On 13 January, the members of the Construction Materials Group (CMG), held one of their annual meetings at the Knauf Insulation manufacturing plant in St Helens, Merseyside
Knauf was founded in 1932 by the brothers Karl and Dr Alfons N Knauf. Today their sons, managing partners Baldwin and Nikolaus Knauf, steer the success of the corporations’ numerous enterprises in close co-ordination with the other family members.
Knauf Insulation formed in 1946 as a fibreglass insulation manufacturer. It has been previously known as Pilkington Insulation and Owens Corning before the involvement of Knauf with KnaufAlcopor, before finally becoming known as Knauf Insulation. The company is active in more than 35 countries with 30 manufacturing plants and more than 5,000 employees across the globe. The company, which is part of the German family-owned Knauf Group, has achieved a turnover approaching €1.6 billion.
Knauf Insulation is the only UK manufacturer of glass mineral wool, rock mineral wool and extruded polystyrene insulation products in the UK. The plant in St Helens is one of the four UK plants, with the other three being located in Cwmbran, Queensferry and Hartlepool.
The CMG members were given a detailed tour of the plant, which demonstrated the manufacturing processes and the strict quality controls and monitoring systems at each stage of the production process, which at least 80% of the raw input glass used comes from recycled glass. Another highlight of the tour was the melting process where temperatures can reach up to 1,400 degrees Celsius. By the end of the tour, everyone was impressed with the insulation manufacturing process.
Acknowledgements and thanks go to Graham Boyd, Knauf Insulation’s Business Development Director (a CMG member) and Frank Ropic who conducted the tour of the St Helens plant.
During the Board meeting following the tour, the Construction Materials Group Board discussed the outcomes of a recent awayday including improved visibility, suggestions for future events, and contributing to schools education. Further information will be made available to members as more detailed proposals are developed.