A manufacturer which began in a garden shed during the Queen’s Silver Jubilee year is marking the Diamond Jubilee with a move to a new two-acre site in Warwick.
Fozmula, which is internationally known for its wide range of sensor products, started life in the chairman’s garden at Moreton Paddox, near Warwick, in 1977.
This month, as it officially opens the new factory in Tachbrook Park, the family-owned company is celebrating a phenomenal success story which has seen a doubling in size in the last 24 months.
The company manufacturers sensors for the control and measurement of liquid levels, temperature and pressure and 70 per cent of the design, test, development and manufacture is carried out in the UK.
It has an international customer base - including such blue chip names as Caterpillar, JCB and Perkins Engines - and exports half its products, counting the USA as its next biggest market after the UK.
Since being appointed managing director seven years ago, Steven Jackson has presided over an increasing product range and expanding export markets in North America,
Europe, the Middle East, the Far East and Africa and has steered the company to a £5.8 million turnover and more than doubled the workforce to more than 50.
He said: “We are seeing a growing demand for our products in the construction equipment industry and in the motorsport and commercial vehicle industries.”
Looking to the immediate future, Mr Jackson is planning further expansion in the United States – and in Brazil, South Africa and Germany – to help Fozmula towards its next target, a further 50 per cent growth within four years.
“The reasons for our success are innovation, a strong management structure – put in place by the chairman – and the fact that we are self-financing, so don’t have to rely on others to fund our growth. We have a sensible and conservative approach, and a non-executive board of seasoned advisers, headed by the chairman, which includes lawyers, accountants and businessmen who have a wealth of experience.
“The company is going from strength to strength and on this new site we have sufficient room for the future expansion we all envisage,” he said.
Fozmula is the brainchild of founder and chairman John Griffiths.
Mr Griffiths, a mechanical engineer, founded the firm after a three-year apprenticeship with Avro, the famous aircraft manufacturer, where he finally worked in the design office under Roy Chadwick before leaving to study engineering at University College London, Loughborough College and The Royal Naval Engineering College Keyham.
During his long career he held engineering posts with BOAC, sat on the board of directors at Teddington Aircraft Controls, Rover Gas Turbines and Centrax, and was managing director of Systron-Donner, which later became part of Thorn EMI.
After setting up on his own, Mr Griffiths said: “Slowly we began to design and test and build a line of sensors, beginning with liquid level and progressing to temperature, position and pressure.
“Early units were largely mechanical and electrical then later electronic techniques came in until today we are an internationally known company with a wide range of sensor products and a customer list spanning most of the world’s industrial countries.
“Our move to Griffiths House here in Warwick indicates our commitment to the area and our confidence in the future.”