A GROUND-breaking ceremony has been held by a Blackburn engineering firm to mark the start of work on its new factory in America.

Precision Polymer Engineering (PPE), in Greenbank Road, is opening a new manufacturing site in Brenham, Texas, in October.

The new factory will specialise in the manufacture of custom O-rings, and other critical elastomer sealing components.

PPE landed the manufacturing award at last year’s Lancashire Telegraph Business Awards.

The company, founded in 1975, creates moulded rubber seals, rubber gaskets and other rubber components for oil and gas, food, drink and pharmaceutical and engine manufacturing industries, across the globe.

Turning over £30.8million every year, and employing almost 300, the company has offices in American, Europe, and Asia, and is expanding into America.

Paul Gillyon, managing director of PPE, said: “At PPE we strive to develop the most advanced materials for the most difficult applications.

“But, on top of that, we operate our manufacturing so that we can be extraordinarily responsive to customers’ needs.

“We believe we have the fastest lead times, and our customers tell us that our on-time delivery record is outstanding.

“We will reproduce all of these attributes in our Texas operation. We know that’s what our oil and gas customers need when the pressure is on their projects, and we are 100per cent confident we can provide the necessary support to contribute to their success.”