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The UK’s manufacturing industry is well placed with companies’ mass producing high precision parts. However, there is an ever-increasing demand for cost-effective components in lower volumes, often at short lead-times.

Birmingham-based Thermotec Plastics, with its innovative approach to design and manufacturing is successfully responding to this industry challenge ensuring vacuum forming as a cost-effective alternative to injection molding.

Established in 1968, Thermotec Plastics is a privately-owned business employing 50 staff in its 45,000 sq/ft. premises close to Birmingham city centre. Finding innovative solutions to customer challenges has always been at the heart of Thermotec’s growth, however, its ability to claim tax refunds under the government's R&D Tax Incentive scheme, has created a wealth of benełts.

Managing Director Ian Thurman commented: “Finding innovative solutions to challenging problems has always been important, but the R&D tax credits scheme has accelerated developments, and encouraged us to look at more ambitious projects, where outcomes are uncertain.”

Through investing in continued research and development, Thermotec Plastics has been successful in identifying alternative processes and lighter materials, to manufacture components that are available in low volumes, cost-effectively. New and existing customers have benełtted from these developments and costs, in addition to the speed of delivery, which has proven to be signiłcantly shorter than sourcing the solution abroad.

Ian Thurman continued: “Our clients including leading luxury car manufacturers continually demand bespoke, cost-effective components, in low quantities. This combined with a need for strong, but lightweight components intensiłed our R&D focus and the successful development of our 3D honeycombed solution.”

Working with Mark Evans, from Made in the Midlands patron R&D Tax Credits, Thermotec Plastics has made successful R&D Tax Credit claims for8 years.

Ian Thurman concluded: “Our accountant was aware of the scheme however, they quickly recognised that R&D Tax Claims’ expertise in the manufacturing sector, combined with their knowledge of the HMRC scheme, made them better placed to ensure we got the maximum refund.

We’ve had eight successful claims so far. The process has been simple and easy with R&D Tax Claims providing everything we need to capture the relevant data, and pulling it together into the łnal report which they submit to the revenue.”