Summit Systems celebrates 30 years!

FROM STARTING IN A PORTACABIN TO BECOMING ONE OF THE UK’S LEADING SUPPLIERS
OF PLASTICS ANCILLARY EQUIPMENT, THE LAST 30 YEARS HAVE ‘CHARTED’ A SUCCESS STORY FOR SUMMIT SYSTEMS.

Take a closer look at our journey below!

1989

Where many of his peers might’ve been using empty garages to practice becoming the next Spandau Ballet, Mike Jordan chose to use one to start up a business selling plastics ancillary equipment. After breaking away from his family business in injection moulding at Midlands-based Peerless Foam Moulding, Jordan joined a small company in Telford. After four years, he saw an opportunity to combine the best innovations with quality service and Summit Systems was incorporated.

“Funded by good faith and a small loan, we lined up MB conveyors, Moretto loading and drying equipment and the unique Maguire blender, which was something like the industry had never seen, and so with that we were off” explained Jordan. Accompanied by colleague Chris Bailey, the first employee on the payroll and who still works with Summit 30 years later, the company started selling.

1990

After deciding to exhibit for the first time at UK plastics trade show, Interplas, the Chairman of the UK’s biggest packaging company requested a trial of the Maguire blenders on display, leading to the sale of hundreds of units.

Later that year, after the installation of its first central material handling systems the garage workspace was “starting to burst at the seams,” according to Jordan, who decided to upgrade to bigger premises.

1993

The premises of choice for Summit’s growing business was an oil-contaminated factory, which, with the help of his local rugby club mates, was fully refurbished before the firm occupied the space as its new home.

1994

As the business grew, so did its portfolio of blue-chip customers. Recognising the need to increase the service provision for such high-profile businesses needing the security of full cover, Summit implemented a 24/7 service offering.“We were the first company of our type to introduce a genuine guaranteed service,” continued Jordan. “It’s something we’ve continued ever since.”

1997

Following further expansion, the company began to run out of space, leading to the building of a new warehouse, resulting in 50% increased capacity.

1999

Despite the increase in warehouse space, continued growth saw Summit move for a third time. However, this time the company took up residence in a new, 2,700 sq. ft. factory in Tame Park, Tamworth – opened by the Chairman of the UK’s biggest packaging company. Combined with Maguire Europe, the premises gave plenty of room for growth and is still where the company is based today.

2002

When the Plastics Awards introduced its first ‘Ancillary’ category, Summit entered and subsequently triumphed as ‘Supplier of the Year’. The trophy gave the firm a taste for awards success, becoming the first in a long line of accolades. Winning the ‘Supplier of the Year’ award for ancillaries.

2006

In a busy year for Summit, the company faced a hurdle when one of their major suppliers, Moretto, proposed an agreement that they couldn’t agree to. “Moretto were a great supplier but were keen to have us supply exclusively at the expense of our independence,” explained Jordan. “As a result, we welcomed a new supplier, Plastic Systems, who, along with our design team, manufactured a loading system, Matrix, with great success.” In addition to the new supplier partnership with Plastic Systems, Summit also added Tecnomagnete products to its range, which offered customers reduced tool-change times and improved productivity, as well as products from Movacolor. “As the world leader in gravimetric dosing machines, once we added Movaolor’s products to our offering we experienced phenomenal growth compared to volumetric counterparts,” recalled Jordan.

2007

In order to give better control and prices for all integration products, bins and bespoke items, the company established Summit Fabrications, adding yet another arm to the growing business.

2008

Always on the lookout for new products to add to Summit’s portfolio, 2008 marked the year where a pioneering Jordan was persuaded to test a Vismec dryer – a decision that turned out to be hugely beneficial for the company. “Vismec’s owner asked me to test this new ‘revolutionary rotary dryer,” explained Jordan. “After some persuasion we agreed, and I am so glad we did! The product was incredibly well received and became the best-selling dehumidifying dryer on the market.” Other new products added included items from Zerma’s size reduction range. “This became an important addition, especially considering recycling was so ‘en vogue’,” Jordan continued.

2010

After years of being asked for automatic bag splitting devices due to spot purchasing, Summit started supplying the Laborsave fully automated system.

2011-2015

Whilst Zerma helped grow the company’s offering in recycling machinery, Summit added both Moditec, for no-dust specialist applications, as well as teaming up with Tria to dominate the blow moulding and extrusion market for high quality production scrap reclamation. During this time, ‘Boomerang Plastics’ was set-up to understand recycling first hand. Boomerang focused on recycling contaminated plastic packaging, utilising recycling machinery provided by Summit’s recycling portfolio. However, in early 2016, the company decided to pull the plug on Boomerang after four years of operation. “We were simply ahead of our time,” said Jordan. “Boomerang would be a huge success with the new approach to recycling, it is a shame.”

2017

Summit Systems started to expand its range after some extensive research, partnering with Frigel, the Italian temperature control specialists. This partnership lead to the formation of Summit Chilled, a whole new division for the company, offering “process cooling with a difference.”

2018

In what Jordan describes as “the year of the technology”, Summit employed three new engineers focusing on Industry 4.0. The new engineers developed IoT solutions integrated with Summit Systems’ supervisory system. Towards the end of 2018 Summit acquired Total Process Cooling to form ‘SUMMIT-TPC’. “The addition of TPC complements our offering from Frigel perfectly,” explained Jordan.

2019

Looking ahead to 2019 and beyond, Jordan says the focus is to keep his “eyes and ears open” for new products that provide accuracy, energy efficiency and production savings, as well as unveil “a few exciting technological advancements” that are in the making.

Rapid Response Breakdown Cover: case study

Summit Systems proves their market-leading breakdown service.

A Summit Systems customer reported a faulty 11kW pump at 12:30 on a Saturday afternoon, needing a replacement ASAP. At 15:00, Summit Systems warehouse manager Craig loaded a new pump onto a courier and an engineer was on his way to site. Just after 16:00, both the pump and engineer arrived on site and had the customer back up and running by 18:00!

We operate a 24/7, 365 breakdown service and always aim to be onsite within four hours of the initial contact. You can call the office number and get directed to the engineer, or call our emergency breakdown number 0800 030 2122.

Summit Systems Acquires New Process Cooling Division

Summit Systems has announced the expansion of its temperature control division with the acquisition of Total Process Cooling (TPC) Ltd.

Tamworth-based Summit Systems says the purchase of TPC, a specialist in chilled water and process cooling, complements its existing temperature control offering.

We are working very successfully with leading Italian temperature control suppliers, Frigel,” explained Mike Jordan, Managing Director of Summit Systems. “By adding TPC into our portfolio we are expanding our range to suit almost any application and provide a bespoke solution.”

Based in Solihull in the West Midlands, TPC offers a full range of temperature control equipment. Established in 1991, the company has over 25 years of experience in the sector and staff have extensive knowledge of the plastics industry.

Ian Lowe, Summit Systems’ Operations Director, says that this knowledge, combined with the high-end equipment and design offered by Frigel’s range of products, will ensure the acquisition is a shrewd move for the company.

This is a really exciting development which advances us in the ‘chilled’ market and will help secure our continued growth” Lowe explained.

For TPC, the acquisition will see the company’s reach extended in new areas. Richard Smith said: “This is an exciting move for TPC giving us a broader range of cooling solutions and even greater support and service to our customers.”

Our expanded product range and infrastructure combining with Summit Systems means TPC will always have the appropriate cooler for a given water cooling application whilst maintaining quality build and competitive edge over others in the market place.”

Summit System says its focus into 2019 is to continue to build on its portfolio of products that provide accuracy, energy efficiency and production savings.

Concluding, Jordan said: “We have been patiently waiting to establish a process cooling solution with a real difference and we’re delighted that we have achieved our aim. We will look to build on our portfolio with market-leading products in the coming year.

Contact us today to hear more on our range of process cooling equipment. Email info@summitchilled.co.uk or call us on 01827 265800.

SUMMIT CHILLED PROVES 20% CYCLE REDUCTION

Summit Chilled, the intelligent process temperature control division of Summit Systems, has been selected to supply 18 x Thermoregulators to a Tier 1 Automotive customer.

After extensive trials on one of the customer’s large injection moulding machines, Summit Chilled suggested using a Frigel Duel Zone Turbogel RBD 130/24 instead of existing multiple 18kW tool heaters. Following the successful trial, it was concluded that ONE unit was capable of doing the job better than FOUR original units.

With the Frigel Duel Zone Turbogel, they saw an 11% reduction on their cycle times added to a large reduction on capital costs.

Therefore with reduced cycle time, halved footprint and capital costs payback was a matter of only a few months.

The customer has pin pointed that the dramatic increase in flow rate has resulted in much improved quality, coupled with a reduced cycle time of 20%, which had to be regulated to 11% due to the restriction in downstream operations.

Operation Clean Sweep: Reducing Plastic Pellet Loss

Summit are proud to support Operation Clean Sweep, an international initiative from the plastics industry to reduce plastic pellet loss to the environment. In the UK it is led by the British Plastics Federation.

The initiative’s aim is to ensure that the plastic pellets, flakes and powders that pass through manufacturing facilities in the UK are handled with the care they deserve and do not end up in our rivers or seas.

By signing up to Operation Clean Sweep, Summit have made a commitment to adhere to best practice and implement systems to prevent plastic pellet loss — and we will play our part in protecting the aquatic environment.

Here are a few reasons why you should sign-up to Operation Clean Sweep:
– Forms part of your sustainability/environmental initiatives
– Maximises the use of feedstock
– Prevents slips and falls
– Improves operational efficiency
– Ensures compliance with regulations
– Contributes to improving water quality and wildlife
– Protects the reputation of your company and the plastics industry.

Sign up today http://www.bpf.co.uk/Sustainability/pledge-your-support.aspx

Product of the month: MB elevators

Producing custom-made solutions, single conveyors and systems for every product handling application: this is how MB Conveyors pursue their company mission.
MB Conveyors boast 25 years of background and experience in mechanics which explains their passion for the product and careful attention to detail.
Quality is assured by performing rigorous tests along every step of the production line, using the latest generation production systems and choosing only the highest quality materials.

Summit Systems introduces the revolutionary 3D printed hopper loader!

Summit First to market with 3D Printed Hopper Loader

Summit Systems, leading innovators in the plastics ancillary market, have just released a new revolutionary product which will be available in volume early December this year.

With huge weight and practical advantages, the S3D weighs in at less than a Litre of beer!

Ideal for lower outputs up to 30kg/h the S3D is superb for masterbatch feeders and small processing machines. The quick release flange means colour changes are less than a minute with no lid removal, simply twist and the body complete with filter can be removed with one hand.

The vacuum motor is integrated in the printed body together with the flap valve ensuring nothing is protruding therefore eliminating damage during cleaning.

The electronic panel shows a smiley face when full and other lighting configuration when loading or in no-load alarm state.

Summit Systems are offering an introductory offer of £499 the first 50 units pre ordered from a list price of £640.

MD Mike Jordan in the ‘Hot Seat’

Summit Systems supply the world’s most advanced ancillary technology. Mike Jordan founded the company in 1989, after 10 years working in the plastics industry. Mike’s ambition has always been (and continues to be) keeping Summit the most innovative and customer focused supplier within the industry. He is the next PlastikCity Partner to face the HotSeat…

What trends do you think will shape the future of UK plastics? How will Summit Systems respond?

The UK have great designers and engineers, albeit not enough, I believe the industry will be more technology focussed and the emphasis will shift towards a better understanding of the moulding process in order to make better products, faster and with less energy and scrap waste. I also believe more recycled feed stock will be produced and as a result the production processes will adapt to manage the change in characteristics.

How has Summit Systems developed during your tenure?

It’s always been under my tenure, so customer service and delivering the world’s best technology options by not being tied to one supplier is a passion, plus the No1 company in our field with genuine 24/7 back up, but if you are asking how we are continuing to develop then looking at the people we have recruited in the last 18 months explain the focus on total machine integration and a broader R & D view of material drying and the goal of the ultimate drying process.

What do you credit as the key to your success?

Amazing suppliers and a passionate team of people from sales through to delivery that are interested in the business. It is impossible to credit one element but if you are fair and honest and are prepared to stand up and be counted success follows.

What has been the greatest challenge in your career?

Setting up a quality recycling plant which I closed down after constantly being knocked back by either poor overpriced feedstock plus (at the time) a government and community that was not genuinely committed to recycling. Added to a massive drop in polymer prices, the perfect storm.

What advice do you wish you’d had on entering the industry and does that differ from the advice you would give to an Apprentice joining now?

Personally I wouldn’t change a thing, and would give similar advice to an apprentice & that is – get a good grounding across each processing discipline and material type, plus ask lots of questions of those that know. We are generally a terrific community who love sharing our passion!

What hidden talents do you have?

Don’t ask anyone from my Rugby Club! (Or the directors of Aquapurge!)

Restructure, recruitment and returners mark successful H1 for Summit Systems

Summit Systems has undergone a restructure, recruitment drive and seen staff return to the business as it concludes a busy first half of 2018.

The Tamworth-based ancillary equipment provider says that along with its newly-launched website, which highlights the restructure of its technical divisions and competencies, it has recruited four new staff members and welcomed one returner.

Wade Grindley, an electronics and control specialist, joined earlier this year, and the company says he brings “a vital skill to the integration and connectivity aspect of the engineering team”.

Grindley comes with a vast experience in technology integration and control systems, which Summit says is an important part of its continued development and in-house capabilities.

Technical Manager, Neil Watton, joined the business in late March after many years working in the plastics materials automation sector. His previous positions include field service and Technical Project Engineer with Motan Colortronic and Technical Manager at Piovan. He was later followed by Service Engineers Daniel Jeffries and Lee Griffiths.

John Sinar, who first started his career in the plastics industry with Summit Systems, has now returned following a break of sixteen years.

Sinar, who has worked at Motan Colortronic for two years, then Piovan for six years and TH Plastics for four, will use the knowledge acquired from his time away from the business in his new role as Technical Lead Engineer.

He will support the technical department with new installations and project management on site with the customer, as well as responding to the breakdowns and service requirements that Summit offers 24/7 across the country.

“John has returned with enhanced skills and he’s hit the ground running here at Summit,” explained Mike Jordan, Summit’s Managing Director. “He’s going to be reporting to Neil Watton, someone he previously alongside for six years at other companies – so there’s already a good connection there.”

“The other new starters have invaluable mechanical and electrical backgrounds gained working for companies including Vauxhall and Toyota, so we’ve got some skilled individuals on our team.”

The company says that the first half of the year has seen it build upon the successful launch in 2017 of its Summit Chilled brand, through which it offers temperature control equipment from Frigel.

In addition, the company has introduced a new, advanced technology to the business that enables machine connectivity in keeping with the Industry 4.0 and smart factory concepts, not the obvious but a system that includes any manufacturing brand wirelessly with one router with a range of 3km and 1000 devices, that is why we are different!

“This is something completely new to the business, but something that we can offer as part of our portfolio that will help our customers become more efficient in the ways that they run their operations, not only in terms of production, but also processes,” Jordan continued. “Networked operations and communications is becoming increasingly important in the plastics industry and the product we’re offering combines both these aspects with affordability.”

Summit Systems launches new website, new look and new products

Tamworth-based plastics ancillaries supplier, Summit Systems, has launched a new-look website dedicated to improving usability for its customers.

The website has been tailored to allow easy navigation through its product offerings from each of its suppliers across materials handling, temperature control and process control and monitoring, including access to support, troubleshooting and technical specifications.

“We’ve always been very IT conscious so with this our aim is to give the customer a better experience and benefit from the vast amount of knowledge and experience contained within the new website,” explained Mike Jordan, Managing Director of Summit Systems.

“Previously the website didn’t have any detail about our suppliers and partners and why we use them. We have worked hard over the years to ensure our offering is the strongest it can be across each product area, so including technical breakdowns and operational performance examples will enable our customers to see that they are investing in genuinely top-end equipment.”

The new site also reflects Summit Systems’ commitment to service, with contact details for its 24/7 breakdown and assist operation clearly accessible. It has recently taken on new staff to enable it to offer this service 365 days a year, across all product areas, with visible profiles of its engineers and their direct contact details available.

“We offer a genuine 24/7 service, which shows our dedication to our customers across the country, no matter the day or the time,” Jordan continued. “This is a bold claim, but unlike some competitors, we can genuinely say we live up to it.”

In addition to its portfolio of new machines, the website also carries pages dedicated to the sale of second-hand and used machinery, with the future potential for interactive videos allowing interested customers to view 360-degree footage of the equipment for sale. The used machinery pages will be regularly updated, with customer support in the form of online chat and ‘enquire-now’ functions.

Finally, the website includes detail of the newest offering from Summit Systems, an Industry 4.0-based monitoring and process control system, something that can offer major efficiency gains both for manufacturing and on-site operations.

“Our website reflects the rapidly advancing IT-based technologies within the industry. We’ll be updating it regularly as our portfolio grows and intend it to be a portal that customers find increasingly useful,” Jordan continued.