Established in 1869, Robinson Brothers competes across the world in fine chemicals and rubber accelerators. The company develops and manufactures a range of molecules, intermediates and substances to meet the challenges of a constantly changing global market. Responsiveness, flexibility and agility are key factors contributing to the company’s success. Today 67 per cent of its sales come from outside the UK. Family-owned and professionally managed, the company is regarded as a trusted partner by customers and suppliers alike. Robinson Brothers is currently celebrating 150 of years of business!
150 Years in Business
From its inception, the business has adapted to changing market trends. Robinson Brothers began in business by building and operating gas works throughout the UK. When local government took over the gas works, the brothers moved into tar distillation. After the tar works were absorbed by another business, they turned to chemical development and manufacturing. In the 1960s, the company began making gas odorant, which gives natural gas in the UK its distinctive smell. Robinson Brothers also started developing and producing fine chemical intermediates for use in drugs such as Tagamet and Zantac. All these activities are still important today.
With expertise in sulphur chemistry and handling hazardous chemicals, Robinson Brothers has gained a reputation as the company to approach for difficult and complex projects that are beyond the capabilities of our customers. Today, Robinson Brothers supply chemicals globally to the pharmaceutical, agrochemical, flavour and fragrance, food and beverage, electronics, performance and effect chemicals, rubber and latex industries. Platform technologies allow the company to supply to a diverse market range, and it is this diversity that has driven our growth.
Robinson Brothers has a long record of investing in research and development. The R&D department was set up in 1920 under an Oxford graduate in chemistry. Since then, the company has invested consistently in the recruitment, training and development of high-calibre chemists and chemical engineers. To meet customer specifications, the R&D team works closely with the technical sales team and the production team. As R&D Business Manager, Dr Bal Kalirai, says, “Building relationships with customers is very important.” Customers value the technical advice available from the sales team and having complete access to the research team.
As part of driving innovation in the chemical industry, Robinson Brothers has collaborated with universities and other stakeholders on funded projects for the development of safer chemical compounds. For example, in partnership with Aston University and the University of Milan, Robinson Brothers took part in the EU-funded Safe Rubber Project. The outcome was a new safe rubber accelerator, Robac SRM102, which is an effective replacement for Ethylene thiourea.
With a diverse product range and a worldwide customer base, Robinson Brothers has carved out a special niche within the industry. “Customers recognise our integrity, longevity, track record, phenomenal knowledge, drive for innovation and agility. Our greatest strength is our people, who have a tremendous work ethic and commitment to excellence”, said Adrian Hanrahan, Managing Director.