North East-based research and innovation centre the Materials Processing Institute, is on course for further expansion as it enters news markets with its specialist steel capabilities.
Over the last 12 months the Institute has experienced an 80 percent growth of its specialist melting business, which produces high quality precision steels to client specifications. These include carbon steels, alloy steels and stainless steels for specialist, commercial projects and products.
They are produced at the Institute’s Normanton Plant, at its Tees Valley campus, which produces specialist steels for a range of companies and well-known brands, including the steel components for Rolex watches.
In 2016, the Institute introduced the commercial steel-making operation to meet customers’ bespoke requirements, for generally smaller orders that cannot be produced economically in larger plants.
The growth follows strong export activity through a series of global contract wins at the Institute, which contributed to a 10 percent rise in its turnover.
This included a multi-million-pound research partnership with steel giant, Liberty House Group, to develop advanced manufacturing processes and a new generation of products across its plants in the UK and Australia, as well as partnerships secured with companies in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America across the energy, mining and minerals, petrochemical, chemical and automotive sectors.
Chris McDonald, CEO of the Materials Processing Institute, said: “We are able to offer clients a bespoke service and have carved out a niche offering to some of the world’s leading brands with our specialist melting capabilities. It was a landmark moment for the Institute when we introduced our commercial steel operation to complement our research and specialist services.
“We have experienced another year of growth, buoyed by significant partnerships with some of the world’s leading steel companies, and a strong order book of our specialist services, including our commercial steelmaking division.”
The Materials Processing Institute is a research and innovation centre serving organisations that work in advanced materials, low carbon energy and the circular economy. It is recognised as a leading centre for the global steel industry, delivering research and innovation projects, consultancy and training.