Grantham Journal Big Interview: BGB Innovation has always looked to the future
BGB Innovation certainly lives up to its name, being behind the creation of new and clever products throughout its 40 year history. It was only right then that they took home the Business Innovation prize at this year’s Grantham Journal Business Awards. After their win, the company’s marketing manager, James Tupper, told us more.
How did it feel to win the Business Innovation award?
As a company we try and stay ahead and look to the future, so it was great to be recognised for our hard work and investment in the innovation category.
For those who are not aware of the company, tell us a bit more about your background, and what you do?
We are a family-owned company and have been in business since 1976. The name ‘BGB’ was formed from the initials of the original partners’ wives. It was established as a manufacturer of carbon brush holders, and we have now developed to become a leading designer and manufacturer of electrical slip ring systems, underwater lighting and camera solutions, and fibre optic rotary joints (FORJs). We are also proud that we design and manufacture our own tooling, to produce our own prototypes and follow the process through to production. We have been exporting our products and services since the early 1990s, from which 90 per cent of our turnover is achieved. BGB has built up a good reputation for its products worldwide, including in Australia, Chile, China, Denmark, France, India, Korea, Mexico and the Netherlands.
How big is the Grantham operation?
Our only UK site is right here in Grantham, where we employ 110 people. We are also in the process of expanding the factory for the third time, by investing in a two-storey, 7,000 square foot extension. The development will allow BGB to move all pieces of plant and machinery into a more efficient and lean layout. Work on this extension is planned for 2017/18.
What are your key products and who do you provide these to?
Under the umbrella of BGB Innovation, the company is divided into three industry brands – BGB Engineering, BGB Marine and BGB Telemetry. Major markets include wind turbine control and power transfer, water and sewage treatment, rotary doors, packaging machines, leisure rides, cable reeling, stand-by power generation, fish farming or aquaculture, contactless rotary applications, and submersible inductive lighting in motor boats. BGB provide the market leaders in many of these industries - companies such as Vestas (Wind Industry), Boon Edam (Rotary Doors), Cummins (stand-by power generation), MEPs (wastewater) and Marine Harvest (Aquaculture) to name but a few.
What do you think of business and innovation in Grantham?
The engineering firms that are left in the town have had to try and stay innovative in order to survive. There are some very good businesses located here that people in the town and surrounding area should probably be more aware of. Here at BGB, we constantly look to innovate where possible, to give the end user the best possible products and money saving ideas on areas such as maintenance or power saving, whilst also achieving low prices to stay competitive.