The creator of a pollution-busting invention that started out on a kitchen table in Barnsley is heading for expansion after breaking through the £1 million sales barrier.
Grimethorpe-based Manvers Engineering is moving to a new factory at Park Springs and targeting new markets in Europe and the United States after sales of its innovative Plant Nappy drip tray hit £1.2 million.
Plant Nappy is the creation of Manvers Engineering director Colin Ibbotson, who spotted the need for a way of stopping oil and other pollutants getting into the ground and water courses from generators, pumps and other portable equipment. Sales of the drip tray have taken off since the prototype was sewn together by Colin’s wife Carol on the kitchen table of their Hemingfield home.
“I cobbled some materials together and my wife Carol sewed it up over the weekend. Now Plant Nappy is becoming generic for drip tray, just as Hoover is for vacuum cleaner,” says Colin.
Plant Nappy has a tough base made of PVC coated polyester fabric and a polypropylene liner that absorbs and traps any spilled oils and fuels.
The side walls are made of a special foam that is permeable to water, so rain water can escape, while contaminants are trapped by the foam.
Manvers Engineering’s clients include large construction companies, housebuilders and a prestige sports car manufacturer and the Plant Nappy is sold in countries that include France, Sweden, Canada and Australia.
Following the company’s move to a new, 10,700 square foot factory, Manvers Engineering is capitalising on advice on marketing, finance and health and safety from business support organisation Enterprising Barnsley.
The company is aiming to open up new markets in Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, the Czech Republic and the United States and developing a new, complimentary product.
“Enterprising Barnsley’s support has been phenomenal, particularly in helping us connect to other local companies and also in the re-brand of the business,” says Colin.