Plastex Extruders Ltd was founded in 1962, and is proud to be a family-run business that spans three generations
Our story began in January 1963, in a rented workshop in Billericay, Essex.
Britain was in the grip of the coldest winter on record, so cold that it started snowing on Boxing Day and didn't let up til March (even the seas froze over).
Back then, we had just two employees – Derry O’Sullivan & Peter Lee – and a second hand extrusion machine with a mind of its own. Derry and Peter were colleagues at an existing extrusion company, and when Derry told Peter he was leaving to set up his own company, Peter said he was planning to do the same, so they agreed to do it together.
The Essex workshop was miles away from where Peter and Derry lived, and accommodation was hard to find – so the duo opted to live in a caravan, with one person always on hand to tame the temperamental machine. Needless to say, it was a battle against the clock – and against the elements.
In the early days, we were jobbing plastic extruders, making anything that would pay the bills – strip curtains, lay flat tubing, hot rod tracks.
That all changed in the early 1970s, however, when Derry had the idea of trying to extrude tensional strapping and open grid matting.
In 1978, we started Plastic Extruders Inc – in partnership with Gerrard Ovalstrapping in Canada – to manufacture strapping.
The following year we launched Plastex Design and Engineering Co to design and build our own extrusion machinery.
It’s worth noting that the very first plastic extrusion machine that Derry built worked perfectly the first time around and required no alterations.
In 1998, to support the expansion of our matting business, we opened a second production site in Fort Payne, Alabama. Today we’re proud to say that our USA factory produces similar matting volumes to the UK.
A lot has changed since our cramped workshop days
We now have a team of 70 who design and manufacture over 30 different matting products across two sites in Alabama and Essex. We also now manufacture 1,000,000 km of strapping per year – enough to circle the world 25 times. Our products sit at the forefront of technology, and we’re proud to be ISO 9001:2015 certificated.
What hasn't changed is our dedication to finding solutions for every need
We work tirelessly with our clients and distributors to design custom matting and strapping solutions that solve safety, health, comfort and productivity problems across a huge range of industries. We pride ourselves on knowing our products inside out – we even make the machines that make them!
And just like Derry and Peter back in 1963, our team works around the clock to deliver world-class service and innovative products to our customers.