COTTAM Brush in Hebburn uses more than 150 years of experience in making brush products to find innovative solutions to problems both large and small.
The Hebburn-based business works with a range of organisations, including universities and trade bodies, as well as having invested in the downturn, to ensure that it doesn’t stand still.
One partnership has developed a new innovative production line, designed in partnership with a local automation company specialising in brushes to clean and inspect oil and gas pipelines. This production line will help them compete on a global scale.
Cottam Brush has also invested in a Collaborative Innovation Partnership with Teesside University to design new and innovative pipeline cleaning brushes.
Another partnership, between Cottam Brush and the Environment Agency, has developed a new flexible eel substrate, using bristles to mimic nature, and helping eels to migrate upstream around flood defences and other obstacles. Historically, similar products have been rigid, requiring modification of the site in which they are installed.
A third relationship has helped to solve an age-old problem with a product, which has not changed in decades: the sweeping broom.
Manufacturing techniques and the timber from which they are made means the natural expansion and contraction from water absorption leads to a weak point at the connection between the shaft and head.
Working with RCID within Newcastle University, Cottam Brush has developed a solution which has drawn inspiration from other applications, such as pipe connections. A new connector, made from injection moulded plastic with a steel gripping ring allows the two parts to be connected in a way that avoids the problems traditionally experienced.