Innovative Engineers Make Impact in Agri-Tech Sector

Leading vacuum forming company, Donite Plastics, based in Saintfield, Northern Ireland, is set to revolutionise the Agri-Tech sector by applying plastic solutions to agricultural vehicles and equipment.

Donite Plastics, known for working across a number of sectors including aerospace, construction and medical, is employing their knowledge and skills in the thermoforming industry to replace metal and glass reinforced plastic (GRP) to a lighter, more robust material which is giving their customers a competitive edge.

Having recently expanded in the last two years, as part of a five-year growth plan, with new premises in Saintfield, the company has doubled its turnover and has grown from 10 to nearly 30 employees.

Stephen Kissick, business development manager at Donite Plastics, said; “These last two years have seen a dramatic change in our order book and as a result we’ve grown exponentially. In addition to working in the aerospce sector with the likes of Thompson Aero and premium aircraft seating, we’ve been very fortunate working across many sectors that require vacuum formed plastic products.

“As a company of innovators as well as manufacturers we tend to look at things slightly different. A problem isn’t a problem it’s a challenge or a puzzle. The design team along with the managing director, Michael Knight, like to work closely with our customers, understand their needs and deliver workable solutions.”

This week Donite has been at the National Ploughing Championship 2019 in Fenlow, County Carlow, a key event in the Agri-Tech calendar. In addition to the ploughing competition, machinery exhibitors are hopeful of closing new deals.

Stephen continued; “Everyone in Ireland who works in the agri-tech sector descended on Fenlough to the National Ploughing Championship. We had parts on display on customers’ vehicles and equipment. Recently, we’ve been working with Grasstech and have supplied three different chainguards for one of their grazers. 

“The chainguards are exterior protective panels and what works for this customer is the assembly time and the lightweight, more robust, aesthically-pleasing, finished product. This is a reliable repeatable product that just needs bolted on, with no extra timewasting or triming activities to make it fit. 

“In addition to the cost saving we offer superior finished panels. With the thermoforming process, there is design flexbility and you are not confined to flat panels like sheet metal components. With no curvature constraints panels you can have complex geometry. We are working very closely with Grasstech and already reviewing all GRP parts with the view to replacing them with thermoformed parts.

“I’ve no doubt that many manufacturers that work with GRP and metal will be looking at this process and how they can apply it to their products regardless of sector.”

Donite Plastics is at the forefront of current trends as machinery manufacturers convert metal and GRP components to plastics.