The production facility at Grimsby Enterprise Village will replace the company’s previous plant in Scunthorpe, giving more space for stock and parts ahead of the launch of the new fluid transfer couplings. Directors Gary Thompson and Andrew Jackson will continue to be based at Smartflow’s office in Harrogate.
Development of the new devices has been supported by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, which awarded Smartflow £173K of funding last year followed by a share of a £90m package to protect current innovation projects from the impact of Covid-19.
The funding was awarded towards the cost of industrial testing and analysis of the couplings at the National Engineering Laboratory and wear testing at the National Physics Laboratory, which is taking part this month.
Gary said: “The new sizes performed extremely well during testing and we are now stepping up production as we prepare for export to our global distributors during 2021.”
Despite having to cancel international meetings with potential clients during 2020 because of the pandemic, Gary has continued to develop sales channels by video.
“Covid delayed the testing programme but we have had keen interest from around the world for a wide range of applications, such as on oil platforms and in chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing, where it is critical to eliminate fluid leaks during transfer,” Gary explained.
The Grimsby site is now fully operational in preparation for global export with a large number of unbuilt couplings being set aside to be adapted quickly to customer specifications for reduced lead times.
Gary added: “Our dry break couplings have been developed in different sizes and materials, including carbon steel and titanium, and now have all the testing data we need to take them to a worldwide market.”