In 1986 Hi-Tech Mouldings was established as a subsidiary of toolmaker Tisson Manufacturing, a company that itself had only begun life three years prior. A decade later the company relocated to a new facility at Tyak House, Waterlooville. In 2000, the Hi-Technology Group identity was formed with Hi-Tech Mouldings, Hi-Tech Design and Hi-Tech Tooling becoming the group’s three specialised businesses. In 2007 to further increase its ability to respond to customer’s requirements in Europe Hi-Technology Mouldings Slovakia sro was established.
Today the Hi-Technology Group employs 150 people over three shifts processing 423 grades of 42 polymers from polypropylene to PEEK. Through its five main business areas, design, tooling, mouldings, assembly and cables, the group’s mission is to provide total plastic solutions to all of its customers. It achieves this by remaining focused on its core expertise, offering a total service and evolving through various initiatives and investment in facilities, equipment and training.
“The core services provided by the company involve undertaking product design from its dedicated design team, tool design and manufacture from our own tool room and injection moulded production and assembly,” explains Richard Brown, operations director of Hi-Tech Mouldings. “The company has developed a series of systems and measures that enable its manufacturing facility to literally live and breathe an approach to business that it calls QCD, which promotes high quality, competitive costs and high delivery performance. This philosophy has been found to inspire confidence and sets a strong foundation for long and successful relationships with its customers.”
Though it was be no means immune to the financial difficulties caused by the economic downturn, what set Hi-Tech Mouldings apart from other businesses was its decision to continue to invest during the recession in equipment and systems that would help it become more productive and better prepared for an upturn in activity: “The main challenge for the company at this time was being able to outperform its competitors,” Richard continues. “To do this it had to continually strive to introduce new and innovative ways to ensure its level of market success remained unchallenged.
“Despite the climate, in the financial year 2009-10 the company maintained its turnover level, taking on a number of new product innovations for its customers in the process. Hi-Tech Mouldings’ expert sales and market strategy, along with its consistent corporate image, enabled it to introduce a wealth of new customers, particular those in the medical, transport and security sectors, to the ‘Hi-Tech experience.’ In this time it also managed to develop new products from design to manufacture for clients in the UK, the US and Germany, manufacturing 36 new tools and transferring in a further 58.”
This performance helped position the company for the current financial year where it expects to achieve growth of approximately 18 per cent, which translates to 10.25 million euros. The core strength of the business remains the focus and dedication of its staff and its recent levels of growth has required the company to take on more people in all areas. This has given Hi-Tech Mouldings a high degree of confidence that in the financial year of 2011-12 it will experience further growth with expansion of its offering into new market sectors.
At the heart of the company is its Total Concept Manufacturing approach that offers injection moulding solutions from concept to volume manufacture: “This way of conducting business is achieved first by gaining an understanding of an individual customer’s needs before developing this into a product specification,” states Richard. “What it finds is that customers approach Hi-Tech Mouldings at various stages of the design cycle, from the time when a product is at a concept stage, which allows early input, to the final product stage when it has already been established. One of the most impressive skills possessed by the company’s engineers is their ability to get alongside the customer, get a feel for their needs and advise on material selection and optimum design of the product for economic tooling to minimise the time taken to bring it to market.”
Hi-Tech Mouldings’ professional, dynamic and forward thinking approach to business has also seen it on the receiving end of a number of industry awards over the course of the last 12 months. In July 2011 it won the South Coast Business Award for Growth Business of the Year in recognition of the way its business strategy has enabled it to grow against a challenging economic backdrop. This was followed by being shortlisted in three categories, Environment, Training and Processor of the Year, at the Plastic Industry Awards. It marks the eleventh straight year that the company has been a finalist, a feat that further demonstrates its sustainability. These accomplishments were most recently added to with the award of the People and Skills Award at October’s Manufacturer Awards.
“The company is today continuing to grow its export portfolio, both from the UK and Slovakia, exporting to a total of 16 countries including the US, Spain, France, Poland, Chile, India, Taiwan and Australia,” Richard highlights. “The strategy for the next few years involves further penetrating the Eastern European market from its base in Slovakia. The aim is that, as the Slovakia facility matures, the company will consider what other areas of the world would directly benefit from receiving the ‘Hi-Tech experience’, all the while ensuring that the company remains robust and fit for the future.
“Hi-Tech Mouldings is incredibly confident that its focus on its activities in 2011-12, supported by its exceptional team and its superb ability to execute its business strategy in a challenging economic climate, will enable the company to go from strength to strength. Flexibility, speed and courage have been the building blocks of the company’s success since day one and remain the fundamental characteristics that will give Hi-Tech Mouldings continued prosperity within the polymer sector for many years to come.”