Business

Ballymena automation firm Gemat secures US and RoI export orders

Gemat managing director Sid Campbell with Paula Dickson from Invest NI. Photo: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye
Gary McDonald Business Editor

BALLYMENA-based software automation and engineering firm Gemat has opened up a range of new export markets to the USA and Republic of Ireland.

The company, which has been serving local and global markets across a broad range of business sectors since 1994, has created a measurement device called GemScan, targeting opportunities in the plastics industry.

And it has already built up a healthy pipeline of orders since its initial export sales to the States and RoI in the last year, valued at £150,000.

Gemat was originally set up as a software development and consultancy provider for manufacturing businesses.

Its unique GemScan invention enables operatives in the plastics trade to get a continuous measurement of the thickness of flat extruded sheet, improving the accuracy and efficiency of the manufacturing process.

Gemat managing director Sid Campbell said: “Creating GemScan has been a rewarding investment that has opened up new opportunities to grow the business.

"Developing this device and investigating its market potential was made possible by working closely with Invest NI and accessing the expertise and knowledge to develop a marketable product.

“We used an innovation voucher as well as trade advice, R&D and technical support to undertake this venture and are now be in a position to successfully market GemScan to prospective customers overseas.”

Gemat secured intellectual property protection for the GemScan equipment using patent and trade mark advice and funding and benefited from product development funding towards the initial computer aided design (CAD) work with external design engineers.

“With successful deliveries to Republic of Ireland and US under our belts we are focused on building awareness of GemScan in our target markets,” added Sid.

Moira Loughran, Invest NI's eastern regional manager, said: “Gemat is an established business which has invested in innovation to further its growth and development.

“The company has worked closely with us throughout its diversification, benefitting from advice and financial support to develop and commercialise this specialist machinery.

“The investment in new technologies, processes and skills to date has enabled Gemat to branch into the field of manufacturing which offers substantial export potential. Marketing and trade support has also enabled the business to visit trade shows and research prospective export markets.”

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