West Yorkshire-based Dugdale is seeing a big increase in demand from the PVC extrusion industry with customers ordering new and customised grades of PVC compound for profile and pipe production.
It currently formulates an average of 50 new PVC compounds per month, and the firm says the extrusion market is key. Colour matching, meeting customer property requests and price pressures plus legislative changes are the predominant reasons for the creation of new business, including the need for enhanced weathering, an uplift in physical properties, anti-microbial or anti-fungal requirements and surface finish modification.
Dugdale's new product development team, led by Dr Jeff Ryan, uses the company's testing and laboratory facilities to first prove the new materials, shipping samples to customers for approval prior to progressing the new grades to initial trialling, and then full production.
The company's commitment to customer service and to niche applications sees it adopting an open approach to all matters of extrusion product development. The firm says versatile manufacturing is key and the versatility of the plant means it is set up to give maximum capability regarding response times. Andy Tombs, Dugdale business development manager, says: “We are rolling out this service, which involves us sitting down with a customer to design and develop what they want and advise them on the best approach.”
Dugdale is supporting this growth in business with significant capital investment. A spend of more than £2m is forecast by the year end on new laboratory facilities, the installation of a silo, securing new warehousing and the installation of additional mixing and compounding equipment.
The building trade continues to help fuel the compounder's growth: working in partnership with major UK building product manufacturers in the past 12 months, Dugdale has created and achieved approvals for enhanced calcium organic based compounds marketed under its Ducavin PVC brand name.