Firm is lighting up the business world

L-R Chris Hylton from MAS and Alex Carter from Durable Technologies with the light harness. 'Photo: John Millard/UNP

L-R Chris Hylton from MAS and Alex Carter from Durable Technologies with the light harness. 'Photo: John Millard/UNP

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A NEW light controlling product that can save energy and cut costs is being made in Hartlepool - and creating jobs.

Durable Technologies has been working with the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) and the North East Business and Innovation Centre (NE BIC).

Durable’s managing director Alex Carter plans to sell more than 7,000 units this year and create four new positions, doubling the workforce within 12 months.

Alex, who runs the business with his wife Lorraine, has developed a product called Light Harvester. It is a light detector and controller in one easy-to-mount casing. It uses bluetooth technology and a special +App to view data and make adjustments.

He added: “We had developed the Light Harvester exclusively in the North-East so ideally wanted to keep the manufacture local.

“You can now set light levels, time-outs and create profiles, making it a lot more user friendly. The trials of the first installation show that we can reduce lighting costs in monitored areas by nearly 80 per cent.”

Durable has worked with North East BIC on design and re-engineering issues aimed at reducing costs of UK production.

At the same time, the management team worked with MAS on accessing funding to develop new tooling for the detector element of the Light Harvester range.

Alex added: “We did look at producing overseas, but quickly realised that it didn’t work out any cheaper due to levies/taxes/rising wages and the logistics issue left us with little flexibility in terms of ramping up production.”

He added: “The fact we have been able to find excellent injection mould and PCB suppliers locally means we have a lot stronger supply chain and one that can meet our growth aspirations.

“I also like the comfort of knowing I can jump in the car and be down the road in 20 minutes to discuss any issues that might come up during supply.”

Chris Hylton, manufacturing advisor at MAS, said Alex’s story “reinforces the notion that the UK is a good place to manufacture.”

Durable Technologies is working on another major project to produce light controllers for a household electrical manufacturer.

This, combined with the Light Harvester, will see the company increase turnover by 100 per cent to £600,000.