David Lambert, CRL
Sarah Waddington

Member Article

Patents give Continuous Retorts Ltd a competitive advantage

Just 18 months after receiving initial investment from the Finance for Business North East Technology Fund managed by IP Group plc, Newcastle-based Continuous Retorts Limited (CRL) has been granted a series of European patents with a US patent to follow, giving it a significant competitive advantage as it secures its first international sales.

Named after the Continuous Retorts it manufactures, the company is in the development cycle for a number of customers across Europe and America and expects to have several bespoke machines up and running by early next year.

Continuous Retorts are systems that allow plastic laminate pouches, pots, trays, as well as more traditional packaging such as tin cans and glass jars to be sterilised or pasteurised at a high speed and low unit cost. The new process is revolutionary because conventional packaging has to date been treated in batches using a comparatively slow and inefficient process reliant on high amounts of energy and in which large quantities of water are lost.

This new high speed heat processing has been proven to bring energy usage down by 60% and offers a near 100% reduction in water wastage. The fact that the machines are 90% more compact than existing technologies, reducing the amount of factory space taken up, has been a particular draw for food manufacturers and those within the packaging industry.

CRL’s founder and managing director David Lambert said: “We have identified a much higher growth potential for the business following interest in our disruptive, energy-efficient technology from retailers and manufacturers. The fact that our Continuous Retorts can significantly lower operational expenses and provide payback in the space of just two years is proving of strong appeal.

“We will be seeking further investment to help us achieve our goals but with the leads we already have and some key patents secured, we are confident in our strategy.”

Nick Edgar, investment manager for IP Group plc, added: “CRL has an extremely experienced management team with a great value proposition who have successfully used their knowledge and contacts to take the company forward. Bearing in mind the global drive to reduce energy consumption and manufacturing costs and the strong green agenda being led by supermarkets and brand owners, it is no surprise their innovative systems have generated significant interest both here and abroad.”

For more information on the Finance for Business North East Technology Fund, please visit: www.thenortheasttechnologyfund.com.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Sarah Waddington .

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