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North East manufacturer increases production capacity to meet urgent demand

Created on Thursday, 05th Nov 2020

North East manufacturer increases production capacity to meet urgent demand

Award-winning UK based designer and manufacturer of single-use medical devices, Rocket Medical, increases production capacity to meet urgent demand caused by COVID-19.


Founded in 1964, Rocket Medical has been proudly designing and manufacturing single medical use devices in the United Kingdom, specialising in Chest Drainage, Ascites Drainage, Reproductive Medicine, Obstetrics and Diagnostic Medicine. Through the years Rocket Medical has seen outstanding growth, expanding into several countries.


At the start of the year, many businesses saw the approaching impact of COVID-19, impacts of supply chain disruptions, lockdown disruptions and surge in demand for products. Rocket Medical produce an Indwelling Pleural Catheter, the device is used on patients suffering from diseases such as lung or breast cancer at home reducing their exposure to COVID-19 and easing the strain on hospitals. This saw a huge rise in demand that Rocket Medical had to adapt processes overnight.


Recognising that the temporary measures were not sustainable for the business the company looked at opportunities to invest and develop their production process and identified huge opportunities where they could automate certain aspects of the production line. This led to an increase in production speed and ensuring consistency in quality and accuracy.


In April 2020, Rocket Medical applied for grant funding from Supply Chain North East to assist the acquisition and installation of machinery to implement into their production line. The company were one of the first to benefit from the increased intervention rate introduced to support companies who required assistance in meeting COVID-19 related demands.


Commenting on the support from Supply Chain North East, Les Todd, Operations Director said:
“Obviously as our association has been over a considerable time frame, we have worked on many projects with advisors from RTC delivering various programmes. The work they do pays testament to the value we as a business has on the continued partnership with them. We continue to grow the business and come across new challenges on a daily basis, so tapping into the wealth of knowledge available via the trade links Supply Chain North East have has been an invaluable tool, If they cannot help directly, they know a man or company that can!”

Alan Hewett, Business Advisor at Supply Chain North East North, said:
“In delivering different RTC programmes I have worked with Les Todd and his team over the past 15 years, to support the business with different activities as the business has developed and grown during that period. It was fantastic to be able to support Rocket Medical in this crucial time and assist their acquirement of additional equipment to automate a process and alleviate a ‘bottleneck’ which has helped the business to meet the demand posed by the COVID-19 situation in support of the healthcare sector.”

Supply Chain North East brings together four key partners to work with over 800 businesses through to 2021, supporting them to identify opportunities in new and existing markets. An integral part of the North East Strategic Economic Plan, that has the vision to create 100,000 more and better jobs between 2014 and 2024. , Supply Chain North East is delivered across the region by RTC North, Generator, North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) and North East Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC).

Supply Chain North East is a multimillion programme aimed at revolutionising the way SMEs diversify their offering and embrace new markets. The programme has received more than £3m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund, which is part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.