Confident business management

Cheadle Glass discusses it 50 years in business, and its plans for continued investment and expansion.

In April 2017 Glass Times visited glass processor Cheadle Glass, which had just installed a new Cooltemper toughening plant as part of an ongoing investment strategy aimed at improving productivity and reducing operating costs to support competitive trade pricing in the marketplace.

18 months, and Keith Flowers, chairman and founder of the company, reflects on the company’s recent growth.

“The investment in the new toughener at the end of 2016 was the right thing to do,” he said. “We have always been known for the quality of our finished products, and there are plenty of bigger companies with bigger plant options, but our customers want Cheadle Glass quality and that is only guaranteed by our continued investment in our people and our machinery.”

Pat Flowers stepped back into the role of managing director in 2017 and has brought fresh enthusiasm and focus to the business. Working with external consultants and the Manufacturers Alliance she has adopted the promised new work flow process management and updated computer systems across the business.

“We have to manage the business with confidence about its future,” Pat said. “Long-term investment decisions are made based on customer demands and changes in market preferences. It’s our job to align our capabilities to those changes and ensure that we maintain our 50-year reputation for quality of produce and service.”

2018 sees the installation of a new EVA laminating plant at the Stockport-based HQ. Dave Robson of Flat Glass Solutions provided a new twin bed self-sealing automatic laminator from EPOglass. The European-manufactured oven and twin production table is the first of its kind in the UK and provides a system where laminated glass orders can be laid up on one bed, while the second is being oven cured.

The process takes around one and a half hours, but when complete an automated handling system simply moves the oven over to the second bed and the process starts again.

“Our design engineers were acutely aware of the importance of productivity and the importance of being able to handle increased quantity of affordable quality laminate,” Dave said. “Cheadle Glass was the perfect partner for us to work with as we shared the vision of wanting to maintain a high-quality finished product in a cost effective production environment.”

Steve Willock is head of marketing at Cheadle Glass.

“Glass is everywhere, and specifiers and architects are finding new design and increasingly complex usage, where health, safety, security and aesthetics are a huge factor,” he said. “This new equipment from EPOglass not only adds lamination to our product offering but puts us right where our customer base needs us.

“We can now offer custom-manufactured toughened and laminated product that can be decoratively treated, coloured, and sandblasted. We can even add decorative material such as photographic images or even fabric between the laminate layers.”

Cheadle Glass Co Limited
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