A multi-award-winning metal recycling company with a turnover of circa £100m is celebrating 50 years of trading in Gloucester.
Avon Metals, which incorporates subsidiary Avon Specialty Metals, employs 86 people across three sites located just off the main Bristol Road in Gloucester. The group is a privately-owned world-leading manufacturer of aluminium alloy ingots, and an important recycler of complex superalloys and exotic minor metals.
Recycling is the core mantra at the heart of all the Avon business units, which operate continuous 24 hour shift patterns in order to keep up with demand.
Over the years Avon Metals has won many awards, including three prestigious Queens Awards and the coveted Gloucestershire Business of the Year.
Managing Director Richard Lewis, who has been with the business for 15 years, said “As a Gloucester based company, we are proud to be celebrating this important milestone of 50 years in business. Gloucester has proven to be a great place for our business to flourish”
The company sources aluminium scrap from industrial generator accounts and a network of global scrap metal merchants. It then melts down and alloys the aluminium with elements such as silicon, magnesium and manganese to create specification ingots. These ingots are used in a wide range of applications including automotive castings and wheels, aluminium foil and cans, aerospace parts and architectural building products such as extrusions and cladding.
“A lot of the aluminium alloys we produce are destined for the automotive industry – aluminium wheels, engine heads, brake callipers, body panels – we are an integral part of the supply chain and close the loop,” Richard added.
“Aluminium is 100% recyclable and can be repurposed over and over again with no loss in quality. Aluminium may be silver in its appearance, but it is definitely the “green” metal and helps contribute towards a sustainable future for the planet. We are pleased to be playing our part to help protect the environment and ensure a brighter future for the next generation.”
Richard said that the last few years had been particularly volatile and challenging with the Covid Pandemic, Brexit, the energy crisis and conflicts around the world. The company had to absorb a 400% increase at the energy price peak. Despite these hurdles, the company has continued to perform well and enjoyed record figures last year.
As for Brexit, Richard said that with over 50% of their sales being exported, there was an initial transition phase where additional transport documentation was required, but the company’s logistics team quickly became familiar with it and it is now second nature.
“Although, it is great to look back at how well we have done historically, we must always have an eye on the future. We are seeing a change in the automotive industry with as the industry heads towards more electric cars. We have never been ones to rest on our laurels – we are always looking for what comes next and which new markets and applications we can expand into. We fully intend to be at the forefront of emerging new technologies including EV, additive manufacturing and materials science.”
“It has been a fantastic success story over the last 50 years. Our management team has big plans and big ideas. The company is about to embark on another round of major investment into infrastructure and technology, which we believe will lay the foundations for the next 50 years. We honestly feel like we are only just getting started.” Richard concluded.