News blog

FET celebrates 20 year milestone

                                

FET UK is proud to announce its 20th anniversary, having been founded in April 1998. During this time, FET has developed from its early days of engineering and systems manufacture, evolving into one of the world’s leading experts in extrusion technology and research.

 Managing Director, Richard Slack explains: “We are delighted to reach this milestone in our company’s history and do so in greater health than we have ever experienced. Last year our revenues increased by 29%, a reward for extensive investment in our Process Development Laboratory and all the hard work of our dedicated staff. We focus in particular on the requirements of our customers – they expect us to provide yarn and fibre engineering knowhow and extrusion equipment which will allow them to consistently produce fibres of the highest quality, capable of meeting required regulatory standards.”

 Just prior to Easter, we held a staff event at a local hotel to celebrate our 20th anniversary. A slide presentation included a potted history of the business and its deeper roots as a family concern spreading back to the 19th century when Slack’s Mill manufactured brushes using horsehair before moving on to synthetics and extrusion. Suitably educated, our employees then enjoyed a drink and buffet before setting off for their Easter holidays!

 We have now modernised the company logo and refreshed the website and all other means of communication we enjoy with our customers. We are looking to the future by ramping up our Apprenticeship Scheme and continuing an ambitious investment policy in new equipment and proven technology.

 


FET wins Innovate UK grant for melt spinning R&D project

FET has won a £100,000 grant from Innovate UK, the executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. This 12 month programme came about following a number of requests from FET customers operating in the specialist filtration and advanced composites sectors.

These companies manufacture high value textile materials and require equipment to convert “difficult to process” polymers into fibres and yarns for use in technically demanding industrial and medical applications. The programme of Industrial Research to be undertaken by FET will seek to break through the technological barrier and achieve step-change improvements in the ability of melt blown processes to deal with advanced polymers which have high melt viscosity.

The developed data and know-how will allow FET to demonstrate its capability to achieve performance leaps to users. This in turn will help clients to differentiate their product ranges utilising enhanced FET technology and custom-built equipment.



Techtextil Frankfurt 9 – 12 May 2017

Once again, thank you to the many customers and brand new contacts we met at the recent Techtextil exhibition in Germany. Techtextil is the leading international trade fair for technical textiles and nonwovens showing the full range of potential uses of textile technologies. This type of event is always an excellent opportunity to meet people face-to-face and Techtextil has once again proved to be the premier exhibition of its kind on the calendar.

 

For FET, the exhibition was a great success, with three FET-100 systems ordered on the stand and several excellent sales leads. We look forward to continuing our business relationship with all those we met there, as well as with those who could not make it! Like others, we were not totally convinced that the extra day tagged on to the show was necessary, but we thoroughly enjoyed our time at Techtextil nevertheless.


FET to grow apprentice scheme

FET has long been committed to training and excellence in the industry. Our apprentice Jacob Thompson  is now well into his second year with us, training in electrical engineering, but at the same time gaining valuable all-round experience and understanding of all related FET technical processes.

Jacob is on day release undertaking his NVQ at college. FET is working in conjunction with training company Kirkdale Industrial Training Services Ltd (KITS) which provides facilities, assistance and supervision for engineering apprentices in their work and general education. This has proved highly successful for Jacob and all parties involved and FET looks forward to developing its apprentice scheme in the near future.

 


FET-100 Series goes from strength to strength!

Since its launch in 2015, the FET-100 Series has exceeded all our expectations. In 2016 alone, we have taken orders for 8 systems in varying configurations with an order value of over $3 million. These have been, or will be, delivered to customers as far afield as USA, Western Europe, South East Asia, New Zealand, Turkey and Hungary. A primary benefit of FET-100 systems is that they can be specified to be multi-functional, allowing easy and fast conversion between material formats. These systems configure to all combinations of multifilament, monofilament and melt spinning of nonwoven structures for medical device, composites and many other applicati


WELCOME to our new website!

It may only be a couple of years since we last updated our website, but things have changed considerably in the world of extrusion technology – for us and for our customers.

Our website is fully mobile friendly and so can be viewed easily on tablets, phones and other mobile devices. With customers in over 30 countries – and rising – we want to make it as easy as possible to find us and hopefully make contact.

We are always pleased to speak to companies with fibre extrusion requirements, no matter how challenging. We look forward to hearing from you!

Richard Slack
Managing Director


FET installs melt spinning system at UMass

FET has installed the FET-100 Series multifunctional laboratory melt spinning system into one of the world’s most renowned research facilities, The University of Massachusetts. UMass is a five-campus public university system, recognized as a model of excellence for public universities.

Managing Director, Richard Slack explains: “This reflects the collaborative policy FET holds with its clients – in this case UMass Lowell and its Plastics Engineering Department, an internationally recognized leader in plastics engineering education.”

The installation was configured with a bi-component FET-100 Extrusion Module, which is capable of processing a wide range of polymers, coupled to a FET-101 Multifilament drawing and winding system capable of processing a range of multifilament yarns. This will bring to UMass Lowell the capability to fabricate shaped fibres which will provide a step change in functionality compared to traditional fibres and fabrics. The total market for traditional engineered textiles is forecast to reach $84 billion in 2020 and new engineered textiles developed at UMass Lowell could address over 10% of the available market. Researchers at UMass Lowell, including Stephen Johnston and Javier Vera-Sorroche, are exploring properties such as high temperature, high strength, flame retardance, high conductivity, and super omniphobicity.

The inherent flexibility and versatility of the system will allow future adaptations, such as FET-102 Nonwoven or FET-103 Monofilament, depending on future research requirements. This system design appeals to many end-users, not only allowing for upgrade in process capability but also for staged investment.


FET shortlisted for Insider Made in Yorkshire Awards 2017

FET is delighted to have been shortlisted for no less than three awards at the prestigious Made in Yorkshire Awards. This annual event celebrates world-class companies based in Yorkshire & the Humber and the products they are making here and selling across the world. We are nominated under the following categories:

Advanced Manufacturer/ Technology Award

This award is for the company deemed by the judges to have used technology or technical processes to solve a problem or add value to customers. This includes companies in the areas of engineering, electronics, software, computer hardware or telecoms.

Export Award

The Export Award is for the company deemed by the judges to be the most prolific exporter of products in terms of international presence, export growth and exports as a proportion of sales.

Manufacturer of the Year (under £25m)

This award is for the manufacturing company based in the region, with a latest reported turnover of less than £25m that has demonstrated excellence and quality in its products and services over the last 12 months.


New MP Andrea Jenkyns visits FET

January 2016

Under the UK parliamentary system, it is a fairly rare event for small businesses to receive a visit from our politicians, so it was a pleasure to welcome Andrea Jenkyns, the new local MP for Morley and Outwood, who successfully beat Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls in the last general election.

As a former retailer and manager, Andrea understands the challenges faced by local businesses and likes to keep her finger on the pulse of industry by visiting and speaking with business owners and managers.

Andrea said: “It is fascinating to hear about the evolution of a company which went from making brush bristles to developing machinery capable of manufacturing materials used in surgical operations.

“Fibre Extrusion Technology is a real local success story and it was a pleasure to visit.”