News

Sunshine Christmas at Omega Plastics

This year at Omega Plastics we are really getting into the Christmas spirit and on Friday 12th December we hosted our very first Christmas Jumper Day in aid of the Chronicle Sunshine Fund.

As Christmas comes upon us what better way to get into the festive spirit than a day dedicated to getting wrapped up in your favourite Christmas Jumper in aid of a well-known North East charity.

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By raising funds to provide specialised equipment to individuals, groups, registered organisations, special and mainstream schools and hospitals, The Chronicle Sunshine Fund aims to improve the lives of children with disabilities.

The charity was founded in 1928 by King George V after a trip to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne when he donated £15 to underprivileged children meaning they were able to take a day out to the coast. The Chronicle then adopted the idea of giving to children in the area and the Chronicle Sunshine Fund was established.

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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 who include the very famous and popular Ant and Dec!

Here at Omega Plastics we wanted to do our bit to make sure these amazing children and families have the Christmas they deserve and by taking part in a Christmas jumper day and raising money for the Chronicle Sunshine Fund.

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Even our dogs got involved…

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

And from all of us here at Omega Plastics have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Omega Raises £400 for Movember

As you may know, Omega Plastics took part in Movember 2014. Together six of our team groomed their own moustache throughout the month of Movember and what a great job they did!

To remind you Movember is a charity aimed at changing the face of men’s health, in particular, testicular cancer, prostate cancer and mental health. The charity is based around the idea of men growing a moustache to raise funds and more importantly awareness of the cause. So far the Movember charity has raised £346 million and it was hoped that this year would see a huge increase on this number.

For Omega Plastics we saw this as a great opportunity to give back to a well-known charity that raises money for such a great cause, as well as this is was great to see everyone working as a team to raise funds and grow their own moustache. Over the course of the month we have managed to raise over £400 and we would like to thank everyone who donated to our team. This is a fantastic amount for our first of many Movembers and we are now all very proud to be considered Mo Bros and part of the Mo Community.

Our team consisted of 6 Mo Bros based in our Hartlepool factory and below are pictures of our two winners; John Berry – Stores Co-ordinator and Martyn Musgrave – Tool Maker.

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Northumbria University Visit

Our previous news story highlighted importance of educating our future generations and engaging students in the engineering and manufacturing procedures and here at Omega Plastics we took part in our third educational visit/talk of the year.

On 18th November Omega Plastics invited 25 design students from Northumbria University to their Hartlepool facility to learn more about the industry that they could potentially be working in, in the future.

Northumbria University is well known for its successful design graduates including Apple’s Senior Vice President for Design, Sir Jonathan Ive, Rob Law MBE, inventor of the Trunki and Warren Trezevant, Product Manager at Autodesk Inc and former Animator with Disney Pixar and because of this, along with many other reasons, we were thrilled to create a relationship with such a respected University.

The 25 visiting students were mid-way through their 4 year sandwich course, Design for Industry BA (Hons) within which they not only take part in modules such as Industrial Design Practice and Design Communication, but they also have to embark on two placements in their second and third year within the industrial industry.

The visit started at 10:30am with an introduction to our team here within the Hartlepool facility and the company itself. At this stage the students were learning about what our company does, who we provide our services to and how each of our departments work together to create a customer’s final product. We felt this a crucial part of the day for the students to understand not only how our company works behind the scenes, but also for them to be aware of how an organisation runs in the hope that this will benefit them when going into their placement.

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The students spent around 60 minutes in our tooling bays with Norman Hoggett our Technical Sales Manager covering aspects such as:

  • Tool selection
  • 5 axis CNC machining technology
  • Wire erosion
  • Spark erosion
  • Engineering changes
  • CAD data

After understanding how injection mould tools are manufactured, the group were then passed onto our Operations Manager Rob Gray, to further understand the moulding side of the business and the production of products covering:

  • Anatomy of an injection moulding machine
  • Material Selection
  • Tool set up
  • Pressures and timescales
  • Cooling and temperature control
  • Semi-automated and automated production
  • Clean room manufacturing
  • Quality procedures

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Finally both groups came together for lunch and a final de-brief where they were given the opportunity to talk to different members of our team and ask any questions they had about our company or the processes that we carry out.

Overall the day was a success, the feedback we received from the students was positive and it was a great experience for all.

‘The visit to Omega Plastics was really interesting in many aspects. I learned from specialists about the different kinds of plastics, what can I create with them, how strong they are and how to manufacture it. Seeing the machines working and what’s behind of the whole process it was key to leave Omega Plastics with the feeling that now I can design with confidence and know that my products are manufacturable. I learned a lot with this visit and the great and pleasant guys that guided us through it. I can only say thank you.’ – Stephanie Romano, Northumbria University Design Student.

‘The visit to Omega Plastics was very interesting!! It was great to see how plastic is produced in real life. It also showed me a whole new area, tooling, which is something I barely thought of when thinking of manufacturing. Overall it was a great trip.’ Rob Newport, Northumbria University Design Student.

‘I really enjoyed the day, the fact they put lots of effort in to supply food and a personalised tour. It was great because it was a factory visit. I’d love to go for works experience and I learnt so much about plastics. Also I called them up the other day to ask about plastics and they were very helpful. All in all I had a great day and would defiantly advise anyone to go.’ –  Chris Reid, Northumbria University Design Student.

 

 

Educating Future Generations

Launched in 2013 by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), Tomorrow’s Engineer’s week celebrated its one year anniversary from the 3rd – 7th November 2014 inviting hundreds of engineering companies to get involved in encouraging and educating children about the engineering industry and just how much of an impact it has on our everyday lives.

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Stated in a recent article in the British Plastics and Rubber magazine, “the shortage of young talent and appropriately qualified manpower in the plastics industry has been all too apparent for a number of years now” which has led to Verity O’Keefe, Employment and Skills Policy Advisor at EEF, arguing that it is now vital we update and educate young people about the wealth of opportunities that are on offer within the engineering industry.

Tomorrow’s Engineers is aimed at inspiring the next generation of engineers through increased involvement and awareness of engineering activities in the hope of altering perceptions of engineering.

As people working in the engineering or manufacturing industry will know, the industry is booming. Again, an article in the British Plastics and Rubber magazine has stated has the UK manufacturing sector has had a great start to the final quarter of 2014, with rates of expansion in production and new business accelerating; it is a great industry to be involved in.

Here at Omega Plastics, we are no strangers to educating the future generation and we believe it is crucial that we do so. Over the past two years we have been involved in a number of educational visits and presentations that have allowed us to inform and educate students about the manufacturing and engineering industry.

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Earlier in the year Omega Plastics invited 18 product design students from Gordonstoun School to visit our Blyth facility. Their A-Level program required each of the students to understand the materials and various manufacturing and engineering processes used to produce commercial products and so the students spent their day with some of our experienced engineers as they gained a greater insight into tool-making and moulding processes that take place here at Omega Plastics. Read more on this story here.

Hosting educational visits is a great experience for everyone at Omega and we are hoping that our next visit from Northumbria University design students will be just as successful as our previous visits.

 

Omega Plastics do Movember

Since its establishment in 2003 Movember has raised £346 million to date, funded 800 programmes in 21 countries and this year Omega Plastics are getting involved.

The Movember Charity

The Movember charity is aimed at improving the lives of men affected by prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health problems. They do so by challenging men across the globe to grow moustaches throughout the month of November (now known as Movember) with the purpose of sparking conversation and raising essential funds for its men’s health programmes.

“Seeking to change the face of men’s health is an ambitious challenge. But it is a challenge that the Movember foundation is committed to tackling and succeeding through the programs that we invest in around the world” – Paul Villanti, Executive Director Programs

The Facts

Everyone, at some point in their lives, will be affected by cancer and although research and cures are making significant progress it is still crucial that we come together and raise awareness and funds for causes such as this.

Movember 2013 saw…

  • 969,151 global Movember participants aiming to change the face of men’s health
  • 2.3 billion conversations about Movember and men’s health
  • 50,000 Mo editorial mentions

This then lead to…

  • 99% of men talking to someone about their health
  • 75% were made more aware of the health risks they face
  • 62% went to see a medical professional to improve their health
  • AND £20.4 million was raised in aid of men’s health

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The Movember Process

Saturday 1st Movember the Mo Bros of 2014 will start the month with a freshly shaven face and then for the remainder of the month will grow and groom their very own Mo (no beards, no goatees). Each Mo Bro must then use the power of their moustache to create conversation about men’s health and raise money for the great cause – whilst conducting himself like a true gentleman.

Our team of Mo Bros here at Omega Plastics were more than enthusiastic about taking part in this year’s Movember and have already started receiving donations from friends and family.

Corporate Social Responsibility

For the past year our company has put a large amount of focus on corporate social responsibility  and we are big believers in giving back to our community, and although we have took part in various activities regarding education, this is the first time we will be giving back to charity and it definitely won’t be our last.

If you would like to read more about our corporate social responsibility you can do so here. Additionally, if you would like to donate to our Movember team page or to the Movember Charity, donations big or small, are greatly appreciated to help raise money for such a great cause.

Alternatively why not take a look at the 2013 Movember review video.

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Wearable Technology

Technology is everywhere.

Rapidly, technology is becoming a focal point of our everyday lives both work and social, it’s difficult to keep up; smartphones, 3D TVs and the most recent invention, wearable technology – technology that you incorporate into things you wear on a day-to-day basis.

The past two years have seen huge companies such as Apple, Samsung and Nike launch their own versions of wearable technology and the demand for these kinds of products is significantly growing month on month, in fact  it is estimated that worldwide spending on wearable technology will reach $1.4 billion by 2016.

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Wearable technology has had a positive effect on a number of market sectors including product development; however it could be argued that the most affected market sector is healthcare. With wearable technology allowing us to assess our daily calorie burn, sleep patterns and diet, consumers are now more aware of what they need to do in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Studies show that by 2016 the wearable technology market, in healthcare, will exceed $2.9 billion which will account for at least half of all wearable technology sales. Additionally in the past six months health and fitness smartphone app usage has increased by 62%.

But, not only are wearables being used by the consumer to assess their lifestyle and fitness, the healthcare industry are beginning to see potential ways to utilise wearables for crucial research.

Earlier this year it was announced that by using big data analytics and wearable devices, Intel had teamed up with the Michael J Fox foundation to improve research and treatment for Parkinson’s disease. It is claimed that the wearable technology worn by the patients, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, will help researchers and physicians measure progressions of the disease by capturing and objectively measuring patient’s actual experiences and thus speed the progress of breakthroughs in drug development, diagnosis and treatment.

All of this highlights the demand for wearable technology not only by consumers but by working professionals also, which effectively has a knock-on effect to the manufacturers of these new technologies to get these products to market.

As a manufacturer, we have extensive experience working alongside numerous healthcare companies on various projects as well as working with product development companies looking to develop projects in a wide range of markets. One in particular and fitting with the subject in question was the design and manufacturing of the Endomondo case – a universal mobile case used for sporting enthusiasts around the world, supporting a GPS tracked social network.

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Endomondo is one of the world’s leading online sport communities, based on tracking of sports using phones with GPS. The product aim was to provide protection to high end mobile devices whilst mounted to mountain and racing bikes, allowing the user to track, record and monitor progress in all weather conditions. Today Endomondo’s phone case is used by; walkers, bikers and cyclists in over 200 countries. Read the Endomondo case study here.

As a company we are looking to become more involved in technology related projects and because of this we, over the past year, have invested in new and more advanced machinery and technology which has allowed us to develop our capabilities and cater to a wider audience.

To read more details on what we have to offer here at Omega Plastics, please visit our service page(s); alternatively you can take a look at our two minute promotional video that allows more of a visual idea of the procedures that take place here in our factories.

Significant Growth in Automotive Sector

With an annual turnover of around £60bn, automotive manufacturing accounts for two thirds of the UK’s turnover for the manufacturing sector.  The industry alone employs over 700,000 people and accounting for over 10% of the total UK exports, there is no denying that the automotive industry is booming.

Automotive manufacturing saw a significant dip in 2009, coinciding with the economic recession, manufacturing only 999,460 cars. These numbers are now, however, increasing at a steady pace and it is estimated that by 2017 the UK will be making more than two million cars per year. This is higher than the all-time record of 1.92 million in 1972.

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Here in the north east especially, we have seen some great success in the past two years with regards to automotive manufacturing and retail. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Nissan was ranked number one in the UK in terms of production, producing 501,756 cars in 2013. In addition, a recent article on BDaily stated that Gateshead’s Vertu Motors has announced revenues of over £1 billion.

Here at Omega Plastics we’re constantly striving to develop our capabilities, and so over the past year we have been investing in new and more advance machinery and technology which is helping us cater to a wider audience, in particular within the automotive market sector, which has allowed us to keep on track of an ever growing industry.

To read more details on what we have to offer here at Omega Plastics, please visit our services page(s); alternatively you can take a look at our two minute promotional video that allows more of a visual idea of the procedures that take place here in our factories.

 

 

Northumbria University Visit Confirmed

It has been confirmed that November 18th will see Northumbria University’s product design students visit Omega Plastics’ Teesside Factory.

The visit will allow students to gain a greater insight into what it is like working in a manufacturing company. From initial design stages through to the product assembly process, the students will receive an in depth overview of the processes that occur inside our organisation.

The day itself will be split into two parts. The morning will be spent on the factory floor looking into the different engineering processes of how the products are made and prepared to be put on the market. Here the students will hear from our professional engineers who will talk about their role within the company and the different kinds of technology and machines they have to use in order to carry out their job efficiently.

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The afternoon will allow the students to learn about the different roles in our offices. Talks from our management team will allow students gain an insight into our business operations such as quality, sales and marketing, allowing them to understand how the two sides of our business integrate and work together to create a successful business strategy, and more importantly; a full turnkey solution for the customer.

It is always an honour for us here at Omega Plastics to take part in educational visits, as it not only allows us to help the students with their studies, but educational visits like this help contribute to our corporate social responsibility policy of doing more to help our community and educate our future generation.

For a two minute preview of the prototyping process, view our video here.

Coca-Cola Twist Campaign

World leading drinks brand Coca-Cola recently promoted their new ‘twist cap’ bottle at a University in Columbia, used to ‘bring freshmen closer together’.

Everyone knows Coca-Cola, everyone knows their products, millions drink their drinks but how many understand how their made? The drinks giant rarely publicly endorse any supply chain production findings or new technologies, nor show them in their marketing campaigns – until recently. There’s numerous footage of the facilities on YouTube and other production equipment but usually separate to the campaigns themselves, this also seems to be a common theme across their competitors.

The twist cap

In the latest campaign, it’s the first day of college on a University campus, all the students are new, unaware of their surroundings including the people, soon perhaps to be their new friends. There’s a large red fridge standing alone filled to the brim with bottles of coke, a young chap walks up to it and fetches a bottle, but it won’t open – the cap is screwed on too tight. What the confused student doesn’t know is the caps are specially manufactured to not open unless paired with another identical cap. Now, he’s forced to interact with the nearest person, just to take a sip from the bottle.

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The process

During the short promotional film on the ‘twist cap’ we see a glimpse of the development process used to make the cap: Plastics Injection Moulding. Approximately half way through we see the mould tool open and eject a number of the newly designed twist cap, but to the average viewer this process won’t mean a lot. Anyone operating outside the plastics industry may find it difficult to understand the process, including the hundreds of hours and design ideas that went into developing this small cap – the perception being the typical cramped manufacturing environment, not the creative environment created within the prototyping process.

As a company providing rapid toolinginjection moulding services to companies of the same size and market as Coca-Cola, we’d love to see more process demonstration within promotional material. Our feedback is that it not only installs an appreciation for the product but provides education to the innovators of the future – whom will need to interact if not buy into these manufacturing processes in the future. For a brief two minute overview of the rapid prototyping cycle, view our video found here.

Alternatively enjoy the twist cap promotion:

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Omega exhibit at Interplas 2014

From the 30th September – 2nd October Omega Plastics will be exhibiting at Interplas – the UK’s largest plastic industry exhibition, held at the NEC, Birmingham.

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The three day event is the only event to cover all of the manufacturing processes, technologies and services within the plastics industry, and with around 400 companies exhibiting and an expected 12,000 visitors it is already on track to be the biggest and most successful Interplas event in recent years. “As the event’s only on a three year cycle, it’s imperative we have a solid presence at the show and demonstrate to customers’ what we’re capable of and the quality service they can expect from a Rapid Tooling company like ourselves” expressed Marketing Manager Jonathan.

 

Drawing on experience

Previous trade shows such as 2013’s TCT show have proved successful for Omega Plastics and it is expected that Interplas will bring more potential business opportunities and strategic partnerships. Having previous experience at Interplas 2011 which was a huge success – has provided us with an understanding of what customers want to see. Across the three days our specialist team will be available on stand H12; highlighted on the floor plan that can be found here. Due to the busy nature of the show, if you have any specific requirements you would like to discuss, we would encourage you to book a time slot to speak to our team. To get in touch please give us a call on +44 (0) 1670 541 890 or to book an appointment please click enquiry link below.

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