Family firm to capitalise on export markets
A UK company based in Leigh, Simply Bearings, recorded £4m turnover in 2015 with plans for further expansion in European and American markets with support from the Business Growth Hub, part of Manchester Growth Company.
Established in 2004 by two brothers, the company, a supplier of quality bearings, seals and mechanical accessories, has recently secured a number of multi-national contracts with blue-chip clients such as Coca Cola, Dyson and aerospace and transportation company Bombardier.
Simply Bearings, which relocated offices to Greenfold Way in 2012 to support its expansion plans, is now targeting £10m turnover by 2020 by focusing on overseas markets and improving its online presence.
Business Growth Advisor at the Hub, Bob Dackiw, helped the company directors to focus their attention on new markets including exports, through one-to-one support and advice. He also introduced the business to UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), who then worked with Simply Bearings to further progress an export strategy and enhance their website functionality for overseas customers.
Dackiw also used the expansive Hub partnership network to enable the company to collaborate with mechanical engineering experts from the University of Huddersfield to help develop its innovative products and boost its diagnostic services for major clients.
Dan Makin, Director and Co-Owner of Simply Bearings, said: “We wanted to grow our exports further into European and North American markets, while continuing to provide excellent customer service. Currently we have contracts across North America, Ireland, Italy and Germany, and we aim to strengthen our presence even further in these markets.
“Our work with the Hub and UKTI has been essential to our overseas development. They have made vital introductions that have helped to move the business forward and the advice from industry experts has boosted our online progression and provided essential training to our workforce. We are looking forward to continuing our work with the Hub as we target £10m turnover in the next four years.”
Bob Dackiw, Business Growth Advisor at the Hub, added: “Simply Bearings is the leading provider of bearings and oil seals in the UK and a fantastic, rapidly growing family business.
“Partnering with universities and academics has enabled the owners to step back from the business and focus on developing a new range of products. Attending our masterclasses and working with UKTI has provided the firm with the knowledge to drive growth through exports and we will continue to work closely with the company as it continues to target international markets.”
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Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.