I am excited to be writing my first blog post for S&F covering the Advanced Engineering Show which was held in Birmingham 2 weeks ago. To introduce myself briefly my name is Michael Harrison and I have very recently begun working at Scott & Fyfe as business development executive within the Composites POD. I started working for S&F on the 20 th October 2015 and exhibiting at the Advanced Engineering Show was really my first task with the company.
Some background to me would be that I am married with 2 boys, Scott and Jordan who are aged 23 & 18. Scott is an accountant and Jordan has just started university and will be doing an MSc in sports science. Previous to working at S&F I worked for companies including Fothergill & Harveys and Courtaulds Aerospace when they took them over and most recently BW Fiberglass.
During my 26 years at Fothergill & Harvey’s (now known as Fothergill Engineered Fabric) I began work as a labourer before progressing to a machine operative. At this point the company was taken over by Courtaulds Aerospace who put me through university where I gained a 2-1 in operational management. After this I was then put through the mill spending 12 months in every department gaining a full understanding of how things worked. This was a fantastic learning experience. After completing this I realised I felt most comfortable in a sales role but due to problems in the manufacturing side of the business it was best placed for the company that I take on the position of operations manager. I left there in 2005 to gain more knowledge within the technical fabrics industry and worked in sales positions for various companies involved in the textiles / composite industry with a focus on the aerospace, automotive and marine markets. My last role was with BW Fiberglass who are based in North Carolina.
On visiting Scott & Fyfe for the first time I thought that the Innovation Space and PODS were fantastic and could see how this would be a massive benefit to the running of a company. I was also very interested in the fact that Scott & Fyfe are an Employee Owned company, a first for me.
I exhibited at the Advanced Engineering Show 2015 on behalf of S&F with Paul McMullan, Composites Director and Michaela Millar, Business Development Officer. It was the first time in a long time that Scott & Fyfe had held their own stand here so was interesting for all 3 of us.
The Advanced Engineering Show is one of the largest meetings in the UK for the engineering supply chain with a large segment focussed specifically on the composites market. The 2 day show has grown significantly year on year and is a great exhibition to meet the key players in the UK market, although the show now seems to be attracting more and more international visitors.
Setting up our exhibition stand was definitely an experience as all was going well until we tried to stick the boards and frames onto the panels only to realise our tape would not adhere to the thin boards. Finally we succeeded (after an emergency trip to B&Q) and we left at around 8pm very hungry.
Day one of the show was fantastic. Our stand was busy for the entire day and we had plenty of meetings with potential customers and partners at the stand. It was also a great opportunity for us to catch up with our existing customers and suppliers.
Over the course of the day we had lots of interest in our standard
Polymat range of glass chopped strand mat sandwich materials including the new addition to this, Polymat FR an all glass variant. Other products from our portfolio such as Polyform WR our range of plain weave and twill woven glass fabrics were also well received. However, Polyform CSM, Scott & Fyfe’s new chopped strand mat materials was the most well received of the day.
All in all, it was a great day and whilst it left us extremely tired, we were all looking forward to day two!
Day two began a little slower in comparison but by lunchtime the show picked up and we were exceptionally busy on the stand. This carried on until the very close which was unusual but welcome and again we earnt plenty of good enquires. Another new product again received a great deal of interest and this was Polyrov, the new range of direct roving’s and spray up roving’s Scott & Fyfe are offering to the composites market.
Back to the office
Now that the exhibition is over the hard work really starts, to carry on with the conversations started and to follow up with the new contacts.
On behalf of the Composite team I would like to thank each and every person who came by our stand at the show. It was fantastic meeting so many enthusiastic people and learning, as always, that little bit more about the composites industry.
It was also a great and full on induction to Scott & Fyfe!
If you didn't get a chance to meet us there feel free to get in touch! All of our details can be found on our