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Mayor confident Acma will recover

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/01/2017

Upper Hutt City Council will work with the owners of Acma Industries as they recover from a devastating fire at their premises, says Mayor Wayne Guppy.

He says he knew the founder of the business, Alan Bowmar, who passed away on New Year's Day and has been in touch with the family since the fire.

The Fire Service was called to the factory in Montgomery Cres in Clouston Park shortly before 7pm on Friday.

The large industrial building was well alight and substantial resources were used to bring the fire under control. No one was injured.

Mr Guppy says the family is working to establish the cause of the fire, and he "absolutely" expects the business to continue.

"It is a family business - they're great people who have been successful through hard work," Mr Guppy says.

They succeeded with great determination and managed to change as the world changed, he said.

When Alan Bowmar founded Acma in 1978, Acma was a producer of foam seating and head rests for the automotive industry, and its major customer was General Motors, which had a car assembly plant at Trentham.

In a business profile put together by the council Alan's son, CEO John Bowmar, says as customers closed down or moved offshore, the company shifted away from commodity products.

Experts in chemistry and specialists in polyurethane, Acma develops formulations to produce a range of low and high density, soft or hard, foam which is moulded into various shapes.

It currently produces fire retardant seating for trains, safety tiles to protect the elderly in Singapore and Sweden, foam seals for sleep apnoea masks made in Mexico and foam underlay for flooring installers in New Zealand.

It operates eight robots, laser cutters, laminators and large scale printers and about 85 per cent of its products are exported.

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