11:49am Monday 2nd July 2012
By Jonathon Dillon
AN East Lancashire company is bringing a breath of fresh air to millions of asthma sufferers around the world.
Presspart manufactures aluminium canisters inside inhalers for the pharmaceutical industry.
The company, a division of the Heitkamp & Thumann Group, produced 300 million canisters last year, which help to people suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Around £1.5million has been invested in a new sub-micron plasma process for coating and treating the internal surfaces of the pMDI canisters.
The process ensures the drug does not stick to the canister wall , which could reduce its effectiveness.
And bosses said a further £2.5million would be invested in the technology in the coming years.
The company, which was set up in 1970, also makes metal parts for the battery and automotive industry and refills for pens. Last year, around 440million parts rolled off the production line at the firm's site on the Whitebirk Industrial estate, Blackburn.
To show their appreciation to staff and to celebrate 10 years since the acquasition of the firm by the German group, bosses threw a party, including a lamb roast, for all 140 staff.
Managing director Graham Clark said: “The whole reason for the celebration was Heitkamp & Thumann Group has invested a lot into the business and the plasma coating equipment.
“We sell to all the large pharmaceutical manufacturers. Around 95 per cent of our products are exported into Europe and the United States, Asia, China, India, Latin America and the Middle East.
“2009 was a fantastic year and last year was exceptionally good for us. It's a good company and the Heitkamp & Thumann Group has grown the business and made it here to stay for the long-term.
“Like all manufacturers, we try to do more with the same number of people which is why we wanted to celebrate and thank the workforce for everything they've put in.”
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