Unit 7, Leicester Distribution Park,
35 Sunningdale Road,
Tel: +44 (0)116 286 7007
- 2023 International Trade
Blanson Ltd is a specialist manufacturer of pressure rated acrylic components. The company is delighted to have won a King’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade in recognition of its significant growth over the past three years.
Upon hearing of the award, Managing Director, Andy Turner, commented: “Everyone at Blanson is ecstatic. This truly is an award of combined effort across the whole company.”
A large part of this growth is attributed to the way in which Blanson was able to ramp up its production during the Covid-19 pandemic. Blanson is the world leader in the manufacture of acrylic column tubes, which are a major component for the equipment used in the purification of recombinant DNA drugs.
As a result of the requirement for vast quantities of vaccines and bio-similar drugs, Blanson increased its standard working week from two daytime shifts, five days per week, to a 24-hour shift, seven days per week. As a result, export sales of Blanson tubes almost tripled during this period.
Andy adds: “Drug R&D and manufacturing is truly a global industry, and therefore the success of our export business is critical to the ongoing growth and future success of our business. Our exports currently account for 95% of our total business and our aim is to increase this year on year.”
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
Another major exported product for Blanson is hyperbaric oxygen therapy cylinders. This again is a pressure rated acrylic cylinder manufactured and certified to a stringent safety standard. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment where patients are placed in a pure oxygen pressurised chamber for a period of time in order to saturate their blood with much higher levels of oxygen than is possible when breathing at regular atmospheric pressure.
The therapy is used extensively in North America and increasingly in other parts of the world for a whole range of illnesses. This includes the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers and more recently a treatment for long Covid – 100% of this business for Blanson is exported and continues to grow.
Pressure hulls for submarines
A product that is much easier to recognise and identify with is created for submarines. Blanson is the world-leading supplier of pressure rated acrylic windows for use as complete pressure hulls for submarines. It is described by Andy as being “the sexy side of the business and the product that most people want to talk about”.
One of the submarines used in the BBC documentary Blue Planet is fitted with a Blanson pressure sphere. Submarine pressure hulls such as this continue to be another growing export market.
Depths of over one mile are now possible, and there is increasing demand for larger and deeper rated windows so that the diving experience can be enjoyed in larger groups. Submarines have even been supplied to cruise ship companies for the purposes of offering passengers an underwater excursion.
Andy Turner with 2 acrylic pressure hulls 3 person submarine in The Antarctic Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber