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Colour Tone Masterbatch wins Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2022!

We’re proud and delighted to share the news that Colour Tone Masterbatch Ltd, part of the Luxus Group, has been awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2022. Find out more here.

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious awards for UK businesses, recognising and celebrating business excellence across the UK. Colour Tone has achieved this award through the development and implementation of our patented Near infrared (NIR) detectable black colourants, which enable the automatic sorting and therefore recycling of black post-consumer mixed plastics. To date it is estimated that this technology has diverted over 10,000 tonnes of plastic from landfill.
 
Simon Atterby, General Manager at Colour Tone Masterbatch ltd, said:
“We are incredibly proud to have received this prestigious award, which is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the whole team. The management of plastics is, without doubt, one of the greatest challenges we all face as we try to build a cleaner, greener future for the generations to come.”
 
Black plastic is mistakenly perceived by many consumers as a particular problem, due to it being regarded as single use and impossible to recycle. In fact, the polymer itself is perfectly recyclable, however, when coloured in a traditional way, it cannot be recognised by the near infra-red sorting equipment in post-consumer sorting facilities and thus is diverted to landfill. Colour Tone recognised this and, through an innovative approach, developed and patented a product, which allows brand owners to continue to colour as they wish (including black) but via a colouring technology that is optimised for post-consumer sorting, therefore allowing the product to be identified and thereby diverted from landfill and recycled; a sustainable solution for both black plastics and other products which would otherwise not have been sorted.
 
Tony Gaukroger, is one of the original founders of Colour Tone and creators of the NIR product, he said:
 
“We recognised that a fundamental part of tackling the challenge was developing technology that enabled the effective recycling of black plastic, so we applied our years of experience and insight and invested significant time and resources into making it happen. We look forward to continuing to play our part in driving innovation and applying our specialist knowledge to build a cleaner, brighter future for our industry.”
 
Colour Tone’s expertise in this area means that we can offer consultation to customers and help them to adopt more sustainable packaging solutions with reduced carbon footprint, whilst maintaining a competitive price.
 
If you would like to find out more about this achievement, or any other aspect of Colour Tone, including career opportunities, please visit: www.colourtonemasterbatch.co.uk.
Older Updates
Jim Ballantyne Says Goodbye To Plastics
22nd December 2015

 
Business Development Manager, Jim Ballantyne retires this week after 15 years with leading technical plastics compounder and recycler Luxus.
 
In 2001 Jim Ballantyne joined Luxus from a plastics closure business. He had always been interested in the technical side of things, understanding how things work. This new role was to allow him the scope to explore technological boundaries within a sales role like never before.
 
At the time he was well placed to help spearhead a new era for Luxus which saw the compounder accelerate from supplying entry level black grades to the development of sustainable thermoplastics (PP) to satisfy critical class ‘A’ finish auto components.
 
Jim Ballantyne explains: “We quickly moved from offering colour matched polymer compounds for low level visible interior applications to upper cabin visible interior applications.
The challenge was to convince the client that compounds with recycled polymer didn’t mean a problematic product.
 
“To help achieve this technical leap, considerable innovation and consultation with the client was required to deliver a repeatable product with appropriate tensile, impact, scratch resistance and other properties required to meet quality, plus performance standards – all this from a recycled content thermoplastic (PP), not prime.
 
“Inevitably the automaker’s requirements became more complex, challenging us to deliver increasingly technical materials as specifications quickly evolved. ‘Cost down’ of course remained important, but so too were the technical attributes of the material - we needed to constantly innovate.”
 
Peter Atterby, Managing Director, Luxus, comments: “Jim has been instrumental in moving Luxus forward into the 21st century as a leading technical compounder. His relationship building skills across varied stake holders in the automotive arena has helped Luxus establish our reputation and credentials as a leading supplier within this challenging sector.
 
“It has been a pleasure working with Jim over the years and I have enjoyed the experience on both a professional and personnel level.  I’d like to thank him for his contribution to the company and wish him all the very best for the future.”
 
For 10 years Jim Ballantyne had sole responsibility for business development across many diverse markets until the sale team inevitably grew. Today, Luxus remains at the forefront of technical innovation with the development of the new Hycolene™ range, which features next generation additives to meet automakers stringent light-weighting and CO2 reduction requirements.
 
As for the future, Jim Ballantyne believes the greatest change to the industry now will be globalisation.  “A reducing ‘pool’ of both suppliers and manufacturers means materials specifications are now adopted on a global, not local scale. Automakers can pick up and drop production lines regardless of location.
 
“We believe therefore, the next step to stay ahead is via knowledge transfer, to offer our Hycolene™ technology to selected European compounders through license agreements for the first time. This means Luxus will be well placed to offer a truly global materials supply solution.”
 
In his retirement Jim Ballantyne will be overseeing his very own ‘grand design’, he will be project managing the development of a brand new home in the centre of Louth.

Ends
 
Notes to editors

For further information please contact: Sasha Stewart, Straight Talk PR, tel: 07764 346 896 or email: sasha@straighttalkpr.co.uk

Luxus Ltd        

UK leading independent technical plastics recycling and compounding company Luxus has been developing highly specified thermoplastics compounds based on prime and recycled feedstocks for 50 years. Luxus is a key supplier to the major names in the global auto industry and it was the first and still is the only UK business to achieve approval for its recycled grades in car interior trims.
Luxus also offers specialist ‘closed loop’ and ‘open loop’ recycling services to manage ‘end of life’ post industrial and consumer waste for the retail transit packaging, construction and local authority wheel bin markets.
 

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Rob Flynn Retires After 22 Years With Plastics Processor
Rob Flynn (65) from Louth retired this week after 22 years with Lincolnshire based technical plastics recycler and compounder Luxus Ltd.

Commenting on his time with Luxus Rob Flynn said: “It has been a pleasure working for Luxus these past 22 years and to have had the added benefit of being employed by a major manufacturer based here in my home town, Louth. I’d like to thank everyone for their support; I have always enjoyed being part of the Luxus team.”

Originally from Cumbria, Rob Flynn trained as a joiner restoring antiques furniture before he began his employment with Luxus on the 5th July 1993. He worked initially as an Extrusion Operator, which he did for 10 years before moving to the blending team to broaden his experience.

When asked to give advice to future machine operators he continued: “If you’re thinking of a career in plastics processing you need to get on with everyone, show up on time, work hard, but most importantly, be prepared to listen too.”

In recent years Rob took the decision to semi-retire so he worked instead as a Yard Operative, a role made possible thanks to the support of all his colleagues.

Luxus Managing Director, Peter Atterby, said: “Rob’s continued support has been invaluable over the years. We’d all like to wish him the very best for his retirement.”
Rob now intends to take up joinery once again, but this time for his own interest.

Luxus employs 155 staff and has a turnover of £25m based at the Fairfield Industrial Estate, Louth, Lincolnshire. (www.luxus.co.uk)

Ends
Notes to editors
Image from left to right: Geoff Mountain, Compounding Manager, Rob Flynn, Yard Operative and Peter Atterby, Managing Director, Luxus

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Hycolene™ Surpasses Expectations In First Commercial Trial
9th November 2015

Luxus is pleased to announce that its high performance recycled content polymer range, Hycolene™ has surpassed expectations in its first full scale commercial trial that took place in September at moulder IAC’s plant based in Lincolnshire.

Hycolene is a faster cycling range of scratch resistant, lightweight (PP) compounds that help deliver improved Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) - it features up to 60% recycled content. The range has been developed to target Europe’s automotive interior trim market, by helping to satisfy both ‘end-of-life’ vehicle (ELV) and emissions targets.

The first full scale commercial results have shown that the scratch performance of Hycolene has significantly improved on the current product. It will therefore deliver a high quality finish; a key requirement given design and aesthetics are increasingly important in the cabin.

The trial also demonstrated that Hycolene can produce a much faster cycle time delivering moulders a substantial 8-12% saving, as more parts per tonne can be processed - satisfying Tier 1 targets in addition to OEM’s lightweighting requirements.

Dr Christel Croft, technical director at Luxus, comments: “These results have confirmed that the enhanced performance of the Hycolene range has not only been maintained, but in some instances have surpassed expectations.

“It has shown too, that Hycolene can really help improve life cycle analysis, since this ‘tool’ takes into account all the factors affecting a product’s environmental footprint. It also has the potential to be used as a true ‘drop in’ solution by Tier 1’s.”

Luxus announced earlier this year, that it has as part of a consortium recently secured a €1.4m investment, co-funded by the EU Eco-Innovation initiative, part of the EU's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (EIP). Its members are injection moulding company IAC for materials trials, twin screw manufacturer Coperion for technical support and Jaguar Land Rover offering end user guidance.

The commercial trial followed initial scale-up tests, these focused on different formulations, screw designs and process conditions at Coperion’s pilot plant based in Stuttgart in the Spring this year. The results were then jointly analysed by Luxus and Coperion before recommendations were made to the rest of the consortium to agree that the first commercial trial could take place.

For the trial itself, identical formulations, screw design and process conditions were created using Luxus’ bespoke Coperion extruder to establish scale-up parameters. This was to ensure the best environment for the first full scale batch to be used by IAC for its moulding trial. The consortium partners all agreed that the column shroud should be adopted for this trial since it’s a critical class ‘A’ visual component in the cabin.

Dave Jenkins, product engineering, International Automotive Components Group Ltd, comments: “From my perspective this was a very encouraging first trial, although further trials are required to fully optimise the product. A range of components also need to be run, so we can understand the material’s strengths and weaknesses. These will commence once the initial component lab testing is completed satisfactorily.”

As for the future, the next step is to repeat the commercial production improving screw design and process conditions following these initial results to improve material qualities. Luxus will then produce different grades of Hycolene and work with IAC to produce further parts for statistical analysis.

Luxus technicians will also be considering new markets where lightweighting and scratch-resistance are of benefit such as the educational furniture market for example.

For further information on this commercialisation project visit www.recyclite.eu
Ends

Notes to editors
Supporting image: An example of the column shroud component used for the first Hycolene™ commercial trial.

For further information please contact: Sasha Stewart, Straight Talk PR, tel: 07764 346 896 or email: sasha@straighttalkpr.co.uk
Luxus Ltd        

UK leading independent technical plastics recycling and compounding company Luxus has been developing highly specified thermoplastics compounds based on prime and recycled feedstocks for 50 years. Luxus is a key supplier to the major names in the global auto industry and it was the first and still is the only UK business to achieve approval for its recycled grades in car interior trims.
Luxus also offers specialist ‘closed loop’ and ‘open loop’ recycling services to manage ‘end of life’ post industrial and consumer waste for the retail transit packaging, construction and local authority wheel bin markets.


 

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Luxus Appoints New Associate Commercial Director
14th September 2015

Innovative technical plastics compounder and recycler Luxus has appointed Sajid Mohammed as its new associate commercial director.

Sajid Mohammed has spent 25 years working in the engineering sector where he has successfully created and managed international business development programmes.  During his previous six years working as global sales and marketing director for Sanvik Materials Technology, he was responsible for sales and marketing, business development, profitability and commercialisation strategies.

Prior to this Sajid Mohammed worked as a sales director for BA Tubes where his main role was to formulate strategy to help grow business in its chosen products and markets.

Sajid Mohammed’s appointment at Luxus will see him manage its commercial activities including, sales and procurement, while also supporting its overall business objectives for increased growth globally. As part of this, he will build on both its customer and supplier relationships and help improve its supply chains too.

Commenting on his appointment Sajid Mohammed said: “I’m really pleased to be joining Luxus, a highly innovative plastics compounder and recycler that’s pushing the boundaries in many diverse industries from automotive to civil engineering and horticulture. Its continued investment programme will I’m sure enable Luxus to consolidate its leadership position in its chosen markets and enable it to explore emerging global opportunities too.

Peter Atterby, Managing Director, Luxus comments: “We are delighted that Sajid Mohammed has decided to join Luxus at such an interesting time for the company. He brings with him a wealth of experience, particularly in the development of new markets. I’m sure he will quickly become an important player in our management team and will help us meet the challenge of communicating to specifiers the benefits of adopting environmentally responsibly sourced engineered materials for a more sustainable future.”  

Luxus remains the longest established UK manufacturer to have achieved ‘A’ surface approval for its recycled grades for auto interior trims, in the process it has revolutionised the market. In 2012 it opened a new state of the art Technical Centre and now in its 50th year, it continues to extend its reach into new markets in Europe and Asia.

For further information on Luxus please visit www.luxus.co.uk.

Ends

Notes to editors
For further information please contact: Sasha Stewart, Straight Talk PR, tel: 07764 346 896 or email: sasha@straighttalkpr.co.uk
Luxus Ltd       
 
UK leading independent technical plastics recycling and compounding company Luxus has been developing highly specified thermoplastics compounds based on prime and recycled feedstocks for 50 years. Luxus is a key supplier to the major names in the global auto industry and it was the first and still is the only UK business to achieve approval for its recycled grades in car interior trims.
Luxus also offers specialist ‘closed loop’ and ‘open loop’ recycling services to manage ‘end of life’ post industrial and consumer waste for the retail transit packaging, construction and local authority wheel bin markets.
 

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OBITUARY: PLASTICS PIONEER RONALD TONN
Ron Tonn - plastics recycling pioneer and founder of Lincolnshire compounder and recycler Luxus, died suddenly on Wednesday 12th August 2015 from heart failure. He was 83 years old.

Born in Chicago in 1932 amidst the Great Depression, he went on to become a US army veteran having seen active service in the Korean War in his early twenties.

Ron Tonn, whose career in plastics spanned five decades began trading in polymers for American based Muehlstein in the mid 1950’s. He was subsequently sent to the UK to help manage the company’s European arm at the age of 25, which he headed up just a year later.

He was later to establish his own business, Luxus on the 15th January 1965. The name Luxus came from his German grandmother, since she often described him as her ‘Du bist ein luxus kind’ which literally translates as luxury’s child.

At the company’s incorporation, it became his ‘luxury child’ since he didn’t have sufficient finance for such a venture at the time. Luxus was also a preferred brand name adopted by German manufacturers to suggest luxury e.g. The Opal Luxus.

Ron Tonn’s early projects included doing a couple of national TV adverts in front of the camera for major household names Oxo and St Bruno Tobacco. A long term income however, would not come from that route.

Then one day he received a call from an old Muehlstien contact offering him a parcel of substandard polyethylene to sell. He knew instantly how to find a willing buyer and so another offer quickly followed. Both deals realised more profit than he had made in the previous two years - his new venture was born.

His burgeoning plastics recovery business was quickly growing, so he approached a small granulation company Mavelat, to fulfil its custom granulation work. This was done from its factory based in St Albans that was later to relocate to Eve Street in Louth in 1967. At that time everything was loaded by hand out of Louth with a lot of export going via rail.

Peter Laking, engineering and project manager at Luxus recalls those early days: “We always had the upmost respect for Ron. He was never afraid to get his hands dirty, he’d help with the granulator work if needed and wanting to understand everything there was to know about the materials we were using.

“More than that, he wanted to incentivise us all too. In the early days when we were sifting powder, he said “If you can sift 10 tonnes a day I’ll buy you a bottle of whisky!” When we did he bought the team a gallon of whisky – those were of course very different times!”
Ron Tonn often described coming to the UK as his true ‘rebirth’, since it marked for him a fundamental shift from simply trading  plastics in the ‘old days’ in America. Luxus was instead about recovering existing waste plastics by re-engineering material that would otherwise be destined for landfill.

The mantra ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ was gaining popularity in the mid 1960s. The time was right for Ron Tonn’s sustainable ethos. Marking the beginning of what we now understand as today’s plastics recovery industry.

He was later to become a British citizen too, proof enough of his belief in his business and his affection for his newly adopted homeland.

Modernity came when Luxus had the opportunity to purchase nylon scrap from pads used for rail tracks laid on concrete tiles for a ready market in America. This required joint investment in a heavy duty granulator, so a formal partnership with Mavelat began.

Luxus however, was soon to do the bulk of the business so the joint venture quickly became cumbersome for this entrepreneur. Ron Tonn then had to raise the necessary funds to buy out of the Mavelat partnership which he did manage to secure. This as it happens was great timing, just before the 1970’s oil crisis when demand for recycled plastics was to spiral.

In 1976 Luxus was one of the first businesses to buy premises on the Fairfield Industrial Estate in Louth. Ron Tonn continued to manage the business successfully despite the subsequent 1980’s recession before retiring in 1997. His true ‘back to the floor’ approach to decision making has been passed to its present managing director, Peter Atterby.

Peter Atterby, managing director, Luxus, described Ron Tonn as “a dear friend, a great and charismatic man and one of the UK’s few genuine plastics recycling pioneers. Ron created a business that was managed largely by hand in the early days to one that was at the very forefront of technology accelerating with a growing plastics industry. Luxus as a result, became a true leader in its field. He will be very sadly missed.”

The business that Ron Tonn started as a young American entrepreneur turned 50 this year. At its golden anniversary celebration, he paid tribute to his predecessor Peter Atterby, he said: “That man has taken it (the company) such a distance since he took over the reins. It is totally unrecognisable.”

Today Luxus is a £25m turnover business operating in global markets and still fulfilling its founder’s pioneering vision for a more sustainable future.

Ends

For further information please contact: Sasha Stewart, Straight Talk PR, tel: 07764 346 896 or email: sasha@straighttalkpr.co.uk
Luxus Ltd        
UK leading independent technical plastics recycling and compounding company Luxus has been developing highly specified thermoplastics compounds based on prime and recycled feedstocks for 50 years. Luxus is a key supplier to the major names in the global auto industry and it was the first and still is the only UK business to achieve approval for its recycled grades in car interior trims.
Luxus also offers specialist ‘closed loop’ and ‘open loop’ recycling services to manage ‘end of life’ post industrial and consumer waste for the retail transit packaging, construction and local authority wheel bin markets

 

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Plastics Pioneer Luxus Delivers Recyclite Project Presentation At Auto Interiors Expo 2015
First time exhibitor, technical plastics compounder Luxus delivered a presentation, ‘lightweight recycled polypropylene for tomorrow’s automotive interiors’ on the 18th June 2015 at the Auto Interiors Expo based in Stuttgart. (www.automotive-interiors-expo.com). To view the complete presentatiion click here. /userfiles/download/Dr%20Christel%20Croft%20IAE%20Stuttgart.ppsx

The show has become a ‘must-visit’ for Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers as well as for interior design teams from automotive manufacturers wanting to keep up with the rapidly changing world of materials, finishes and technologies in the cabin. As part of the expo’s ‘Interiors Innovation and Design Forum’, Luxus Project Manager, Dr Christel Croft shared with the audience the aims of its new commercialisation project known as Recyclite.

Dr Christel Croft, comments: “The expo has provided a great platform to showcase the Hycolene™ commercialisation project and the sustainable benefits this technology offers with Europe’s key designers, buyers and suppliers in the very home of automotive manufacturing in southern Germany - Stuttgart.”

Luxus has as part of a consortium recently secured a €1.4m investment co-funded by the EU Eco-Innovation initiative. Its members are injection moulding company IAC for materials trials, twin screw manufacturer Coperion for technical support and Jaguar Land Rover offering end user guidance.

The project will enable Luxus to make a step change in the development of its Hycolene™ range of lightweight (PP) compounds, while also encouraging its wider adoption by Europe’s automotive manufacturers.

Please see image attached of Dr Christel Croft, Project Manager, Luxus

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