Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2018

Forbes were very pleased to host local MSP Rachael Hamilton at their Kelso factory on Tuesday 9th March for Scottish Apprenticeship Week, where she met with the factory based apprentices. Forbes currently have 3 apprentices in training at their factory, however, this is a scheme they have successfully been part of for over a decade. Further to the fabrication apprentices Forbes employ, they have an additional 3 apprentices and 2 former apprentices at their design head office in Norfolk.

Rachael Hamilton’s visit enabled Forbes to showcase the training and support they provide and gave the apprentices the opportunity to show the work they do within the company. Apprenticeships help tackle skills gaps by allowing employees to learn on the job, working on real projects with experienced colleagues. It combines the confidence and qualifications needed to succeed.

Scottish Apprenticeship Week is an annual campaign co-ordinated by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) to encourage more employers to take on apprenticeships and more young people to consider an apprenticeship. This year’s campaign ‘Apprenticeships are the Business’ is aimed at highlighting the importance of apprenticeships to individuals, businesses and the economy.

If you would like to find out more information about #ScotAppWeek18 follow the link to their website

UltraAnalytix™ : Tank Inspections

Tank Inspections Ltd is a spin off company from Forbes Technologies Ltd, they are highly experienced in the inspection of tanks in plastics & composites. Tank Inspections Ltd are now a licensee for the unique UltraAnalytix™system, which allows inspections to take place with the tank still in process.

This novel process, where all data is collected from the outside shell of the tank, dramatically reduces costs as no drain down or entry into confined space is required. You will receive a detailed assessment of the GRP laminate properties throughout the wall of the tank, including the condition of the corrosion barrier or indication of leakage through any thermoplastic inner shell. For more information please visit

Forbes Commission Expansion of Automated Thermoplastic Tank Production Facility

Four years ago Forbes Technologies Ltd invested £1.5 million in a brand new facility for the manufacture of large helically wound thermoplastic tanks with capacities in excess of 100 cubic metres. With demand increasing for tanks in High Density Polyethylene PE 100, Forbes have commissioned a major expansion of their production facilities at their Kelso factory, located in the Scottish Borders.

The expansion represents 40% increase in production capacity, which Forbes has work in hand for the export markets which have been helped by the devaluation of the UK Pound against the US Dollar & Euro.

The automated extruding / winding process of thermoplastic material on to large mandrels ranging from 750mm diameter to 4000mm diameter produces a homogenous solid wall with thicknesses from a few millimetres to in excess of 120mm thickness in polyethylene or polypropylene. The bases & tops of the tanks are automatically welded to the cylinder giving exceptional weld strengths. The thermoplastic tanks are designed, built, tested & inspected to BS EN 12573.

Demand for the Forbes unique “Innatank” is increasing also. Innatanks consist of helically wound tank with a separate close fitting bund which is assembled with the tank as one piece at the manufacturer’s site to enable ease of installation. This configuration reduces the overall foot print. Fitted with automated bund alarm & “over the top” discharge system, the Innatank is one of the safest storage solutions for hazardous chemicals.

Top Safety Accreditation Acheived

Forbes are proud to announce their recently awarded accreditation from Alcumus
SafeContractor for achieving excellence in health and safety in the workplace.

Alcumus SafeContractor is a leading third party accreditation scheme which recognises
extremely rigorous standards in health and safety management amongst contractors. It is
used by thousands of organisations in the UK including SMEs and FTSE 100 companies.

The company’s application for SafeContractor accreditation was driven by the need for a
uniform standard across the business. SafeContractor accreditation will enhance the
Forbes’ability to win new contracts, and its commitment to safety will be viewed positively
by its insurers when the company liability policy is up for renewal.

Gemma Archibald, Director of Alcumus SafeContractor said: “Major organisations simply
cannot afford to run the risk of employing contractors who are not able to prove that they
have sound health and safety policies in place.”
“More companies need to understand the importance of adopting good risk management in
the way that Forbes has done. The firm’s high standard has set an example which hopefully will
be followed by other companies within the sector. SafeContractor plays a vital role in
supporting our clients in meeting their compliance needs, whilst working with their
contractors as they progress through the accreditation process.”

Forbes sign up to Operation Clean Sweep

Forbes have recently signed up to Operation Clean Sweep and have committed to ensuring that there are zero plastic pellets, flakes and powders lost from their facility to the environment.

“We have always taken our responsibility for the Environment very seriously. Operation Clean Sweep has helped to focus our attention on engaging all our staff in pellet containment and also in reviewing current practice. We are proud to show the industries commitment to this programme”.

Operation Clean Sweep is an international programme and is run in the UK by the British Plastics Federation (BPF). The programme is designed to provide best practice through its manual on how to contain plastic pellets, flakes and powders. The manual provides information on conducting site audits, setting up training programmes, worksite setup and procedures to contain and clean up pellets.

Helen Jordan, the Sustainability Issues Executive at the BPF says “The plastic industry is committed to reducing plastic pellet losses to the Environment and Operation Clean Sweep provides the practical tools companies need to do this. Many of the industry already have Environmental Management Systems in place but Operation Clean Sweep provides an additional emphasis for the company on plastic pellet containment”.

We encourage other companies to pledge their support for Operation Clean Sweep at

Further Investment In Spiral Wound Tank Facility

Being one of the largest producers of custom designed & built tanks in a variety of plastic & composite materials, Forbes have announced a further major investment in their tank production facilities to commence early in 2017.

Having made major investments over the past three years of over £1.5 million in the latest automated thermoplastic helix winding process, due to increased demand Forbes is extending the factory by 20% to enable an increased output. Tanks manufacture in this particular factory of Forbes, will range in diameters from 750mm up to 4000mm, and are manufactured in High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), highly chemical resistance grade PE-100.

With this latest investment, coupled with the state of the art automated equipment, high quality tanks at very competitive costs are achievable with capacities up to 100,000 litres designed to BS EN 12573. This expansion is at the company’s main manufacturing site is located in the Borders of Scotland at Kelso.

There’s a New Big Cat in Town

The Forbes Group is pleased to introduce the ‘Jaguar Range’;  extra-large capacity tanks approved for use within the public water supply.

In 2013, Forbes brought a range of extra-large, helically wound tanks in polyethylene into production. Our investment in the helix winding process and, in particular, in our state of the art, automated equipment ensured that we could provide high capacity, high quality tanks at very competitive costs.

Fast forward three years, and we are pleased to announce that these ground-breaking thermoplastic tanks have gained approval to Regulation 31 of The Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2016 (Statutory Instruments 2016 No 614) for use within the public water supply. Tanks under this approval are known as our ‘Jaguar Range’.

With capacities of over 100 cubic metres, diameters from 750mm to 4000mm and manufactured using the latest thermoplastic extrusion techniques, the ‘Jaguar Range’ is a welcome addition to the Forbes’ family.

And being free from welded seams and fabricated in corrosion-resistant, high density polyethylene PE 100 bimodal material, the ‘Jaguar Range’ is as strong and robust as its namesake.

The ‘Jaguar Range’ will compliment the already approved Forbes products; the ‘Cheetah Range’ – tanks in polypropylene material, ‘Lion Range’ – tanks in polypropylene reinforced with GRP with capacities up to 200 cubic metres and ‘Cheetah Tower Packings’ pall rings and AstraPAK in polypropylene.

Forbes is the largest custom built plastic tank manufacturer in the UK supplying all the major water utilities.

Find out more >

Introducing the Forbes Chemical Filling Station

In direct response to customer requests, The Forbes Group is pleased to launch its new Chemical Filling Station.

Our customers want to make tanker offloading of hazardous chemicals safer and more straightforward, and for many years Forbes had been commissioned to build bespoke filling point stations as part of turnkey installations.

The economical, new Forbes filling stations, ensure that a safe & secure point for the controlled delivery of hazardous chemicals is now available to even more customers.

Suitable for either pressurised or pumped tanker discharge, the offloading stations have been designed to maintain chemical containment when uncoupling the tanker hose. Drips and minor spillages are enclosed within the filling station.

A modular and compact design, either a single unit or multiple enclosures, the stations can be bolted together at one filling area as needed. The cabinet doors are fully lockable allowing the end user complete control over the tank filling process.

The labelling on each cabinet makes it clear which station feeds into which tank, as well as communicating its chemical contents.

Safe, secure and straight-forward. To find out more >>

Bright times at Forbes

In 2014 a large 205kW solar installation was completed at our Crimplesham site.

The installation consists of 820 ground mounted solar panels generating energy used by Forbes and any over-production being fed back into the national grid.

Our goal was to supply up to 100% of the total on-site energy requirements, including seven injection moulding machines and air conditioning, and to significantly reduce our carbon footprint.

This target was exceeded in 2015 and despite the greyish skies of this year’s East Anglian summer, the yields for 2016 have averaged out to still be on target.

Lessening our environmental impact

The energy produced by our solar panels means a reduction in the requirement for non-renewables, equivalent to:

  • Nuclear waste – 1.18g
  • Oil – over 222 barrels
  • Electric e-car trips – nearly 3-million kms

Solar panels - Live feed in data

Powering a small village

In fact, the power generated is enough to meet the average energy requirements of 41 four-person households.

That’s enough energy for half of Crimplesham, the village that neighbours our Sales and Design Office!

Smaller carbon footprint

Thanks to the installation the Forbes Group has been able to reduce its CO² emissions by over 258 tonnes a year – something that we’re all very proud of.

Enjoying the Benefits of 3D Design

As Forbes continues to invest strongly in improved 3D design, both in terms of technology and staff expertise, it is timely to reflect on the advantages that this service offers over traditional 2D designs.

Storage tank and environmental technology fabrications are becoming increasingly complex. When fitting units into already complex sites, a combination of intricate pipework and space limitations can make for challenging conditions. This is where 3D planning comes into its own.

One of the key benefits of 3D design is clash detection. Being able to highlight potential clashes between objects and components while the unit is still ‘on the drawing board’ brings both time and cost benefits. Clash detection is particularly relevant in regard to complex pipework meaning issues can be identified well before fabrication or installation.

Finite element analysis is another important benefit. Our engineers are more easily able to apply any extremes of force, pressure and temperature to the model in order to visualise where the stresses and strains in each fabrication occur.

For more information on 3D design and turnkey installations please contact