A manufacturing firm in Coventry is being drenched with praise after producing a range of accessible shower cubicles.
CMAK (UK), based at the o ld Courtaulds site on Foleshill Road, makes glassfibre reinforced plastics (GRP) mouldings and spin-off prod-ucts after shifting focus from the automotive industry.
The firm, founded in 1999, saw production fall due to the decline of the sector, and spotted a gap in the market for specialist shower cubicles.
CMAK currently manufactures a range of products including architectural mouldings, motor home components, truck and bus parts, domestic products and even small boats.
But it is their specialist shower cubicles for the elderly and disabled which are making waves in the manufacturing sector.
CMAK, which has a #2 million turnover, is currently manufacturing 40 shower cubicles a week.
Carl Bentley, business development manager at CMAK, said: "This is the only product of its type in the world.
"We decided to design and manufacture the cubicles as our experience in the production of disabled accessible vehicles and also regular shower cubicles enabled us to design a product that would fill a gap in the market."
CMAK, which employs 50 staff, received #19,000 funding from Business Link for the product development stage of the shower cubicles.
Demand for the cubicles, which are designed to help people to maintain their independence and dignity, has increased rapidly with them being used domestically and commercially in care homes, hospitals, leisure centres, hotels and golf courses.
In the public sector, local authorities in Coventry, Birmingham, Warwick, Cheltenham and Dudley have begun installing the showers.
In addition to its expanding array of products, the firm continues to supply engineering design and development, composite manufacture, pattern and mould making, automotive paint, steel fabrications and vehicle conversion services to its clients.
For the automotive industry it makes various GRP/composite production components such as bumpers, side skirts and wind deflectors, in addition to prototype development work.
It also makes various GRP/composite components for motor homes, trains and buses, in association with also providing vehicle conversion/adaptation services for manufacturers.
Mr Bentley added: "Due to the downturn in the automotive industry in the last five years we were forced to look outside the sector for alternatives. The important thing we are doing now is branching out into other industries."
Business Link adviser Harry Balmer praised the business for adapting its expertise to explore other markets.
He said: "CMAK has demonstrated that the investment of significant sums in new product development can provide exciting future potential for new sales growth, through offering wider market potential rather than sub-contracting.
"The company has used innovation and a network of resources within Coventry, including obtaining advice from providers of care services to the elderly in order to develop the product to suit customer needs.
"The new range of shower cubicles offer an opportunity to both CMAK and the nation's increasing elderly population."