Last month, Distrupol – responsible for distribution of Lucite International’s PMMA polymers in the UK – hosted a customer open day for the sharing of knowledge around polymer development and the solutions the industry can offer.

We spoke to Garry Phillipson, EMEA Polymer Grade Developments Manager, about his day at the event and our enduring relationship with Distrupol.

Pictured: Garry Phillipson (second from right) with members of the Distrupol team.

Tell us about the relationship between Lucite International (LI) and Distrupol.

Distrupol has been the sole distributor of LI’s PMMA polymers in the UK for many years, with a collaborative history that goes back to our ICI heritage. As with many of our European distribution partners, Distrupol has provided our products with a route-to-market for a multitude of end-users, giving access to business which would otherwise be unseen or difficult to service.

“These many end-users, whilst sometimes individually low in volume, can collectively represent a significant value to our business. Distrupol has been, and continues to be, effectively and extension of our own sales team in the UK.”

What is the background of Distrupol’s customer open day?

“Distrupol works to distribute a number of plastic materials and a key part of a successive collaboration – keeping PMMA polymers at the fore – is to keep close, hold regular reviews and to support marketing and promotional events.

“This recent event was designed to bring material suppliers and end-users together, facilitated by Distrupol in between. Visibility of suppliers like LI at such events demonstrates that the distributor is well-supported logistically and technically.”

How was your experience on the day?

“The event was well-attended, held at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, UK. It was a lively one-day session of presentations, as well as an exhibition area allowing suppliers and customers to network and learn more about each other, their technologies, interests and services.

“Speakers covered a diverse range of subjects – from specifics such as tool design software, rapid heating/cooling systems and bespoke hot runner solutions, to broader issues such as Brexit, plastics recycling, sustainability and the Circular Economy. From my technical perspective, the injection moulding and specialist technology speakers were of particular interest.

“The networking time allowed all to ask questions of the speakers in an informal environment. Having known and worked with the Distrupol team for many years, it was no surprise that this event was so well planned, organised and executed.”

How will LI be supporting Distrupol in the future?

“The value of regular contact with our distributors is often hard to quantify, as so much of it involves the human aspect of building bridges and developing existing relationships. Distrupol certainly recognises the value of its relationships with customers and this event, which also involved suppliers, was something which LI’s Polymers business decided to support as soon as the invitation arrived.

“The next event is already being discussed, with a view to the end of 2020. We will be there!”