Ophelia may have been rampaging across the country but it was the barnstorming performance of wood-based panel giant Egger which had Professional Builder braving the elements in the far flung reaches of the North East recently.
We had been invited to see the latest investment by this family-run company which was established in 1961 in Hexham and now has 17 production plants across Europe, producing building, decorative and retail products to a vast array of discerning customers.
At a cost of around £5 million, a new tongue and groove chipboard line will enable the company to strengthen its position and commitment most significantly within the new housing market.
As Bob Liversey, Commercial Director explains:
“Investment in the new T&G line means we are utilising the very latest technology to boost productivity, which also gives us the capacity to further secure supply to the home market for many more years to come. It also involves the installation of a new Peel Clean surfacing facility to bring our increasingly popular Peel Clean Xtra boards in house.
This means we can continue to develop our product portfolio for UK housebuilders at a time when there is a real desire to build more homes.
The company has further invested a similar amount to replace one of five lamination lines to grow production capabilities of melamine-faced boards, including Protect, its market-leading structural flooring product.
It replaces a line which started life more than thirty years ago, and has been responsible on its own for pressing well over 19 million boards, which we are reliably informed is the same as 28,500 football pitches worth of board or, if laid end-to-end, would be enough to go round the world two and half times!
Enthuses, Bob Liversey: “In recent years we’ve seen a pronounced shift in demand from basic raw P5 flooring to either Peal Clean or Protect, driven by the needs of the housebuilder. In 2010 the majority of our T&G structural flooring sales were traditional raw P5 boards.
Since then, however, the combined sales of Peal Clean Xtra and Protect have grown significantly year on year, so much so that our T&G now make up the bulk of the sales. There’s no doubt this has been helped by the introduction of our Advanced Flooring system and growth in the UK housebuilding market.
2017 has also seen the creation of a customer demonstration area and testing rig to replicate real onsite conditions. The rig consists of a concrete base with a typical joist system, which allows the company to run real time condition tests on all its structural flooring products to provide the market with confidence and security that the boards are fit for purpose.
Customers can also learn the simple laying techniques and how they can benefit from a lifetime guarantee utilising Structural P5 grade flooring boards, Peel Clean Xtra, and protect for masonry, offsite modular and timber frame builds.
Crucially, the boards have enhanced moisture resistance properties with precision T&G profiles created using diamond tipped tooling. This tight-fit joint minimises air gaps preventing water entering the core of the board.
As Dan Soulsby, Category manager for Building Products sums up: “The various incentives and funds set up by Government show how serious the UK is about building more homes, and being more innovative in the way in which we build.
“Now more than ever is the time for manufacturers of key products like ourselves to step up and secure the supply of these products as well as continuing to develop and be innovative to assist builders in achieving these numbers.”
For further information on Egger click here.