Smithers RAPRA Launch New Polymer Consulting Centre

Smithers Rapra, the leading UK plastics and rubber materials specialist has kicked-off 2008 with the formation of a new Polymer Consulting Centre at its UK Headquarters in Shropshire.

The new Polymer Consulting Centre will provide customers with on-demand access to a collaborative hub of plastics and rubber materials expertise, where innovative solutions can be developed through multi-disciplinary teams, supported by extensive on-site analytical and testing laboratories.

The Polymer Consulting Centre was finalised in January. It is the result of the culmination of months of structural realignment and capital investment to enable the company to provide its UK and global customers with a unique offering, focussed on plastics and rubber materials and products. The Centre provides a complete package of services to support customers throughout a product’s lifecycle - from the initial materials selection, design, processing and prototype development, durability and compliance testing to failure analysis and recycling.

“There are a host of technical service providers offering manufacturers of plastics and rubber products various testing, analytical and technology services – many of which are aligned to materials suppliers,” said Dr Chris O’Connor, the Technology Manager heading up the new Consultancy Centre.

“Where we differ, is that we are giving customers a combination of independent technical expertise all on one site, comprising polymer technologists, chemical and materials testing analysts, product development and R&D specialists. We don’t just provide results, we interpret them. Our goal is to help organisations ensure that they derive real value from the polymer solutions provided.”

The Shropshire-based Polymer Consulting Centre will also work as a central hub to the whole group of technology and scientific companies in The Smithers Group, making use of the all of the innovations and technical services offered throughout the organisation and bringing them to UK customers.

Spearheading the formation of the Polymer Consultancy Centre, Sales & Consultancy Director Mike Day said: “ We have invested heavily in building a team of high calibre technical specialists with expertise in plastics, rubbers, polymer analysis, polymer materials and product testing, processing and regulatory affairs, particularly food contact, pharmaceutical and REACH.

“We aim to provide a truly integrated approach to our UK customers and those in The Smithers Group as a whole, with easy access to the Group’s complementary range of independent and impartial technical and contract research services which span not only polymer materials, but also includes chemical toxicology, biotechnology and accredited quality assessment services,” Mr Day added.

Dr O’Connor confirmed that the company will continue its policy of investment in developing and expanding its technical polymer knowledge base through attracting and retaining the best technical experts in the business.

“This remains a crucial objective at a time when there is an increasing depletion of polymer knowledge within industry and fewer graduates each year from which to recruit. Smithers Rapra is committed to continuing its global presence as a centre for polymer excellence and the formation of the integrated Polymer Consulting Centre will ensure that its consultancy and technical services adapt and evolve in line with customer’s needs,” he added.


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