A plastics manufacturer is set to expand its range of services by investing £700,000 in its County Durham facility.
Stanley-based SONE Products Ltd which supplies packaging solutions to the cosmetics, healthcare and diagnostics sectors, currently produces mascaras, eyeliners and lip gloss packs for the cosmetics industry, crafting the products using plastic injection and blow moulding processes.
The manufacturer is now making the significant investment to introduce injection blow moulding to its growing range of services, a move it believes will help it attract new customers, which include Boots, Procter & Gamble and Hammerite.
Two Novapax machines are being purchased to carry out the new process and a specialist process engineer is also being recruited as part of the programme.
The purchase comes on the back of SONE Products securing ï¿½250,000 through The Journal’s Let’s Grow Programme, cash enabling the manufacturer to carry out infrastructure changes to its plant and purchase a new 150 tonne injection moulding machine.
Manufacturing manager David Clemes said the company will be putting staff through a full training course to make the most of the new technology.
He said: “Introducing injection blow moulding complements our existing capabilities, greatly enhancing what we can offer our growing client base.
“With both capabilities we can provide more flexibility and satisfy differing demands of our existing and new clients.
“Further to the purchase of the equipment, a major part of the investment and of equal importance will be in the implementation of a complete training package to bring existing technicians fully up to speed with the technology and new machines.”
Since setting up home in the North East 32 years ago, the company has grown significantly, extending its original 1,000sq m facility to its present size of 3,000sq m.
SONE is also on track with a five-year expansion plan, posting turnover of £7.22m and pre-tax profits of ï¿½563,000 for the year ended July 2012.
Having benefited from the £250,000 Let’s Grow cash – the fund managed by The Journal and Evening Gazette in collaboration with BE Group and UNW LLP – the firm aims to further grow sales and intends to boost the workforce.
Earlier this year, SONE achieved Cogent’s Gold Standard in recognition for its commitment to ensuring its workforce possesses the right set of industry skills to compete in a global market.
Other leading organisations who hold the Gold Standard include paint and coatings company Akzo Nobel, chemical company BASF, British Sugar and Fuji Film.