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ImProfil of: Lee Forbes

10 Questions for Lee Forbes / Forbes Technologies Ltd,



leeforbes

10 Questions for…


Lee Forbes / Forbes Technologies Ltd.



  1. When did you found the Forbes group ?

    I founded the company in 1960 with my father Kenneth Forbes (deceased 1990) who had retired from the RAF in 1957. The business started in our garage & quickly grew. In the early 60’s plastics were not used in industry. HDPE was just becoming available & polypropylene did not come to the market until 1962. We were the first company to build free standing circular tanks in polypropylene. I was the technical guy & my Father was administration. The company has grown over the years and employs eighty people between Norfolk & Kelso sites. The group had the addition of the Pall Ring Company (www.pallrings.co.uk) in 2005 which carries out injection moulding & thermoplastic design & fabrication of scrubbing tower internals. This recent addition is also expanding, the main markets being export throughout the EU & the Middle East.


  2. What is your position in the company?

    I am Chairman & Technical Director

  3. What did you do before running your own company?

    I was at college in Cambridge
  4. Please tell us about your product range

    We are the largest manufacturer of custom designed tanks in thermoplastics, glassfibre composites & dual laminates with inner shells of thermoplastic / fluoroplastics in the UK.  The products range from small thermoplastic tanks to tanks up to 200,000 litres capacity for chemical storage & processing,  plus gas scrubbers & other equipment used in the chemical & water treatment industries.

  5. What are the characteristics of the company compared to the competition?

    With the addition of the Krah “Solid Tank” machine, unlike other companies, we are now able to offer the full range of materials & designs for tanks & are able to select the most suitable combination of materials & type of construction for the customer’s application.

  6. When did Forbes start working with the Krah technology?

    Forbes have been interested in developing larger & thicker wall tanks in thermoplastics for a number of years.  Having looked round the market we decided to approach Krah in April 2012.  We met Alexander in Spain to see a machine in operation.  Following further discussions with Alexander we place a contract in July 2012 for a “Solid Tank”machine.

     

  7. Which Krah machine does Forbes have working?

    We ordered our first Krah “Solid Tank” machine with mandrels sizes of 4000mm 3500mm & 3000mm diameters with a production length of 7 metres to manufacture vertical tank shells up to 80mm thick. We intend to order further mandrel sizes to extend our range.

     

  8. What is in your opinion, the most valuable competitive advantage of the Krah Technology?

    Tank Shell Production - Being able to manufacture large capacity tanks in PE 100 & polypropylene. The Krah “Solid Tank” machine in combination with automated welding systems we can manufacture a tank very quickly. The quality & lack of welded seams makes the one piece shell extremely robust & durable with a long life.  We are able to design & manufacture very large thermoplastic tanks conforming to DVS 2205 & EN 12573.

     

  9. Where do you see yourself/the company in 5 years?

    I hope to be in the same chair & desk helping the Forbes team to continue to grow & maintain Forbes as No 1 in the UK market for tanks, gas scrubbers & other chemical process equipment.

     

  10. Please tell us more about your current most interesting projects.

    Not only do we build tanks, we also design & build gas scrubbers, degassing & stripping towers, salt saturators.  Over the past couple of years we have supplied large gas scrubbers to China in ECTFE reinforced with FRP.  These where 3m diameter x 30 metres high & 4 metres diameter x 10 metres high to withstand very high vacuum. The weight of one unit was 12 tonnes – all FRP.  Also we have supplied large ammonia strippers & scrubbers to Saudi Arabia & Scotland. Our largest production is for tanks for the chemical industry.  We have just completed a contract for 20 tanks 150,000 litres in vinylester glassfibre laminate for chemical storage.  One of our largest tank contracts was the supply of 45 tanks 3.5m diameter x 9m high in FRP to Kazakhstan.

 

It has been a delight to work with the “Krah Team” and to become part of the “Krah Family”.  We look forward to many years of cooperation.

 

Lee Personal


Family:

 

Married with a son & daughter and four grandchildren between 15 years & 9 years old.

 


 


In my spare time:

 

Do not have much spare time as my main hobby has always been my business.  We have our main manufacturing site at Kelso on the borders of England / Scotland which I visit regularly – almost as good as a holiday!  A beautiful part of the country.   Very interested in aircraft & used to fly various single engine aircraft including old aircraft such as 1930/40’s  Tiger Moths.  Enjoy cricket as a member at Lords Cricket ground London.  Also collect & refurbish cars to Concours level such as Austin Healey 3000 (1963); Porsche 911 (1989) – last of the real Porsche 911 !

 


 


What do I read...

 

Always read non-fiction – usually about aircraft, history & development of various engineering projects. Currently reading about the development of  German jet aircraft such as ME 262 (in service 1944) Arado 234 (1943/44)  Also recently read more stories about the USAF “Blackbird” SR 71.

 


 


What makes me laugh...

 

I enjoy the company of my grandchildren & always laugh with them.

 


 


My favorite food:

 

Difficult as I enjoy most foods & I am always looking for a different dish to sample.

 


 


My favorite holiday destination:

 

Do not take many holidays – I always look at life as one big holiday !! ( a bit sad!!)  Very occasionally I go to Portugal.  Enjoy days out at cricket with friends & have a few days in Scotland visiting old friends & relations. Days out with the grandchildren are great fun.