Clwyd Compounders Ltd was founded by John Haywood (PhD, Materials Technology) and Sarah Haywood (MSc, Analytical Chemistry) in 1979, and based in Wrexham, North Wales - an area with a long tradition of manufacturing, situated centrally for easy access to UK markets.
As technologists, they appreciated the potential for continuous development of rubber compounds, both to meet existing needs with more cost-effective materials, and to expand the range of conditions in which rubber compounds could be used.
During the 1980s, business capacity and supplier relationships were developed, and the Company established a particularly strong position in the fluoroelastomer market. Quality accreditation was first achieved in 1987 to the BS5750 standard, and this was followed by a continuous improvement programme centred on the reduction of inter-batch variability of compounds. Recent years have seen further accreditations, to health and safety and environmental standards.
The 1990s saw continued expansion in the business: the introduction of a 2nd mixer line with automatic stripping and slabbing facilities; and a priority on business system improvements, including computer controlled weighing and scheduling throughout the factory.
Since 2000, the technical department and laboratory facilities have been expanded substantially, with major investment in analytical equipment (TGA, and FTIR) for compound identification, and colour matching equipment. A separate unit has also been constructed to allow production of silicones, fluorosilicones and perfluoroelastomers under clean room conditions.
Since 2011, the company has had a professional MD Richard Thomas, and in 2014 he was joined on the board by Michael Winrow, Technical Director. This is enabling the owners, John and Sarah Haywood, to focus on developments for the future, and create the structure which will enable the business to continue at the leading edge of rubber compound development into the next generation.