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toilet roll making machine machine parts manufacturer:Nottinghamshire automotive manufacturer expands into horticulture market

toilet roll making machine machine parts manufacturer:Nottinghamshire automotive manufacturer expands into horticulture market

  A Nottinghamshire-based company best known for manufacturing NVH and sealing solutions for the automotive industry has announced that it is expanding into the horticultural sector with a very different product range.

  With two decades of experience manufacturing vehicle parts such as headliners, interior trims, under carpet and door seals, Interflex will be adding biodegradable mulch mats for planting saplings and strawberries to their production line. The company manufactures parts and now mats at its Langar factory.

  Mulch mats are used when planting young trees to create better conditions for growth by allowing access to essential nutrients, retaining moisture and helping to keep roots insulated during the winter months, while suppressing weeds and providing protection from pests. They also help reduce soil erosion and compaction.

  Going from cars to trees might seem like a random move, but as MD Jim Griffin explains, the decision was based on sound business principles.

  “One of the key rules of diversification is to build on what you already know and do well,” said Griffin. “At Interflex we know all about materials and using them to manufacture high performance products. So, although we have traditionally supplied the automotive industry, we already have skilled staff and high tech equipment on site which has made it a relatively simple process to diversify into the manufacture of mulch mats.”

  The materials used to create the mats are very similar to the current products that Interflex make and so the company is able to utilise its press cutting and packaging facilities without any modifications. As a result, the company has the capacity to produce over 20,000 pieces a day per machine and so can accommodate large bulk orders.

  The Mulchii™ mat is the first product in a range that is planned to include hanging baskets and hydroponic mats. The mulch mats are made from flax, jute and hemp which has several advantages over other products commonly used such as coconut fibre.

  “Coconut fibre is currently hard to source as well as being expensive,” added Griffin. “However, flax and hemp are high performance materials which also have the advantage of being grown within the UK, making it easier to obtain and transport.”

  Set up in 2003, Interflex supply a range of NVH and sealing solutions for the automotive sector from their Nottinghamshire factory. They also coat and cut materials such as the fabric used for arm rests to ensure durability and comfort.

  The company was awarded a £250,000 grant from the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy last year as part of the NMCL Automotive Programme. The award is funding part of a half a million pound project to mentor the management team and support expansion into new markets as well as creating new product ranges.

toilet roll making machine machine parts manufacturer:Nottinghamshire automotive manufacturer expands into horticulture market