Scott & Fyfe join Composites UK as they expand Composite Business
Scott & Fyfe, an employee owned technical textile manufacturer has become a member of the Composites UK trade association.
The 150 year old company finalised the plans with Composites UK during the run up to the recent Composites UK event,
Supporting Composite Industry Growth in the UK a regional event hosted within the company’s Innovation Space earlier this year.
Pushing the boundaries of composite technology
The decision to join was due to a combination of factors including an ambition to play a more active role in shaping the future of composite materials, both within the UK industry and on a global platform.
Paul McMullan, Composite Director states that “as a company committed to innovation and pushing the boundaries of composite technology we felt it important to be connected to the UK trade association for composites in order to have a positive input into the strategic direction of research and government support to UK SME’s within the composite sector.”
Growing the composite business within the textile company
Chief Executive John Lupton explains that the employee owned company fully backed the decision to become a member due to the success and growth of the composite POD within the business.
“Over the past five years we have seen steady growth in the Composite POD within our business and with exciting new products and partners, we are forecasting a continuance of this growth. Joining Composites UK is a logical development for Scott & Fyfe as we aim to strengthen ties within the critical sectors of Automotive, Mass Transit, Construction, Marine, Oil & Gas and Renewable Energy.
As John explains, the move coincides with the ambitious plans of Scott & Fyfe to develop the composite side of their technical textile business. This growth is expected to be supported through the addition of new products such as the Polyform range containing multiaxial glass reinforcement materials such as Biaxial, Triaxial and Quadaxial non crimp fabrics (NCF) and Polyform CSM, a range of emulsion and powder bonded Chopped Strand Mats (CSM). These products will be launched on Stand G171 at the Advanced Engineering Show in Birmingham on November 4
th & 5th.
The move to join Composites UK also provides an ideal opportunity to network, engage and work in partnership with like-minded and ambitious UK companies. With an innovation led strategy at the core of the business collaborative working is paramount for Scott & Fyfe and occurs regularly between employees, customers, suppliers and anyone else who wants to approach the company with a problem! This innovation culture has seen the company carry out problem solving workshops with various blue chip companies since the launch of the Innovation Space in 2013.
Using design to promote innovation
This desire to work collaboratively is embedded in the culture at Scott & Fyfe, from the Innovation Space and POD structure to the way that employees work together. The company operates under a flattened hierarchy with teams of people working together in an effective and collaborative manner. This is in no way typical of a 150 year old technical textile business but is the everyday reality for Scott & Fyfe as a result of the Culture of Innovation which was developed over 5 years ago.
This culture of innovation came to fruition as a result of a project with the Glasgow School of Art and has resulted in the team using design-thinking tools such as POINT, the Double Diamond Model, dotocracy and mind mapping to carry out market research, new product development and problem solving on a daily basis. As a direct result, the company has significantly improved the timescales required to develop completely new products and get samples into the hands of its customers. Paul McMullan highlights that in 2014 the company produced over 150 rapid prototypes in collaboration with customers.
Many of the prototypes developed were for the Cured in Place Pipe (CIPP) market, also known as Trenchless Technology or No Dig, which resulted in business being gained in a new market area within the Pipe Fabric Technology POD. The work put into creating these prototypes has resulted in the development of the new Alphashield range which is to be launched this year. This range has already had a strong impact on the market and comprises of seamless tubular knitted glass liners suitable for the rehabilitation of pipe systems in a variety of diameters and weights.
Scott & Fyfe technical textiles
Alongside Composites, Scott & Fyfe also manufacture technical textile products for 3 other distinct market areas including: Abrasives, Flooring and Pipe Fabric Technology. Each of these PODS market and supply their own technical textile materials. All of the products produced by the company rely on the experience and capabilities the company has in extrusion, coating, weaving, knitting and stitch bonding.
Within the Abrasive POD, Scott & Fyfe have been supplying a range of technical loop attachment products for over 20 years and recently launched the Polyfast range. These technical loop fabrics grab onto the hook system creating a strong and reliable attachment. The range also offers excellent lamination characteristics and can be applied using both hot melt and water based adhesive systems.
The Flooring POD is an important part of the history of the company and maintains a key role today. The main product range here is Textron which consists of stitch bonded and crepe paper and non-woven materials. These are used for carpet underlay and have dominated the underlay market for over 40 years.
The Pipe Fabric Technology POD is one of the newest PODS within Scott & Fyfe as none of the products produced here were made 5 years ago. Pipe Fabric Technology supplies to markets including irrigation and infrastructure repair and the innovations supplied into these markets include new flexible pipes for use in drip feed irrigation systems and unique seamless glass textile liners for the fast assistance of pipe rehabilitation systems.
Composites UK involvement
As mentioned earlier, since joining Composites UK, S&F hosted the regional event
Supporting Composite Industry Growth in the UK. The event was a resounding success, facilitating introductions between many players in the Scottish composite industry.
After welcoming attendees to Scott & Fyfe presentations began with Paul McMullan providing an overview of Scott & Fyfe, the Employee Ownership model of the company and of course, the composite side of the business. Stella Job, Supply Chain and Environment Manager and Dr Sue Halliwell, Operations Manager of Composites UK also provided excellent insight into the services that are offered by Composite UK and in particular, the growth of trade association membership within Scotland.
Alison Glover of Ashtead Technologies followed this by leading a discussion on the non-destructive testing (NDT) that can be carried out on composite panels and Simon Frost of Walker Technical gave an energetic talk about the work Walker carry out in the oil and gas industry using composite materials including an impressive case study of repair work carried out on degraded pipelines in the desert.
After the presentations, a factory tour was provided to all interested parties showcasing the range of stitch bonding, weaving, knitting, coating and extruding equipment capabilities held by the company on the Tayport site.
Overall, this Composites UK event showcased the diversity and quality of companies involved in Composites within Scotland and plans are already underway for Composites UK to organise another dedicated site visit to S&F in Q2 of 2016.
For any further information please contact Michaela Millar, Business Development Officer at: