Mark BlaneyIn an evolving manufacturing landscape, where technology and sustainability converge to shape the future, companies are faced with both challenges and opportunities.

In this exclusive Q&A session, Myerson Solicitors sit down with the team at Enviro-Cap Ltd, a key player in the recyclable metal caps and containers manufacturing sector.

Despite being deeply rooted in traditional machinery and methods, Enviro-Cap Ltd is navigating the shifting terrain, investing in machinery, and aligning with market demand for customised products.

From exploring the potential of Generative AI and the journey towards sustainability, this interview offers a comprehensive look into the dynamic world of manufacturing.

As Mark Blaney, CEO of Enviro-Cap Ltd, shares his perspective on the industry's current state and its foreseeable future, the conversation reveals insights, strategies, and forward-thinking approaches that manufacturers worldwide can take inspiration from.

Contact Our Manufacturing Solicitors

1. How have technological advancements shaped the manufacturing landscape for Enviro-Cap Ltd., and what trends do you anticipate in the near future?

As a manufacturer of metal screw caps, Enviro-Cap Ltd is one of the last remaining players in a traditional industry which uses traditional machinery.

So, to drive operating efficiency, an ongoing program of investing in new machinery has been required. 

However, there's a trade-off in that the most efficient machinery is designed to produce caps at high speed and in high volumes of standardised sizes, while the market demand we serve is for a wider range of sizes at smaller volumes where more flexible manufacturing capacity is required. 

The industry, therefore, increasingly divides into the large bulk manufacturers of commodity components and the smaller manufacturers, such as Enviro-Cap Ltd, of differentiated, specialised and customised products.    

Get In Touch With Myerson Solicitors

2. Looking ahead, how do you foresee AI's effect on the industry, and what are the potential benefits and challenges it brings?

What is making all the news currently is Generative AI, which we could see having creative uses in the generation of marketing material, as well as in the design and visualisation of products.

Meanwhile, AI, more generally in terms of expert systems, such as fault detection, will be increasingly used to drive automation. 

However, Generative AI isn't creative as such, so it will depend on the material it is trained on. 

So, for real creativity in developing new products and applications, which is where we are focused in our drive to develop sustainable substitutes for plastic caps and closures, we think you need the lateral thinking and imagination that will be difficult to produce with AI.

Speak With Our Manufacturing Team

3. In the pursuit of sustainability, what measures is Enviro-Cap Ltd adopting within its manufacturing processes to minimise environmental impact and foster sustainability?

We have focussed on energy efficiency within the factory, and for example, all our lighting is now LED, and much of it is PIR controlled.

Waste management is core to our sustainability, and we calculate that 95%+ of our waste stream is recycled.

We are increasingly seeking external validation of our sustainability, and we are registered with Sedex and currently undertaking an EcoVadis assessment.

But as a business, we think our key contribution to worldwide sustainability lies in 'Plastic Substitution', where we are actively developing innovative packaging products in recyclable metal designed to act as substitutes for applications that are currently only served by plastic caps. 

Contact Our Manufacturing Experts

4. What supply chain management hurdles does Enviro-Cap Ltd encounter, and how do you effectively navigate them?

Our key inputs are what would be seen as commodity products, such as sheet aluminium and tinplate, but these need to be manufactured to particular specifications and finished with printing and coating to a high standard, both of which severely limit the range of suppliers we can use.

As a result, we have to work very closely with our supply chain to get the quality of input we need. 

Meanwhile, we face continuous end-user pressure on pricing, often based on the assumption that our inputs are simply commodity products, so we have an ongoing education and negotiation process with customers.

Get In Touch Today

5. With the growing importance of transparency and traceability in supply chains, how is Enviro-Cap Ltd ensuring the authenticity and ethical sourcing of its raw materials throughout its supply chain?

We are BRCGS AA+ certified for our manufactured food packaging products, so transparency of our supplier management and traceability of our products from source to the customer throughout the process is already key to our operations. 

To help manage our supply chain from a Corporate Social Responsibility point of view, we are engaging with organisations such as Sedex and EcoVadis, as already discussed. 

Speak With Our Manufacturing Lawyers

6. What strategic approaches do you observe prominent manufacturers employing to uphold competitiveness within the global market?

The three things we would point to are:

  • Integration of supply chains, a focus on working with our suppliers to ensure product and service quality. 
  • An emphasis on creating differentiation through, for example, value-added design capability or stock holding to service customers (balanced against the business's own working capital management needs). 
  • A strong focus on sustainability of design and products to meet consumer demands and increasingly the resultant retailer criteria for product selection.

Contact Myerson Solicitors Today

7. In the face of intensifying competition, how can Enviro-Cap Ltd, as a UK manufacturer, attract and retain adept professionals to ensure a skilled workforce?

We retain our workers by focusing on the quality of our working environment.

We strive to make Enviro-Cap an interesting place to work with opportunities for learning and advancement, and we have a friendly atmosphere and collegiate culture that people enjoy.

Speak With Our Manufacturing Team

8. Within the current landscape, what vulnerabilities do UK manufacturers confront, and what actionable measures can be adopted to mitigate these potential risks?

As we've seen in recent years, the downside of globalised supply chains is their susceptibility to major shocks, so we are seeing a strategic move in our customer base to on or nearshoring to reduce their reliance on remote logistics, which can get overstretched.  

Contact Our Manufacturing Lawyers

9. With the increasing awareness of cybersecurity threats, how is Enviro-Cap Ltd safeguarding its digital infrastructure and sensitive manufacturing data from potential breaches?

I'm tempted to say I would tell you, but I'd have to kill you.

The reality is with the help of our IT support service, we have to keep on top of active security measures in terms of virus and malware protection and have automated backups to be able to restore in the case of an incident, but the key protection is ensuring all staff are kept aware of the threats and the need for good IT hygiene.   

Speak With Our Manufacturing Team

10. Are there any additional recommendations that you would propose to enhance the business operations of manufacturers in the current market scenario?

We believe innovation is the key to our future, so we are continuously looking at packaging issues, particularly areas where there is currently only a plastic solution available, to see how we can produce a competitive and environmentally friendly substitute.

So, always looking at what customers want or may need, rather than what the business currently does, would be our key bit of advice.

Get In Touch With Myerson Solicitors

Contact Our Manufacturing Solicitors

If you are a manufacturing company, like Envirocap, Myerson Solicitor's Manufacturing team can provide professional legal services. Contact our Manufacturing lawyers on: