Ever changing industry

1 September 2017 Kingspan Team

Our Guest Blogger Kevin O'Grady talks about change in Kingspan

Kingspan History 01

If there is one thing that is guaranteed in business it is change. It can come from many different sources and the most successful companies are those who adapt best or, when possible, anticipate and plan for change to manage the impact and take advantage of the opportunities.

  • Legislation or government regulations
  • Environmental directives
  • Competition
  • Technology
  • Growth
  • People
  • Capacity

During my time in Kingspan, we have experienced changes in all of the above several times over and almost always we have had a positive outcome.

The plant we work in now is nothing like the one I started in.  Back then the factory size was 3,300sq.m which included the office space. Now our plant is 23,500 sq.m.

Initially the line was set up to service the Irish roofing market. In those earlier days everything was delivered in drums. The site received Kingspan group’s very first tanker delivery of MDI on 21st August 1981.  Now, in normal activity, a tanker of MDI is being off loaded every hour of every working day somewhere in the organisation across the globe.  I say in normal activity because this year we have seen a shortage in supply of MDI along with considerable price increases and it has been a challenge to manage our customer’s expectations in this environment.  In this scenario constant and good communication is critical.

In 1982 we were the first to get FM approval production certification. This was hugely important with the influx of American FDI and as a result we supplied the insulation for all the big jobs such as Intel/ Hewlett Packard. In the next few months we will supply FM approved boards to projects with Facebook & Microsoft which alone are in the region of 120,000sq.m of board.

In 1997 Change to Part L of the building regulation meant a huge change and almost overnight our production capacity increased in our PIR products. New house being built across Ireland began to use our Therma TW50 product in the walls where previously expanded polystyrene was used.

In 2005 and 2006 we build a new warehouse and we started the installation of our New Kooltherm line which was a really exciting time. The investment of €20m at the time, showed a great trust and faith by Kingspan group in the ability of the team in Castleblayney to perform and get results.

Kingspan never stops changing and evolving, we continuously strive to achieve the best. In 2015 the roof of the factory was transformed as 1,200 solar panels where installed without any disruption to the function of the plant. The 300kw Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System will provide 15 percent of the Insulation plants annual electricity demand.  

This year we launched our Kooltherm lower lambda range, a Lambda Value of just 0.018 W/m.K across all thicknesses.

Things are always changing here and it makes for a very exciting work place.