From humble beginnings
In 1996, Rakem was founded by Francis Rafferty and operated from a small office in Bolton (near Manchester, UK). Today, Rakem is part of the Rakem Group, operating across a multimillion-pound site in the neighbouring town of Bury.
Rakem specializes in supplying raw materials such as titanium dioxide (TiO2), clay and polymers into the coatings industry. A wide and diverse portfolio covers a variety of industries including adhesives, environmental, construction, plastics, pharmaceuticals and paper.
Over the last 25 years Rakem’s reputation has grown within the chemical industry. Today the company is headed up by Francis’ three sons; Kevin, Eugene and Kieran. The company has always prided itself on its family business ethos and strives to treat all customers, suppliers and staff equally. Known for world class leading pigments, Rakem aims to be the UK’s number one supplier of raw materials into the coatings industry.
Can you imagine a world without pigment?
Day to day, we use objects and often have no idea how they have been made. Many people do not realise how common TiO2 is in everyday items. From sun cream to paracetamol, to paints and plastics – if it is white or opaque, there is a high chance it contains TiO2.
At Rakem, TiO2 is the number one selling pigment. It is used in the manufacturing of all paints, plastics and inks made in the UK. The company also has a range of products that complement the use of TiO2 in formulations. The company has used TiO2to grow all of its current businesses, from the paints produced in Maker to the by-product being sold on to the construction industry by Cemkem.
2011 saw the birth of a unique company, Maker Industrial. Specializing in toll manufacturing, Maker formulates and manufactures customer blends using Rakem’s raw materials, such TiO2. Using Rakem’s raw materials ensures the highest quality pigments are used in a variety of water-based blends, and gives the manufacturer a competitive edge as the supply chain is shortened and secure.
Maker Industrial also manufactures Cemkem’s range of cementitious additives. Formed in 2016, Cemkem distributes the novel lithium carbonate replacement range of Lithkem. Currently the product is one of a kind and changing the way manufacturers of building products formulate their blends, not only reducing the cost of raw materials but giving cement-based products superior qualities and finishes.
At the core of the Rakem Group is innovation, from distribution to manufacturing we value our innovative products, blends and raw materials.
The company has the ability to test its raw materials and customers’ products in house. This enables the quick and efficient testing of finished products. Customers are also invited to the labs and have the opportunity to test their own products to Rakem’s standards.
In 2017 Rakem began work on a multi-million-pound research and development facility. Three buildings house specialized labs for both liquid and powder testing.
From a small team of just 12 to over 40 employees, in the last 18 months The Rakem Group has grown into a leading distributor and manufacturer in the North West. In November 2018, their success was recognised again, this time by their local Bury Council who presented them with the Outstanding Achievement Award. Constantly growing and looking at ways to expand, the Group aim to continue providing jobs for the local community.
Continuing to give back to their town the Group joined the local Corporate Challenge, starting with £50 with the aim to make as much money as possible. Through various events and challenges as a team they raised over £30,000 for Bury Hospice. Annually they sponsor the Pride of Bury awards and continue to support various sports teams locally.
Innovation and people are at the center of the Group’s values. Over the next 12 months they aim to become the number one distributor of raw materials and toll manufacturing services, providing additional jobs in the local area and solutions for customers nationwide.
Hydropak, the company’s newest division, will provide Private Label solutions, taking a customer’s idea on paper to a fully formulated product, branded and ready to become a market leader on shelves up and down the country.
The Rakem Group Ltd, Irwell House, Wellington St, Bury BL8 2BD
T: +44 (0) 161 762 0044