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Terry Burton Retires!

Following the celebration of Terry Burton's 40 years’ service with Luxus last year, we bid a fond farewell to Terry, who retired from Luxus this month (for a well-deserved rest).
He joined Luxus in 1979, that same year Blondie’s single ‘Heart of Glass’ topped the charts and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was published, it was also the year that he met his future wife.
Having joined Luxus as an Extrusion Operator, he progressed to Technical Manager, a crucial role that required him to lead the polymer development team, working at the forefront of sustainable thermoplastics innovation.
In 1979, things were very different, Terry explains: “As an Extrusion Operator it was my job to ensure the smooth running of a small strand line extruder. I was responsible for the entire process from extruding the polymer to checking it for quality control purposes - it was very ‘hands-on’ then.
“The work culture was great however, as everyone knew each other by name and there was a real family-like atmosphere, since there were just 20 staff. But things can’t stay the same, Luxus currently employs 160 staff at the plant on the Fairfield Industrial Estate here in Louth, but we still share those same company values.”
In those early days, R&D was as critical to the company’s success as it is today. In 1982, and ahead of the market, Luxus developed its first technical ‘hub’ for materials development, testing and analysis, and Terry gained a Lab Technician role.
Terry continued: “I oversaw all polymer preparation and testing, which meant keeping test batches running throughout the night. As the business grew we quickly needed to recruit staff to help manage the night shift and to enable us to expand into weekends, it was the beginning of our dedicated technical team.”
Then, by the early 1990s, the technical operation became critical, as Luxus needed to satisfy nationally-recognised quality standards, since it was now being audited by major automakers as it was one of the first UK compounders to engineer polypropylene for under bonnet parts.
After managing the lab for eight years, Terry was promoted to General Manager, where he was responsible for both the factory and the technical team for over a decade. Then later in 2008, these functions were split due to company growth. Developing new products was now a priority and since Terry had always been passionate about making things, he was promoted to Technical Manager.
The lab ensured product consistency and performance of all prime and recycled feedstocks, by undertaking stringent testing and quality control procedures. In recent years, investment in new specialist machinery including FTIR spectroscopy meant that the business had outgrown its facilities. In 2012, Luxus responded by investing in a new purpose built Technical Centre, this unique facility allowed its technicians to deliver exceptional, repeatable quality across every batch of polymer it produced, for environmentally-critical applications.
“I have one of the best roles in the business, with new products always comes fresh challenges, as we are increasingly using interesting and novel additives to support demands for enhanced scratch resistance and light-weighting to help stretch the boundaries in sustainable plastics technology.
“While rapid change in the auto industry is also helping to drive our materials development like never before. Increasingly electrification, connectivity, autonomous driving and car sharing are all going to impact on what we demand from high performance materials in the future.”
Luxus Managing Director, Peter Atterby, comments: “Throughout his 40 year career Terry has been essential to our success, enabling us to transform from a burgeoning recycler to a £25m turnover technical innovator. As we continue to meet challenges, he is now sharing his expertise with a new generation of apprentices to develop materials that our customers will demand tomorrow.”
At his celebratory lunch, Terry was presented with a 40 year old vintage Port. The gift was chosen as Terry is better known by his colleagues as ‘Top Shelf Terry’ as he has a taste for quality spirits.

We bid a fond farewell to Terry as a manager in October 2020, as he strides confidently into his well-earned retirement. On leaving the building, Terry was disappointed he could not offer lots of hugs to his fellow colleagues, due to strict social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, but we threw a delightful hamper at him to help make up for it! 
If you’re interested in a career with Luxus find us on facebook @Luxus.Limited for the latest vacancies.

Published 17 Jul 2019 Back to previous
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