DESPITE the restrictions imposed by Covid-19, a small business has demonstrated that it is still possible to access new international markets.

Benson Viscometers, based in Pembrokeshire (Haverfordwest), has successfully remotely installed one of its clinical analysers in a prestigious laboratory in the USA.

This is the company’s first installation in North America and looks set to be the start of an exciting new chapter for the company.

Benson Viscometers designs and manufactures quality-assured clinical viscometers and blood measuring equipment, used primarily by the NHS and private laboratories in the UK and Ireland. The plasma viscosity test looks for abnormal proteins in blood.

It is a highly reliable marker, used to assist in the diagnosis of a range of conditions, most notably those that stimulate an inflammatory response and haematological malignancies that generate paraproteins, such as rheumatoid arthritis, myeloma, temporal arteritis and hyperviscosity.

Whilst the test is widely used and recognised in the UK, there is less awareness of its potential in the international medical arena.

Benson Viscometers is hoping to change that, and the new set-up in the US is an important step and the connection between hyperviscosity and Covid-19 is accelerating interest from America.

The company had been due to go out in April to install the equipment.

However, when the Covid-19 crisis hit, travel restrictions made this not possible.

Undeterred, the installation has now been achieved through remote access by linking a team of engineers in Wales and those from the laboratory in the USA. By sending a webcam with the analyser, both teams were able to view the installation as it progressed.

A family-run business, Benson Viscometers is an example of a modern British manufacturing company that is punching above its weight on the global stage. Through innovation and perseverance, it has created and sustained a business which is now undoubtedly a world-leader in its field.

Founded in 1999, Benson Viscometers has established a loyal customer base, building a reputation for technical innovation, engineering excellence and exemplary customer service.

Company founder and designer of the clinical viscometer, Bernie Benson, believes passionately that this is due to a combination of two things, both of which are the result of being a small, family-run company.

“First and foremost,” says Bernie, “it’s because we care. Every member of the Benson Viscometers team personally cares about our responsibility to give an accomplished service in every aspect of our operation. Secondly, our size means that we have the flexibility and ingenuity to satisfy individual customer requirements and to respond and react to the dynamic changes we face.”

Benson Viscometers is a reminder that manufacturing in the UK has a growing and important future as a key element of the nation’s economy if we pursue those areas where we have a scientific advantage and technical lead.

With their head office in Pembrokeshire, they are continuing to contribute to the local economy and local job creation at a time when the main industry of the area – tourism – is adversely affected due to current Covid-19 restrictions.

Lorna Chun, General Manager, says, “We are truly fortunate to be able to continue to create new jobs for local people, and fully employ our existing staff productively. In the last few months, Benson Viscometers has recruited 7 new full-time members of staff and is currently recruiting for additional positions.”

Benson Viscometers is looking forward to further growth as the international market opens up, following their first installation in the US.