ERJ staff report (DS)
Westbury, UK -- Avon Rubber plc has sold its two mixers and associated facilities to a division of SPC Europe Ltd for a little over £2 million (Euro 2.5 million) in cash. SPC said it intends to operate the facility to make high-volume compounds, which will release more capacity at its main mixing centre in Whitby, UK. SPC has set up a subsidiary called ATR Compounding Ltd to manage and operate the former Avon plant.
Avon records the plant as having a book value of £2.9 million, but when it was built in 2000, the company spent £16.5 million, which translates to around £20 million today.
Stephen Hallas, managing director of SPC Europe said the plant is among the most modern and sophisticated rubber compounding units in western Europe. It was set up as a European compounding plant and it will remain so, with SPC intending to service the European mainland as well as the UK from the facility.Â
Paul Hallas operations manager at SPC said SPC operates a K5 unit at Â Whitby. The two F270 and 3D mixing lines at Westbury will complement this, bringing overall theoretical maximum capacity to around 40 000 tonnes per year split between the two sites. He said SPC was getting close to maximum capacity at its Whitby site and the new facility will bring much-needed new capacity as well as more scope for flexibility in the company's compounding business. Stephen Hallas said purchasing the Westbury unit was a low-cost option to gaining new capacity quickly.
Hallas said the Avon unit is designed to make relatively long runs, so the company will use it to concentrate on the higher volume orders, freeing up capacity on the existing equipment. He said since SPC was set up in 2001, the company has focussed on providing high-quality compounds and excellent customer service, sometimes even same-day delivery for a customer who really needs it. Hallas said such levels of service require spare capacity. He added that the company usually works on a four-day turnaround.
Stephen Hallas said ATR will, in the immediate future, employ nine former Avon employees at the unit together with up to three people from SPC. Â Avon previously employed about 15 people there. Hallas said as the Â business takes off, he hopes to increase employment to the previous levels.
Hallas said SPC has a good relationship with Avon, and he expects the relationship to continue into the future.
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Press release from Avon