A dedicated and exemplary approach to innovation and market awareness has led Moulded Foams to reach a significant milestone of insulating 25,000 homes and it shows no intention of slowing down
Moulded Foams has been operating for over 30 years as a manufacturer of expanded polystyrene (EPS), expanded polypropylene (EPP) and expanded polyethylene (EPE) dynamic foams for the construction, OEM, pharmaceutical, automotive and food sectors. “We are a privately owned company focused on developing innovative foam solutions by working closely with our diverse client base to design, tool, mould and supply,” explains Sales Manager, Nigel Smith. “By utilising cutting edge CAD design, modern manufacturing methods and project management we embark on a journey of continuous innovation, developing bespoke and creative solutions for new and emerging markets. This is bolstered by unrivalled customer service and on-time delivery.”
Managing Director, John Thornberry continues: “We are a business built on selling the properties of what is effectively 98 per cent air and only a small amount of plastic. The properties of trapped air are very interesting on many levelsfrom environmental and efficient use of resources to functionalUSP’s of insulation, buoyancy, cushioning, compression strength, water resistance and engineering accuracy. Expanded Polystyrene, or Airpop® as we like to call it, has endless applications and has captured my attention and imagination for the last 30 years to find new problems to solve.”
Moulded Foams reacted quickly during the recession in 2006 to redirect its business focus towards new markets. With a high degree of foresight and investment, this move proved to be a key driver in the company’s rapid growth and success over the following years. As such, the company’s focus on the construction industry has culminated in it reaching a major landmark achievement.
“We have seen a significant increase in our construction business, which is directly related to ever-changing building regulations and increases in newbuild construction,” continues Nigel. “As this market has grown with the introduction of newlegislation in terms of insulation and air management regulation, so too have we created a number of insulation products that focus specifically on meeting thesechallenging demands.”
The first and most-significant product to have been developed in accordance to these new demands is the Tdeck XT Thermal Flooring system, a BBA-certified suspended floor. The system is a lightweight EPS replacement for concrete blocks that were traditionally placed between concrete floor beams to provide insulation. “Our foam blocks offer superior insulation values in a suspended ground floor,” highlights Nigel. “They are able to lock tightly between the beams and are therefore much more thermally efficient than just concrete alone. They are also much easier to install and result in less waste on site compared to other systems.”
Working in conjunction with its partner, Litecast, a manufacturer of concrete beams, Moulded Foams deployed its dedicated design centre to create the innovative blocks. Thermal and compression testing was undertaken internally enabling the business to validate the impressive performance of this innovative system. The development culminated in the introduction of the patented interlocking toe system, which enables the ground worker and architect to construct a floor where double and treble beams are used in the design. “This system has been designed to fit accurately around the pre-stressed concrete beam to ensure there is limited cold bridging,” says Nigel commenting on the importance of working closely with Litecast. “We have really benefited from the cross-mergence, synergies and experience of the two businesses working together which has resulted in this great milestone, of having supplied insulated ground floors for over 25,000 homes being reached.”
The development of Tdeck XT Thermal has been critical to Moulded Foams achieving its recent success and was a result of careful attention and an in-depth understanding of the changing construction market. Nigel continues: “Essentially, in 2007 we identified a gap in the market that had formed as a result of new Part L Building Regulations, which effectively meant that concrete insulation in the floor was not going to provide sufficient insulation. We therefore engaged with Litecast, the concrete beam manufacturer to design and develop a system to meet these building regulations and furthermore future proof it to ensure it met regulations beyond those already in place. Compounded by a predicted rise in the new build industry and fuelled by the solution being supplied as a complete flooring system, rather than component parts, demand for this system has risen exponentially.”
As such, Moulded Foams has now reached this landmarkachievement with the XT Thermal deck system installed in 25,000 homes. “This was the firstprojected milestone, which we have achieved in less than eight years and we see the next goal of 50,000 homes being met in a fraction of the time,” notes Nigel. Taking a look at the company’s financial performance places this achievement into context. Since 2006 the company has seen annual double digit growth as these and other market sectors have grown with turnover for 2015 forecasted in excess of £15M.
In addition to the Tdeck flooring solution, Moulded Foamscompliments its portfolio of construction industry products with cavity wall insulation andan insulation solution for heatrecovery systems and associated air ducting. “These insulation systems offer improved thermal, noise and vibration performance and therefore promote a much higher efficiency within the housing envelope, resulting subsequently in lower running costs,” adds Nigel.
To reach these unprecedented results since 2006, Moulded Foams has placed particular emphasis on investment in order to continue developing andresponding to growing demands. “We have grown predominantly through continual reinvestment of profits into people, plant and technologies,” explains Nigel. “As part of this investment, we have recently relocated two of our four sites to brand new, 100 per cent owned greenfield sites to be closer to our key markets and keep up with the growing needs of the business. Both represent significant increases in capacity in order to meet ever-growing and future demands. We have also invested in new moulding machines, CNC CAD design stations and testing equipment to ensure that all our products meet the stringent regulations within the construction, automotive and packaging industries.
“Within the house building sector we have particular emphases to fully understand how our products perform in-situ, combined with other robust details,” adds John. “Our goal is to eventually educate the house owner and to create a more discerning buyer. At present the typical house buyer is unconscious of the elements, which make up the envelope of their home. This will change over time. It is probably the most expensive purchase they will ever make, yet they get better, more accurate information on the purchase of a Mars bar than a house!”
With a robust strategy of continued investment andinnovation in place the future for Moulded Foams reflects the fast moving and successful nature of the last eight years. “The vision from this point onwards is to consolidate ourselves as the largest independent manufacturer of construction, food and pharmaceutical foams in the UK, whilst looking for opportunities in new and emerging markets where we feel we can occupy a leading position,” highlights Nigel. “We have our sights set on the next big land mark of 50,000 homes supplied, and we hope to achieve this through continuing investment into people, foam technologies and machinery.”
Services: Manufacturer of high quality, innovative cellular foams