PPE ExpandsPPE Completes Research, Manufacturing and Training Facilities Expansion

£5m factory expansion completed ahead of time. High performance elastomer seals specialist, Precision Polymer Engineering (PPE) has completed the three year, £5m, expansion of its manufacturing, sales administration, materials research and training facilities in Blackburn.

The expansion doubles the size of PPE’s factory to 6,000sq meters (64,580 sq ft), which also includes a class 10,000 clean-room facility, and one of the UK’s largest O-ring moulding presses. A separate office block has been built to provide sales offices and purpose-built training and professional development facilities for employees and customers.

The new PPE building and factory expansion was officially opened by Wayne Hemingway, co-founder of the highly successful ‘Red or Dead’ which won the British Fashion Council’s “Street Style Designer of the Year” award three times in a row in the late 90’s. In 1999, having sold Red or Dead, Mr Hemingway set up Hemingway Design specialising in affordable and social design.

As part of the factory expansion, PPE has increased the size and capability of its Materials Characterisation Centre. This advanced materials testing and research laboratory provides an array of physical and chemical testing facilities for elastomers. It also includes a greatly enhanced explosive decompression test rig, enabling more in-depth, industry-leading analytical work on material development with customers.

“Material development is critical to our continued growth. Our customers look to us to provide elastomer seals that give them a competitive and performance edge. By increasing our elastomer research and test facilities, we are able to not only meet, but also exceed their expectations,” said PPE managing director Peter Cloney.

PPE’s global customers are pumps and valve makers, manufacturers of large diesel and gas turbines for marine propulsion and power generation, chemical, food and pharmaceutical equipment makers, and increasingly suppliers to the offshore, defence and aerospace sectors.

The Materials Characterisation Centre also offers an independant testing service for elastomers. It enables companies to assess the suitability of their equipment’s seals in the event of a change in processing conditions.

PPE is committed to investing in its customers. “The more knowledgeable our customers, the more they are able to get the very best from their PPE elastomer seals. A key facet of our new offices is the PPE seals training centre,” Peter Cloney noted.

Drawing on a range of practical and multimedia resources, PPE offers courses ranging from an introduction to elastomer materials and how O-rings are made through to elastomer technology and seal design for critical sealing applications, diesel engines, semiconductor industry, and pharmaceutical processing. Courses are typically 1 or 2 days and can be tailored to customers’ needs.

Multiple Queen’s Award winner for Innovation and International Trade, PPE employs 185 people and has a sales turnover of around £20m. Exports account for more than 80% of sales.

PPE has a direct subsidiary company in Aberdeen serving the oil and gas sector and sales operations in Europe and Asia serving a wide range of industries, California serving the semiconductor industry and the East Coast for oil and gas, chemical and life-science industries.

PPE was assisted in its factory expansion by support from the North West Development Agency.

Precision Polymer Engineering, Tel: 01254 295400
Website: www.prepol.com

Published in Valve User Magazine Issue 11

Summer 2020 // Issue 53
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