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14 June 2024

Export Deals Offer ‘Limitless Possibilities’ for Manufacturer

A string of international deals has seen a Baglan manufacturer upscale production by 3000% and increase headcount by 50%.

Hexigone Inhibitors specialises in corrosion inhibitors which help to reduce corrosion damage on boats, vessels, cars, planes, oil tanks and buildings and have applications across a wide range of industries including construction, renewables, marine and aerospace.

The firm was founded by Dr Patrick Dodds in response to growing industry demand for safe alternatives to hexavalent chromate – the most widely used corrosion inhibitor – which was banned in Europe in 2019 as a known human carcinogen. Zinc phosphate inhibitors emerged as a replacement, but the manufacturing process for zinc phosphate is energy-intensive, involving strip-mined raw materials that can leach into the environment from the coating. Hexigone’s resource-conscious, high-performance alternative seeks to address this multi-trillion-pound global problem with its patented products.

The company launched its export strategy three years ago after being spun out of Swansea University. It has since signed a string of export deals in countries including India, Mexico, USA and across South and Central America, with a significant number more in the pipeline across the globe.

Dr Patrick Dodds, Founder at Hexigone Inhibitors, said:

“Exports now account for 90% of our turnover and since 2021 we have upscaled our manufacturing processes by 3000% and grown our headcount by 50%. We’re travelling all over the world to meet new clients and have some enormously exciting and significant deals about to go over the line.

“The industry is moving at a significant pace and the opportunities are endless when you consider that any metal asset needs coating for protection. However, it’s also an enormously secretive sector, with all clients insisting on the strictest confidentiality over all aspects of their operations in this space.

“India is a massive market for us. The growth rate is so rapid and the investment in their infrastructure is unrivalled. You cannot believe just how much is going on there. In fact regions where there are quicker decision making processes have become big markets for us. In the UK it can take more than four years to get a decision from a client, but in territories like India and Turkey, which we’re also entering, it’s less than 12 months from first conversations to completion.”

The Welsh Government has provided Hexigone with a range of support in recent years to help the business on its export journey, including financial backing and the opportunity to attend trade missions all around the world, enabling it to connect and build relationships with potential customers and partners in target markets.

Patrick said:

“Last year they supported us with attending the European Coatings Show in Nuremburg, as well as Paint India. They are also currently helping us to find distributors in Columbia via a consultant in the region who is doing background checks and assessing reputations in the local markets.”

In recent weeks Hexigone have also recently attended the American Coatings Show in Indianapolis and Paintistanbul and Turkcoat in Istanbul and later this summer they will also be attending the Latin American Coatings Show in Mexico City.

Patrick said:

“We’ve got a great product, we know that, so we need get it out there into as many markets and sectors as possible. The global export markets create limitless possibilities.”


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