Clearview Midlands April 2014 - Issue 149 - Page 87

BUSINESSNEWS DOUBLE STANDARDS - OR NO STANDARDS? There are many manufacturing companies involved in the glazing industry from extrusion companies, glass processors to window and door frame manufacturers. But at the window production level, not all are working to the same standards, says Leon Day, Universal Arches MD. “As an industry we should all be working to the same standards, yet this is often not the case,” he explains. “While start-up costs are very modest for fabricators, the time, cost and effort to adopt world-class processes and procedures are considerable - yet they do help to separate the good, the bad and the ugly.’ Leon admits that while most of the companies at the top of the supply chain carry internationally recognisable quality standards, these become more diluted towards the consumer end. “Universal Arches is the only bending and arching company to carry ISO: 9001:2008 and in its last five audits had zero non-conformities, an incredible achievement,” Leon adds. More recently at Universal Arches, both the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the local Fire Officer arrived unannounced, both reporting an impressive, safe manufacturing environment with impeccable reporting procedures and processes. Pre-recession GDP peaks could be reached this year, say BCC But more business investment is needed. UK GDP could reach prerecession levels this year the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) says as they adjust growth forecasts for the next two years. The business body estimates that GDP growth will reach 2.8% in 2014, up from their previous forecast of 2.7%; the change based on amendments to historic data from the Office for National Statistics. Q2 this year could beat the pre-recession 2008 Q1 levels as household consumption and output from the services sector drive the economy. Business investment in 2016 is, however, expected to fall slightly below its 2008 peaks. The overall unemployment rate is expected to fall to 6.6% in the final quarter of 2016 while youth unemployment is expected to fall to 17.8% by the same time. Director General of the BCC, John Longworth, welcomed the new estimates, but warned business is not investing enough. “There is more to do in securing access to finance for growing firms – as this too will be crucial to securing our economic future. So is getting public and private sector funding together to address the crippling gaps in our transport, digital and energy infrastructure,” he said. “We just hope that as the General Election gets closer, politicians are not tempted to abandon a drive for long-term economic security in favour of short-term vote winners.” To read more, visit The company is now also embarking on an NVQ training programme. BUSINESS SECRETARY OPENS VEKA UK’S NEW MIXING PLANT ‘A European success story’ The VEKA UK Group welcomed Vince Cable back to the company’s Burnley HQ to open officially the system supplier’s new mixing plant. The Business Secretary enjoyed a tour of the Farrington Road site with the UK Company Directors and Global VEKA Group Board Member Boni Eichwald, who had travelled from Germany to attend the opening of the state-of-theart mixing plant, which has seen investment of £5m. Before unveiling a commemorative plaque of the official opening, the Business Secretary discussed the scale of the development and described it as “a European success story” which will strengthen trading relationships across the UK and abroad. The VEKA UK Group’s new facility is now the most technicallyadvanced mixing plant in the UK. It has been designed with future expansion in mind, which could potentially take capacity from the current 48,000 tonnes to a possible 72,000 tonnes. The plant features two mixers and three coolers and is fully automated to ensure absolute efficiency. VEKA plc, 01282 716611,, APR 2014 87