+44 (0)1777 712 400
This month we officially celebrate 40 years in business
General News & Events - 26th Mar, 2024

This month we officially celebrate 40 years in business

The official launch date was April 1st, which this year falls on a Bank Holiday, so lucky us, we all get the day off!

J-Flex started as a home-based business in Tuxford, Nottinghamshire in 1984 and over the years has steadily and solidly grown to the current two large industrial units operation in Retford, North Notts.

First established by former Managing Director John Kirk, the company is now managed by John’s son Sam Kirk and Financial Director Chris Barnes with the emphasis very much on what J-Flex has become renowned for – that of excellent quality products, product knowledge and customer service, backed by a great team. We now export to over 55 countries and achieve 98% average on-time deliveries.

We supply a vast range of quality items including specialist rubber sheetings and an array of fabrications made from premium grade elastomers including silicone and Viton™ – many of which are available for next-day delivery.  We actively supply into a wide range of markets and sectors, including Energy & Utilities, Food & Drink, Manufacturing & Engineering, Rail, Pharmaceutical, Automotive, Aerospace, Defence, and Marine.

With the operating experience gained over the past 40 years, J-Flex has solidified its reputation as a preferred supplier of industrial rubber products you can trust – whether its sheetings, mouldings, gaskets, sleeves, extrusions, bellows, fabrications, and sealants & adhesives.

Some key dates in our history:

1984 – J-Flex was born

1994 – gained BSI ISO 9001 approval, something we’ve maintained ever since.

1996 – became a partner of the Official Chemours Viton™ Licensee Programme and the exclusive UK Distributor and Stockist of Thermodyn Corporation’s Fluorodyn™ Viton™ Sealant & Adhesive Products and still are.

2004 – Australia partnership established with Reglin Rubber in Melbourne.

2010 – J-Flex India established in Mumbai.

2010 – Vac-Sil® brand introduced – quality membranes which are the preferred choice for use on lamination equipment for forming or thermo-pressing photovoltaic panels, vinyl foil veneers on woodwork and composites in aerospace, F1 cars, marine and other general products.

2014 – Fluor-A-Com® brand introduced – a product that combines economic pricing without loss of performance. Ideal for harsh environments it has been independently tested by leading laboratories including RAPRA, SGS and Labo Richter. FLUOR-A-COM® is made from an ‘A’ type fluoroelastomer having a minimum fluorine content of 66% in line with industry norms for this type of material.

2016 – EN 45545 became the rail fire protection standard in March 2016 and we introduced a range of fire retardant rubber products to protect passengers and staff against fire on board railway vehicles. It is a mandatory requirement throughout Europe, and all materials used in the manufacture of railway vehicles must follow the EN45545 standard to achieve the highest possible level of safety in case of fire.

2019 – International Trade Finalist

2022 – Appointed as an Export Champion for 2022/23 by the Department for International Trade.

Keeping great company

Naturally over the years our customer base has grown to include some very well known names such as: Diageo, ERIKS, Hitachi, London Underground, McLaren, the Ministry of Defence, Pepsico, Red Bull, Rolls Royce, Siemens, Trelleborg and many more.

It’s testament to our people over the years and the products we provide that we have established ourselves with companies like this around the globe. Its something we are justifiably proud of.

What else happened in the year J-Flex was born?

Well, amongst other things….

  • Apple ran an advert (directed by Ridley Scott) for the first Macintosh personal computer during the Super Bowl, following by it going on sale for $2,500.
  • Michael Jackson was rushed to hospital with second degree burns from pyrotechnics while filming a Pepsi commercial.
  • The first untethered spacewalk was made by Astronauts Bruce McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart during NASA’s STS-41-B space mission.
  • Torvill and Dean entered the record books by scoring a perfectly across the board, winning a gold medal for ice skating.
  • In London, construction of the Thames Barrier was officially completed.
  • Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic Airways made its inaugural flight from London to New York.
  • NASA space Shuttle Discovery takes off on its maiden voyage on mission STS-41-D to deploy three communications satellites.
  • British Geneticist, Alec Jeffreys develops genetic fingerprinting, allowing identification of people using their DNA.
  • Band Aid – the collective name of a charity supergroup of mainly British and Irish musicians and recording artists was founded by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise money for anti-famine efforts in Ethiopia – releasing the song “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” which went the top of the UK Singles Chart.

A word from our Managing Director, Sam Kirk

Turning 40 in business is not just a milestone; it’s a testament to a fantastic team of people whose resilience, determination, and adaptability ensured that J-Flex was able to navigate through decades of challenges – including the Financial Crash in 2008 and the Global Pandemic in more recent times.

That team of people have also contributed to the many positives during that time, with long-lasting business relationships and friendships blossoming along the way.

On behalf of the Company, I’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to our clients – many of whom have been part of the J-Flex journey since our early years – for their trust and valued custom. It’s a real privilege to continue supporting you and your businesses – we certainly couldn’t have done it without you!