New spin on fish skins

Lo­cal en­gi­neer­ing firm finds un­ex­pected niche in lux­ury skin­care in­dus­try

Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE -

Af­ter found­ing Stafford En­gi­neer­ing in Hamil­ton 32 years ago, Roger Evans never imag­ined he would be build­ing a cus­tomised ma­chine that turns col­la­gen from hoki skins into a lux­ury skin­care prod­uct to be sold in­ter­na­tion­ally.

Stafford has worked ex­ten­sively in the dairy in­dus­try as well as at­tract­ing lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional clients from the food pro­cess­ing and pack­ag­ing in­dus­try that need cus­tomised ma­chines to meet their in­di­vid­ual needs.

Most re­cently, Stafford built an elec­tro­spin­ning ma­chine nick­named The Iguana to man­u­fac­ture ac­tivLayr, a skin­care prod­uct made by West Auck­land nanofi­bre pro­ducer Rev­o­lu­tion Fi­bres. It found a niche in sup­ply­ing be­spoke ma­chines like The Iguana – mak­ing one-off, com­plex ma­chines both lo­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally. ac­tiVLayr uses col­la­gen ex­tracted from fish skins as a base in­gre­di­ent which is then com­bined with el­e­ments such as fruit ex­tracts and hyaluronic acid to make a 100 per cent nat­u­ral and sus­tain­ably sourced prod­uct. The Iguana trans­forms the col­la­gen and other ex­tracts into a sheet of nanofi­bre, which when ex­posed to wet skin dis­solves rapidly and re­leases the bioac­tives deep into the skin.

Mr Evans, Stafford co-founder, says skin­care and beauty is an in­dus­try he never ex­pected he would work in.

“When we started work­ing with Rev­o­lu­tion Fi­bres three years ago we knew noth­ing about elec­tro­spin­ning tech­nol­ogy. We built a small ‘pi­lot’ ma­chine two years ago for Rev­o­lu­tion Fi­bres that gave us suf­fi­cient knowl­edge on how an elec­tro­spin­ning ma­chine works, but the Iguana is on an­other level, I never thought we would be build­ing a ma­chine for an in­ter­na­tional beauty prod­uct but here we are, help­ing make a face mask that re­duces wrin­kles.”

The Iguana will en­able Rev­o­lu­tion Fi­bres to quadru­ple its ex­ist­ing pro­duc­tion out­put, with ca­pac­ity to in­crease scale in the fu­ture. The com­pany has large or­ders for ac­tiVLayr in Asia, and an in­creased de­mand for nanofi­bre prod­ucts from a di­verse range of sec­tors, in­clud­ing For­mula One racing teams and the aerospace in­dus­try.

Pho­tos / Sup­plied

From left: Op­er­a­tions man­ager, Rev­o­lu­tion Fi­bres, Brent Tucker; CEO, Rev­o­lu­tion Fi­bres, Iain Hosie; Stafford En­gi­neer­ing, co-founder Roger Evans.

The Iguana ex­tracts pure col­la­gen from hoki skins.

The in-de­mand beauty prod­uct ac­tivLayr dis­solves into the skin when wa­ter is ap­plied.

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