Millmerran Research and Manufacturing has its sights on growing sales by making its extrusion equipment available to companies wishing to undertake their own research and development trials at its Newton Abbot premises.
Rob Mann, the firm's managing director, told PRW the business started as a hobby. “I was contemplating retirement seven years ago after working very many years in the extrusion industry. I bought a laboratory-scale extrusion line to put in a workshop in which I also stored classic cars, as a way of keeping in touch with a few people.”
Mann says former colleagues he had worked with in the extrusion sector initially asked him for a favours, using the experimental line. “Then it turned to specific projects and before long I needed more extruders and had to hire staff.”
Four years ago Millmerran moved to its 604 sq metre current premises after outgrowing the original workshop. “We may need to move to even larger premises in the future,” says Mann.
Millmerran has three precision single screw extrusion lines from Canadian machinery maker Deltaplast, together with co-extrusion jockey machines, and one Labtech twin-screw extruder and pelletising line. These were all acquired during the last seven years, while a total of 10 full-time staff are currently employed.
The firm is hoping that the move into making equipment available on its premises will lead to more new product design and development work, which currently covers everything from concept through to pilot scale production runs. Mann says: “Our in-house expertise can be brought to bear on practically any stage of a given project. We can also undertake trouble-shooting on existing projects at a client's own premises.”
Bespoke materials development also forms a significant part of the company's activity, with compounding facilities available to undertake anything from a few kilos to a few tonnes of specialised formulations. Numerous polymer bases, fillers, processing aids and specialist additives can be accommodated for a diverse range of applications. Mann says: “We can do any particular part of an extrusion or compounding undertaking for a customer, or manage the whole project. Customers can engage in the development process within our secure facilities.”
Millmerran has the UK agency for the Labtech range of laboratory-scale polymer processing equipment and, complementing the existing facilities, a 75-litre jacketed high speed mixer is a recent addition.