Hamilton Erskine Ltd
The Directors of Hamilton Erskine Ltd, Co Down identified a gap in the market to manufacture Smart / Switchable glass. This glass uses electrical currents to change from clear to opaque at the flick of a switch and was not previously manufactured anywhere in Northern Ireland. Funding was sought under the NI Rural Development Programme via The Rural Business Investment Scheme towards the purchase of a new EVA Laminating Machine which was required to enable them to manufacture this product.
Hamilton Erskine Ltd, which started trading in 2003, is a company based in Ballygowan, Co Down which provides niche specialist security glass solutions primarily to the custodial, mental health, high value jewellery and high end residential sectors. Their product range includes security glass, bullet resistant glass, fire certified versions, CNC machine vision panels and blast resistant glass. The business employed 7 full time staff.
Noticing an increasing demand for these products over recent times, not just in the security sector but in the wider market, the Company wished to expand its capability into foil / film laminating which uses high temperature and pressure to bond pieces using a thermoplastic foil / film interlayer(s) which would enable it to manufacture the Smart / Switchable glass.
The company was awarded £50,000 towards the purchase of a new EVA Laminating machine which allows it to manufacture the Smart / Switchable glass in addition to bullet resistant glass components, multi-coloured glass and other specialist glass.
Having now completed the project, the company can now manufacture products which they either couldn’t provide previously or had to outsource elements from other firms in the EU.
As a result of this investment at least two new full time jobs will be created within the company including one senior sales post and one operative role. The business is already securing large orders which they could not have secured previously without the purchase of this machine.
Roger Cleave, Director of Hamilton Erskine Ltd advised, ‘Some of the deadlines in the early stages were tight in terms of developing the detailed specification for the equipment and then allowing sufficient time for the bidding process however the process worked’.
‘Clear and regular communication on the rules/regulations at each stage of the process helped to ensure that the requirements of the scheme were properly met’.