Apeks wins hat trick of awards Scuba diving specialist Apeks Marine Equipment has shown how a Lancashire company can design and manufacture a world class product and thrive even in the current economic downturn. The only vertically integrated manufacturer of diving regulators in the world, making all the components from raw materials at its purpose built factory in Blackburn, Apeks has been awarded Manufacturing Business of the Year at the Red Rose Awards which celebrate business in Lancashire. Apeks has also been recognised as a diving industry top performer by being voted Brand of the Year by readers of Diver Magazine and Manufacturer of the Year by readers of Sport Diver magazine, completing a thrilling hat trick of accolades for this global benchmark in diving regulators. Manufacturing more regulators for UK divers than any other brand and exporting more than 85% of its output, Apeks delivers the complete manufacturing solution, from concept design and development to high precision manufacturing. Last year's income from its Blackburn facility rose 9% on the previous year. The judges at the Red Rose Awards, comprising a group of independent business experts, stated that Apeks is "A vertically integrated manufacturer with strong KPIs ensuring good controls of the manufacturing process. Profitability is excellent; they export to 46 countries and have impressive staff retention and training records." Within days of returning triumphant from the Red Rose Awards, PADI affiliated magazine, Sport Diver, presented Apeks with its coveted engraved crystal award for Manufacturer of the Year and Diver Magazine presented Apeks with its prestigious bronze statuette for Brand of the Year. Both are voted for by the readers. Since being endorsed by the end-user is of paramount importance to the Apeks team, they were justifiably delighted. Landon Helsby, Managing Director for Apeks states "Confidence and trust in the reliability of our regulators is of vital consideration to everyone at Apeks and these accolades pay testimony to the team's dedication to excellence. We are proud of the consistently high regard awarded to our equipment from around the globe. Our regulators have been tested by the world's leading authorities and we are on the approved defence contractors list for the armed forces including the British Navy and manufacture equipment for the coast guards, police and fire services." "With the ever present threat of cheaper Far East manufacturing options, we have resolutely stuck by our business philosophy of vertical integration, and its clearly paid off. Our Blackburn facility houses the complete manufacturing solution, from concept design and development with our highly skilled internal design team through to full high precision manufacturing capabilities including CNC machining, tool making, plastic injection moulding, chrome plating and final assembly, packaging and global distribution. This full integration is unique in our industry and gives us the flexibility and control to produce a range of products that have given us the reputation as a world leader in high quality breathing apparatus. The most important factor when designing and producing any product is the diver. Their safety, comfort, and dive enjoyment is always at the forefront of our minds and we will continue to invest in the future of diving ensuring our products and services offer high quality, top performance and total reliability. We are proud to service this global market, and proud to do so from Lancashire."