A SUNDERLAND firm is punching above its weight in the medical sling business.
Medical supplies specialist Lynch Healthcare has moved into manufacturing for the first time with the launch of its Tailored Slings operation.
As boss David Lynch explained, the decision to start manufacturing had been customer-driven.
“At the end of the day, the people using our products are human,” he said.
“We have had so many people saying ‘do I have to have that in my house? It’s ugly, like something from a hospital’.”
The firm has been based at the Quay West business park, close to Queen Alexandra Bridge, for the last three-and-a-half years, and David now has his heart set on expanding both premises and workforce.
“When we first moved in, we just had the downstairs, then about a year ago, we took over the whole building,” he said.
“Over the past few weeks, I have started making inquiries about taking over next door.”
The firm now has two full-time skilled machinists and David is looking to recruit more.
“I bought the first machine off eBay and I had a bit of a mess about with it but it soon became clear that there are specialist machines for specialist purposes and they need specialist operators,” he said
Recruiting staff turned out to be easier said than done.
“Since the demise of Dewhirst’s, skilled machinists are so hard to find,” said David.
He is interviewing applicants next week with a view to stepping up production.
“We are going to get to the point where we are struggling to keep up with demand otherwise,” he said.
Moving into production was a big step for a firm which previously bought products in and sold them on.
“The slings have to be CE marked, registered with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and weight-tested to one-and-a-half times the stated limit,” said David.
Now he has his eyes fixed on foreign markets, with a place on a UK stand at a trade show in Dusseldorf already lined up.
“It’s quite exciting,” he said.