The Long Haul


Wow…. has it been that long?

Ronnie Owen (Production Manager) started at TBF International (which was then Willenhall Tube & Forging) in 1997 thanks to a friend that worked in the sales team. A fresh faced young 20-year-old starting a career in tube manipulation. 

Starting as an expeditor and general office junior in the production office I found myself quickly starting to enjoy the manufacturing industry. Seeing how a tube could be bent and formed into simple and complex shapes and knowing the final application for some of the parts, from exhaust systems to virtual reality enclosures had me hooked.

I decided then to watch and learn as much as I could from all the members of office and shop floor staff and soon progressed up the ladder in the company. Eventually finding myself in charge of the production and planning.

Everyone says you must like the work you do because you spend most of your life at work, and I do…...

Every day is different, the challenges you face from simple tasks to working through long projects with customers to (in some instances) realize their dreams is what I thrive on and what I find unique about tube manipulation.

There have been a lot of changes in the time I have been here, we have moved premises, which was a challenge on its own, but a learning experience too. Watching large CNC bending machines (one by one) craned onto the back of Lorries and then put in situ in their new home gives you a strange sense of satisfaction. I have seen new owners come and go over the years, lots of friends too, and we’ve even gone through administration. But like a phoenix from the flames TBF has risen, and it will continue to rise no matter what is thrown at it.

I find myself now 20 years in and still every day brings new and eventful challenges. A new team, a new way of looking at things. Onwards and upwards, let’s see what tomorrow brings.

Anyway, that’s enough about TBF; my other passion apart from my family and friends is Wolves football club. Loving the game, I decided to get a job there, 10 years on working with the away fans brings me great thrills and enjoyment. Everyone says it’s hard being a Wolves fan, but hey….Wolves Aye We.