Marshall-Tufflex is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, PEW caught up with Jon Chamberlain, Managing Director at Marshall-Tufflex, to find out more about the company’s heritage, his take on some key industry issues and what’s to come.
Marshall-Tufflex is celebrating its 80th anniversary – what significant milestones have been reached in that time?
Since our wartime beginnings in 1942, we have been leading the way in plastic extrusion for 80 years and have built a reputation for producing quality, reliable and value for money cable management solutions that professionals can rely on across any job.
Marshall-Tufflex made its formal entry into the cable management market in 1970, when it started selling conduit. Just six years later, our Mini Trunking design was launched – which transformed the re-wiring and refurbishment procedures of the time. Since then, we have continued to evolve and innovate in line with the demands of the market and have introduced several industry leading cable management solutions including Sterling, Sterling Curve, Odyssey and antimicrobial trunking – and earlier this year, the Tufflex Tile.
We are passionate about sustainability and have been ahead of the curve in our use of recycled material. We began using recycled material in our manufacturing process in 1994 and, as one of the only cable management manufacturers to offer such a vast range of sustainable solutions manufactured in this way, we are encouraging the industry to follow suit and do more to develop products that incorporate recycled content.
Is there a specific cable management product or system that is proving to be particularly popular with wholesalers and installers right now?
Sterling Curve is one of the most popular cable management ranges we offer. This sleek, curved perimeter dado and skirting is data compliant and offers three segregated compartments for housing all cable types. What’s more, it is easy and cost effective to use, contains an average of 66% recycled material and is suitable for a wide range of projects, making it a popular choice.
In addition, the new Tufflex Tile has also proven incredibly popular. Designed to take the hassle out of pattress installations, this product was developed in response to installer feedback as a ready to use solution that is suitable for all applications. It makes work on ceiling systems easier across every sector and application, whether it be installing spotlights, smoke detectors, PIR sensors or speakers.
What cable management products can be used to minimise the risk of electrical fires?
Cable management products manufactured from metals like aluminium and steel will offer a high melting point and, as such, will remain intact in the event of a fire.
Further to this, PVC-U cable management products can be used if the right cabling fixings are selected, as these will help to keep cables secure and avoid premature collapse – allowing time for building occupants to evacuate and the emergency services to enter without concerns over cabling becoming loose and causing an obstruction or trip hazard. In fact, our Firefly range has been thoroughly tested to confirm fire resistance above 1000°C for up to 120 minutes and is compliant with BS 7671 IET Wiring Regulations.
Marshall-Tufflex also offers a wide range of cable management solutions manufactured from materials including aluminum, steel, GRP and polycarbonate, as well as PVC-U. As such, whatever the installation, professionals will always find a product to suit – whether they are working on a basic domestic installation or an industrial project in harsh conditions.
What percentage of Marshall-Tufflex PVC-U products now use recycled material?
We have been using recycled material in our manufacturing process for over 25 years and to mark our 80th anniversary, we are aiming to reach a level of approximately 80% recycled content across our PVC-U manufacturing by the end of 2022.
Despite the wide range of benefits that they offer, the uptake for specifying sustainable PVC-U cable management products has been slow. At Marshall-Tufflex, we are working hard to drive up the specification and installation of PVC-U products manufactured using recycled material and believe every part of the supply chain can make a difference. Our aim is for all PVC-U products installed in buildings to be manufactured using a minimum of 50% recycled material by 2028.
Are supply chain issues in the electrical sector now easing and do you expect rising costs to impact on price and availability?
The lack of consistent, good quality, recycled PVC-U has been a huge challenge for the industry – but one that has had minimal impact on Marshall-Tufflex and our customers. We have heavily invested in our production processes over recent years and this has put us in a strong position to be able to process post-industrial waste and post-consumer PVC-U waste material in house. As such, we have been able to largely maintain our consistent supply of high-quality PVC-U and stock levels with minimal disruption to customers.
In addition, we have worked to secure our supply chain via strong supplier relationships to ensure that production of our aluminium, steel and other non-PVC-U ranges continues at a steady rate.
What do you think the future holds for the cable management sector and for Marshall-Tufflex?
Until the day that electricity can be carried wirelessly, there will always be a need for cable management solutions. Looking ahead, we have some exciting new product releases in the pipeline across our metal and PVC-U ranges that will further streamline installation processes and ensure tradespeople can access the products they need across any job.
To watch a video on the Marshall-Tufflex recycling initiative, click here