Textile specialist Guy Smithurst has been appointed by leading Halifax engineering firm James Heal as business unit manager in the firm’s Test Materials division.
Mr Smithurst brings 30 years’ experience to his new role at James Heal, the market leader in the design and manufacture of precision testing equipment and support services in the global textile industry.
In his role at James Heal, Mr Smithurst will lead a dedicated team of 11 in the Test Materials division. He will have responsibility for internal manufacturing, external weavers, quality assurance and control, sales and team development.
Prior to joining James Heal, Mr Smithurst, who originally comes from Halifax, spent five years at Abraham Moon in Guiseley, one of the last remaining functioning vertical mills in the UK. Prior to this he had held various positions at textile and manufacturing firms across the region. During his career he has developed skill sets across three distinct manufacturing areas, design/technical, sales/business development and production/planning.
Mr Smithurst said: “I’m very excited to be joining James Heal, which has a first rate reputation as an engineering firm and as a leader in global innovation. Leading the talented team in delivering a wide range of specialist services that are needed for the important materials testing division of the business is a key part of the central business offering that James Heal provides to customers all over the world. That’s what attracted me to the role which is so varied it really is like running a business within a business.
“I’m relishing the challenge of adding to and enhancing the department for the entire team, thereby adding to the contribution we make as to James Heal as an integral business section and continue to exceed customer expectations.”
With over 100 employees at its manufacturing and testing site in Halifax and supported by a global network of agents and distributors in over 60 countries, James Heal is a leading innovator and manufacturer of precision testing instruments, with expertise in materials testing across multiple sectors – from traditional textiles, to emerging sub-sectors of technical textiles.
Outside of textiles, the company’s products have been used to test materials, such as rubber, in the automotive industry; to more diverse items such as wooden flooring. The company comprises of three core divisions offering customers a complete service: testing instruments, test materials, and service and calibration.
Amanda McLaren, managing dDirector at James Heal, said: “Guy is a welcome addition to the team and brings a wealth of experience and technical expertise to the firm. This year has been a significant one for the business as we continue to showcase our innovative product range in markets around the world, some for the very first time.
“As we seek to underpin our position as a global market leader, it’s important that we are attracting the appropriate calibre of managerial staff with a strong strategic focus who can help reinforce this position. Guy’s appointment is the latest in a recent wave of investments that will not only help James Heal to retain its enviable position in the marketplace but continue to demonstrate that the business has a strong and profitable future in the global testing sector.”