Issue 119 August 2015
As a leading glass container manufacturer in the UK, Beatson Clark presents a unique offering to achieve success in both established and emerging industries
Founded in 1751 in Rotherham, Beatson Clark has amassed a significant history of experience in manufacturing glass containers. Originally serving the pharmaceutical markets, the company then branched out into food and beverages during the 70s and 80s. Today, the food and beverage markets constitute the majority of Beatson Clark’s revenue, yet it still remains the UK’s leading manufacturer of glass containers for the pharmaceutical industry. In 2014 the company turned over £44 million as it produced 514 million units, and a continued focus on innovation and investment is key to securing this as it moves forward.
At the heart of the company is a strong manufacturing operation that undergoes a programme of constant investment to keep it up-to-date. The facility holds eight machines for forming both white flint and amber glass with the capabilities to produce containers from ten millilitres to one litre. Supporting this is an award winning design service with expertise in 3D CAD systems and a team that works closely with the customer to come up with 30 new designs every year. With a complete service for packaging solutions including embossing, which can be applied to an unrivalled minimum production run of 150,000, Beatson Clark offers a comprehensive ukservice for specifically tailored products.
Such a service arises from the Yorkshire-based company’s historical commitment to driving innovation and value into the market. At the Pro2Pac show in 2015, Beatson Clark was awarded the Gold Excellence Award for customisation service at low volume production and embossing is a major part of this. Speaking in a recent press release, Marketing Manager Charlotte Taylor explains: “Embossing is a really popular option at the moment, allowing brands to really make a statement with a unique bottle design, and our new design software means that we can sculpt the embossing, making it more defined as well as easier to manufacture.”
As a result of offering low volume customisation a particular growth opportunity has been recognised by Beatson Clark in the emerging microbrewery industry, especially in the US. In April 2015, the company headed to BrewExpo in Oregon, the largest brewing conference and trade show in the US, which attracts nearly 500 brewers every year. With such a major concentration of market focus, the show made the perfect opportunity for Beatson Clark to showcase its low volume offerings. “One of our fastest growing customer sectors is brewing,” highlighted Jonathan Clark, Export Manager at Beatson Clark at the time. “Breweries are often surprised to find they can have customised beer bottles at such low volumes and outlay, and the craft beer sector is a perfect fit for our small production runs and flexible approach.” To enhance its position within the brewery sector, the company already has such names as Brooklyn Brewery, Meantime Brewing Company and Frederic Robinson from both sides of the Atlantic, in its customer portfolio.
Indicating the company’s continued success outside of the brewing sector is a recently announced contract to manufacture bespoke bottles for Manchester-based The Flava People’s JIM BEAM® Original Bourbon Source. The unique design features the words ‘Jim Beam’ embossed on the shoulders and has been modelled on the 1940s American Stillhouse Jim Beam distillery in Kentucky, to enhance the brand. “Our customer was looking for a unique, signature bottle that would stand out on the shelf and have a weighty, premium look and feel while at the same time communicating the well known Jim Beam brand. This is just the kind of challenge we relish,” commented Charlotte. “Our in-house design team worked closely with The Flava People and we’re please to say they’re really happy with the end result, which stands out partly because it looks more like a flask style spirit bottle than a sauce bottle.”
With its successes continuing, Beatson Clark is constantly undergoing a programme of investment to keep up with growing demand and changing trends. Over the last few years the company has invested over £10 million into its machinery and technology and is currently in the middle of an additional £10 million programme to continue this. Recent investments include the complete rebuild of the white flint furnace, installation of new vision-based inspection equipment, a new on line capping machine and the complete rebuild of its amber furnace. Amber glass is a particularly popular option at the moment as the small brewery industry expands. The new furnace will help to improve the quality of the glass, increase capacity and provide greater efficiency with reduced CO2 emissions to keep up with Government targets. “The furnace and the major maintenance work that has been undertaken will enable us to continue to produce quality amber glass for our customers for years to come,” expresses the company’s Furnace Manager Dean Duke.
It is Beatson Clark’s careful balance of production volume and customisation that makes it able to offer such a unique and unrivalled service to the market. Through continued investment into its production capacities and expert design services, the company is able to provide a tailored package to suit the individual needs of all its clients, both large and small. By operating in markets where this level of customisation is key to establishing a robust brand, Beatson Clark is well positioned to capitalise and secure a successful future.
Products: Manufactures glass container solutions
Sites: Rotherham, South Yorkshire, UK