Changing with the market

Written by: Tom Shelley | Published:

An overseas moulder explains how he has adapted to the crisis in the automotive business in order to flourish

A global supplier of blow moulded plastic components has successfully diversified since core business evaporated in the wake of the automotive market coming to a near standstill. The Asian based company has since found new markets in food containers, medical products and road safety equipment.

When we recently met Nabeel Hashmi at his factory in Lahore, Pakistan, we expected to find him gloomy because of the downturn among his customers in the European automotive industries. And whereas many suppliers have seen downturns in business, his response has been to find new ones, and where necessary to invent new products.

He attributes much of the success of his transformation of his business to his firm being avid users of both Delcam and Pro/Engineer software, so that his company's products have to undergo only a minimal development phase.

British moulding companies too can take advantage of these tools, especially those from Delcam, which is headquartered in Birmingham, and which cites a number of examples of companies finding new markets with the help of their software on its website.

The first novel item we saw at Thermosole was a piece of wood replacement edging for flower beds. Blow moulded out of recycled polypropylene plastic waste from his own plant, Hashmi said it was cheaper than edging made of wood, as well as not being liable to rot.

Hashmi then showed us some ultra violet stabilised high density polyethylene light barrier blades, for mounting on the reservations of dual carriageways. He told us a new version was being developed especially to meet the needs of Pakistan. Reflecting strips on the blades catch headlamp beams. Drivers in the country are infamous for proceeding at maximum speed while tired, with headlamps on full beam. So these devices serve to make them even more aware of their position on the road.

He also showed us a collapsible polyethylene drinking bottle his company had developed, which depended on living hinges, and various food and beverage containers, which he said was a growing market in Pakistan. This was along with medical containers for plasma drips, and a HDPE fuel tank for locally produced tractors, to reduce the cost of what is presently a steel design.


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