Merit in investment

A Diss-based manufacturing firm has invested �80,000 in new machinery on the back of a deal to manufacture millions of internal car lighting parts.

Merit Plastic Mouldings Ltd has won a contract to supply the internal fittings from CML Innovative Technologies, which specialises in car interior lighting to develop an existing mould tool used for nylon bulb holders.

Under the latest deal Merit will be responsible for production of 25m bulb holders for CML and the decision was taken to invest �50,000 in a 70-tonne Arburg plastic moulding machine because of the high volume of mouldings involved.

The move also means the creation of three new jobs at the firm, which has 31 staff and a turnover of �2.75m and specialises in the manufacture of mouldings used in a range of industries from automotive, electronics and aerospace.

Customers include Bosch Lawn and Garden, and GE Healthcare.

Tom Palmer, managing director at Merit, said: 'The job requires a high level of process control on tiny components, and in order to ensure compliance with this stringent requirement and to cope with the high volumes, we have invested in an additional moulding machine specifically for this contract.'

Roger Neal, purchasing manager at CML, said: 'We chose Merit for the reliability and flexibility in supply they offer, their ability to meet the stringent quality requirements of the automotiveindustry, and their proximity to our site,'

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Ardeshir Nasarwanji, marketing manager at Merit, said that the deal showed how the company was managing to grow at a steady rate despite the tough economic environment.

'The business is still growing,' Mr Nasarwanji said. 'We expected to grow this year and we did, and we expect to grow next year.

'The hard work to win the contract was done in the last year and a half and now that is being turned into pound notes.

'The recession did hit us and we did have to reduce our numbers and consolidate, but we have been profitable all through that period,' he added. 'The last year was more of a year of stabilising ourselves and strengthening our business.'

In a separate move, Rebecca Mower has replaced Robert Green as Merit's quality assurance manager.

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