Breaking down the barriers to innovation is one of the key reasons two leading ceramics businesses have joined the Midlands Industrial Ceramics Group (MICG).
Mantec Technical Ceramics and PCL Ceramics are the newest members of the group, which aims to place the Midlands on a unique footing as a global centre for advanced technical ceramics.
Based in Stoke-on-Trent, Mantec Technical Ceramics provides bespoke and innovative ceramic-based solutions to global industries, while PCL Ceramics is a technology leader in high-pressure casting equipment, quality assurance instruments and porous materials for the sector.
They take the number of organisations in membership of MICG to 15, joining blue chip companies and SMEs including Rolls-Royce, JCB, Morgan Advanced Materials and Lucideon – as well as the universities of Birmingham, Leicester and Loughborough.
According to the MICG, placing the Midlands at the heart of the international advanced ceramics sector will ultimately contribute towards growth of 4,200 jobs in the region by 2030.
A key element of the group’s work will be the delivery of improvements to manufacturing processes, making advanced ceramics more energy-efficient, faster and lower cost – boosting growth and productivity throughout the supply chain and benefitting customers across a wide range of industry sectors.
Mantec Technical Ceramics’ Head of Sales, Mark Berrisford said: “Through partnership with the MICG we see a potential to access state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment at a pilot plant level and innovative solutions’ know-how, which will allow us to speed up the lifecycle from prototype to full production, meaning our products can be ready in a much shorter timeframe.
“Many of the traditional processes used in manufacturing ceramics are ones we need to shed, but having this wealth of knowledge in the Midlands – of what can go wrong, or the parameters that need to be measured to ensure something does indeed work – is a huge advantage that we have here within our labour force, rather than placing this facility elsewhere nationally.”
PCL Ceramics Ltd is headquartered in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, and is currently expanding their new technology branch into the Midlands.
Cyril Journoux, Managing Director of PCL Ceramics, said: “PCL’s ambition is to continue developing new technologies and introducing innovative solutions, which will enable the growth of advanced ceramics.
“Our expertise is in making the manufacturing of ceramics better, faster and cheaper.
“The Midlands is a global hub for engineering and an historical centre for excellence for the ceramics industry. This makes it the perfect location for MICG.”
More details about the MICG can be found here.