I founded AWL Ltd back in 2007 after ongoing frustrations with my employer due to departmental changes, endless red tape and unproductive time consuming meetings accompanied by a general lack of vision and support for my own department from the top.
I had also recently lost a good lifelong friend. We went to primary and secondary school together. Got drunk together. Played and made music together. Good times. We had the crack.
Then one day he dropped dead in the shower caused by a Brain Aneurism. Bang. Gone at 47 years old without a clue anything was wrong. I was devastated and profoundly affected by this.
This depressing sequence of events threw me into action to do something I had wanted to do for years, but never had the balls. I had decided enough was enough and life was too short to endure any more of that nonsense from my employer.
I went into my laboratory one rainy Monday morning, tidied my desk, gathered my things and simply walked out of the place. I started to build my own company that same afternoon. The Accelerated Weathering Laboratory or AWL Ltd had been conceived.
I have always been a bit of a Maverick I suppose, but that was ****ing scary!
No more regular pay cheques and no guarantees of success despite my own self-belief and vision.
Then it happened. The 2008 recession hit. The phone stopped ringing. The emails stopped coming. OMG, what had I done!
Like any other SME company director you simply crack on doing what you do best. Everybody was in the same boat and my thinking was that if we could get through this, we can get through anything!
Eventually we did come through with substantial growth of our client base and company turnover after months of hard work.
Since then, AWL Ltd has acquired a UKAS accredited quality management system (ISO 17025) alongside our ISO 9001 registration and we continue to invest in additional equipment (self-funded) to stay on top of the game to provide an all-round materials testing service.
We have taken on additional staff to help with the growth of the business, but still remain lean and mean so we can continue to offer our clients the most cost effective solutions to their materials testing and validation requirements.
Okay. Hankies and Violins can go now!
Thanks to Wiggy, who indirectly gave me the kick up the arse I needed to make things happen and also to everyone, particularly my family who has helped us on our way.
As we celebrate our 11th year of accelerated weathering and environmental testing for a broad range clients we strive to remain the most cost effective UKAS accredited materials testing laboratory in Europe offering a full suite of protocols for UV weathering, Taber abrasion, number plate, corrosion and environmental testing and I would like to thank all of our clients, both new and old for their continued support.
Paul Edwards, Technical Director, Accelerated Weathering Laboratory Ltd.
For enquiries or for more information please contact us.