Cost Analyst and Sales Director in the office

Growing demand drives expansion at MGS

Blackburn based MGS Technical Plastics has appointed four new team members, and will recruit two more, as it looks to serve the growing demand for its plastic injection moulding and associated manufacturing services.

The appointments follow an influx of new contract wins worth a total of £2m, which include a luxury car manufacturer that has nominated MGS to supply its new model, an energy company which has enlisted MGS to manufacture a new range of smart meters, and an electronics company which switched a major project to MGS to improve the quality of its products.

The new employees, which include office-based and shop-floor roles, will help MGS handle the increasing volume of incoming enquiries, and will boost the firm’s head count by more than 10 per cent, up to a total of 54.

A cost analyst has been appointed to help streamline new projects. Sales Director, Mark Preston, explained “The large number of enquiries we were receiving was taking time away from our existing projects, so we have enhanced our technical team to better accommodate both old and new customers”.

A graduate industrial engineer and two machine operators have joined the team to help MGS manage the increased workload. MGS is also actively seeking to recruit a new maintenance engineer and shift technician.

Managing Director John Sturgess said: “This has been an incredibly positive year in terms of growth, we are on track to achieve our ambitious targets that we set for 2020. With growth there can often be growing pains; to counteract this we have invested in new machinery, further staff training and recruitment in order to upskill our team and increase our capacity. This has enabled us to continue to deliver our industry-leading levels of service while future-proofing for further developments.”

Machine Operator in the MGS Factory

MGS getting greener by the day

MGS Technical Plastics has invested six figures in its bid to champion responsible manufacturing and continue to have a positive impact on the environment.

The Blackburn-based manufacturer has introduced a number of initiatives, including upgrades to its factory and improved working practices.

The company has invested significant time in researching, trialling and implementing new and innovative ways to reuse and recycle leftover plastics to become reusable polymers, diverting it from landfill.

The company’s biggest investments to date have been replacing older machines with newer, more energy efficient alternatives. One such purchase, a 900-tonne machine installed last year, is the biggest MGS has ever owned and operated and delivers 40 per cent energy savings compared to its predecessor.

Other initiatives include investing £43,000 in solar panels and converting 90 per cent of the factory’s lighting to low-consumption LEDs, using motion detection in areas visited less often. Motion activated, high speed, roller shutter doors keep more heat in the factory, and help processes become more efficient during the melting process of polymers.

Newly-installed enterprise resource planning software has reduced the amount of paper MGS uses, with any waste paper being shredded to be used at a local animal sanctuary for bedding.

Employees play a key role, too, and in September a team will raise money for charity by completing the 25-mile Three Peaks Challenge in September.

Nathan Sturgess, Procurement Officer at MGS, said: “Sustainability is integral to the working practices of the business. Every member of our team is made aware of our commitment at the outset and encouraged throughout their employment to make ethical decisions that not only go beyond compliance, but positively impact the environment and our stakeholders.

“Our focus on environmental integrity and sustainability is second to none.”

Want to read more? You may be interested in Advocating for Apprentices or Our Manufacturing Excellence Award.

Advocating for Apprentices

MGS Technical Plastics was part of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders delegation which also included industry giants such as BMW and Nissan.

We are a vocal advocate of the apprenticeship scheme: each of its directors began their careers as apprentices and MGS recruited six new apprentices over the last 18 months.

At the House of Lords, the event showcased apprenticeships of all disciplines from across the automotive industry with apprentices speaking about their experiences to an audience of manufacturers, supply chain companies and MPs.

The reception highlighted how hands-on training can be combined with classroom learning to help young people find high quality jobs while fulfilling the needs of British businesses.

The delegation also discussed how apprentices of different types are employed throughout the supply chain, and in companies of all sizes, while sharing advice and best practice tips.

Mark Preston, of MGS Technical Plastics, said: “Industries such as ours require specialised skills and apprentices are the best way to fill that need. We all need to inspire young people to consider it as a career path and to promote the manufacturing and automotive industries as exciting and attractive options.

“We need to show them what we do, the technical skills we develop, the innovation we strive for, the responsibility we carry economically and environmentally and of course show them what’s possible in terms of career advancement.”

Mark added: “For MGS, it is an honour to be invited as part of the SMMT delegation. We aren’t the largest company by size but it is clear that we do have significant influence. We are on the SMMT Regional Engagement board for the North and are the only plastic injection moulding company on this board, and to be invited to this event along with BMW, Nissan and McLaren shows that we are held in high regard.”

The apprentices who have joined MGS in the last 18 months range from school-leavers beginning their careers through to managers looking to boost their skills sets. They are: Lee Smith, Technician Apprentice; Steven Hyde, Tool Room Apprentice; Dillon Tennant, Electro Mechanical Engineer Apprentice; Simon Glasson, Leadership Apprenticeship; Glenn Miller, Leadership Apprenticeship; and Mark Hartley, Technician Apprentice.

Adopting a new customer

MGS adopts a new customer within one week

We received the tool on Friday, it was ready for operation by Wednesday. The client saw an instant improvement in quality.

MGS Technical Plastics has taken on a multi-tool transfer of a specialised manufacturer, with the production up and running in less than a week.

We received an inquiry from an electronic company which manufactures electronic sensors designed for the textile industry, with major markets in China and India.

The company was suffering quality and delivery time issues with its current supplier and was seeking an upgrade. The tools they were using had not been maintained and were producing poor quality work.

After providing technical expertise and demonstrating our capabilities, we won the contract, received the first tool on the Friday, and it was cleaned, fitted and ready for operation by the Wednesday.

Not only did we offer rapid turnaround, but the customer saw an instant improvement in quality. They have since transferred 19 further tools – and we’ve been awarded an additional project over fierce competition from abroad.

We now provide our new customer with a full production service and supply of products. We have become their preferred – and only – plastic injection moulding partner.

Mark Preston, MGS Sales Director, said: “We were able to step up and help when this company needed an upgrade to their requirements. The quality of their previous injection moulding had been declining due to lack of investment, new plant and tool maintenance at a time when they were trying to grow and attract new customers.”

The value of the work agreed so far totals more than six figures annually, and we are in discussions to take on significant additional work.

To find out more about how our hassle-free tool transfers can bring you improved production quality without delay, contact the MGS Technical Plastics team today.

MGS supplies global supply chain of tier one automotive manufacturer

We won the contract because of our high levels of customer service: our team flew out to China to help procure new tools.

MGS Technical Plastics has earned a significant place in the supply chain of a luxury car manufacturer after securing a new contract with a key customer.

The project has been agreed with one of our long-standing customers: a large multinational, tier one automotive manufacturer. We are set to supply high quality exterior trims for a new high-end model of car due to enter the market in 2020.

In addition to our technical expertise and cost-effective solutions, we were nominated for the contract because of the high levels of customer service the client has come to expect from us. This has already seen our team fly out to China as part of the project management and manufacture of new tooling.

At present, there are 15 tools in production in Asia, with a total initial cost of more than £1m. From these tools, we will supply parts, including painted and pre-assembled items.

Mark Preston, MGS Sales Director, said: “We have built a long-standing relationship with this client. As they have grown internationally over the years, we have been able to meet their changing needs and have now secured a lion’s share of their injection moulding work.

“We work well together because we have taken the time to understand their way of doing things and have helped them to finalise the requirements for their projects. Ultimately, the work we do helps our customers to help their customers.”

If you are looking for a production partner willing to fly to the furthest corners of the earth to ensure the highest quality work for your project, contact the MGS team today.

The MGS Technical Plastics Building

MGS secures £2 million in new contracts

Rapid turnarounds, global project management and a deep knowledge of the plastics market has seen MGS Technical Plastics secure £2m in new contracts.

The bulk of the new work has been granted by three companies.

The first sees MGS join the global supply chain of a luxury car manufacturer. It is working with a multinational, tier one manufacturer to supply parts for a new model of car set to hit the roads in 2020. As part of its industry-leading customer service, MGS sent representatives to China to personally oversee the manufacture of specialised tools for this project.

MGS has also begun work with an energy company manufacturing second generation smart meter technology. To help the customer meet its environmental impact goals, MGS searched far and wide to find recycled polymers which met the highest quality and safety standards. Seven tools are now in production, and will be ready to begin manufacture of the smart metering equipment this summer.

And MGS has also stepped in to help an electronics company supplying to the textile sector. The company, which has major markets in China and India, was suffering from declining output quality as investment in new plant and tools had not been properly maintained. MGS took delivery of the tools, refurbished them and had them ready for operation within one week. The project began with one tool, but when the customer experienced an instant improvement in quality, it transferred 19 more.

Mark Preston, Sales Director at MGS, said: “It is an exceptionally exciting and busy time at MGS. We are talking to potential new customers on a daily basis, and we have over 50 tools under construction ready to begin new projects in the near future.

“When potential customers visit our premises, they are very impressed with our housekeeping and cleanliness. It’s our attention to detail and level of dedication that sets us apart from other injection moulding firms.”

To help cope with the vast number of enquiries, MGS is now recruiting a cost estimator who will help draw up proposals for new work.

Mark added: “As we’re project managing on another continent, and offering a quick turnaround or sourcing new materials to meet a client’s exact specifications, we’re attracting more and more customers – and our existing customers are handing us more and more of their projects. There is a lot to be optimistic about at MGS!”

Apprentices keep the UK competitive, says award-winning MGS Technical Plastics

This week is the 12th annual National Apprenticeship Week, a week-long, country-wide celebration of apprenticeships. And here at MGS, we believe there is a lot to celebrate.

Following the appointment of six new apprentices over the last 18 months, they now account for more than 10 per cent of our total workforce.

And that’s not forgetting that each of our directors began their careers on apprenticeship programmes.

Ask Neil Garrity, our Operations Director, and he’ll tell you that not only are apprentices the key to our success, but they’re crucial to keeping Britain competitive in a global marketplace.

“Apprenticeships are absolutely critical to the future of the engineering industry,” says Neil.

“The programme allows firms like ours to shape the next generation of workers in terms of skills and attitudes, while the apprentices earn a professional qualification and benefit from on-the-job, hands-on training.

“But while employing apprentices has been fantastic for our business. I think some of our peers worry that an individual may walk away once they have completed their training. Despite this small risk, our apprenticeship programme has paid for itself ten times over.”

Neil says: “Employers who choose not to invest in apprentices are being left behind. They struggle to source the skills they need while forward-thinking companies like ours design bespoke programmes for the specific work we undertake, creating our dream workforce.

“Our apprentices get the experience on the job and can really gain in skills and confidence. Both our staff and our company can progress. It’s a win-win situation.”

The apprentices who have joined MGS in the last 18 months range from school-leavers beginning their careers through to supervisors looking to boost their skills sets.

They are: Lee Smith, Technician Apprentice; Steven Hyde, Toolroom Apprentice; Dillon Tennant, Electro Mechanical Engineer Apprentice; Simon Glasson, Leadership Apprenticeship; Glenn Miller, Leadership Apprenticeship; and Mark Hartley, Technician Apprentice.

MGS backs Blackburn charity run

As a proud Lancashire company, MGS Technical Plastics is excited to announce its sponsorship of Blackburn’s Winter Warmer charity run this February. And we’re sending a team along to compete, too.

The Winter Warmer is an annual 10 kilometre race organised by the Blackburn Road Runners Club. It starts and finishes within the picturesque Witton Park, making use of its athletics track.

The event – on Sunday, February 3 – aims to promote running as a fun and healthy activity. Participants are also encouraged to use the opportunity to raise money for local charities, and there is also a Junior 2K run for younger runners aged five to 15.

With 800 runners already signed on to take part, there is a limited number of places still available on the day.

Several of the company’s employees will be taking part on the day, ranging from beginners undertaking their first roadrunning event through to seasoned competitors who have been sharing their experiences and encouragement.

One of the MGS team new to running is Director’s Co-ordinator Megan Johnson, who said: “At the start, I didn’t believe I would be able to run 1km let alone 10km. But after training with colleagues, I’m ready for Sunday!”

Director John Sturgess said: “I’m delighted that we can support this great event. MGS is committed to supporting the local community, and running is a personal passion of mine, and so the Winter Warmer is the perfect combination of the two.

“For several years, this run has presented a fun and challenging start to the year for beginners and more experienced runners alike and has raised a great deal of money for some very worthwhile local causes.”

John added: “I’d like to wish everybody taking part the best of luck, and for those who won’t be running on the day, I urge them to show their support for any friends, family and colleagues who are!”

Backing the Winter Warmer is the latest in a number of initiatives by MGS which is aimed at supporting Blackburn with Darwen and its residents. We helped demonstrate the town’s manufacturing capabilities by getting involved with the towns Festival of Making.

We are a supporter of the Nightsafe charity for the homeless, a sponsor of the local Good Neighbour Awards and we were named the best engineering company in the county at the 2018 Red Rose Awards.

More details of the Winter Warmer can be found at or

The MGS Team together for a group photo with their NAA Manufatcuring Excellence Award at the Mere Golf Club

MGS Technical Plastics wins Manufacturing Excellence award

Blackburn-based MGS Technical Plastics has won a major industry award in recognition of its continuous effort to make its manufacturing processes more environmentally friendly, and for its commitment to training and developing an engaged workforce.

The company was awarded the Manufacturing Excellence Award at the Northern Automotive Alliance (NAA) Awards 2018.

MGS operates 20 machines ranging from 35 tonne to 900 tonne, producing bespoke plastic components for a range of industries and serving as a tier 1 and 2 supplier to some of the biggest automotive companies in the world. The award win follows a multi-year, seven-figure investment project which has seen the company move to new premises and invest in new machinery and leaner processes.

The judges of the award were particularly impressed by the programme of improvement focusing on reducing energy use. Investments include the introduction of Thingtrax ‘internet of things’ software which monitors the usage of all machines and helps identify smarter ways to operate them.

In addition, MGS recently invested £43,000 on a 49Kw solar panel unit, and employs a recycling system to grind leftover sprues ready for reuse. MGS was also acknowledged for its ongoing training and personal development programmes which cater for all employees, including apprenticeships and long-term college courses.

Judson Smythe, Technical Director, said: “MGS has gone from strength to strength and what’s really exciting is we still haven’t even begun to realise our full potential. The vision, to be a world renowned technical manufacturer, will be achieved in the near future, of that we are all certain.”

Mark Preston, Sales Director, added: “This award is just the beginning of what’s to come. These are just the foundation bricks being laid thanks to all the hard work and determination of every single member of MGS. Watch this space, it’s going to be a spectacular future.”

MGS collected the award at a prize-giving ceremony held in Cheshire. The master of ceremonies and guest speaker, Red Dwarf star and Scrapheap Challenge presenter Robert Llewellyn, entertained the audience with stories about his adventures with electric vehicles.

The Northern Automotive Alliance is an independent, not-for-profit company which provides a membership service to the automotive community. The NAA Awards were launched to showcase the successes of vehicle manufacturers, supply chain companies and service providers in the region.

Rowan Egan, NAA Chief Executive, added: “As my first Awards event as NAA chief executive, it was impressive to see the diverse range of companies in the Northern region that are offering world-class products and services.”

Written by Amanda Jackson, TigerFish PR

Judson sat down in front of MGS logo

MGS announces senior appointment ahead of growth


Judson Smythe has been appointed to the board of directors at Lancashire-based moulding specialist MGS Technical Plastics as it plans its next stage of growth. Judson joined the company in the summer of 2016 and has now joined the board as Technical Director.

The 32-year-old brought international experience to the role, joining MGS from the Jasco Group in Durban, South Africa, where he was an Engineering Manager working with 50 injection moulding machines and a workforce of 250. He was previously an Apprentice Tool and Die maker, and later read Industrial Engineering at Durban University of Technology.

Now he will play an integral role in MGS’s bid to reach £10m turnover. He will oversee the technical capacity of factory operations and hold responsibility for tooling and new product introductions.

Since moving to its Blackburn home in a major £2m project, MGS has invested heavily in upgrading and adding to its equipment. The most recent purchase is a KraussMaffei KM900 dual platen machine with a 900-tonne capacity at a cost of £530,000. MGS has also invested a five-figure sum in Thingtrax, which uses the Internet of Things to monitor production around the clock and identify inefficiencies in production processes.

Judson said: “This is the most exciting time in the company’s history and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to play a role in taking it to the next level.

“With modifications to the factory and significant investment in new equipment, we have strong foundations on which we can build towards our ambitious growth targets.”

John Sturgess, Director at MGS said: “The most important resource for our company is the people we employ. Our skills, expertise and customer-first approach put us ahead of the competition.

“Judson is a shining example of what we’re all about. He is a great addition to our management team and we’re sure he’ll play a valuable role in our growth over the coming years.”

Written by Amanda Jackson, TigerFish PR