And we’re really proud to say that Columbus is still doing what it did best when it launched back in 1966 – England’s World Cup winning year – providing robust value-for-money handling and packaging solutions!
Back in 1966, Columbus Precision Moulding was founded by forward-thinking tool-maker Patrick Rowley, focussing on manufacturing a range of products using plastic injection moulds.
During the 1960’s Cheltenham was still very much at the heart of the UK’s aerospace industry with many local business supplying the aerospace sector including Dowty Aviation specialising in the manufacture of hydraulic and actuation systems, advanced propellers, and turbine engine components. In Bristol Rolls Royce was building jet engines including Concord’s Olympus for the Bristol Aircraft Company at Filton the birthplace of supersonic travel.
In 2003 Kate purchased Columbus and with an excellent track record of growing business under her belt she relocated then restructured Columbus.
The focus now being on EPS and EPP moulded and engineered products for various forms of transit packaging and handling solutions.Kate was able to look at the business with independent eyes, and to bring back the focus onto low volume, but high value, solutions.
In 1983 Kate joined a Web-Offset printing company in Tewkesbury with 10 other employees. Within 6 months she was made Production Manager. The business went through a very rapid programme of expansion and after 3 years she was made Production Director. At this point the business was now employing some 350 people which was when the business was booming in the mid nineties. There were many technological changes happening in the industry in the coming few years which were to change the world of print forever and many print companies were disappearing. Kate left in 2001 to pursue another challenges.
Kate ran the business on her own until March 2014, when she brought in Robert Smith as General Manager.
With a B.Eng in Mechanical Engineering, 30 years experience managing single and multi-site manufacturing environments and a proven track record creating and leading culture change and improving business performance – Robert focused on adapting Columbus’s approach to an even more solution-focused, bespoke customer service.
Robert gained his NEBOSH certificate in 2011, is Prince 2 Project Management Certified (2013), is a Lean Manufacturing Practitioner and a Steps / IEE Facilitator.
Robert is now our Managing Director. Under his new leadership, Columbus is focused on adapting our approach to a more solution-focused and bespoke customer offering – customers come to us with their packaging challenges, and we will design, produce or source exactly what they need.
It is testament to our approach, that around 70% of the customers we have today have been with us for over 20 years. They know that we are reliable and that our products are high quality and represent good value.
We are trusted by industries for whom safety and reliability are of the utmost importance. If you’re transporting safety components for aircraft ejector seats, we know you will need a packaging solution that will provide 100% protection!
For industries like automotive or aerospace, packaging solutions need to go through stringent testing processes, and meet demanding approval thresholds – so, we know that when customers find us, and see they can trust us, then they stick with us.