Multi-million pound sales and efficiency gains through formulation development and process optimisation

Significant economic impact was achieved as a result of research into polymer nanocomposites and their formation, conducted at WestCHEM from 2000 to 2010.

Collaboration over the six-year period 2004-2010 with Carron Phoenix Ltd, the world’s largest manufacturer of composite ‘granite’ kitchen sinks, led to nanocomposite technology being incorporated into over one million sinks, generating income for the company in excess of £50M from 2007 to the present day.

Considerable production efficiency gains saved in excess of £1M annually through the reduction in manufacturing time, the reduction of raw materials wastage, and the reduction in landfill costs (and commensurate environmental benefit) for failed and out-of-spec products.

In addition, a £4M capital investment by the company at the Falkirk plant was secured, enabling the company to sustain its leading position in the designer kitchen sink market. With the site consequently designated as the parent company’s competency centre for composite sink technology, employment for 170 workers was secured.

First published: 17 December 2013