Celebrating a landmark anniversary, James Cropper PLC looks to the future with the opening of a new production line at Technical Fibre Products and a celebration event for over 800 invited guests.
The first sheet of paper emerged from Burneside Mill, Kendal in 1845, 29 years before the first ever telephone call and 89 years before the first tube television was commercially produced. 170 years later and James Cropper PLC embraces the spirit of modern innovation as the company celebrates nearly two centuries of British master papermaking and the opening of a third production line for the advanced nonwoven business, Technical Fibre Products (TFP).
James Cropper PLC is a company with its roots firmly planted in the Lake District and with six generations of the Cropper family at its helm. Sir James Cropper, Honorary President of the company, will formally open the production line on Wednesday 16 September 2015.
The state of the art line doubles TFP’s production capacity and is the latest in a line of improvements for the business, including the world’s first commercial nanocoating facility in the US. TFP’s advanced nonwovens are exported worldwide and these highly specialised materials provide innovative solutions across a number of growth industries. Applications range from enabling the thermal management of the ESA satellite GAIA to playing a crucial role in facilitating the light weighting of the latest generation of commercial and defence aircraft.
Adapting almost two centuries of manufacturing expertise is at the heart of the modern day James Cropper PLC, with TFPs wet-laid, nonwoven materials taking the principles of papermaking in new directions. A decade of investment has seen James Cropper PLC invest heavily in both production and improved sustainability, including the Reclaimed Fibre Plant opened in 2013. Paying tribute to the vision of the first James Cropper and years of success, despite war and economic turbulence, guests will be invited to tour the working mill and TFP facility.
Mark Cropper, Chairman of James Cropper PLC, said: “Six generations worth of high standards and values are one of the reasons why we are where we are today, so the past plays a significant part of what we are, what we have become and what we want to be. Needless to say, as a global trading company with manufacturing operations both in the UK and US, the company leads in technological advancements in the materials industry. Our people have the foresight to anticipate changes in demand and use of our products and respond accordingly. This is what I believe to be the essence of our success and leads us to expand the Technical Fibre Products business.”
Responding to customer requirements as well as adapting to changes in the paper industry, 2014 saw James Cropper Paper strengthen and streamline customer experience, many from the luxury packaging industry, by combining its production and converting businesses. Sharing the traditional site of production in the village of Burneside, as well as having production facilities in Crewe, Cheshire and New York State, USA, TFP is one of the company’s youngest and most successful ventures. A knowledge based manufacturing company, TFP has been specialising in developing nonwovens for highly technical and challenging applications for over 25 years.
Martin Thompson, Managing Director of TFP, said: “James Cropper PLC develops progressive, ideas-based companies with international reach and we proudly share our history as well as leading in our respective fields. The installation of a third production line at TFP is an exciting and necessary step to meet rapidly increasing demand and facilitate delivery of the company’s successful growth strategy. The installation of the new line represents the latest step in an accelerated programme of capacity and capability improvements for the company.”