Keren Sall from PRW spoke to Managing Director, Giles Fielding to find out more about the reason behind Excelsior’s imminent move to larger premises.
Excelsior, the Lancashire-based rotomoulder, is planning to move into bigger premises in the coming year. The reason is straightforward enough: “We have taken on new work and are currently bursting at the seams,” Giles Fielding, Excelsior’s managing director tells PRW.
The firm has recently taken on a contract to produce children’s slides for playground equipment manufacturer Playdale. It has also won a contract with Adventure Orb, a UK start-up that is marketing a sturdy luggage product called Tough Box.
Excelsior supported Adventure Orb with the design and the manufacture of the main body of the easily manoeuvrable, waterproof, corrosion resistant and shatterproof Tough Box. The product has a rotomoulded polyethylene main body, which, in the absence of joins, is waterproof and able to float.
Adventure Orb awarded the project to Excelsior because it required a firm that could contribute to the design of the product as well as undertake its manufacture. Fielding says: “We are one of the few companies in the rotomoulding sector with an in-house CAD design facility which helps to keep costs down and to reduce lead times. We work with the customer to develop their initial concept into a valid design and then translate the design into a 3D model.”
Ben Sherwood, Adventure Orb’s managing director, says he liked Excelsior’s attitude. “It shared my passion for innovation, and the team was never short of ideas. Excelsior’s 40 year rotomoulding heritage and family ownership was also apparent, not only in the skills the firm brought to the job but also in its pride and passion.”
At the same time demand for the Affiniti bedside lockers which Excelsor developed for hospital furniture manufacturer Teal in 2013 continues to grow. “They have been a fantastic success,” claims Fielding.
Excelsior has also been making products for the equestrian market since 2008, when it established a company called Horse Blocks to supply the equestrian trade with a range of rotomoulded horse mounting blocks. “As we built up our trade accounts we started to deal with a company called Classic Showjumps which already offered a range of moulded products and was looking for a suitable moulding partner,” says Fielding. “In February 2010 we decided to buy the Classic Showjumps name and product range, gaining a foothold in a new market. We retained the Classic Showjumps name and built the brand quickly, adding new products and taking the range into Europe.”
Equestrian products today make up 10% of the company’s turnover.
Fielding attributes the buoyancy of the rotomoulding sector to the flexibility of the process which he says “offers so many options”.
However, Fielding is quick to point out that Excelsior is more than just a manufacturer of rotomoulded products. Unlike many of its competitors, Excelsior has its own in-house sheet steel tooling facility. “This means we can create bespoke tools for individual jobs, generating output that meets precisely the customer’s initial requirement quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively,” he says.
The Lancashire rotomoulder is currently in the process of investing £50,000 on a second carousel machine and a further £50,000 upgrading it. Says Fielding: “The machine, which is expected to be up and running by May, will open up more doors for us as it offers reduced cycle times, further cuts production costs and makes us more competitive.”