Welshpool-based manufacturer ZipClip is a great example of how businesses from an array of sectors can benefit from the Construction Futures Wales initiative.
Zip-Clip is a leading designer and manufacturer of high specification suspension systems for HVAC, Electrical, Signage and Seismic requirements. Founded in 2004, the company has since grown rapidly under Matthew Clay-Michael’s directorship, establishing a worldwide network of distributors.
The uniqueness of the product is its simplicity and speed of installation, dramatically reducing on-site installation time for engineers. At the heart of the product is the steel wire support system, incorporating a fully adjustable, sliding clip which can support loads of up to 100kg. All of the company’s engineered suspension products are also designed with quality and safety in mind and are independently tested by NEL/TUV, Lloyds British, Apave, MTS and Satra.
However, in order to facilitate Zip-Clip’s rapid growth in demand, the Welsh Government supported the company by building a new factory on their Offa’s Dyke Industrial Estate which is being leased-back by the firm.
Further support was given to the company by the Construction Futures Wales programme in the form of a Company Health Check and 1-2-1 consultancy support for the relocation project.
The Health Check report recommended that modern manufacturing lean techniques be used to assist with designing the optimum layout for the new premises in Welshpool. The timing of this was critical in order to influence the building’s architectural design and the location of site services.
Construction Futures Wales Consultant, John Clement, met with Matthew Clay-Michael on a number of occasions to review the architect’s draft plans and make suggested improvements to the design.
A number of lean layout options for the factory and warehouse were produced; following discussion with staff on the merits of each, one was adopted which delivered the best possible material flow whilst ensuring personnel safety.
Matthew said: “We were introduced to CFW by our account manager within the Welsh Government support team.
“CFW was introduced to us a good means of keeping up to date on projects and plans within the Welsh Government for construction in Wales.
“It is an extremely good base of information and the political view of the Welsh Government towards construction projects in Wales.”
Now, looking to the future, Matthew has ambitious plans for the future and is expecting to see the company continue growing.
He added: “Zip-Clip has grown substantially over the past few years. We moved into our new premises in January of this year with a new building supported by the Welsh Government.
“The building is three times larger than our old facility. In 2018 we are also hoping to add an additional warehouse to the facility to increase the space to over four times the footplate we had last year.
“The new building has enabled us to attract several new customers both in the UK and more importantly overseas. We have taken on many new staff both in the production area and in the technical support office.”
Zip-Clip is a prime example of how businesses from a range of sectors, not just the construction industry, can benefit from the Construction Futures Wales initiative.
He concluded: “Construction Futures Wales is not only useful for businesses actively building, but also to businesses who supply specialist products into the industry.
“It gives a clear insight of government policy particularly in the current political climate due to Brexit changes.”