Nifco UK formally known as Elta Plastics Ltd was established in 1967 on a site at Yarm Road Stockton-on-Tees offering a world-class service in the field of injection-moulded products. At that time, Japan was undergoing a period of rapid industrialization led by the automotive and home electronics industries. It was a competitive age of mass production growth, when emphasis was placed on increasing manufacturing efficiency especially in fields of automobile and home electronic appliance production.
Nifco turned its early attentions to devising ways to reduce manpower in the manufacturing process and became the first company to introduce plastic as an alternative to metal for use as fasteners. Nifco fasteners make full use of the superior characteristics of plastic: lightweight, rustproof and highly mouldable. Although small in size, Nifco fasteners have made a major contribution to the automobile and home electronic production processes and brought about a "Fastening Revolution" in Japan.
In 1972, Nifco Inc entered into technology transfer agreements with America's Big Three of GM, Chrysler, and Ford, and after this Nifco Inc's products came to be used in many automobiles as the Japanese automobile industry flourished and the advantages of plastic fasteners in reducing the costs and energy needs of industrial productions processes came to be recognised.
Nifco Inc set its sights on the world early on and, beginning with its expansion to Taiwan in 1983, Nifco has since grown into a group with subsidiaries and affiliated companies in twelve countries around the world including the United Kingdom, Asia and United States of America.
Elta Plastics, based on Yarm Road in Stockton since 1967 was acquired by plastics giant Nifco Inc becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of the group. This was a key moment in the recent history of the company and the support of our Japanese parent company has enabled the business to grow into one of Teesside’s largest employers.
At this time, Nifco was facing serious losses and had to make some serious business decisions to ensure that it could succeed in the future. Around the same time, Mike Matthews was appointed Deputy Managing Director and Doug Binks joined the business as Finance Director.
With Mike Matthews now appointed to Managing Director and a reformed management team in place, Nifco was benefitting from the changes it implemented, a reduction in staff and an increase in productivity. The business had begun to form relationships with local media, councils and the local LEP, Tees Valley Unlimited, which would support the growth that was to come in future years.
In December 2011, Nifco UK took ownership of a new state of the art factory based in Eaglescliffe, Stockton-on-Tees. The new plant will allowed us to further increase capacity, explore new markets and secure the long-term future of Nifco in Stockton.
Having outgrown its Yarm Road site in Stockton and after significant planning and investment, Nifco moved to a state of the art factory at Durham Lane Eaglescliffe. As part of the move, Nifco increased staffing levels from 158 in 2011 to more than 300 by the end of 2012.
After less than a year in the new factory, it became apparent that the rate of growth Nifco was experiencing was going to require a second factory. Nifco opened its Factory 2 on the same site on Durham Lane Eaglescliffe in 2014. This was part of a £14million investment which included the first R&D facility for the Nifco Group outside of Japan and further machinery to equip the expansion.
Nifco MD, Mike Matthews, was invited to Buckingham Palace to collect his MBE for Services to Business in the North East of England – an excellent achievement for a local lad who worked his way from an apprentice to Managing Director.
In February 2015, on the same day that George Osbourne visited the site in Eaglescliffe, Nifco announced a contract with Ford worth £50million that will provide an additional 50 jobs for the local area. The contract sees Nifco produce a complex thermostatic control assembly for a next generation Ford low CO2 engine and involves a collaborative working relationship between research and development teams from both Ford and Nifco.
As part of a rapidly expanding Research & Development facility, Nifco invested a further £1million in an Engine-Dynamometer Test Cell and a state-of-the-art 3D printer. Together the two new machines will allow the creation of prototypes which can then be tested on engines with the Dynamometer – helping Nifco to lead the way in developing its products to exceed the needs of customers.
With a history of continuous and consistent growth since 2008, Nifco announces that it intends to continue with strategic and controlled growth – more details to follow.
The only company to take the top trophy twice in the North East Business Awards - the biggest event in the business community calendar – in both 2013 and now 2016.
The company closed its 2016 books with turnover standing at a record £71million, a double-digit increase on performance just three years ago.