UK: ceramic toner company seeks investors for patented digital process

A UK company based in the ceramics stronghold of Stoke-on-Trent (Staffordshire, central England) is looking for investment to help it develop technology that it claims could revolutionise the operatio…

A UK company based in the ceramics stronghold of Stoke-on-Trent (Staffordshire, central England) is looking for investment to help it develop technology that it claims could revolutionise the operations of major glassware, ceramics, and tile manufacturers. Digital Ceramics Technology, needs GBP 500,000 to help it develop a prototype of a system that uses new patented ceramic toner technology for glass and ceramics decoration. The firm says the system could allow companies such as Wedgewood and Saint Gobain to cut costs, speed up production, reduce inventory and improve decoration quality. Saint Gobain has already expressed “great interest“. DCS says prospective investors could get a share in a new company that may be created to take the project forward. It is talking to business support firm Advantage Business Angels, of Bennetts Hill in Birmingham, about attracting funds. In a statement, DCS said the system “will become a world product based on working in partnership with an associated engineering company to produce the first working prototype“. Digital Ceramic Technology was founded in 2000 to take advantage of the industrial potential of the patented ceramic toner technology. It said its new system could have benefits in areas such as ceramic tableware production, which suffers from high labor costs. DCS said its digitally applied toners are more flexible and its new application system would lower costs and improve order turn-round. DCS is 50% owned by Stuart Jones, who has a long and successful history in glass, ceramic and tile decoration. “It is through his close connections with major product manufacturers that a new generation of decorating plant became obvious,“ the statement said. Another member of the firm“s management team, Don Jones, is managing director and joint major shareholder of a GBP 6 million turnover ceramics engineering company operating in the UK, France and the United States. DCS says up to 40% share ownership will be available for investors getting involved in any new company. It added that an eventual exit strategy for the present owners could involve a trade sale “because of the scope and ultimate interest that corporate organisations may have when the take-up of the technology becomes significant“. It added: “A contract to develop next generation decorating solutions for Saint Gobain for bottles is highly probable and a similar contract from Wedgewood is also possible.“ Johnson Matthey, Ferro and Cuccolini are working on similar digital technology but their toners do not have the chemical structure patented by DCS, it said. “Also, their core businesses are in the production and sale of toner and they are not into design and manufacture of capital plant. “It is unlikely that such a diversification would be possible. “DCS is therefore positioned to provide the complete package for the next generation of decorating methods, including the technology, plant, equipment and the toners“.