Shropshire Star

Telford business honoured with Queen’s Award

A Telford business has been honoured with a Queen’s Award – presented by Her Majesty’s personal representative in Shropshire

Anna Turner and Bjoern Klass

Protolabs was presented with the Queen’s Award for International Trade during a visit to the digital manufacturer’s facility by Anna Turner, the Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire.

It is the third time Protolabs – the world’s fastest digital manufacturing source for custom prototypes and low-volume production parts – has been honoured by Her Majesty.

Stephen Reynolds, Mayor of Telford and Wrekin, was also in attendance for the presentation.

The prestigious award was announced earlier this year and Protolabs is the only company in Shropshire to receive the honour in the international trade category, and one of just 201 companies across the country to be recognised by the Queen to celebrate her 93rd birthday.

Bjoern Klaas, vice president and managing director of Protolabs Europe, said the visit by Shropshire’s Lord Lieutenant been a huge honour for the company.

He said: “We are delighted to have hosted Anna Turner and Stephen Reynolds at Protolabs today, and to formally receive the Queen’s Award for International Trade. The visit, and the award itself, are testament to the magnificent work of the entire team at Protolabs and the great service we provide our customers across the whole of Europe. It is a real privilege to be recognised by Her Majesty in this way.

“We take great pride in being at the forefront of innovation, helping thousands of companies to bring exciting new products to market in record-breaking time in a reliable fashion, and at a quality that customers expect in line with our brand promise. Our customers have contributed to us receiving this prestigious award and working with them is also a real privilege.”

Recognition is awarded to companies that demonstrate steep year-on-year growth in overseas sales over a three year period. Protolabs received its recognition based on UK overseas sales growth from £13m in 2015 to £27.7m in 2017.

The company was founded in 1999 and now has bases across Europe and around the world, with a number of key European export markets including Germany, France, Italy, Sweden and Spain.

It previously won the International Trade award in 2013 and 2010.

As a digital manufacturer – employing more than 440 people at its facility in Telford – Protolabs uses advanced 3D printing, CNC machining and injection moulding technologies to produce custom-designed parts and prototypes in days.

Representatives from Protolabs were invited to a royal reception held at Buckingham Palace in June. There they met other award winners and members of the royal family, where discussions were had on the subject of Industry 4.0 and Protolabs’ pioneering position in digital manufacturing.