Happy 41st Birthday BEC!

This month we celebrate our 41st year!  41 years successfully designing, tooling and moulding components, filters and a whole range of pretty cool products for clients.  Some from the other side of the world, some from just around the corner.

A birthday is not a birthday without some kind of liquid refreshment (!) which is why we had a little “thank you” party for the BEC team at the stunningly located The Cliff House, Barton on Sea earlier this month.  What a fun evening, thank you to everyone who came.

We’re particularly proud here at BEC, that a number of our employees have been with us over 20 years, some nearly 30!  So special thanks go to our long-standing employees; Paul, Dave, Richard, Garry, Glenn, Matt and Mike, we look forward to seeing what the next 41 years bring!

We caught up with a few of them to find out how plastic injection design, tooling and moulding has evolved over the years in terms of technological advancement and materials, what their most memorable project was and what’s so special about the BEC team!

Mike (from Toolmaker to Toolroom Manager) 

“Technology has impacted on our job hugely over the years, the advancement in CAD/CAM software and cutting tools has made complex shapes so much easier to produce.

In 24 years at BEC I have been involved in 100’s of projects and the one that sticks most in my mind was a large strap for Jointing Tech, who were part of a project to run cables through the Channel Tunnel.  Lead times were incredibly tight and the customer could not risk any delay in getting parts, so were looking into the feasibility of tooling using a prototype tooling company.  I managed to produce full production tooling in a very short time, running on a 24-hour shift pattern for 6 months solidly, producing over 110,000 mouldings.

The best thing about BEC has got to be the variety of work.  No two days are the same, there is something to solve on a daily basis to get to the end goal.

As for the future I hope to manage many more projects, working with customers to produce tooling and parts that fulfil their requirements. I hope BEC carry on producing tooling and moulding for another 40+ years.  It’s what we do best!”

Andy Palmieri BEC Group

Andy Palmieri (from filters to moulding machine operator to tooling)

“I’ve spent the last 10 years in tooling doing all the manual milling, grinding and bench work and I love it!  Although the machines have got more sophisticated over time, technology change hasn’t really impacted on our jobs, we still do manual milling.  The best thing about BEC is being in the tool room doing the job I love!”

Paul (Design & Innovation) 

“It was all knobs and valves in the old days, nowadays it’s touch screen and everything’s so much cleaner. When I started with CAD design the monitor was huge, starting at 2m wide and 1m deep whereas nowadays it’s all flat screen.  It’s all so much faster and easier to do everything now.

My best project is always the last one.  If I had to pick one, I’d go for the Ecoegg because it was a first for us. 3D printed metal cores.  We tried something new, it was a huge success and that was a big achievement for us.

Biggest change in the industry has to be when Chinese offshore competition meant UK manufacturers had to sharpen their pencils.  We reduced lead times and it really sorted the wheat from the chaff.  Many companies fell by the wayside, but we weathered the storm, put up a fight and I’m pleased to say we’re still here!

Customer’s expectations of us and our role has changed over the years.  Where we would previously have worked FOR our customers, we now very much work WITH them.  They look to us for help and get a better end product because we’re working together.

The best thing about BEC is the people I work with and I really enjoy what I do.  It’s great being part of a relatively small team.  We help each other out, you often find Geoff, our MD, down in the toolroom with his sleeves rolled up fixing a machine.”

Garry Morley BEC Group

Garry Morley (Machine Setter Operator)

“I remember being nervous on my first day, it was my first factory job, but I’ve made good friends here. The biggest change over the years has been that the machines have got better, the training and of course health and safety.  My favourite project was an automotive fluid filter for an international automotive company.  I hope BEC continue to grow and that I stay here until I retire!”

Matt (from Machine Operator to Quality and Production Manager)

“My most memorable project was being involved in the manufacture and assembly of the wrist bands for the Super Bowl.  I’m a massive sports fan so that was pretty cool. The highlight was going to the United States to discuss quality and manufacture.

I’ve learnt a lot from the people I’ve worked with over the years. BEC is such a friendly company and they’ve given me the chance to progress during my time here.”

We’re extremely proud that the constant in our 41 years has been the fabulous BEC team and we would be nothing without them, so huge THANKS goes to each and every one of them for continuing to produce excellence across the board.

Thanks also to our fabulous clients, we look forward to getting our heads together and designing, moulding and tooling innovative products, filters and components for many, many more years to come.

For advice or information simply email hello@becgroup.com or call 01425 613131 today.