PDM's blockbuster range of waterproof cast and wound protectors

Precision Drippings Manufacturing (PDM) is a family-run business that was established in Bristol in 1964.

As a contract manufacturer of dipped rubber component parts, you could be forgiven for not instantly recognising the PDM brand name – though the company did put the s-t-r-e-t-c-h into Stretch Armstrong, an iconic action figure popular with children in the 1970s and 80s that’s currently enjoying a Netflix revival.

Now, in addition to the bespoke rubber solutions it continues to provide for a range of manufacturing industries, PDM has well and truly put itself on the consumer map with Bloccs – a range of waterproof cast and dressing protectors that are taking their market by storm.

A family business through and through, the product concept for Bloccs came about after an injury to one of the company directors’ children who, having suffered a broken arm, found it difficult washing, bathing and swimming whilst wearing a cast.

The PDM team used their expertise to come up with a solution and the idea for Bloccs was born.

A great British manufacturing success story, PDM was awarded the Queen’s Award for excellence in innovation in 2016 following 4 years of exponential growth, which saw the business secure an Amazon.co.uk category bestseller in the process.

Bloccs’ products are also stocked by high street stalwarts such as Boots and Lloyds Pharmacy.

After experiencing rapid growth across the UK and Europe, PDM approached Business West in 2015 as they began to explore new overseas markets and distribution networks in the US and Australia.

Douglas King, director at PDM, commented:

“When we first contacted Business West to obtain advice regarding exporting documentation, we didn’t quite anticipate just how far they’d be able to take us on our exporting journey.

“Not only did they help us with our documentation, they also provided us with comprehensive training, planning and support to grow our business in hard to navigate overseas markets, for which I am truly grateful.

“Being part of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce was the perfect platform to discover the range of services offered by Business West,” continued Douglas. “We have used various services including international market research, e-commerce and digital marketing advice, trade show and market visit support.

“We were introduced to Business West exporting programmes and this gave us access to an International Trade Adviser who provided invaluable support and guidance that has helped us to greatly increase our export sales.

“We are really proud of the success of the Bloccs waterproof cast protector we have designed, manufactured and marketed and are delighted that Bloccs’ customers thank us daily via email, our website, on the phone and social media channels. Membership of the Business West Chamber of Commerce definitely played a part in this.”

Now twelve months on since PDM received the hugely prestigious accolade of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise and Innovation for their Bloccs cast and wound protectors, business continues to boom.

Sales have grown by around 20% across the whole company, new product lines have been introduced and staff numbers have increased.

“We have Bloccs’ distributors in countries as far afield as Australia, New Zealand and the US and are delighted with the feedback, engagement and sales volume we’re getting,” said PDM Director Kate Richards.

Bloccs are credited with saving many a family holiday thanks to the waterproof protection they provide – enabling all ages to swim, bathe and shower normally. They also effectively cover wound dressings and PICC lines (used for intravenous medication).

Five years into their Bloccs journey and with more product development planned, it’s clear that the team at PDM are only just getting started.

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