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Innovation and Green Thinking pays off for Welsh Manufacturers

A computer maker that is expecting a million tablet sales in 12 months, a malt whisky maker that flies the flag for food and drink from Wales and a company that makes laser equipment for the cosmetics industry in over 50 countries are amongst dozens of companies recognised for their achievements and the vital role they play in the Welsh economy at the Made in Wales Awards Dinner.

 

Morgan Advanced Materials, which achieved 23% energy savings within 12 months, received the Green Manufacturer Award sponsored by WRAP Cymru. The company installed a solar farm and set up an energy efficiency programme driven by its Green Team of employees. Morgan Advanced Materials was deemed by the judges to have made the greatest commitment to reducing the impact of manufacturing on the environment during the period July 2012 to June 2013.

 

Receiving the Manufacturing Innovation Award sponsored by Abel & Imray was Caerphilly-based Direct Healthcare Services. The company makes products for mattresses used to help eradicate pressure ulcers and introduced a new Intelligent Pressure Care Management solution that has been shown to release 7000 hours of nursing time to care at an average hospital in the UK. It believes that its innovative approach is making a real and measurable difference to healthcare providers in the UK and this “embedded innovation” was seen as powerful by the judges.

 

Penarth-based KMS Components which distributes computer components to a vast number of companies, created a number of consumer electronic brands including the Versus tablet computer. The company says it is now the 5th largest tablet manufacturer and was presented with the Technology Award sponsored by M & M Communications.

 

Welsh Whisky Company, which launched new products and invested in new pot still and production unit, received the Food and Drink Award sponsored by Forward Waste Management. The maker of Penderyn malt whisky operates successfully in a “very competitive market” according to the judges. It now expects to increase its annual sales to 500,000 bottles per year.

 

Secretary of State for Wales David Jones said: “Events like the ‘Made in Wales’ awards reinforce the message of how important it is to rebalance and rebuild the manufacturing and engineering industries to equip Britain to succeed in the global race. Most importantly, they provide us with the opportunity to mark the successes of those companies that are going from strength to strength, and to recognise the role they are playing in boosting the Welsh economy.

 

“Companies like the Welsh Whisky Company and Spectrum Technologies are putting Wales on the map as a destination that is rich in talented and skilled workforces, and one that is open for business.

 

“This government is committed to supporting businesses – our aim is to create a strong and vibrant economy in Wales and manufacturing is central to this vision. Congratulations to all of the recipients of the Made in Wales awards.”

 

Blaenavon-based maker of components, rail and construction equipment, GOS Tool and Engineering Services, was presented with the Creative Design Award for its welding system that helps Network rail to keep trains running on days when repairs are taking place. The Award was sponsored by Nominet.

 

Pharmaceutical and medical device maker, Norgine based in Hengoed, received the Medical and Life Sciences Award sponsored by R & D Group. The company invested heavily in its site to support new versions of its Movicol laxative as was recognised for its ability to survive and thrive in the current economic climate.

 

FSG Tool & Die, which set up its apprenticeship scheme to address local skills gap, has trained more than 100 apprentices. The company received the Apprenticeship Scheme of the Year sponsored by Hunter Selection.

 

Gareth Jenkins, Managing Director, said: “The award is a fitting accolade for all the people in FSG over 50 years who have trained the next generations of toolmakers. We are what we train.”

 

 

The Exporter of the Year Award sponsored by Welsh Government went to Chromogenex Technologies based in Llanelli. The company has expanded its international sales force and experienced growth from sales of £2m to £14m over the past 5 years. The company has developed new products and now sells to more than 50 countries worldwide with direct operations in USA and Brazil. It also has a regional office in Hong Kong.

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Cwmfelinfach-based MöllerTech, which introduced over 115 new injection moulding tools to make parts for BMW, Honda and Toyota, was given the Advanced Manufacturer Award. The company was recognised for its ability to solve complex problems; enjoying a turnover increase from approximately £21.2million to £39.6million, supported by over £4.2million in additional capital investment.

 

The overall Manufacturer of the Year Award sponsored by Barclays went to SPTS Technologies based in Newport. The company makes equipment for the semiconductor industry and has successfully secured new customers and maintained profits in a slowing market. Their market leading approach was seen as “incredible” by one of the judges.

 

SPTS launched 2 products addressing issues faced by the 3D Packaging market in 2012 and received a Queens Award for Enterprise in International Trade earlier this year. SPTS was also ranked number two in the annual Sunday Times PwC Profit Track 100 league table in the same month.

 

Other companies shortlisted for the 10 Made in Wales Awards were:

  • Greenheart Kitchens
  • Bridgend Extrusion
  • Quiet Revolution Manufacturing
  • Al-Met
  • Blurrt
  • Trackyou
  • Spectrum Internet
  • Clarks UK
  • Peter’s Foods
  • Gritty Realism Productions
  • BBI Healthcare
  • BBI Solutions
  • Hospital Innovations
  • GE Aviation Wales
  • Tritech Group
  • Mabey Bridge
  • Pure Wafer International
  • Invertek Drives
  • Spectrum Technologies
  • GE Healthcare

 

The Made in Wales Awards Dinner is organised by Insider Media and was hosted by presenter and well-known journalist, Huw Edwards.