Portadown company F3 Engineering Ltd has developed a range of innovative temperature controlled baths for the sports sector, which it is marketing under its F3 HydroPool brand.
The HydroPool products are used by sports people to aid muscular recovery after intense activity.
The products came about when a local gymnastics coach approached F3 Engineering, a manufacturer of stainless steel products, with an idea for the baths which he had seen in Australia.
With research and development support from Invest Northern Ireland the company quickly got to work and developed HydroPool Classic, followed by two further products, HydroPool Mobile and HydroPool POD.
Recognising the export potential of the products, the company sought advice from Invest NI and subsequently exhibited on the Invest NI stand at the International Trade Fair for Amenity Areas, Sports and Pool Facilities in Cologne in October 2011.
Invest NI provided in-market support including help with developing a targeted mailing list, language assistance and analysing the competition.
The trade fair gave F3 Engineering access to key suppliers, distributors, decision makers and influencers and as a result it secured a deal to supply the HydroPool POD to the Olympic Training Centre in Frankfurt, Germany.
Alan Boal, Operations Director at F3 Engineering Ltd, says: “At the inception of our F3 HydroPool range we envisioned our products being used in international markets as we believed they, especially the POD, ticked all the boxes for exporting. With this sale to Germany this vision is now a reality.”
Mark Bleakney, Manager of Invest NI’s Southern Regional Office, says: “We’ve been working with F3 Engineering for a number of years to help it develop and market the HydroPool range. This export success will raise the company’s profile in the European market and act as a springboard towards further sales.”
The export support provided to F3 Engineering is part of Invest NI’s Boosting Business initiative.
Alan Boal concluded: “Invest NI’s support was invaluable. This is just the beginning and we hope to enhance our relationship with Invest NI as its continued support will be vital to our future exporting success.”
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