NOTTINGHAM, England (Dec. 25, 2006)—The production team at the Luxfer Gas Cylinders manufacturing facility in Nottingham set a new production record by making one million cylinders in 2006—and they did it just in time for Christmas.

A special holiday celebration was held at the plant to commemorate the achievement.

Luxfer invented the world’s first cold-extruded aluminium cylinder in 1958, and Luxfer Nottingham, the company’s original plant, began mass-producing cylinders in 1960. Since then, Luxfer Nottingham has made more than 20 million cylinders. But 2006 marked the first time that the plant had produced a million cylinders in a single 12-month period.

The new record was due to improved efficiencies throughout the production process, including a 4 percent increase in the extrusion rate. “Over the last 12 months, the production team has dedicated itself to providing optimum efficiency to meet growing customer demand, and the commitment has reaped rewards,” said Trevor Bryan, production manager. “Longer working days, including 23 extra hours at weekends, and new training programmes have resulted in greatly improved efficiency all around, together with faster changeovers.”

David Rix, managing director of Luxfer Europe, congratulated the Nottingham plant on their signal accomplishment. In a special ceremony, Mr. Rix personally presented the millionth cylinder—a fire extinguisher—to Eric Richards, owner of Saffire’s Company, Nottingham, the customer that bought it.

Luxfer Gas Cylinders, the world’s largest producer of aluminium and composite cylinders, has produced nearly 50 million cylinders over the last half-century. In addition to Nottingham, the company operates cylinder manufacturing facilities in Gerzat, France; Riverside, California; Graham, North Carolina; and Shanghai, China. Luxfer was founded in 1898 as a producer of glass prisms and other construction materials.