Funding boost for Brandauer as it targets 100 million face mask ‘nose clip’ opportunity

Member News

Made in the Midlands member Brandauer, a metal pressings and stamping specialist has secured £50,000 funding to help it develop a solution for easing global shortages of PPE in the face of Coronavirus.

Brandauer is one of the first companies in the country to be awarded Innovate UK-backing through its Covid-19 Business-Led Innovation in Response to Global Disruption competition and is now setting its sights on increasing its capacity to produce more than 100 million nose clips for use in face masks every year.

Speaking about the goal of the funding, the company has said that it will use the £50,000 grant to develop its ‘Quick Clip Tool’ modular tooling that will add a quick changeover capability to a progression tool, something that has never been offered to the PPE marketplace before. This means the clips can be developed and manufactured in multiple materials, such as steel or aluminium and can be produced in various widths, thicknesses and lengths.face

The project will take about five months to be complete, with the aim to be completed in November 2020, and once in place at the firm’s Bridge Street West factory, will allow Brandauer to increase supply to existing customers and open up production capacity to other clients.

Rowan Crozier, CEO of Brandauer spoke about the impact of Coronavirus saying, “Covid-19 has increased the demand for face masks exponentially across the world and, following the Government’s ‘mandatory’ on public transport announcement yesterday, it appears they will form an important part of the new normal for the foreseeable future.

It is anticipated that we’ll need more than 10 million units every month for the UK alone, fuelled no doubt by the growing DIY face mask industry. With this in mind, there is a big opportunity for a company that can offer access to fast capacity and inexpensive tooling flexibility in how clips are developed and manufactured.”

Rowan went on to say, “Having supported our existing customers with this product for over 20 years we knew what was required, but needed the additional production capability to take on new projects, including the possibility of our own nose clip production. 

“The solution lay in a modular tooling concept and the Innovate UK funding is going to play an important role in supporting the initial prototyping, testing and manufacture of it.

“The Quick Clip Tool, as we’re calling it, is absolutely massive for our business and should allow us to increase the number of clips we supply from 24million a year to 100million. This is an immediate £500,000 opportunity at a time when some sectors have reduced volumes.”

This latest funding boost will give it the capability to manufacture its own nose clips that are perfect for nose bridge support and improved sealing on your homemade face masks – this follows the successful launch of its own product EloPin®, a press-fit pin that enables the solderless connection of the pins to a PCB.

“UK manufacturing has really risen to the multitude of challenges presented by Covid-19 and, thanks to the support of Innovate UK’s latest competition, we will be able to help address global PPE shortages around face masks,” added Rowan. 

He concluded: “The next twelve months are going to be extremely demanding, there’s no getting away from that. However, the ‘Quick Clip Tool’ has the potential to make up for some of our sectors that are taking a little bit longer to emerge from the lockdown.”