This award is for UK processors (manufacturers of finished components and products using plastics materials) who are able to demonstrate their overall excellence. The judges were looking for leading sustainable performances across a number of areas; business enterprise and growth, technical innovation, people development, manufacturing efficiency, customer relations and environmental concerns. In other words, the company needed to be an all-round world-class processor.

‘’We are incredibly proud to have won this prestigious award, especially as the company celebrated its 65th Birthday in 2021’’  said Steve Ayre, Managing Director of Rutland Plastics. ‘’We are incredibly grateful to have been recognised as Processor of the Year but without the hard work and commitment of everyone here at Rutland Plastics it would not have been possible’’ added Steve.

Rutland Plastics’ customers are from all sectors of industry from agriculture, construction, medical, utilities and more.  Rutland Plastics’ customer base is so broad that the company can adapt each manufacturing solution whilst applying its knowledge and expertise in injection moulding.  Some customers have been with Rutland Plastics for decades and some are just starting projects with them.

Rutland Plastics has enjoyed steady and sustained growth over the years and has always considered reinvestment into the business as a main priority.  2021 has seen the purchase of 3 new moulding machines taking the number of machines on their site in Rutland to 31.

This level of growth is reflected in the introduction of a dedicated weekend shift making the business a 24/7 production operation.

In all business activities Rutland Plastics gives consideration to their immediate community, and the wider environment. The company installed 900 (solar photovoltaics) PV panels on their new warehouse in 2016 and since installation has generated over 800,000kWh.  In addition to generating their own renewable energy, the company has switched supplier to one ensuring that 100% of electricity supplied is backed by the Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin scheme. Their commitment to sustainability is reflected in the accreditation of Environmental Management ISO14001:2015.

Rutland Plastics turned 65 years old in 2021. Starting out in 1956 the company moulded plastic flowers and then accessories for budgerigars as their popularity boomed during the 1950’s. Later, this developed into own-brand toys for children called ‘Rutland’ which went on to include the Katie range of domestic-themed toys. Expansion started to pick up in the 1970s with contracts for a Swedish kitchen manufacturer and for British Gas. The 1980s saw further work on gas pipe fittings and the first electrofusion patent along with gaining ISO9001 accreditation in 1989. The 1990s saw a focus on people and technology with the award of Investors in People and a licence to assess and award NVQs alongside the introduction of the first 3D CAD system, CMM machine and Gas Assisted injection moulding technology.

The 21st century saw the redevelopment of the site so that today very few of the old buildings remain. The redevelopment included several sustainability initiatives, the purchase of 10 moulding machines, 3D printers, toolroom equipment, an ERP system and Moldex 3D software. ISO14001 Environmental Management and ISO13485 Medical Devices Quality Management were also added to their suite of accreditations. The company looks different today from when it started out injection moulding back in 1956, however, it is still based in Oakham in Rutland and is still a family run business now with the third generation in charge.