SIS (Support In Sport) Ltd have completed a major improvement programme to create a high-tech synthetic turf manufacturing facility in Maryport, Cumbria. The project has also scooped a significant health and safety award.
The upgrade follows the company's acquisition of the facility last year, which was previously owned by the Palmyra organisation. Following a significant investment, SIS has now modernised the factory in order to bring the same high standards to artificial grass systems as it has already established for natural turf surfaces at all levels of sport.
"Actions have been taken to improve production, quality and safety, and to create a better working environment," says General Manager Philip Nichols, "in keeping with SIS' high quality standards."
SIS can now control all aspects of the manufacturing process for synthetic grass carpets. Two tufting machines have been completely refurbished and other key machines have been upgraded. Modifications have been made to the carpet backing plant at the facility, and a 28-tonne capacity latex tank has been installed.
Other improvements include the creation of new offices, a canteen, better storage facilities with outside racking, and a car park. The project also included a complete rewire of the building and the installation of new heating and lighting systems.
The quality of the factory improvement has been recognised by SIS receiving a significant health and safety accolade. The Maryport facility has won a Health & Safety Gold Award from Rand H&S, a consultancy providing health and safety compliance services to UK businesses. The Award is given for excellence in the continuous development of safety systems and procedures, and honours the management's commitment to workforce protection.
The SIS Maryport factory, which employs 24 staff, produces surfaces for a huge range of sports applications. Those most heavily in demand are synthetic turf systems for outdoor and indoor football pitches, including full-size, seven- and five-a-side installations.
The comprehensive product offering also includes surfacing for naturalistic promotional display purposes, play areas, roof terraces, exhibition stands and swimming pool surrounds.
George Mullan, Chief Executive Officer of SIS, says, "The improvements were essential in order to achieve the ISO 9001 quality standard, which we are in the process of meeting. The investment in new equipment ensures the factory can produce a complete range of grass carpets, from 5-70mm thick. It will also allow SIS to meet increased demand for these products. To date we have increased production capacity over the previous year by 50%.
"There is huge growth in the use of artificial turf for training surfaces and indoor facilities of all standards of sport," says George Mullan. "SIS can produce synthetic grass systems for football, rugby, hockey, cricket, tennis and multi-sports areas. Surfaces are also rapidly becoming popular in residential, leisure and promotional applications."
"Customers are also selecting SIS surfaces for use on putting greens, golf ranges, tees, Gaelic football, and even ski slopes," he adds.