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Benefits of better technique for making wound dressings will be ‘significant’, says company

PUBLISHED: 10:48 16 October 2020 | UPDATED: 11:37 16 October 2020

BDK management team from left, Ian Caulfield, Mervyn Miller, Ivan Childs, Michelle Smith, Charlie Biltcliffe, Nick Falconer, Richard Robson, Paul Reeve, Neil Catchpool and Mark Hill  Picture: RUTH LEACH

BDK management team from left, Ian Caulfield, Mervyn Miller, Ivan Childs, Michelle Smith, Charlie Biltcliffe, Nick Falconer, Richard Robson, Paul Reeve, Neil Catchpool and Mark Hill Picture: RUTH LEACH

Ruth Leach

A company which makes wound dressings is celebrating after developing a new technology to speed up part of the process.

BDK wound dressings being prepared in its workshop at Levington  Picture: RUTH LEACHBDK wound dressings being prepared in its workshop at Levington Picture: RUTH LEACH

BDK – which is based in Levington, near Ipswich, and employs more than 90 people – makes adhesive components for a wide range of sectors including the medical and healthcare, aerospace and automotive industries and its products are used in more than 90 countries.

It has now created a new automated technology for making medicated dressings, which are applied to open wounds to encourage healing. It applies an exact dosage of medicated liquids to a substrate, before being cut to size, pouched or packed into a bespoke format.

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Historically the company – which has been going for more than 60 years – has been dependant on traditional saturation techniques which take longer and are more costly.

Business development manager Neil Catchpool said: “We’ve applied our expertise to automate the traditional saturation process used in manufacturing medicated dressings, which will offer real advantages to a growing and important market.

“The benefits for our clients will be significant. Traditionally, material substrates would have to be dunked or fully saturated into baths of medicated solutions before being dried and cut to size. Our system can do this as one ‘in line’ process, working to extremely high levels of precision and quality.

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“Defined amounts of the medicated liquids are repeatedly applied onto the substrate which can then be cut, converted and packed into any desired size in one of our bio-burden controlled class 7 clean rooms. This offers a much faster route to market, cutting out many of the steps usually needed, reducing time and expenditure.”

After six months of design and development, new equipment to carry out the process is now in place, with the final testing phases successfully carried out during the coronavirus lockdown period.

A lot of factors had come together to lead the company towards the development of the new technology said Mr Catchpool.

“We were already receiving enquiries from customers that have worked with us and trusted the quality of our products for some time, so it was something we were keen to explore.

“We’ve also noticed a stark change within personal healthcare manufacturing as result of coronavirus. There is a trend away from product design focused on helping with everyday life to the management of chronic diseases and a general push towards healing.

“Medicated dressings do just this, and I think this is the start of a flood of innovation based around supporting better health.”


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