New spin on fish skins
Local engineering firm finds unexpected niche in luxury skincare industry
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.
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.