WHEN Beatson Clark first opened for business, America was still a British colony and Europe was about to be rocked by the industrial revolution.
Two hundred and sixty one years later, the company is firing on all cylinders and hopes to cash in on the growing number of Europeans who love specialist bottled beer.
The Rotherham-based glass packaging manufacturer is investing £10m in furnace improvements and new equipment to help it become more competitive.
The firm already exports to 60 countries and hopes to increase its market share this year. Beatson Clark specialises in providing glass packaging for brands in the food, drink and pharmaceutical markets.
It is experiencing strong demand from the specialist beer bottle market in Scandinavia.
Beatson Clark managing director Tony McLoughlin said the investment was an important part of the company’s long-term strategy for growth. “We’re a long-established business but we never stand still,” he said. “We are always thinking about how we can improve our products and processes and constantly looking for new ways to provide an even better and more flexible service to our customers.
“The fact that we are making such a significant investment in our plant in South Yorkshire is great news for the region and an indication that we see growth in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical sectors over the next 12 to 18 months.”
As well as improving the production process, Beatson Clark is investing in new design technology.
The company has updated its CAD (Computer-Aided Design) system.
Mr McLoughlin added: “Using this software during the new product development process, our design team will be able to provide customers with real-time images of what the end product will actually look like.”
Beatson Clark, which has an annual turnover of £44m, employs 320 staff.
Its production capacity is around 88,000 tonnes.
A spokesman said the investment would improve the quality of the company’s products and give it an edge in the export market.
However, the spokesman said that the glass industry was being affected by the high price of fuel.
Government action to take some of the volatility out of gas prices would provide a major boost for the industry, the spokesman added.