The product designers at Loadhog, the Sheffield-based award-winning transit packaging innovator, benefitted from the first apprentice ‘swap’ with one of its chief suppliers, Lincolnshire-based Luxus, the leading technical plastics solutions provider, which also gained from the initiative.
During his placement at Loadhog, Luxus apprentice Robert Silvester, 23, worked on product design, prototyping, materials’ selection and testing with Loadhog’s specialist team of designers and engineers within company’s Ideas and Innovation centre. There he was able to input the thermoplastic materials’ selection required for a ‘live’ product design project.
Loadhog also demonstrated how polymers are used within its injection moulding processes to develop products which solve the handling and logistics problems for global supply chain customers.
Rob Deakin, Loadhog’s manufacturing manager, said: “The strength of the partnership between supplier and customer is always key to delivering results. Loadhog’s continued push for new and innovative solutions naturally questions all our suppliers’ capabilities. The exchange program gives a very clear definition of these capabilities and allows both Loadhog and Luxus to understand each other’s boundaries in achieving its goals. Moving forward and working together will benefit both our businesses and give further foundation to our already strong relationship.”
The next stage of the ‘swap’ is for Luxus to arrange for a Loadhog apprentice to benefit from a similar experience by gaining a better understanding of how its thermoplastics with a high recycled content are sourced and formulated at its in-house Technical Centre to meet client specifications.
Peter Atterby, Luxus managing director, said: “We are pleased that Robert benefitted from the ‘swap’ with our customer and partner, Loadhog. It brings a greater depth to its understanding of materials’ development and provides ample opportunity for the transfer of skills too, so we are looking forward to supporting Loadhog’s apprentices in the coming months.”