Manufacturer of Eco-Friendly Home Care Products Gets Backed by Made Smarter | North West Manufacturing News

Ivan Anketell


A Cheshire-based manufacturer of eco-friendly household cleaning products, backed by Made Smarter, has explained how it aims to produce more sustainably packaged products.

Crewe-based Qualkem has already taken action with the introduction of its PCR tube filling service.

Repclif Chemical Services changed its name this year and is a second generation family business supplying chemicals to a variety of industries including medical, hobby, construction and retail.

Ivan Anketell became Managing Director in 2015 and enriched the company’s offer to distributors and third parties – through own brands. This includes creating dual-branded products and formulating, branding, blending and packaging specialty products.

In 2021, Qualkem worked with Made Smarter on the PCR tube filling service project and secured £20,000 funding for plant and machinery investment.

The service – which uses up to 100% recycled plastic tubing and closures, 85% inline-applied recycled polyurethane labels and 85% recycled cardboard packaging – is unique in the market.

It could generate significant sales growth of up to 25% of current revenue over the next three years.

Made Smarter is a program designed to help manufacturing and engineering companies use new digital technologies.

Ivan Anketell-Clifford, Director, said: “We are also working closely with our suppliers and customers to manage our packaging away from reliance on virgin plastics in favor of more recycled and recyclable plastic-based materials.

“Our investment in automatic tube filling and labeling machines, backed by Made Smarter, will mark the beginning of our commitment to digitization.”

Anketell-Clifford said the company also plans to take advantage of Made Smarter’s digital internship program. It will also recruit a graduate in the field of automation and robotics, who will help them extract and report the business and process data collected by the new machines.

Qualkem is currently working with Made Smarter on a new project moving their outdated inventory inventory system to an app-based barcode system and then integrating inventory inventory with an ERP system. This will allow the company to more automatically and confidently manage physical inventory, batch production and have tighter financial control of its processes.

In terms of growth, he said it was “very organic”, sustainably managed with a real focus on digitalization, improving its ESG profile and continuing to invest in the business.

The tube filling service will also generate at least two new jobs locally, one of which, its new machine setter and production operator, already joined last month.

Anketell-Clifford also believes the government should support and encourage the production of British manufactured goods and raise the standard across the country.

“To support manufacturing, continued investment in Net Zero by 2050 will allow us to control our own fuel resources over the long term, clean up our environment and generally improve the well-being of society and the environment we live in,” he said.

“At a more local level, SMEs need incentives, access to resources and financial support to achieve their own carbon neutral goals.

“Also at the local level, the government must continue to recognize the good work that we SMEs are doing in these difficult times.”

Looking ahead, he added: “We have a clear vision, sense of purpose and energy for our future growth and in January 2022, having celebrated our 50th anniversary on July 1, 2021. We reported the extent of our commitment and intent in renaming the founding company name of Repclif Chemical Services to Qualkem – a bolder step, but a much more descriptive trade name.”

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