Tell us a bit about your business. When were you founded, where are you based and how many people do you employ?
Powdertech was founded in 1984 as a powder coating business with a mission to ‘do things better’.
Our founder, Martyn Green, recognised a significant gap in the market for a company combining consistently reliable high-performance coatings with a thorough understanding of customers’ own industries.
Initially employing six people at premises in Bicester, there are now two companies; Powdertech Surface Science in Bicester and Powdertech Corby, in Corby.
Both companies employ around 35 people in administrative and factory teams. Powdertech Surface Science specialises in the automotive, aerospace, medical and lighting sectors whereas the Corby plant serves the architectural market.
What does the business do?
At Powdertech Surface Science, we provide a wide range of pre-treatment, powder coating, and bonding services for aluminium, magnesium and lightweight materials. We specialise in high end niche industries, the automotive sector being an important focus of both our ongoing work and our R&D activities. We always aim to provide a personal, responsive service to customers.
Through many years spent working in the automotive and aerospace sectors, we have identified the need for a simpler and stronger bonding process for joining lightweight composite materials (such as polypropylene) to metal, aluminium in particular. This has become particularly relevant in recent years as the automotive industry focuses on carbon reduction with lightweight, electrically powered vehicles.
We have tackled the well-known polypropylene-to-metal bonding issues head-on and developed PowderBond PP – an exceptionally strong bonding process that eliminates laborious methods and weak bond strengths.
How is business? What’s the outlook for the year ahead?
Despite the Covid-19 effect we are optimistic, though there is uncertainty and understandable caution amongst our customers. We have continued work for our clients in the medical sector and other customers who have remained open. We pride ourselves on being flexible, innovative and adaptable and this gives us confidence that we will rise to meet the challenges ahead.
We certainly see PowderBond PP becoming a larger part of our business PowderBond PP is currently being used in Stalcom Automotive Technologies chassis assemblies where the use of aluminium and polypropylene composites is optimised to maximise strength whilst minimising cost. BigHead Fasteners is evaluating PowderBond PP to extend its Lean Bonding process capability to join metal fasteners to polypropylene, the most widely used thermoplastic. Both these developments deliver demonstrable proof of the power of PowderBond PP.
What are the big issues or technological advances that fill you with positivity?
The move towards weight reduction in many niche sectors, including automotive, aerospace and medical, puts us in a good place for assisting this technological shift. PowderBond PP forms bonds with strengths three times that of existing adhesives and is a simple, and clean process.
Lean manufacturing is an industry-wide objective. In our work with BigHead Lean Bonding we have two technologies with a natural synergy; our collaboration is looking specifically at creating strong reliable bonds with a simple, customer-ready process.
PowderBond PP is out there now, to be used, and we continue to develop other surface technology solutions to make our customers’ lives easier. That is always our objective.
James Grant, Director