A Tyneside manufacturer has created jobs after launching a new business developing products made from reinforced plastic.
Barrier-Ex is best known for making industrial LED lighting, but the company has now diversified its business to produce products made from glass reinforced polymers (GRP).
The Wallsend firm already uses the material to create electrical storage units for National Rail. Its cubicles, which house the vital electronics needed to operate the lines, can be seen next to railway lines across the North East.
But the company has now invested in expanding its operation to increase production and create a range of new products that will allow it to enter more markets.
Steven Lee, managing director of Barrier-Ex Ltd, said: “We saw this as a natural progression to continue the growth of the business. This latest venture will allow us to expand beyond our core enclosure business for the rail industry and into other areas such as tanks for water treatment facilities and water authorities, and dormers and canopies for the building industry.
“The intention is to keep the manufacturing in the region and create jobs locally. There is also the option for us to incorporate this new division into our planned expansion into the Middle East in early 2019.”
The company has hired a supervisor and three laminators to increase its production of GRP and is in talks with a number of clients interested in placing orders. Barrier-Ex is already in discussion with two house builders and a number of water treatment providers who are looking to use the material.
Barrier-Ex is also looking to get the jump on its competition by creating a back log of materials in order to reduce the time it takes to deliver its products to customers. By creating the backlog Barrier-Ex hopes to reduce its lead time from around nine weeks to just four or five.
Mr Lee added: “The early signs are that in a year’s time this could easily be the best performing division out of those we have already created.”
Barrier-Ex’s entry into the wider GRP market is part of plans by company chairman Robert Bowles to grow and diversify the business. Along with manufacturing GRP products, Barrier Group also provides LED lighting, electrical engineering services, and hazardous area solutions to its customers.
Source : Chroniclelive