High-tech plastic proves fantastic for Barnsley company

Published 4th February 2013 at 10:52am

A Barnsley company which makes machines that manufacture products from cricket balls and prosthetic limbs to giant kit for oilrigs has seen profits rise by 10 per cent.

CTM builds highly specialised machines to enable clients in the UK and overseas to mix polyurethane to create goods used in many areas of life.

Orders for the equipment, together with maintenance and servicing work on machinery, has also meant CTM’s staff has increased.

The firm is poised to expand further by partnering with a major Italian manufacturer and has turned to experts from Enterprising Barnsley for free business support.

Managing director Ruth Wootton, thought to be the only woman MD in her industry, said: “The applications for polyurethane are so diverse because, through the tweaking of chemistry, the self-same material can finish up soft and spongy or strong and hard like metal.

“Our machines are in operation in all sorts of industries including automotive, building construction, and health technology, and we’re a world-class leader when it comes to equipment dedicated to the offshore market.”

A machine built by CTM to coat and join huge pipes which help connect oil rigs to the sea bed has the biggest output of any machine of its kind. It processes 2,000 kilograms of mixed material every minute.

Ruth and husband Shane originally ran their business from Deepcar, Sheffield, but shifted operations to the Zenith business park at Claycliffe, Barnsley, around nine years ago. In 2009 the couple, who now live in Penistone, switched the business to a bigger site there.

Ruth said: “We’ve grown the firm around providing maintenance, support services and parts for polyurethane equipment, and we do a really good job, knowing that rapid response and good service is a priority.

“We saw an opportunity to also develop our own bespoke machines, which has paid off.  We’re really proud of what what’s been achieved so far and are excited about the future.”

CTM’s profits rose by 10 per cent last year and there has been more good news with a new deal to become the sole UK distributor of equipment made by Italy’s Impianti OMS SpA. The back-up from OMS is expected to open up further export markets for the Barnsley company, which already has made machines for clients as far away as Brazil. Since the link-up was secured, enquiries about CTM’s machines have doubled.

CTM has just added two apprentices to its 12-strong workforce and anticipates recruiting for an additional engineer shortly.

Ruth took over from Shane as managing director just over a year ago, with Shane now focussing on sales and marketing. Ruth was instrumental in securing the OMS deal. Her presence in the board room has raised a few eyebrows in a male-dominated industry.

“It’s unusual to find a woman MD in manufacturing and I don’t know of any other women in my position in the polyurethane industry,” she said.

Ruth praised support the company has received through the Enterprising Barnsley programme, which has included help with marketing and accountancy systems.

She said: “It came as a pleasant surprise that this support is available and it’s been superb. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. It’s helping to take us to the next level as we deal with increasingly bigger clients.”

For more information about CTM, visit www.ctmukltd.com, email ruth@ctmukltd.com or call 01226 245533.