Seven years ago, Tufcot’s Technical department was very small. We had a few part-time workers covering a very important department.

At this time, Tufcot had the opportunity to work with Bob Birchley.

Bob is renowned across the composite industry, as he has over 45 years of experience with materials similar to Tufcot®.

During Bob’s interview, he came across very polite and almost unaware of how knowledgeable he was and what he had already achieved in the composite industry.

However, he had one last challenge at Tufcot!

Quality – Tufcot Sets Its Standards High

Bob’s Tufcot Journey Begins

Tufcot hired Bob as our Technical Manager, and so began the technical department, taken into a new era and one which was needed to compete with other manufacturers who all had vast technical knowledge and dedicated departments.

Bob has worked tirelessly at Tufcot for the last seven years, alongside numerous colleagues including Sam in Technical Sales, James and Megan as University Graduates and at present Luke in Technical Sales, Carl as Engineering Manager and Justin as Operations Manager.

Quality – Tufcot Sets Its Standards High

An Expert in His Field

Bob not only brought experience and knowledge to Tufcot but also worked on, and completed, many R&D, marketing and efficiency projects, helping to reduce bottlenecks across the site, namely:

  • An introduction to routers as an additional option instead of machining centres for sheet material parts (wear pads, washers).

  • An introduction to tube sanders as an additional material preparation option for tubes.

  • The design and development of Tufcot’s in-house testing capabilities; including a compression tester and universal testing rig.

  • The re-design of our technical brochures and specification sheets to bring them in line with the industry standards.

  • Plus many more.

However, Bob brought to Tufcot, over the last seven years, a genuine, kind and understanding nature, which everyone has seen and enjoyed working alongside for many years.

A Few Words About Bob from Friends & Colleagues

We asked Bob’s closest work colleagues to write a few words about Bob:

‘I’ve known Bob for over twenty years since he gave me my first ‘proper job’ after university, back in 2001. Those of you who know Bob will understand that it was less of an interview and more of a friendly chat!

Bob was my introduction into the world of composite bearings and after an initial ten years working together, we have been colleagues again at Tufcot for the past few months.

Being at Tufcot and reconnecting with Bob has been a reminder of many good times we have had over the years. Enjoy your deserved retirement Bob and keep in touch.’ 

Carl, Tufcot Engineering Manager

‘Spanning 20 years (so far) we have been colleagues but more importantly great friends, you’ve helped me a lot within my career and my understanding of composites, your guidance has been invaluable and has given me a great base to build on.

Your retirement sadly means I’m losing a great colleague and mentor but as its only retirement I won’t be losing a friend.

Many thanks for the last 20 years Bob, enjoy your retirement you’ve earned it (P.S. – keep your mobile on in case we need you)’. 

Justin, Tufcot Operations Manager

‘Since joining Tufcot I been lucky enough to have Bob as a mentor whilst also lucky enough to call him a friend.

Over the last four years we have enjoyed many laughs, beers, and meals together while traveling far and wide, these out of office adventures will be greatly missed!

After 40 years of shaping the industry, it is now time to put your feet up Bob and enjoy your overdue retirement – remember to stay in touch and to turn up to our technical team nights out!’ 

Luke, Tufcot Technical Sales

‘Without understating it, your introduction at Tufcot lifted us to another level in many departments but primarily in the technical department. We went from having you, on your own, to a thriving and busy team of four.

You are an extremely kind individual and fully deserve to retire after your commitment to the composites industry.

Thank you for everything you have done for Tufcot, and you’re welcome to come and see us at any time.’ 

Greg, Tufcot Managing Director

Looking Back to Our Tufcot Video Blunders!

We’ve had some great times with Bob over the years.

One of the funniest memories is when we created our company videos.

Both Bob and Greg, our Managing Director, struggled with their lines so much we created this video with the outtakes!

We had a lot of fun making the Tufcot company video but Bob you’re definitely more suited to life as a Technical Manager than a TV personality!

Thanks for All the Hard Work Over the Years Bob!

Bob’s final workday is Thursday the 27th of October, and if you wish to contact him before this date then please e-mail him at

Bob has many friends in the composites industry over many years, so I am sure there will be many of you who wish to send him luck in his retirement.

Bob will continue to work alongside Tufcot in a consultancy role for the future, so although Bob is retiring, we will never lose his application and technical knowledge.

Thank you Bob, from everyone at Tufcot!