Munster Simms invests in R&D to engineer export success


Invest Northern Ireland is helping Bangor engineering firm Munster Simms to invest over £3million in research and development as part of a plan to increase sales in markets outside of Northern Ireland by £8 million per year.

Munster Simms, known under its brand name Whale, is a global market leader in the design and manufacture of plumbing system components for use in caravans, leisure marine boats and the healthcare industries.

Invest NI has offered over £700,000 of support, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, to assist with the projects which will specifically focus on the creation of highly innovative heating components for water and air along with advanced pumping systems for the global marine and recreational vehicle markets.

Speaking as she visited the Munster Simms site in Bangor, Tracy Meharg, Invest NI’s Managing Director of Innovation and Capability Development said: “Munster Simms currently trades in over 48 countries, with the established Whale brand recognised as a symbol of innovation and product quality in some of the most competitive global marine and leisure markets.

“This latest investment in R&D will help Munster Simms to meet growing demand for highly innovative plumbing and heating products which deliver cutting edge performance and cost effectiveness, and further strengthen its market position.

“Research and development is crucial to the sustainability and success of all companies, regardless of size or industry sector, particularly as international markets remain highly competitive. Through this project, Munster Simms is setting firm foundations for continued growth and success in the UK, Europe and North America.”

During her visit to Munster Simms, Ms Meharg officially opened a new factory extension. The additional production area houses highly advanced manufacturing processes, and it is integral to the development and manufacture of the new product ranges.  

Patrick Hurst, Managing Director of Munster Simms added: “Since the 1960’s Munster Simms has continually been engaged in product development and produced some of the most groundbreaking marine pump and plumbing products available. This has allowed us to position the Whale brand strongly worldwide and it continues to be viewed in many countries as the market leader.  In the past 3 years innovation has been central to the business strategy and is one of the reasons, despite the economic gloom, why the business has been doing so well, indeed for the first quarter of 2010 the company has recorded its highest order book on record.

“The recently completed production area has enhanced our manufacturing capability and this combined with our latest investment in R&D, supported by Invest NI, will propel us forward into a new era of growth. We estimate that within 3 years, the specific products under development will add more than £8 million of new sales per year for the company and will open up significant opportunities in new, diverse sectors.

“This support from Invest NI, along with our recent listing in the Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work For, provides a secure base from which the business can expand dramatically throughout the next couple of years.”