The Client

L & R Products

Kingswinford

DY6 7JU

www.lrproducts.co.uk

L & R Products is a manufacturer in glass fibre with a wealth of experience (over 30 years) in unusual projects. Offering a complete service, L & R can replicate a wide variety of items in a range of finishes, tailored to customers’ needs, and has manufactured such varied items as gargoyles, a church spire, clock hands and water features.

Quote

“We’ve appreciated the Polymer Cluster’s help in developing our new system. We became aware of our dependence on a declining market for the automotive parts we produced and our need to diversify. Their team provided the right amount of technical assistance, networking and project management skills to enable us to move into the construction products sector.”

Les Hunt, Managing Director, L & R Products

The opportunity

Diversification from automotive into the construction products sector with the development of an innovative, glass-reinforced plastic, one-piece chimneystack.

Polymer Cluster actions

Provided market research, strategic analysis and identification of opportunities to build product portfolio.

Developed moulding materials and techniques to replicate brick and stone finishes that allow building designers and specifiers greater choice of finishes where weight and labour costs are major concerns. 

Provided the services of Rapra Technology, leading plastics and rubber research consultancy, for extended life cycle testing for certification for use in the construction industry.

The benefits

Reduced dependence for the company on a declining market.

Successful diversification into new market and development of product range.

£400k new sales achieved, 7 new jobs created and 14 jobs safeguarded - currently chimneys are manufactured at 40 units per week.

Key highlights

L & R Products has been able to diversify its business into construction products, a market that would not have been accessible without an innovative product.

This collaborative project co-ordinated the services of the University of Wolverhampton’s Innovative Product Development Centre (marketing/project management), Rapra Technology (UV testing) and also involved the Manufacturing Advisory Service.

Additional outcomes

L & R Products contributed to a silver medal-winning display at the 2007 Chelsea Flower Show. Garden designers Michael Vout and Chris Jones placed a tollhouse replica in the centre of its Thomas Telford Tollhouse Garden, resembling an 1820s garden, in a commission for Telford and Wrekin Council. Despite its brick appearance, the tollhouse façade was made by L & R from glass reinforced plastic.

Constantly seeking to attract new customers and develop new products, L & R’s product range in glass reinforced plastic brick effect cladding for the construction industry now includes chimneys, dormer units and brick arches.