News

Apprentices Help Omega Tool-up for Growth

Over the past five years we have been investing in an apprenticeship program in order to bolster our tool-making team. On top of that our sister company Signal Plastics have also been investing in production apprentices at their Washington site.

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18 year olds Luke McMorris and Justin Fairbairn, and Dan Gray, 19, are completing their studies and HNCs at Hartlepool and Northumberland Colleges respectively during their three-year apprenticeships, which will equip them with the skills and grounding needed to develop their careers here at skilled precision toolmakers of Omega Plastics.

Signal Plastics apprentices Adam Cook and Jordan Dale have already studied at colleges in South Shields and Gateshead and will complete their apprenticeships before pursuing careers in manufacturing as part of Signal Plastics, which is now part of the Omega Group.

The group was formed late 2015, providing services and technical expertise to automotive, medical, electronics and FMCG customers and as part of our commitment to invest in improving our skills base, our apprenticeship program will only grow from here.

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Our Group managing director Dave Crone said: “Luke, Dan, Justin, Jordan and Adam will gain important skills while they are with us as well as bringing new ideas, creativity and youthful enthusiasm to the workforce.

“Apprenticeships aren’t just for the larger companies. They are a cost-effective way for smaller, highly specialised firms like us to train the workforce to a high standard and make the business more competitive.”

The Future of Plastics in Automotive

Plastics in Automotive – a previous news story, spoke about how there has been a dramatic increase in the number of plastics used within car manufacturing. Due to new government regulations, car manufacturers are adopting new materials in order to make their cars lighter.

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More recent research has found that by 2020 the use of plastics in automotive will increase by 75% meaning that the average car will incorporate 350kg of plastic, up from 200kg in 2014.

While the plastics industry have been working to replace a lot of metal used in car manufacturing, they are also well underway with replacing glass used in cars. In fact, almost every car today has polycarbonate headlights and rear lamps. The next target for plastic manufacturers is windows.

On top of this development many car manufacturers are now looking into ways they can make their vehicles more sustainable by using recyclable plastics. One company in particular who are putting this into action is Lexus.

Lexus aims to make 95% of their cars recyclable, hence the reason why they are exploring new and interesting materials including sweet potato, corn and sugarcane.

While there are different types of plastics with recyclable characteristics – including PET and bio-PET, Lexus are well-known for using PLA which is produced from the fermentation of corn starch. With the ability to be produced with 65% less energy than conventional plastics, Lexus utilise PLA, along with sweet potato starch, to manufacture the interior plastic in some of their models, including the Lexus RX.

So what does this mean for the future of automotive and plastic manufacturers? The opportunities seem to be endless. With the projected increase of plastic and the adoption of sustainable materials, who knows? Maybe one day we will be driving cars made out of the same things we can buy in our food shopping.

Automotive manufacturing is something that we, as the Omega Group, pride ourselves on. With the recent merge of Omega Plastics and Signal Plastics our moulding capabilities of 30-1300t now allow us to cater for high volume projects and heavy investment in an all-new 5-axis CNC machining centre has also increased our tooling abilities to cater for the automotive market. Additionally our plans to implement TS 16949 are well underway enabling us to better service our automotive customers.

To make an enquiry about a project you have please use our online enquiry form.

Optimistic year for Plastic Manufacturing

New research conducted by the EEF – The Manufacturers Organisation, has highlighted that the UK’s plastics and rubber industries are set to over perform compared to other sectors for 2016.

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Prominent industries such as automotive, aerospace and pharmaceuticals are set to continue leading the way thus giving the plastics and rubber industry a reason to be optimistic.

While surveys showed that the manufacturing industry took a step back in 2015, 2016 seems to be a lot more positive with additional sectors such as Packaging growing in demand and an estimated growth figure of 2.6%.

While each sector has its own motives for adopting the use of plastics within their product(s) – light weighting, sustainability or material characteristics, plastic, as highlighted in a previous news story, is certainly in high demand.

The Omega Group offers its services to a range of core industries including automotive, medical and FMCG.

To learn more about our services why not take a look at our promotional video.

Christmas Jumper Day at Omega

Like last year the team at Omega were excited to take part in their second Christmas Jumper Day in aid of The Chronicle Sunshine Fund.

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Founded in 1928, the Sunshine Fund is aimed at improving the lives of children living with disabilities by providing them with the specialist equipment that they need.

Today their office is situated within Newcastle where they currently hire four members of staff and a number of volunteers. Additionally the charity has their own patrons including the very famous and popular Ant and Dec.

Christmas Jumper Day 2015

Omega Plastics wanted to make sure these families have the Christmas they deserve and so on Friday 11th December we hosted a very successful Christmas Jumper Day raising over £100.

To find out more about the Chronicle Sunshine Fund charity follow the link to their website here.

And from all of us at Omega Plastics, have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!

 

Omega Plastics and Signal Plastics Merge

I’m delighted to tell you Omega Plastics has agreed a merger with Washington-based Signal Plastics, a leading provider of high volume, plastic injection moulding.

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Thanks to Signal Plastics’ reputation, experience and expertise, the merger further strengthens our position in the rapid tooling and plastic injection moulding industry.

While Omega Plastics and Signal Plastics will keep their own brand identity, both will operate under The Omega Group, offering a turn-key solution whilst maintaining the exceptional service customers of both companies have come to expect.

Omega Plastics will continue to provide first class design, tooling, moulding and assembly with the added benefit of specialist high volume moulding provided by Signal Plastics.

Using the latest technology and machinery, our friendly and experienced teams will always strive to provide the best solutions for employees, customers and suppliers.

As our Group managing director Dave Crone has said: “Omega Plastics and Signal Plastics are key players in their field so it made perfect sense to seize the opportunity, create a collaborative partnership and become an even stronger company together.”

This is a very exciting time for the group and we would like to thank you for your ongoing support.

If you have any questions or queries about our new and improved business please do not hesitate to get in touch.

English Martyrs School Educational Visit

Local to our Hartlepool factory, English Martyrs are a secondary school with a popular engineering department.

On the 20th October we invited some of the English Martyrs students to come and take a look around our factory to gain a greater understanding of the plastic manufacturing industry.

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Compared to the educational visits we have hosted in the past, the visit itself was something different for Omega. These students were aged 14-15 and had just showed their first interest in engineering by choosing it as a GCSE subject. For us, this played an important role in the visit as we saw it as a fantastic chance to capture their attention and highlight to them the vast amount of opportunities, not only within the industry but within the North East.

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The visit started with the students being welcomed by our Sales and Marketing team before being talked through a short company presentation.

The students were then split into two groups and shown round each process within the business; Design, Tooling, Moulding, Quality and Assembly.

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Overall the visit was a great success and the feedback we received from the students was just fantastic:

‘The visit was really good! I didn’t realise just how much they made for so many companies. The machines were really big too and expensive!’ – Oliver Connoly

‘It was really good how all the workers were willing to show us everything they did. It was really interesting to see all the different types of moulds.’ – Patrick Hughes

‘I would recommend anyone to go and have a look at what Omega do. It’s a totally different type of engineering that I didn’t know anything about beforehand.’ – Max Williams

‘It was an eye opening experience to see all the different types of engineering that were going on under one roof.’ – Godfrey Kazomba

This was our first visit with English Martyrs School and conversations are already being had regarding an additional visit in the new year for English Martyrs A-Level students.

Being involved in education is something we pride ourselves on here at Omega Plastics and educational visits are something we really enjoy taking part in.

TCT 2015

On the 29th September our sales and marketing team travelled down to Birmingham ahead of the two day TCT Show and Personalize exhibition at the NEC.

TCT is an event which we had a great experience with back in 2013, and this year, taking place on the 30th September and 1st October, we were amongst over 200 companies exhibiting at the event.

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TCT Show and Personalize is one of the world’s leading events dedicated to 3D printing, additive manufacturing and product development. It serves as a launch pad for ground breaking innovations, applications and technologies and 2015 was a great success.

As one of the only companies providing turn-key solutions for tooling and moulding, the benefits of exhibiting at TCT were fantastic. We were approached by over 100 visitors whom were either looking for an urgent service or were in the early stages of their project.

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Over the course of the two days we handed out over 100 brochures and 80 signature memory sticks which held a video of our services as well as case studies from existing customers.

Now back at base, enquiries from the show are flying in and we have a number of customer visits planned over the next three weeks.

All in all the show was a great success and conversations are already being had discussing potential exhibitions in 2016.

Giving back to Charity with The Omega Group

September is always a busy month at Omega Plastics and this year even more so. On top of organising two trade shows some of team, from both Omega Plastics and Signal Plastics, took part in charity events; the Coast to Coast bike ride and the Hartlepool Hospice Golf Day.

The Coast to Coast bike ride took place on the second weekend of September and was all in aid of Cancer Research UK; a charity close to all of our hearts.

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With the aim to ‘beat cancer sooner’ Cancer Research UK funds research that helps to discover new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Over the past 40 years, researchers have made constant progress and the survival rate has doubled.

Despite torrential rain and wind our team powered through and completed the 165 miles course over three days.

All in all the guys had a great weekend and the team of seven managed to raise just over £600!

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Hosted at the Wynyard Hall Golf Club, the Hartlepool Hospice Golf day was a great success.

Some of our team here at Omega Plastics attended the event on the 18th September to help raise money and awareness.

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The Hartlepool and District Hospice believes that each individual affected by a life limiting illness is unique and has the right to the highest quality of life possible. They offer an extensive range of palliative care and support services to individuals with complex needs and their families at their time of need.

However with just 24% of funding from the Government the Hospice must raise a substantial amount of money each year in order to maintain their fantastic services and their golf day is one of many annual events.

This year was their most successful golf day and one of the most profitable events they have ever hosted as a whopping £28,300 was raised!

Creating relationships with Charities is very important to us at Omega Plastics and over the next few years we hope to take part in a number of charity events and initiate relationships as well as maintain our current relationships these amazing organisations.

 

 

Plastic – The Material of Choice

In a number of recent news stories we have discussed how there has been an increase of plastic used in various manufacturing industries, and in this story we aim to continue to look at how companies are heavily investing in plastic due to its various advantages.

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Like most, the plastic industry was susceptible to the economic downturn of 2009 and competition from the Far East still remains. However, due to popularity in various market sectors, plastic still remains an integral economic contributor.

In 2014 the plastic industry saw sales turnover of over £19bn, it currently employs 180,000 people throughout the UK and is continuously growing as it becomes the manufacturing material of choice.

One industry in particular that has been making some solid investments in plastics in the medical sector. This was explored in our recent news story Plastics in Medical, in which it was highlighted that many of the medical breakthroughs over the years have been due to the versatility of today’s plastics. Furthermore, plastic has aided in the reduction of contamination and medical costs making it the favoured material in medical device manufacturing.

Additionally the automotive industry have increased the amount of plastics used in their manufacturing which we spoke about in our Plastics in Automotive story. According to the British Plastics Federation, the average new car in 1984 contained 8.5% of plastics, whereas a new car today contains around 11%. Among many other reasons, it is argued that the lightweight nature of plastics has helped boost fuel mileage as well as saved energy, again making it the preferred material in automotive manufacturing.IMG_0173

While this shows great opportunity for companies working within the plastic industry who cater for medical and automotive organisations, it is not just those who are benefitting from the increased use of plastic, there are plenty of other markets experiencing this also.

One thing that we always try to get students who take part in our educational visits to understand is that plastic is everywhere and can be found in almost every part of our lives. Not only are organisations investing in it to develop their products but city councils are also investing in plastic to aid in environmental projects, something we have seen happening lately in the world news.

Recently Los Angeles council announced their plans to turn its main reservoir into a giant ball pit in order to save water.

“Shade balls” have been released onto the water in the midst of the worst drought in California history. The 4-inch, black plastic balls are aimed to shade and cool the water, reducing evaporation from the reservoir and making it less susceptible to algae, bacterial growth and chemical reactions that can produce harmful substances.

Made of black polyethylene and filled with water, shade balls a great example of how versatile plastics can really be and how this material is being put to good use across a number of industries.

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Over the past few years we have definitely experienced and seen just how high the demand is for plastic and plastic manufacturers. In fact, our most recent news story ‘Exceptional Growth at Omega Plastics’ shows just how much we have been able to capitalise on plastic becoming the new favoured material in manufacturing.

You can read each of the news stories mentioned by clicking the links provided. Alternatively take a look through our services or even watch our 2 minute service video to better understand what we can provide for your company at Omega Plastics.

 

Exceptional Growth at Omega Plastics

In a previous news story ‘New Year, New Machinery’ we spoke of the investments we had made across the year in order to meet the needs of our customers and expand our reach in various market sectors and through 2015 we have continued to invest in our team as well as additional machinery.

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In 2015 so far our workforce has increased by 11 members of staff and is expected to increase even more by the end of the year. The majority of our company departments including, tool making, moulding, quality, operations, design, sales and finance have seen new additions to their team all of which has contributed to the growing success of Omega Plastics.

A new machine has also been installed in our Hartlepool factory; CNC 5-axis tooling machine. This DMG machine joins the two other DMG 3-axis machines in our Hartlepool factory and becomes our fourth 5-axis machine within the company. An investment like this enables us to widen our capabilities and all goes back to being able to offer our customers a full turn-key solution.

What’s more is that we have also made some big changes to our office spaces, again to better the customer experience with Omega Plastics. While our Blyth office is currently going through these changes our Hartlepool office was the first to see new office furniture and a stud wall partition. The partition has allowed us to have two separate offices which are now dedicated to sales and marketing alongside production and quality. This has brought about a number of advantages including better workspace, dedicated customer area and furthers the support of the quality standard TS 16949 which we are planning to have in place throughout the company by the end of the financial year 2016.

Times are busy and exciting at Omega Plastics and we are always looking for ways to better our company and people who want to be part of our successful team. We are currently looking for a Business Development Manager to head up our company in the south part of the UK and are accepting applications through our careers page.

To read more about our company please take a look around our website or watch our two-minute service video. Alternatively why not visit our stand, C34, at this year’s TCT exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham on the 30th September – 1st October to talk more about what our company can do for you. If you would like to book an appointment with us at the exhibition please email us at exhibitions@omega-plastics.co.uk