A Ribble Valley-based company is celebrating its fortieth anniversary this month.

This month, Hurst Green Plastics celebrates 40 years of producing innovative solutions to overcome production issues.

Hurst Green Plastics Ltd began in 1979, when Chairman Stephen Clarke bought the company with his mother, Mrs Helen Clarke, who only ‘recently’ retired from the business on her 90th Birthday and is still active.  Helen has recently celebrated her 96th birthday.

The company is located in the village of Hurst Green, Lancashire.  The factory Stephen bought had originally been opened in 1860 to make wooden bobbins for local cotton mills but had switched to injection-moulded plastic in 1955.

Stephen developed the company and oversaw a variety of innovations which would ultimately change the company into an inventory specialist.  One early innovation was a hands-free dispenser for nuts, which was seen by an Airbus Executive in his local supermarket.

The idea came to develop the same system, but for rivets within the Airbus production facility.  This led to the creation of the “Rivet Dispenser” and was Hurst Green Plastics’ first step into inventory management within the aerospace industry.

The company is still located in the Ribble Valley, with offices in Whalley.  Being very much very much Lancashire based, 90% of the company’s products are designed and manufactured in the county.

Indeed, BAE Systems’ Samlesbury site was the very first location of Hurst Green Plastic’s unique inventory control management system, being first installed in 1997 on the Hawker production line.

Hurst Green Plastic’s innovative dispensing system is now in operation in businesses across the globe, including in companies the likes of Airbus, BAE Systems and London Underground.

Working with the aerospace industry lead to further developments for inventory management and the introduction of new products embracing new technologies as the internet’s functionality developed.  This includes the award winning TwinBin

System, which is recognised for inventory management in production environments.

The company’s systems are used widely in production facilities not only in aerospace companies but in rail, space exploration and medical environments.

“We are delighted to be celebrating our fortieth anniversary at Hurst Green Plastics” commented Stephen Clarke, Managing Director.  “Since our beginnings in 1979 we have seen huge technological changes, as you can imagine.  We have grasped

these changes to develop systems that answer a very real need within our customers’ production environments”, he added.

Hurst Green Plastics was awarded the Queen’s Award for innovation in 2012.