15.01.2010 News: MBO Sees IPS Ceramics In Kiln Furniture

IPS Ceramics Ltd is pleased to announce its Management Buyout (MBO) of the former Dyson Group business, Dyson Thermal Technologies Kiln Furniture.  This MBO, concluded on 23 December 2009, includes the existing order book, manufacturing and intellectual properties associated with the Company’s whole kiln furniture range (one of the largest in the world) and global agency agreements.


Existing customers are assured of a direct line of communication to the Senior Management Team and existing contacts in the commercial office to ensure continuity of supply, fulfilment of orders and access to the wide ranging technical expertise that they have come to expect from this historic ceramic business.


The MBO Team behind IPS Ceramics comprises Managing Director Sukhjinder Singh (formerly MD Ceramics Division and Programme Director, Dyson Group), Operations Director Ian Wright (formerly Senior Operations Manager, Dyson Thermal Technologies) and Sales Director Phil Green (formerly Commercial Business Manager, Dyson Thermal Technologies Kiln Furniture).


Sukhjinder Singh, a Dutch national, originally joined Dyson Group in April 2008 as its new Programme Director, and subsequently also took on the role as Managing Director of the Ceramics Division. He holds an MSc in Business (specialising in Strategy, Finance and Marketing) and has a post-graduate Supply Chain qualification. He began his career in The Netherlands as a Management Consultant with KPMG, moving on to work for Shell and Univar, where he held Financial Controller, Strategy, Marketing and Project Leader roles.


Following the MBO, Mr. Singh said of the new venture: “One of the main drivers in my move to the UK was the strong entrepreneurial element to the job. I am delighted that this development and the creation of IPS Ceramics gives free rein to this aspect of my management role and promises to test all the strengths that brought me to the business in the first place”.


Mr. Singh’s two fellow directors are experts in kiln furniture and are well known operationally and commercially all around the world. Between them they boast 70 years’ experience in the Ceramic Industry.


Ian Wright joined Hewitt Refractories in 1977, adopting roles involving technical, laboratory back-up and quality control issues, and subsequently production management.  When Hewitt Refractories became part of Dyson Group, Ian was appointed as Manufacturing Manager for what, at that time, was a business spread over three sites. Ever since the kiln furniture manufacturing was consolidated onto the one site in Stoke-on-Trent, Ian has been responsible for managing operations at senior level.


Phil Green gained his ceramic manufacturing and technical experience during 17 years with Wedgwood, after which he joined kiln furniture company Acme Marls in an export sales role (in 1989). Acme Marls was another business which became part of Dyson Group in 2000 and Phil progressed from export sales to his subsequent appointment as Commercial Business Manager of the new set-up. In addition to his broad technical knowledge of the product, Phil has travelled all over the world and has strong links with all the major international and UK ceramics manufacturers.


In addition to marketing products from the Hartshill factory, Dyson Thermal Technologies had formed a strong alliance with Asia’s leading cordierite kiln furniture manufacturer, Beijing Trend Industrial Ceramics (Tongzhou, Beijing, China). The companies began working together in 2006 as partners to supply kiln furniture to the global market. By training personnel at Beijing Trend, sharing techniques and integrating quality standards, it quickly became possible for Beijing Trend to make its whole range according to Dyson’s high quality process and specification. The IPS Ceramics Team has announced that this manufacturing and commercial cooperation will continue following the MBO.


Guo Haizhu, Managing Director of Beijing Trend, said: “IPS Ceramics will continue with what is already a long-term relationship with Beijing Trend. Trend and IPS will intensify this partnership in the future and capitalise on each other’s respective strengths in order to offer our global customers quality products, the highest levels of service, quicker delivery and the most competitive prices. We are confident that IPS/Trend will be the leader of the global kiln furniture market”.


“In pursuit of this even closer relationship, I will initially be spending an increased amount of time at the Trend facility in China,” confirmed Ian Wright.  “It is important at this stage for me to continue to assist the 320-strong team in Beijing with our ambitious programme of technical enhancement and new product development.  We have already discussed exciting prospects for our future cooperation and the MBO gives us full scope to exploit our excellent relationship with the Trend management”.


The establishment of IPS Ceramics means the continuation of a 150 year-old tradition in kiln furniture design and manufacture and, at the same time, a driving forward of the business by an experienced and dedicated team which is fully committed to maintaining all the close links it has with ceramic companies around the world.


“A carefully planned MBO was the only real option for the Kiln Furniture business and we are grateful to the Board of Dyson Group for having given us its support and encouragement,” said Phil Green.  “We are recognised as a team that, above all, understands the complexities of all our customers’ manufacturing operations and we will find a way to come up with the right products at the right price, delivered according to the required schedule.


“We have already begun visiting and calling customers to introduce IPS Ceramics, and our future actions will demonstrate that we aim to continue with product development, to enhance technical performance at every level, to always set quality values as a priority and to maximise the potential of all facets of the business – from human resources to manufacturing capabilities to leveraging our geographical advantage.”


IPS Ceramics has customers in major production sectors, such as tableware, sanitaryware, tiles, powder metallurgy, electroporcelains and special applications. These remain the focus for developing the business at this stage and, accordingly, one of the initial targets of the MBO Team has been to retain key skill sets in these areas. In a strongly competitive environment, price obviously remains an equally important consideration; therefore the agreement between IPS Ceramics and Beijing Trend is essential in enabling the Company to deliver exactly what its customers require.


In the meantime, the Company is dedicating itself to maintaining full customer service during this transitional period and the close liaison with all global clients is expected to result in a smooth takeover.



IPS Ceramics Ltd

Shelton New Road, Hartshill  I  Stoke-on-Trent I  Staffordshire   I  ST4 6EP  England

T +44 17 82 71 15 11  I  F +44 17 82 71 70 78

enq@ipsceramics.com   I   www.ipsceramics.com 

Phil Green, Sales Director: p.green@ipsceramics.com

Ian Wright, Operations Director: i.wright@ipsceramics.com

Sukhjinder Singh, Managing Director: s.singh@ipsceramics.com



Related articles:

13.04.2011 News: IPS Ceramics Launches New Website

IPS Ceramics Ltd has launched a completely revamped website – www.ipsceramics.com – ahead of its participation in Ceramics China (26-29 May, Guangzhou) and the publication of a brand new catalogue....

Issue 2/2017

Brian Dodd retires

At the end of 2016, Trend Industrial Ceramics, manufacturer of cordierite kiln furniture, bid farewell to its employee Brian Dodd, who has retired after 42 years in the ceramics industry. Brian joined...

Issue 1/2018 Successfully tested in Australia

Trend Industrial Ceramics presents new refractory product

Trend Industrial Ceramics has developed a new material for high-performance kiln components for the heavy clay sector and received the first positive feedback from key users. “We have developed a...

Issue 04/2022

25th Eurosymposium: Ceramic expertise for the future

More than 60 experts from the entire ceramics sector met again on 18 and 19 May 2022 for the 25th Eurosymposium in Meissen in Germany. The joy among participants and organisers was great, because the...

Issue 08/2009 20 and 23 October 2009, Munich, Germany

Innovative kiln systems at ceramitec 2009

At ceramitec the manu- facturers of industrial kiln systems will be presenting creative solutions for process-optimized, energy-efficient firing, covering the different requirements of the different...