TDX to wrap up plastic films market after production investment backed by Yorkshire Bank

A £7.5m turnover increase within two years is forecast by Gateshead-based thermoforming specialist TDX after investing in a second energy-efficient production line to manufacture rolls of plastic film with backing from Yorkshire Bank.

TDX is increasing plastic film manufacturing capacity at its Team Valley Trading Estate factory by 7000 metric tonnes after investing £2m in the new Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate (RPET) production line with asset finance support from Yorkshire Bank’s Newcastle Financial Solutions Centre (FSC).

TDX was founded in 1999 to support the thermoforming industry, the moulding of semi-rigid plastic mainly used in food packaging by major retailers, food packers and processors handling confectionery, meat, fish, poultry, chilled foods, ready meals and bakery products.

The business, which supports thermoforming companies with specialist services including conceptual packaging design, rapid prototype and sampling production and tooling manufacture, created its Extrusion Division three years ago to diversify into manufacturing plastic film for conversion into packaging items.

Managing director, Mark Prinn, 34, says: “This latest expansion will enable us to make further inroads to the UK and European market with our brand of recycled PET film, Recoupet, made from 100 per cent post-consumer PET, derived from discarded mineral water and carbonated drinks bottles. This is a highly-environmental product, as it is estimated that, for every tonne of waste PET recycled, 1.5tonne of CO2 emissions is saved, compared with using virgin material.”

Technological advances mean that new production line will operate with 30 per cent lower energy costs than the existing one. TDX has also installed an energy-efficient chilled water system to further reduce energy costs and make its Gateshead facility among the most energy-efficient UK extrusion plants.

Mark Prinn says that the new production line will enable TDX to grow by gaining a greater share in an expanding market and will help its UK customers as a great deal of RPET film is currently imported from Europe and beyond. The new production line means the business is on schedule to establish a £12m Extrusion Division from scratch in only five years.

Mark Prinn adds: “By creating additional UK capacity, we will be able to greatly reduce lead times, improve flexibility and reduce carbon impact in a market where demand is retailer-driven and can be highly volatile in peak season. The increased capacity will also allow us to undertake development work on complimentary added-value products.

“We have a long-standing relationship with Yorkshire Bank Newcastle FSC which helped fund the initial diversification and the latest expansion. Their very good understanding of our business enabled them to fund our latest expansion when very few deals are being done due to the tough economic climate.”

TDX has 72 staff – an increase from 50 only three years ago – and expects to achieve a £10.75m turnover this year (2010). The company supports customers throughout the UK, is increasingly supplying thermoforming companies worldwide and recently opened a sales office in Denmark to manage its Scandinavian and Benelux operations.

Yorkshire Bank Newcastle FSC business partner, Dave Gilroy, who arranged the deal, says: “In spite of the tough economic climate many first-rate manufacturing businesses, like TDX, are doing well. We’re pleased to support the company’s latest expansion, have cash to lend and are very much open to support trading businesses with the right proposition.”

Yorkshire Bank’s Newcastle FSC, Quayside, covers the North East and has 41 staff in multi-discipline teams encompassing corporate banking, private wealth management, treasury services, agri -business and credit and operates a traditional method of banking with funding from deposits used to support investments in the local community.