June 22, 2021

International safety company Bollé announces partnership with Welsh manufacturer to drive international supply of protective eyewear equipment

Production of a new range of safety eyewear for one of the world’s leading names in the industry, Bollé, has begun at a site in Wales.

Bollé Safety, a specialist in the development of personal protective equipment (PPE) eyewear, has announced a partnership with Welsh firm, RotoMedical, part of Rototherm Group, which has become the French company’s exclusive UK manufacturer of PPE eyewear for the healthcare industry.

More than three million PPE items are set to be produced a month at RotoMedical’s manufacturing base in Port Talbot, South Wales, following the launch of production at the beginning of June. The partnership, which has been praised by Life Sciences Hub Wales, will see products distributed across the UK and Ireland as well as exported to healthcare markets globally, with key regions including Europe, Australia and North America.

RotoMedical’s expansion into the life sciences sector has been supported by Life Sciences Hub Wales, which has worked to supply the business with access to contacts, expertise and advice to help with the expansion.

Ahead of the production launch, senior representatives at Bollé, which has its European headquarters based in Lyon, visited RotoMedical’s manufacturing base in the Welsh valleys to make final product checks and confirm certifications.

Ian Walbeoff, Vice President of Sales at Bollé Safety said: “At Bollé Safety, our mission has always been to protect the eyesight of healthcare professionals across the world, even in the most challenging environments, ensuring they are able to safely work on the frontline. At the heart of our brand is a genuine desire to continually innovate and use the best available technology to create the highest quality products, and our partnership with RotoMedical will play a key role in achieving this.

“Combining both our companies’ long-standing legacies and expertise will enable us to collaboratively design, manufacture and assemble products that put innovation at the fore and set a new global industry standard when it comes to performance, excellence and sustainability”.

Rototherm Group, a company dating back to the 1880s, specialises in the production of industrial measuring instruments. During the pandemic, the firm pivoted to also produce medical masks and protective face shields for health and care workers under the brand RotoMedical.

Since the pandemic’s arrival in the UK, the Port Talbot manufacturer has increased production capacity of plastic face visors from a 1,000 per day to 250,000 every week. That rapid success has catalysed further expansion into the life sciences sector, as RotoMedical has progressed to produce BSI certified Type IIR face masks, which are surgical grade and designed for use by healthcare professionals.

Tarkan Conger, Business Development Director at Rototherm Group said: “Our ambition has always been to continue to expand and develop the business, and in turn to create more jobs for the local economy. The partnership with Bollé will enable us to build on our industrial expertise and innovation as we embed ourselves in the life sciences sector, expanding into new manufacturing capabilities and markets.”

Following the supply contract with Bollé, the company added safety goggles to its remit, for which it has created a dedicated automated production line. The Bollé face shields will be manufactured by RotoMedical, Rototherm’s medical and protective equipment division, using locally sourced raw materials.

Oliver Conger, Managing Director at Rototherm Group said: “We’re proud to be an SME in Wales, and the drive is to continue securing partnerships with other companies in Wales and internationally. With the help of Life Sciences Hub Wales, we have been able to establish links throughout Welsh industry, and we’re committed to further growing our global presence. We’ve invested everything we’ve got into the local economy and into the business, which will continue as we expand internationally.”

Ian Walbeoff, Vice President of Sales at Bollé Safety added: “This partnership marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Bollé Safety in Wales and the UK as we continue to grow our presence in the country and invest in local communities. It will help us to further our capabilities developing products with sustainability at their core as we will work with locally sourced materials, proudly boasting the ‘Made in Britain’ stamp of excellence.

“The capabilities at Rototherm are testament to the highly skilled manufacturing workforce available here in Wales, and we look forward to playing a part in further driving manufacturing excellence from the region.”

Speaking about the new partnership between Rototherm and Bollé Safety, Cari-Anne Quinn, CEO at Life Sciences Hub Wales said: “Life Sciences Hub Wales is proud to be supporting Rototherm’s journey into the life sciences sector and welcome the expanding international connections. We congratulate them for the work they have done to support the UK during a time of great need and on securing this contract will Bollé which will see these successes continue.”