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Terry Burton Celebrates 40 Year Anniversary With Luxus

Terry Burton celebrated a fantastic 40 years’ service with Lincolnshire based technical plastics compounder Luxus this month.
 
He joined Luxus in 1979, that same year Blondie’s single ‘Heart of Glass’ topped the charts and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was published, it was also the year that he met his future wife.
 
Having joined Luxus as an Extrusion Operator, he is now a Technical Manager, a crucial role that requires him to lead the polymer development team, working at the forefront of sustainable thermoplastics innovation.
 
In 1979, things were very different, Terry explains: “As an Extrusion Operator it was my job to ensure the smooth running of a small strand line extruder. I was responsible for the entire process from extruding the polymer to checking it for quality control purposes - it was very ‘hands-on’ then.
 
“The work culture was great however, as everyone knew each other by name and there was a real family-like atmosphere, since there were just 20 staff. But things can’t stay the same, Luxus currently employs 160 staff at the plant on the Fairfield Industrial Estate here in Louth, but we still share those same company values.”
 
In those early days, R&D was critical to the company’s success as it is today, in 1982 ahead of the market Luxus developed its first technical ‘hub’ for materials development, testing and analysis and Terry gained a lab technician role.
 
Terry continues: “I oversaw all polymer preparation and testing, which meant keeping test batches running throughout the night. As the business grew we quickly needed to recruit staff to help manage the night shift and to enable us to expand into weekends, it was the beginning of our dedicated technical team.”
 
Then by the early 1990s, the technical operation became critical as Luxus needed to satisfy nationally recognised quality standards, since it was now being audited by major automakers as it was one of the first UK compounders to engineer polypropylene for under bonnet parts.
 
After managing the lab for eight years Terry was promoted to General Manager where he was responsible for both the factory and the technical team for over a decade. Then later in 2008 these functions were split due to company growth. Developing new products was now a priority and since Terry had always been passionate about making things, he was promoted to Technical Manager.
 
The lab ensured product consistency and performance of all prime and recycled feedstocks by undertaking stringent testing and quality control procedures. In recent years, investment in new specialist machinery including FTIR spectroscopy meant that the business had outgrown its facilities.
Then in 2012, Luxus responded by investing in a new purpose built Technical Centre, this unique facility for a UK plastics compounder allowed its technicians to deliver exceptional, repeatable quality across every batch of polymer it produces for environmentally critical applications.
 
Terry, continues: “I have one of the best roles in the business, with new products always comes fresh challenges, as we are increasingly using interesting and novel additives to support demands for enhanced scratch resistance and light-weighting to help stretch the boundaries in sustainable plastics technology.
 
“While rapid change in the auto industry is also helping to drive our materials development like never before. Increasingly electrification, connectivity, autonomous driving and car sharing are all going to impact on what we demand from high performance materials in the future.”
 
Luxus managing director, Peter Atterby, comments: “Throughout his 40 year career Terry has been essential to our success, enabling us to transform from a burgeoning recycler to a £25m turnover technical innovator. As we continue to meet challenges, he is now sharing his expertise with a new generation of apprentices to develop materials that our customers will demand tomorrow.”
 
At his celebratory lunch Terry was presented with a 40 year old vintage Port. The gift was chosen as Terry is better known by his colleagues as ‘Top Shelf Terry’ as he has a taste for quality spirits.
 
If you’re interested in a career with Luxus find us on facebook @Luxus.Limited for the latest vacancies.
 
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Older Updates
Hycolene™ Delivers Positive Results In Next Stage Validation Trial
16th March 2016

A recent materials validation trial for the development of Luxus’ advanced lightweight, scratch-resistant thermoplastics (PP) range Hycolene™ has shown positive results – demonstrating the composite’s potential to be manufactured at full commercial scale in the future.

Two rounds of production tests took place recently, beginning last month at Luxus’ Lincolnshire based in-house Technical Centre and manufacturing plant, followed by further in-depth analysis at injection moulder, IAC’s laboratory. The tests were undertaken on the column shroud and glove box panel – critical ‘A’ grade auto interior components.

The aim was to enable Luxus to optimise both the process parameters and the screw design of its bespoke Coperion 15 extruder to explore the potential for the Hycolene range. Luxus technicians worked in collaboration with Coperion’s team varying the critical moulding parameters that help to define the operative ‘envelope’ for the Hycolene grade 16818.

Dr Christel Croft, technical director at Luxus explains: “These production tests have helped to increase our understanding of the impact of process parameters on Hycolene’s key product characteristics; enabling us to assess its performance against existing materials on a true ‘like for like’ basis. Our intention was to really push the boundaries to help understand better its true performance at limits.”

The trials concentrated on the following criteria: scratch resistance; weight savings; appearance and cycle time. The Hycolene 16818 achieved a substantial weight saving of up to 4.2% against the market’s current lightweight benchmark material. It also delivered improved colour, diminished weld lines and once again, a rapid cycle time for reduced energy usage.

Dr Christel Croft, continues: “We’re very excited about this positive next stage validation for Hycolene following the initial trial in September 2015. The benchmark material we used is excellent itself, which means our results for Hycolene are very encouraging. It confirms our ability to produce the range at full commercial scale with the expected benefits still of weight saving, excellent scratch performance and the high quality appearance demanded by OEM’s for ‘A’ grade applications.”
 
Hycolene is a faster cycling range of scratch resistant, lightweight (PP) compounds that help deliver improved Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), featuring up to 60% recycled content. The range has been developed to target Europe’s automotive interior trim market, by helping to satisfy both ‘end-of-life’ vehicle (ELV) and emissions targets.

Luxus announced in 2015, that it had as part of a consortium secured a €1.4m investment, co-funded by the EU Eco-Innovation initiative, part of the EU’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (EIP). Its members are injection moulding company IAC for materials trials, twin screw manufacturer Coperion for technical support and Jaguar Land Rover offering end user guidance.

For further information please visit www.recyclite.eu

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Luxus Ltd        

UK leading independent technical plastics recycling and compounding company Luxus has been developing highly specified thermoplastics compounds based on prime and recycled feedstocks for over 50 years. Luxus is a key supplier to the major names in the global auto industry and it was the first and still is the only UK business to achieve approval for its recycled grades in car interior trims.
Luxus also offers specialist ‘closed loop’ and ‘open loop’ recycling services to manage ‘end of life’ post industrial and consumer waste for the retail transit packaging, construction and local authority wheel bin markets.

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Luxus And Polypipe Support The Next Plastics Generation With Apprenticeship Scheme
20th January 2016

 
Industry leading technical compounder and recycler, Luxus and its partner plastics piping manufacturer Polypipe have launched a ‘Compounding Polymer Apprenticeship’ scheme to help solve the ‘skills gap’ in the plastics industry.
 
The first group of three apprentice technicians – Callum Ely (16), James Laurence (22) from Luxus and Kamil Ostrowski (22) from Polypipe have begun the new two year multi-site apprenticeship in polymer processing. It is delivered in partnership with training provider, Solutions4Polymers and funded by Cogent.
 
The new scheme is part of the Government’s ‘Trailblazer Apprenticeship Standards’ initiative launched earlier this year. Its aim is to help develop apprenticeships in direct consultation with employers to ensure that training is directly relevant to industry needs.
 
The long standing industry partners, Luxus and Polypipe decided to be ‘early adopters’ of this initiative as there is a genuine lack of apprenticeships and training dedicated to polymer processing - particularly at the sub degree level. The new scheme will offer therefore an effective means of developing the skills of their workforce.
 
Simon Thompson, Quality Manager at Luxus, comments: “We are really pleased to offer this new scheme to our technicians. It has been widely reported that we are facing a chronic skills shortage in engineering talent in the UK, which is particularly acute in the plastics industry.
 
“This partnership with Polypipe will benefit the apprentices from both businesses. They will be able to learn about the various types of thermoplastics and their processing characteristics in our ‘state of the art’ Technical Centre right through to subsequent processes; such as injection moulding to develop the finished pipe component at Polypipe’s Horncastle plant.
 
“It will not only help ensure the availability of skilled staff in the future, but most importantly, it will provide the opportunity for us to award the progress our apprentices make too.”
 
Andy Barnard, Managing Director at Solutions4Polymers, said: “Although engineering training is well catered for, we have seen the need for industry specific plastics processing training in the market. We are therefore, pleased to help develop a scheme from scratch and are looking forward to seeing their progress over the next two years.”
 
If you are interested in a career with Luxus please visit: www.luxus.co.uk

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Notes to editors

For further information please contact: Sasha Stewart, Straight Talk PR, tel: 07764 346 896 or email: sasha@straighttalkpr.co.uk

Luxus Ltd        
UK leading independent technical plastics recycling and compounding company Luxus has been developing highly specified thermoplastics compounds based on prime and recycled feedstocks for 50 years. Luxus is a key supplier to the major names in the global auto industry and it was the first and still is the only UK business to achieve approval for its recycled grades in car interior trims.
Luxus also offers specialist ‘closed loop’ and ‘open loop’ recycling services to manage ‘end of life’ post industrial and consumer waste for the retail transit packaging, construction and local authority wheel bin markets.

Polypipe Group Plc
Polypipe is the largest manufacturer in the United Kingdom, and among the ten largest manufacturers in Europe, of plastic pipe systems for the residential, commercial, civils and infrastructure sectors by revenue. We operate from 16 facilities in total, and with over 20,000 product lines, we manufacture the United Kingdom's widest range of plastic piping systems within our target markets. We primarily target the UK, French and Irish building and construction markets with a presence in Italy and the Middle East and sales to specific niches in the rest of the world.

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Jim Ballantyne Says Goodbye To Plastics
22nd December 2015

 
Business Development Manager, Jim Ballantyne retires this week after 15 years with leading technical plastics compounder and recycler Luxus.
 
In 2001 Jim Ballantyne joined Luxus from a plastics closure business. He had always been interested in the technical side of things, understanding how things work. This new role was to allow him the scope to explore technological boundaries within a sales role like never before.
 
At the time he was well placed to help spearhead a new era for Luxus which saw the compounder accelerate from supplying entry level black grades to the development of sustainable thermoplastics (PP) to satisfy critical class ‘A’ finish auto components.
 
Jim Ballantyne explains: “We quickly moved from offering colour matched polymer compounds for low level visible interior applications to upper cabin visible interior applications.
The challenge was to convince the client that compounds with recycled polymer didn’t mean a problematic product.
 
“To help achieve this technical leap, considerable innovation and consultation with the client was required to deliver a repeatable product with appropriate tensile, impact, scratch resistance and other properties required to meet quality, plus performance standards – all this from a recycled content thermoplastic (PP), not prime.
 
“Inevitably the automaker’s requirements became more complex, challenging us to deliver increasingly technical materials as specifications quickly evolved. ‘Cost down’ of course remained important, but so too were the technical attributes of the material - we needed to constantly innovate.”
 
Peter Atterby, Managing Director, Luxus, comments: “Jim has been instrumental in moving Luxus forward into the 21st century as a leading technical compounder. His relationship building skills across varied stake holders in the automotive arena has helped Luxus establish our reputation and credentials as a leading supplier within this challenging sector.
 
“It has been a pleasure working with Jim over the years and I have enjoyed the experience on both a professional and personnel level.  I’d like to thank him for his contribution to the company and wish him all the very best for the future.”
 
For 10 years Jim Ballantyne had sole responsibility for business development across many diverse markets until the sale team inevitably grew. Today, Luxus remains at the forefront of technical innovation with the development of the new Hycolene™ range, which features next generation additives to meet automakers stringent light-weighting and CO2 reduction requirements.
 
As for the future, Jim Ballantyne believes the greatest change to the industry now will be globalisation.  “A reducing ‘pool’ of both suppliers and manufacturers means materials specifications are now adopted on a global, not local scale. Automakers can pick up and drop production lines regardless of location.
 
“We believe therefore, the next step to stay ahead is via knowledge transfer, to offer our Hycolene™ technology to selected European compounders through license agreements for the first time. This means Luxus will be well placed to offer a truly global materials supply solution.”
 
In his retirement Jim Ballantyne will be overseeing his very own ‘grand design’, he will be project managing the development of a brand new home in the centre of Louth.

Ends
 
Notes to editors

For further information please contact: Sasha Stewart, Straight Talk PR, tel: 07764 346 896 or email: sasha@straighttalkpr.co.uk

Luxus Ltd        

UK leading independent technical plastics recycling and compounding company Luxus has been developing highly specified thermoplastics compounds based on prime and recycled feedstocks for 50 years. Luxus is a key supplier to the major names in the global auto industry and it was the first and still is the only UK business to achieve approval for its recycled grades in car interior trims.
Luxus also offers specialist ‘closed loop’ and ‘open loop’ recycling services to manage ‘end of life’ post industrial and consumer waste for the retail transit packaging, construction and local authority wheel bin markets.
 

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Rob Flynn Retires After 22 Years With Plastics Processor
Rob Flynn (65) from Louth retired this week after 22 years with Lincolnshire based technical plastics recycler and compounder Luxus Ltd.

Commenting on his time with Luxus Rob Flynn said: “It has been a pleasure working for Luxus these past 22 years and to have had the added benefit of being employed by a major manufacturer based here in my home town, Louth. I’d like to thank everyone for their support; I have always enjoyed being part of the Luxus team.”

Originally from Cumbria, Rob Flynn trained as a joiner restoring antiques furniture before he began his employment with Luxus on the 5th July 1993. He worked initially as an Extrusion Operator, which he did for 10 years before moving to the blending team to broaden his experience.

When asked to give advice to future machine operators he continued: “If you’re thinking of a career in plastics processing you need to get on with everyone, show up on time, work hard, but most importantly, be prepared to listen too.”

In recent years Rob took the decision to semi-retire so he worked instead as a Yard Operative, a role made possible thanks to the support of all his colleagues.

Luxus Managing Director, Peter Atterby, said: “Rob’s continued support has been invaluable over the years. We’d all like to wish him the very best for his retirement.”
Rob now intends to take up joinery once again, but this time for his own interest.

Luxus employs 155 staff and has a turnover of £25m based at the Fairfield Industrial Estate, Louth, Lincolnshire. (www.luxus.co.uk)

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Notes to editors
Image from left to right: Geoff Mountain, Compounding Manager, Rob Flynn, Yard Operative and Peter Atterby, Managing Director, Luxus

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Hycolene™ Surpasses Expectations In First Commercial Trial
9th November 2015

Luxus is pleased to announce that its high performance recycled content polymer range, Hycolene™ has surpassed expectations in its first full scale commercial trial that took place in September at moulder IAC’s plant based in Lincolnshire.

Hycolene is a faster cycling range of scratch resistant, lightweight (PP) compounds that help deliver improved Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) - it features up to 60% recycled content. The range has been developed to target Europe’s automotive interior trim market, by helping to satisfy both ‘end-of-life’ vehicle (ELV) and emissions targets.

The first full scale commercial results have shown that the scratch performance of Hycolene has significantly improved on the current product. It will therefore deliver a high quality finish; a key requirement given design and aesthetics are increasingly important in the cabin.

The trial also demonstrated that Hycolene can produce a much faster cycle time delivering moulders a substantial 8-12% saving, as more parts per tonne can be processed - satisfying Tier 1 targets in addition to OEM’s lightweighting requirements.

Dr Christel Croft, technical director at Luxus, comments: “These results have confirmed that the enhanced performance of the Hycolene range has not only been maintained, but in some instances have surpassed expectations.

“It has shown too, that Hycolene can really help improve life cycle analysis, since this ‘tool’ takes into account all the factors affecting a product’s environmental footprint. It also has the potential to be used as a true ‘drop in’ solution by Tier 1’s.”

Luxus announced earlier this year, that it has as part of a consortium recently secured a €1.4m investment, co-funded by the EU Eco-Innovation initiative, part of the EU's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (EIP). Its members are injection moulding company IAC for materials trials, twin screw manufacturer Coperion for technical support and Jaguar Land Rover offering end user guidance.

The commercial trial followed initial scale-up tests, these focused on different formulations, screw designs and process conditions at Coperion’s pilot plant based in Stuttgart in the Spring this year. The results were then jointly analysed by Luxus and Coperion before recommendations were made to the rest of the consortium to agree that the first commercial trial could take place.

For the trial itself, identical formulations, screw design and process conditions were created using Luxus’ bespoke Coperion extruder to establish scale-up parameters. This was to ensure the best environment for the first full scale batch to be used by IAC for its moulding trial. The consortium partners all agreed that the column shroud should be adopted for this trial since it’s a critical class ‘A’ visual component in the cabin.

Dave Jenkins, product engineering, International Automotive Components Group Ltd, comments: “From my perspective this was a very encouraging first trial, although further trials are required to fully optimise the product. A range of components also need to be run, so we can understand the material’s strengths and weaknesses. These will commence once the initial component lab testing is completed satisfactorily.”

As for the future, the next step is to repeat the commercial production improving screw design and process conditions following these initial results to improve material qualities. Luxus will then produce different grades of Hycolene and work with IAC to produce further parts for statistical analysis.

Luxus technicians will also be considering new markets where lightweighting and scratch-resistance are of benefit such as the educational furniture market for example.

For further information on this commercialisation project visit www.recyclite.eu
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Notes to editors
Supporting image: An example of the column shroud component used for the first Hycolene™ commercial trial.

For further information please contact: Sasha Stewart, Straight Talk PR, tel: 07764 346 896 or email: sasha@straighttalkpr.co.uk
Luxus Ltd        

UK leading independent technical plastics recycling and compounding company Luxus has been developing highly specified thermoplastics compounds based on prime and recycled feedstocks for 50 years. Luxus is a key supplier to the major names in the global auto industry and it was the first and still is the only UK business to achieve approval for its recycled grades in car interior trims.
Luxus also offers specialist ‘closed loop’ and ‘open loop’ recycling services to manage ‘end of life’ post industrial and consumer waste for the retail transit packaging, construction and local authority wheel bin markets.


 

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Luxus Appoints New Associate Commercial Director
14th September 2015

Innovative technical plastics compounder and recycler Luxus has appointed Sajid Mohammed as its new associate commercial director.

Sajid Mohammed has spent 25 years working in the engineering sector where he has successfully created and managed international business development programmes.  During his previous six years working as global sales and marketing director for Sanvik Materials Technology, he was responsible for sales and marketing, business development, profitability and commercialisation strategies.

Prior to this Sajid Mohammed worked as a sales director for BA Tubes where his main role was to formulate strategy to help grow business in its chosen products and markets.

Sajid Mohammed’s appointment at Luxus will see him manage its commercial activities including, sales and procurement, while also supporting its overall business objectives for increased growth globally. As part of this, he will build on both its customer and supplier relationships and help improve its supply chains too.

Commenting on his appointment Sajid Mohammed said: “I’m really pleased to be joining Luxus, a highly innovative plastics compounder and recycler that’s pushing the boundaries in many diverse industries from automotive to civil engineering and horticulture. Its continued investment programme will I’m sure enable Luxus to consolidate its leadership position in its chosen markets and enable it to explore emerging global opportunities too.

Peter Atterby, Managing Director, Luxus comments: “We are delighted that Sajid Mohammed has decided to join Luxus at such an interesting time for the company. He brings with him a wealth of experience, particularly in the development of new markets. I’m sure he will quickly become an important player in our management team and will help us meet the challenge of communicating to specifiers the benefits of adopting environmentally responsibly sourced engineered materials for a more sustainable future.”  

Luxus remains the longest established UK manufacturer to have achieved ‘A’ surface approval for its recycled grades for auto interior trims, in the process it has revolutionised the market. In 2012 it opened a new state of the art Technical Centre and now in its 50th year, it continues to extend its reach into new markets in Europe and Asia.

For further information on Luxus please visit www.luxus.co.uk.

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Notes to editors
For further information please contact: Sasha Stewart, Straight Talk PR, tel: 07764 346 896 or email: sasha@straighttalkpr.co.uk
Luxus Ltd       
 
UK leading independent technical plastics recycling and compounding company Luxus has been developing highly specified thermoplastics compounds based on prime and recycled feedstocks for 50 years. Luxus is a key supplier to the major names in the global auto industry and it was the first and still is the only UK business to achieve approval for its recycled grades in car interior trims.
Luxus also offers specialist ‘closed loop’ and ‘open loop’ recycling services to manage ‘end of life’ post industrial and consumer waste for the retail transit packaging, construction and local authority wheel bin markets.
 

Click here to read more
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