Monthly Archives :

April 2018

IFG Drake Company History

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IFG Drake has roots dating back to the 19th century when the Drighlington site was run by the Slack family, who owned Plasticisers, and the Pearson Brothers, who owned F. Drake Fibres were indentured to the Victoria Mills. Since then discoveries in machinery, patent expiries and the merging of the two companies in 2000 have lead IFG Drake to be a global leader for the supply of fibre and yarns in a range of industries.

1850 – 1890: Most of the machines in 1850 were steam powered and the Victoria Mills site was an ideal place for this due to it being an extensive mill. During this period, the Slack family were using horse hair to create woven cloth, violin bows and brushes, and Pearson Brothers had become an established company with assets totalling £105,000.

1890 – 1930: By 1896 the Pearson Brothers had developed their business to make becoming a limited company worthwhile and soon after, expanded their Victoria Mills premises to accommodate 9000 spindles and 82 looms. This was worthwhile because during the outbreak of WW1 textile businesses benefitted from soldier uniform production.

1930 – 1970: Ezra Slack visited Germany and saw new processes for splitting horse hairs to make paint brushes. Slack ordered a flagging machine and a mixing machine, however, due to the outbreak of WW2 the mixing machine never arrived. Under Winston Churchill’s order, a similar machine was built, allowing the Drighlington site to begin manufacturing horse hair paint brushes.

1970’s: Polypropylene was first produced at Victoria Mills in 1973 and during this time business boomed at the Drighlington site when a patent held in Italy expired, allowing the Slacks to enter the market of coloured polypropylene carpet fibres.

IFG Drake have since developed a unique colour matching system to allow virtually any shade to be matched within 24 hours which has been a contributing factor in leading IFG Drake to being Britain’s leading polypropylene fibre producer and the most technically advanced in Europe.

Road and Rail Geotextiles Use

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Geotextiles are mainly constructed using polypropylene fibres that are used for several applications such as separation, drainage, filtering, reinforcement or protection. Here at IFG Drake we provide high quality fibres that are used to manufacture needle-punched fabrics which have been used extensively across the globe in a wide variety of construction projects, including road and rail.

In road and rail construction geotextiles are used to control a number of factors. Primarily the materials are used to control particle separation to ensure soil and aggregate materials do not mix. For example, it is common to use geotextiles in road construction when building on a soft or porous surface so that the unsuitable building surface is confined. A geotextile is laid on top of this softer soil and then the aggregate layer can be distributed on top. This is similar in rail construction, where geotextiles are laid to prevent particles mixing.

Filtration is also a key concern for civil applications and so geotextiles are used to control permeability. Needle-punched fabrics are used to ensure that fine particles that would usually get moved in soil moisture are now retained in the appropriate layer. This ensures that sub-base layers do not mix, and because of the complex structure of the geotextile, the permeability is not hindered, enabling moisture to move freely.

Another application for geotextiles in road construction is drainage. To minimise excess water and flooding risks, geotextiles are installed to drain superfluous moisture away. The material acts as a barrier below the surface to discharge the water away to reduce the risk of pooling water.

IFG Drake are proud to work with market leading geotextile companies in the manufacturing of needle-punched fabrics in a variety of civil construction projects. Get in touch to see how we can find a fibre solution for your geotextile.

A Day in the Life of an IFG Drake Site Administrator

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IFG Drake Site Administrator, Naomi Roberts, joined the team just under a year ago and she’s already been involved in some exciting projects, read on to find out more about her varied role within the company.

Describe a typical day at IFG Drake…
As Site Administrator it’s hard to describe a typical day because my role is so varied, but the first task I complete every morning is to check the trays at the shift manager’s station which have all the paperwork and information from the previous day and night shift.

I will then go on to complete my shop floor walkaround, where I check on the staff and make sure there are no issues with machinery or tools. If there’s any problems, I speak to the relevant department to get them rectified. My walkaround is also where I check the quality of the bales in the warehouse before they go out to our customers worldwide.

Most of my daily work is carried out at my desk because I am responsible for a variety of administration tasks including calculating wages for our accounts departments, controlling holidays and creating and signing off purchase orders for maintenance. When we have a new starter, I will carry out their induction which is a great way for me to develop relationships with the IFG Drake staff. My daily tasks also include liaising with shift managers and operatives, and we have a meeting everyday with all managers, supervisors and maintenance team to keep every up to date.

Before I leave I will always spend time to reflect on the day’s tasks and confirm that all the necessary jobs have been completed.

What’s the best thing about your job?
My role is very varied, and no two days are the same. I like how diverse my role is compared to other companies because I have numerous jobs that I’m responsible for so I’m not just doing the same thing all day, every day.

What’s been your favourite project to date?
I have only been working for IFG Drake for just under a year but one of the projects I have enjoyed getting involved in was the video shoot. It was the first time I’d ever been involved in a project like that, so it was very exciting to be involved. My role was to make sure our employees and shop floor was ready for the film crew and to make sure the day ran as smoothly as possible by making sure all branding was clear on the uniforms and wagons.

IFG Drake Sports Surface Fibres

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Days are gone of muddy, uneven grass pitches that inhibit play, as more sports clubs, schools and public areas are investing in synthetic pitches. Synthetic pitches provide a durable and reliable surface with reduced maintenance costs and time, and here at IFG Drake, we supply polypropylene fibres used to manufacture these surfaces.

Polypropylene fibres are used in sports surfaces to produce a robust, hard wearing pitch. The fibres that we produce at IFG Drake create a brushed carpet-like effect and are designed in a ‘crimped’ texture which permits a far superior interlock between the fibres and sand. This in turn produces a shock absorbing effect which rapidly restores uniformity after load distortion meaning that the surface will stay firm and level for longer.

Primarily used in applications such as tennis courts and bowling greens, IFG Drake polypropylene fibres are also ideal for indoor and outdoor multi sports centres to create a versatile sports area which can also be used for playgrounds. As we’re also experts in colour, we can cater for your pitch requirements precisely. Within 24 hours we can match virtually any shade so that your sports club or school can invest in a pitch perfectly matched to your brand.

IFG Drake fibres are unique in that they offer a durable surface, that with a fibre stabilised rootzone, ensures that the surface stays firm and level for longer by reducing the rootzone compaction. This in turn aids rapid surface draining to improve play when the surface is wet. Our fibres offer greater resistance to wear and tear and propose real savings on cost and maintenance compared to a grass pitch.

Providing our customers with high quality products is something that we are very passionate about and we’re confident that no other polypropylene fibre has the performance characteristics of IFG Drake’s. Get in contact today to find out how we can help manufacture your ideal sports surface.