Laurie Gardiner TBS Chairman

Following a long and highly distinguished career of over 46 years with TBS Engineering, parent company MiTek Inc wishes to announce that Laurie Gardiner will step down as Chairman from the Board of TBS Engineering on 30th April 2019.

The Board would like to express their sincere thanks for his wise counsel, invaluable insights and important contributions to the Board on which he has so diligently served.

For the past 5 years Laurie Gardiner has led the TBS Engineering Group as Chairman on a steady path of growth and development.

Prior to that he served as Managing Director for 35 years guiding the company through organic growth, ownership changes, acquisitions and innovative developments.

Laurence Gardiner

Laurence Gardiner

David Longney TBS Engineering Group Managing Director adds:

“I would like to personally acknowledge the contribution Laurie has made in growing TBS over the last forty-six years to be the “best in class” supplier of assembly equipment to the lead-acid battery industry.

“It’s a major testament to Laurie’s leadership that many of the leading car manufacturers specify that their batteries should be manufactured on our machines. They know that they can rely on TBS equipment to produce high quality batteries efficiently, backed up by a first-class spares and after-sales service”

Laurie’s vision and customer focus has been an integral part of the company and he confidently leaves TBS secure in the knowledge that there is a strong leadership in place to continue the exciting journey of innovation and growth in the 21st Century.

Posted on April 29, 2019 .

TBS Engineering starts its search for 2019 apprentices

Gloucestershire engineering firm TBS is on the lookout for four new school-leavers to join its successful engineering apprenticeship scheme. The four-year programme allows young people to get technical qualifications and earn while they learn in a professional, hands-on role – a direct route into a rewarding engineering career.

TBS launched its Gloucestershire engineering apprenticeship scheme five years ago in a bid help more young people get into the engineering industry. Viv Empson, Group Director, Finance, Culture and People at TBS, says:

“We think it’s important to show the next generation that manufacturing, and engineering are growing innovative industries, they can be a part of. It’s something we’re incredibly proud of. This industry is thriving, and it’s full of jobs for problem solvers and hands-on people.”

Apprentices work in different areas of the business to learn different skills and start to identify where they want to be in the future. The first year is based largely at Gloucestershire Engineering Training (GET), gaining a dual-skilled technical qualification (mechanical and electrical), picking up valuable experience in the workplace during college holidays.


From the second year the balance shifts, with one day a week at GET, and the rest of the working week in the factory. By the end of the fourth year, apprentices have not only completed the Level 3 Diploma in Advance Manufacturing Engineering, but also become valued members of the team. 

Jordan Williams is currently in his first year on the scheme: “If you want to do something hands-on, an apprenticeship is the quickest way to gain skills and experience. Some apprenticeships now give you the same qualifications you would get by going to university, so it’s a good alternative. TBS is a really nice place to work. I’m really enjoying the variety and moving round different parts of the factory, mainly in the machine shop and fitting and tooling. But coming up, I’m in design for three months.”

Four apprentices have now completed the course with a further six at various stages of the process.

“TBS can already feel the benefit,” adds Viv: “We get fresh ideas and new perspectives, while our apprentices gain qualifications and practical skills in a supportive and structured environment. If you’re in a very technical business that’s essential. We love seeing our apprentices develop into fantastic employees with a strong view of their future with the Company. We’re very proud of our apprentices.”

Selection is now underway for apprentices to start the course this summer, with applications closing on 31st March 2019. To apply please send your CV with a covering letter addressed to Kathrin Beckerleg at

Posted on March 8, 2019 .

Richard Taylor joins the TBS Engineering Group

Richard Taylor has joined world leading battery automation Group, TBS, as Group Operations Director. 

In his new role Richard is responsible for all UK manufacturing operations, supply chain, and facilities management at the automation specialists new £15m state-of-the art headquarters, which opened in Gloucestershire in 2018.  He also has responsibility for the manufacturing and supply chain throughout the TBS Group.

Richard Taylor, TBS Group Operations Director

Richard Taylor, TBS Group Operations Director

The newly created role is another significant step forward in TBS’ ‘Automating Tomorrow’ strategy and evolution into a ‘truly global Group’ says it’s Group Managing Director, David Longney.

Richard joins the TBS Group Leadership Team, with extensive experience in the engineering sector having worked for international manufacturer, Halliburton for 27 years as manufacturing centre manager and site director, at its UK operation.  During this time Richard implemented systems of lean and continuous improvement, which realised impressive efficiency improvements of 100 per cent.

Richard qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant in 1992, before receiving an MBA from the Edinburgh Heriot-Watt University. Having completed bronze Level Lean Leader training, he later led the transformation of the Halliburton Tewkesbury site, realising significant capacity gains.

Taylor says he has a clear vision for the supply chain and is looking at opportunities across the TBS group, to evolve the culture of continuous improvement and increase capacity:

“The business has a fantastic culture of innovation, which is helping to generate even greater speed, flexibility and output for its customers in the manufacture of lead-based batteries.

“Twelve months from now I’d like to see us using lean manufacturing tools to drive daily improvements, that will allow us to grow with the market, and our customers.  I know from previous experience, what amazing results can be achieved with a process driven infrastructure that is lean, and an engaged workforce.”

“It’s exciting times within the sector. The battery industry is poised for growth, and there’s a clear vision within TBS to move the business onto new heights. With the financial backing of parent company MiTek, there’s huge potential across the group.”

Posted on March 4, 2019 .

The TBS Engineering Group launches its 'Positively Charged' thought leadership campaign

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The TBS Engineering Group has launched a global campaign to showcase the importance of the lead acid battery in our day-to-day lives and to raise awareness of its green credentials.

Today, a vast majority of the world’s energy storage needs are met by lead acid batteries.

The lead acid battery is a key component in an estimated 1.2 billion vehicles on the world’s roads; as well as essential back up power for the likes of hospitals and data centres.  

Aircraft and military vehicles rely on lead acid batteries as does the telecommunication infrastructure that keeps us digitally connected. This is in addition to energy storage for solar farms and other forms of renewable energy that feed households and industry. All are essential to our lives every day.

But it’s a little known fact that the lead acid battery is one of the most recycled products on the planet – with a 99.3 percent recycling rate, millions of lead-acid batteries are diverted from landfill every year(1).

Chris Hanes, TBS Group Corporate Growth & Marketing Director said:

“It’s an important message that we want to share. We want consumers to feel proud in the knowledge the batteries in their cars and that support our everyday lives have been recycled and reused by many generations.”

By 2035 there will be over 2 billion cars on the worlds roads(2) – the majority of which will include a lead acid battery.

By virtue of its name, the lead acid battery has been much maligned in recent years, with the introduction of newer chemistries, such as lithium-ion.

But TBS says the lead acid battery remains the most cost effective and greenest form of rechargeable battery in existence:

“These types of technology and the growing importance of electromobility are pushing our industry to be that much better. We’re rising to the challenge with the best possible solutions and development of the advanced lead acid battery.

“Even with the introduction of alternative battery technologies we still have no cost-effective alternatives for cars, golf carts and the many other applications.  It’s a unique product. No other battery can be applied in quite the same way and meet the same requirements.”

By 2020, it is predicted that start-stop technology utilising lead batteries will help eliminate 2 million tons of vehicle greenhouse gas emissions annually in the U.S. alone. This is equivalent to the annual energy use of 211,000 average U.S. households(3).

In 2018 the global lead-acid battery market was valued at $48.56 billion – a figure predicted to rise at a rate of 7.14% by 2020.(4)

Chris adds: “It’s a progressive industry that has been growing ever since it was established over 150 years ago.”

“Over the coming years we look forward to bringing many new technologies to market, while celebrating our industry’s rich history.”

Reflecting TBS’ confidence in the market, the energy storage expert has recently invested over £15m in a new state-of-the art global group headquarters in the UK, where it manufacturers the machines that its customers produce many millions of batteries on every year.    


(1)  Source: ILA – International Lead Association and the BCI – Battery Council International

(2) Source: Green Car Reports

(3) Source: ILA – International Lead Association and the BCI – Battery Council International.

(4) Source: Technavio

Posted on August 14, 2018 .

TBS unveils new £15m state-of-the-art global HQ in the UK

TBS Engineering, the world’s leading manufacturer of lead acid battery assembly and plate manufacturing equipment has opened the doors of its new £15m UK head-quarters.

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Based in Gloucestershire in the UK the 100,000sq. ft. purpose-built manufacturing and engineering facility includes 80,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space together with office accommodation.

Speaking of the new building, TBS Group Managing Director David Longney said:

“We’re incredibly proud of our new head-quarters. It marks the start of another exciting era for us developing the latest innovations in world-leading lead acid battery assembly equipment for our customers.

Viv Empson, Group Finance and HR Director adds: “It has all the latest modern facilities to continue to attract and retain the best industry talent into one of the most rewarding careers, and for us to expand our engineering capabilities, while minimising our carbon footprint.”

The launch coincides with TBS celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Today the energy storage specialist turns over £50m and employs over 225 people around the world from its operations in China, USA, Canada and the UK.  

Construction of the development began in June 2017 and completed in April 2018, before TBS began a phased transition into the new building. From 1st September 2018 its previous premises at Lansdown Industrial Estate in Cheltenham will close. 

Speaking of the future David said: “TBS is on a remarkable journey. We pioneered cast-on-strap technology and continue to lead the way in automation and innovation in our sector.  From machines that produced just one battery per minute 30 years ago, to up to ten per minute today.

“With every advancement we create a safer, and greener more efficient industry.”

The company celebrated the launch of its new global HQ and 50th anniversary over two days in June.

Families of TBS employees enjoyed an open day and tour of the new facility before an official ribbon cutting ceremony, with speeches from TBS Group Managing Director, David Longney and Tom Valvo, Chief Operating Officer of parent company MiTek Industries.

From left to right: Viv Empson, TBS Group Finance & HR Director, Tom Valvo, MiTek Industries Chief Operating Officer, and David Longney, TBS Group Managing Director

From left to right: Viv Empson, TBS Group Finance & HR Director, Tom Valvo, MiTek Industries Chief Operating Officer, and David Longney, TBS Group Managing Director

The 50-year celebrations continued the next day as they celebrated 50 remarkable years of achievement at a special gala dinner at the Pittville Pump Room in Cheltenham.

Posted on August 8, 2018 .

TBS celebrates 50 years of innovation in energy storage

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TBS Engineering Group is celebrating 50 successful years since being founded in 1968 by Thomas Stamp.

TBS Group Managing Director David Longney says it’s a proud moment:

“TBS is on a remarkable journey. We pioneered COS technology and continue to lead the way in automation and innovation in our sector.  From machines that produced just two batteries per minute 30 years ago, to over ten per minute today.

“With every advancement we create a safer, and greener more efficient industry.”

Today, the group turnovers £40m and employs over 200 people worldwide, with operations in China, Canada and the UK.  It has enjoyed consistent growth, having served the UK domestic market to being almost 100% export today, delivering machines and services to customers in over 80 countries.

In the last half century there have been significant improvements in safety and sustainability within the industry, which David says TBS has played a leading role in:

“It’s a much greener industry today. A recent study by Scientific America has demonstrated that in the USA lead-acid batteries are the most recycled product.  99.3% of all lead-acid batteries are recycled. There’s almost no waste.”

It’s an important message that TBS’ sales & marketing leadership will be helping the industry to promote and follows on the back of the BCI and ILA’s ‘Essential Energy Everyday’ campaign, which TBS is a big supporter of.

In 2018 the global lead acid battery market was valued at USD 48.56 billion. It’s expected to witness further growth owing to its increasing usage in vehicles and UPS, along with advancements in manufacturing processes, increasing at a CAGR of 7.14% during the forecast period (2018-2020) (1).

With the wider energy storage sector poised for unprecedented growth, TBS is well placed for the future David says:

“With our commitment to the battery and energy storage industries, and our desire to create positive change, we can continue to lead the charge in what’s set to be another exciting chapter for TBS.

He adds: “We want to continue our legacy of developing disruptive products, while pioneering positive change.”

“There’s a bright future for lead acid batteries, there is no doubt about that and we’re fully committed to it.  Our mission is to continue to use technology to make energy storage, of all types, even greener and more productive.” 

TBS plans to celebrate its 50-year achievements throughout 2018 with a number of employee and customer events, which start in June as TBS moves into its new £15m purpose built Global HQ in the UK.   

Posted on March 26, 2018 .

TBS announced winner of 2017 Gloucestershire Business Awards

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TBS Engineering is proud to have been announced winner of the 2017 Export Award at the UK Gloucestershire Business Awards. 

Now in its 20th year, the awards celebrate the very best businesses within the region.

David Longney, TBS Engineering Group Managing Director, commented on the award success:

“We’re proud to have won the award, and to showcase the world-class engineering expertise we have in the TBS group. We’ve grown to become the world leader in lead acid battery production technology.”

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The judges of the awards were looking for a business that has generated substantial and sustained increases in export activity. Today 99.9% of TBS’ sales are export.  

The £34m turnover business, established in 1968 has demonstrated consistent and sustained growth over the last 50 years, despite tough economic conditions, and fiercely intense competition, in an aggressive global market. 

The judges praised TBS for its innovation, investment in the business and sustained growth.

To maintain its leading position and competitive advantage, in the last two years TBS has invested over £1.5m in new product development, and £15m in a new purpose -built UK-based head office, which it will move into in early 2018.

David added: 

“Up until 1985, 75 per cent of turnover was from domestic sales, but as the UK market began to mature and consolidate we started to diversify, using the changes in the market to develop an international presence.  A move that has enabled us to support a truly global customer base.

“It’s important for us to be recognised by these awards. The Gloucestershire economy plays a big part in our success. Today, in the UK alone we employ over 170 people and support a large supply chain of 100 local companies. It’s this expertise, talent and engineering capability that has been key to our growth.”

TBS has a 50-year history in lead acid battery assembly equipment, manufacturing the machines that every year its customers use to produce millions of batteries over the world.

Posted on December 20, 2017 .

Double award success for TBS Engineering

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TBS Engineering is celebrating being shortlisted for two prestigious business awards in the UK, in both cases TBS has been nominated for the 2017 Exporter of the year.

The Gloucestershire Business Awards 2017, now in its 20th year, celebrates the very best businesses within our region. Last month judges undertook a rigorous examination of our approach to innovation, engineering, research and the high quality of our employees. We’re very pleased to say that it has now been announced that we are finalists for their 2017 Export Award.

It doesn’t stop there, as we have also been selected as a finalist for the 2017 Cotswold Life Engineering, Manufacturing & Innovation Awards - Exporter of the Year. Sponsored by Barclays, this award celebrates the very best of engineering and rewards those companies which are making ground breaking technological advances.

David Longney, TBS Engineering Group Managing Director, commented on the award success:

“We’re incredibly proud to be shortlisted for Exporter of the Year for both of these awards. We have worked hard to keep British engineering at the forefront of the global stage. It’s important for us to be recognised by these awards as the Gloucestershire economy plays a big part in our success. We now employ over 170 people and support a supply chain of over 100 local companies. It is this expertise, talent and engineering capability that has been key to our growth.”

Posted on October 3, 2017 .

TBS strengthens leading global market position with key appointments to its team

Mark Gardiner, Sales Director

Mark Gardiner, Sales Director

Mark Gardiner has been appointed as Sales Director. He joins the board of directors with responsibility for global sales and customer relationships.

Mark was previously Sales Manager for TBS, where he has held the role for over five years. Prior to this he spent two years in the USA as Business Development Manager, and was instrumental in the successful integration of Tekmax into TBS, adding enveloping technology to complete its end-to-end assembly line capability.

More recently Mark played a key role in the TBS joint venture with Digatron in Qingdao, further expanding growth in China.

Mark has over 15 years’ experience in the battery engineering sector, since joining TBS in 2001. Speaking of his new role he said: “I’m looking forward to working closely with TBS customers and continuing the great service and customer experience TBS prides itself on.”


Steve Sharpe, Technical Director

Steve Sharpe, Technical Director

Steve Sharpe has joined the business as Technical Director. He was previously Group Technical Director at Froude, manufacturer of test equipment for the automotive, gas turbine and shipbuilding industries.

He has a strong pedigree of innovation and New Product Development in addition to proven experience in assembly line optimisation and automation, having worked with the world’s biggest automotive brands, including VW, Toyota and BMW.    

Steve began his career as a graduate apprentice with Lucas, having graduated with a BA Hons degree in engineering from Oxford University.

In his new role at TBS Steve is responsible for all engineering design and development, where he will be using his 35 years of engineering expertise to develop and evolve TBS’ fully automatic high speed assembly equipment.    

Steve replaces Chris Barge, who departed after 24 years of service for TBS. Mark and Steve will be working closely to develop innovative new products that continue to lead the way in high speed assembly equipment for the lead acid battery industry. 

Founded in 1967 TBS is the world leader in producing automatic machinery for the lead acid battery industry. Today it develops and supplies machines to produce automotive, UPS and industrial batteries for OEM and replacement manufacturers.

Posted on April 27, 2017 .