HAVING moved into its custom-built factory in Kelso, plastic tank manufacturer Forbes has found increased production efficiencies in its new facilities, enabling it to remain highly competitive.
The company has recently boosted the workforce at the Pinnaclehill plant by five to 60 to meet the demand of major orders from China and Russia.
“We have ensured full production was maintained despite the demise of the chemical industries in the UK,” said managing director Melvyn Jupp.
“Over the past few years the company has gradually increased its export business which accounted for 20 per cent of our turnover in the past year”.
Forbes has maintained significant volumes of export work, including 46 large tanks which were shipped from the docks at Berwick to St Petersburg and then by rail to Kazakhstan.
The demand Forbes has created for tanks, scrubbers (gas and odour purifying towers) and other chemical equipment made in thermoplastic, glassfibre reinforced plastics (GRP) and dual laminate composites now spans the globe, and includes Portugal, Greece and France.
With handling and manufacturing capacities in excess of 10 tonnes, diameters over five metres with heights up to 18 metres, the company now offers a huge range of products from a few litres in capacity to more than 200,000 litres.
“A major advantage we have over many other manufacturers is the ability to manufacture in a large range of materials,” said chairman Lee Forbes. “This ensures the correct material is selected to give long-term chemical resistance with expected lifespans in excess of 25 years.”
The latest shipment leaving the Kelso works bound for Russia includes six 20 cubic metre capacity tanks for chlorine production plants for water treatment. This order is part of a continuing development for similar tanks over the next few years. An export order for two massive scrubbing towers for China is in production. These towers have sophisticated internals and packing media all made in house. This order is due to he shipped later this month.
“The move to our new factory in Kelso, which was down to the generosity of supermarket giant Sainsbury’s which needed our old site, has been a key factor in our expansion and has allowed us to face the future with renewed confidence,” said Mr Forbes.