7 operation for the first time in our history and we have also been investing in new machinery having bought three new Wittman Battenfeld moulding machines in 2021 in addition to equipment for our toolroom which includes a new Mazac CNC machine.
We certainly look different today from when the company first started out injection moulding in 1956. Expansion has continued on our site in Oakham and now exceeds 6130 square metres, we employ 150 staff with an approximate turnover of £15million. Today Rutland Plastics is still a family run custom injection moulder for a wide variety of industries. Throughout the company’s history we have retained a steadfast dedication to building strong partnerships with both customers and suppliers while consciously investing in areas that add real value.
Starting out in 1956 the company moulded plastic flowers and then accessories for budgerigars as their popularity boomed during the 1950's. Later, this developed into own-brand toys for children called ‘Rutland’ which went on to include the Katie range of domestic-themed toys. Expansion started to pick up in the 1970s with contracts for a Swedish kitchen manufacturer and British Gas. The 1980s saw further work on gas pipe fittings and the first electrofusion patent along with gaining ISO9001 accreditation in 1989. The 1990s saw a focus on people and technology with the award of Investors in People and a license to assess and award NVQs alongside the introduction of the first 3D CAD system, CMM machine and Gas Assisted injection moulding technology.
The 21st century saw the redevelopment of the site so that today very few of the old buildings remain. The redevelopment included several sustainability initiatives most notably a 250kWh solar installation on the warehouse roof. We also purchased over 10 moulding machines, 3D printers, toolroom equipment, an ERP system, Moldex 3D software and added ISO14001 and ISO13485 to our suite of accreditations. We have always made huge capital investment into the business and will continue to do so.
In our birthday year we are delighted to have been selected as a finalist for the coveted Processor of the Year award for the 2021 Plastic Industry Awards. This award is open to UK and Ireland processors (manufacturers of finished components and products using plastics materials) which are able to demonstrate to the judges their overall excellence. The judges will be looking for leading sustainable performances across a number of areas, which could include business enterprise and growth, technical innovation, people development, manufacturing efficiency, customer relations or addressing environmental concerns. In other words, the company needs to be an all-round world-class processor. The awards ceremony is 2nd December so we will cross our fingers until then.