Parkinson - Spencer Refractories

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Parkinson - Spencer Refractories's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Parkinson - Spencer Refractories is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.parkinson-spencer.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
48 | PARKINSON - SPENCER REFRACTORIES
Pre-assembly of engineered
components
Managing Director Simon Parkinson &
Commercial Director Joanne Parkinson
Managing Director Simon Parkinson and Commercial
Director Joanne Parkinson, brother and sister, are
the eighth generation of the company’s founding
families. The business was founded more than 200 years ago as
a partnership between two eponymous local farming families
who supplemented their agricultural income through the mining
of clay, coal and stone. Their long history, Simon and Joanne
tell
The Parliamentary Review
, remains an integral part of the
company’s operation to this very day.
The local clay was a particularly high-quality grade of fireclay, the high temperature
resistance and lack of impurities of which were found to be especially good as a
furnace lining material for the melting of glass.
Such temperature-resistant materials are known as refractories, and although
widely used in all types of high-temperature melting industries such as iron, steel
and aluminium, our specialisation over 220 years has largely been, and remains
today, in refractory materials for the glass industry. The use of fireclay as a
refractory material declined during the 20th century and we finally discontinued its
extraction and use in 2016.
Today we are specialists in the manufacture of special refractory shapes for use
in the glass container industry. For the past 25 years we have also designed
and manufactured the engineered systems for combustion, cooling and control
that are used in the glass container manufacturing process alongside our
refractoryassemblies.
FACTS ABOUT
PARKINSON - SPENCER
REFRACTORIES
»Managing Director
SimonParkinson
»Commercial Director:
JoanneParkinson
»Founded in 1800
»Located in Halifax, Yorkshire
»Services: Specialists in the
manufacture of special
refractory shapes for use in
the glass container industry
»No. of employees: 85
Parkinson - Spencer
Refractories
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
48 | PARKINSON - SPENCER REFRACTORIES
Pre-assembly of engineered
components
Managing Director Simon Parkinson &
Commercial Director Joanne Parkinson
Managing Director Simon Parkinson and Commercial
Director Joanne Parkinson, brother and sister, are
the eighth generation of the company’s founding
families. The business was founded more than 200 years ago as
a partnership between two eponymous local farming families
who supplemented their agricultural income through the mining
of clay, coal and stone. Their long history, Simon and Joanne
tell
The Parliamentary Review
, remains an integral part of the
company’s operation to this very day.
The local clay was a particularly high-quality grade of fireclay, the high temperature
resistance and lack of impurities of which were found to be especially good as a
furnace lining material for the melting of glass.
Such temperature-resistant materials are known as refractories, and although
widely used in all types of high-temperature melting industries such as iron, steel
and aluminium, our specialisation over 220 years has largely been, and remains
today, in refractory materials for the glass industry. The use of fireclay as a
refractory material declined during the 20th century and we finally discontinued its
extraction and use in 2016.
Today we are specialists in the manufacture of special refractory shapes for use
in the glass container industry. For the past 25 years we have also designed
and manufactured the engineered systems for combustion, cooling and control
that are used in the glass container manufacturing process alongside our
refractoryassemblies.
FACTS ABOUT
PARKINSON - SPENCER
REFRACTORIES
»Managing Director
SimonParkinson
»Commercial Director:
JoanneParkinson
»Founded in 1800
»Located in Halifax, Yorkshire
»Services: Specialists in the
manufacture of special
refractory shapes for use in
the glass container industry
»No. of employees: 85
Parkinson - Spencer
Refractories
49PARKINSON - SPENCER REFRACTORIES |
INDUSTRY & PRODUCTION
Refractory manufacture
The majority of our raw materials for
refractory manufacture are imported
from South Africa, North America,
processing plants in Europe, and more
recently, from China.
Our manufacturing process involves
the slip casting method, a process that
is traditionally used by the potteries
for the manufacture of tableware.
The method has been adapted for the
manufacture of refractories through
the addition of high-temperature
refractory raw materials and the use of
high firing temperatures.
We have seven gas-fired kilns working
at temperatures as high as 1,550C and
energy cost is a major consideration
for the continuity of our business.
Our sister company Parwell Ltd also
operates two 50kW turbines on the
site, providing up to 25 per cent of our
electrical power requirements.
Engineered systems
The establishment of our engineering
division 25 years ago has enabled us
to integrate horizontally with our core
refractory manufacturing business.
We are now in the unique position of
being able to design, manufacture and
supply the complete forehearth system
from the melting furnace to the bottle-
forming machine used in the glass
container manufacturing process.
This is a complex process, which
requires us to design our equipment
such that the glass flow reaches the
bottle-forming machine at the correct
temperature and viscosity over a
wide operating range as specified by
thecustomer.
As far as possible we source
engineered components from local
companies, although some generic
components are imported from Europe
and North America. Prior to dispatch
we pre-assemble both the refractory
and engineered parts of our assemblies
and we provide experienced engineers
to oversee the installation and start-up
of our equipment on site.
Sales
Our turnover is in the region of £9
million, with half our business derived
from the supply of consumable
refractories and spare parts and the
other half being contract installations.
The number and size of contracts
undertaken during the year can
therefore have a significant impact on
our sales and profitability.
Our customer base is made up almost
exclusively of the manufacturers of
glass bottles, jars and to a lesser extent
tableware. This is an international
business dominated by the beers,
wines, spirits, food and beverage
industries, and although such business
is extensive in the UK, the size of
the glass container industry here is
not sufficient to support us. The UK
therefore represents only 10 per cent
of our turnover with 90 per cent being
exported to more than 50 countries
worldwide. One quarter of our export
sales are typically to Europe so the
current debate about Brexit and our
trading relations with the rest of the
world are of great importance to us.
Parkinson-Spencer
Refractories Ltd today –
the two wind turbines
can be seen in the
background
We are a
family
business and
our philosophy
is very much
for the current
generation to
manage and
move the
business
forward for
the next
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
50 | PARKINSON - SPENCER REFRACTORIES
Challenges we face
The long-term survival of any
business cannot be taken for granted
as changes can come quickly and
unexpectedly in today’s fast-moving
industrial climate. As a relatively small
family business we have to be able
to compete effectively with much
larger multinational refractory and
engineering businesses.
A major long-term concern is energy,
not just in terms of cost but also with
regards to its continuity. As high
energy users this impacts not only on
our own manufacturing capabilities
but also those of our customers.
Glassmaking requires high
temperatures for the melting of glass.
Although gas and oil are currently
the most popular fuels, the use of
electricity is a well-proven alternative
technology. Our refractory production
on the other hand is almost entirely
reliant on the use of gas as its
primary fuel. The use of electricity
would require considerable changes
and technological developments to
enable the manufacture of our type of
refractory product.
Our philosophy and the future
We are a family business and our
philosophy is very much for the current
generation to manage and move the
business forward for the next. Today
the company is managed by brother
and sister Simon and Joanne Parkinson,
the managing director and commercial
director respectively.
Our workforce of approximately 85 is
largely drawn from the locality close
by and, where appropriate, we will
use the current apprenticeship scheme
for training young people. We also
have a proven track record of taking
on industrial placement engineering
undergraduates from local universities
such as Huddersfield, Bradford
and Sheffield Hallam, often with a
subsequent offer of employment after
graduation. We have linked up with
both Leeds University and Sheffield
Hallam University for government-
sponsored research schemes and have
recently sponsored a PhD student
with subsequent employment as our
R&Dmanager.
In the current climate of environmental
concern, the glass container industry is
correctly regarded as a manufacturer
of packaging that is kinder to the
environment than plastic packaging.
It can also be recycled indefinitely. As
such we believe that the industry has
a future and as a primary supplier, we
are proud to be part of it.
In the current
climate of
environmental
concern, the
glass container
industry is
correctly
regarded as a
manufacturer
of packaging
that is kinder
to the
environment
than plastic
packaging
A glass container factory in North West England.
The production lines featured comprise refractories
and engineered systems designed and supplied
byPSR
Pre-assembly of refractory channels. After construction
within PSR’s forehearth assembly, molten glass will flow
from the glass furnace along these channels into glass
forming machines for the manufacture of glass bottles

www.parkinson-spencer.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Parkinson - Spencer Refractories. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development