Welcome to Eakin’s Historical Timeline. Rollover the images below for a brief history or click on the image for more detail.
Seeing customers with severe skin issues motivated Tom to make his own products.
As a pharmacist in Dundonald, just outside Belfast, Tom Eakin was meeting ostomy patients with problems on a daily basis. The first disposable ostomy pouches had just been manufactured to replace the uncomfortable re-usable rubber pouches. Although a positive step at the time, severe problems with skin irritation and leakage were reported with the new pouches. It was such problems that motivated Mr Eakin to design and make his own products and TG Eakin Ltd is registered.
For the next 3-4 years Tom investigated all aspects of ostomy pouches – design, materials, construction, even to the point of coating his own PVC film to make the pouch odour and rustle-proof.
Work continues on an adhesive to attach the pouches to the skin.
The formulation was being prepared in a small mixer, normally used in bakeries, which Tom had modified with a heating system to make the adhesive.
TG Eakin Ltd gets its first ever order for pouches from a local pharmacy.
Tom builds business by helping local people with chronic problems and in return learns a lot about the everyday issues that ostomates face.
A hospital called seeking help to dress a large abdominal wound and from this the ‘wound pouching’ concept was developed.
Skin friendly adhesive created
After much development, Tom creates a skin friendly adhesive which was designed to act as an interface between the pouch and the skin, having previously produced a highly sophisticated urostomy pouch that proved too expensive to manufacture despite being an exceptional product. Initial trials and user feedback was extremely positive and so Tom devised the concept of producing this adhesive as a separate stoma “Seal” rather than as the main hydrocolloid already attached to the bag. The Cohesive Seal was born and sales began in the UK through Midland Orthopedic (later known as Salt & Sons).
Automation was needed
Up until now Cohesive Seals were being cut manually but with a distribution channel now active in the UK, automation was needed. There were no “off the peg” machines to do such a job so Tom Eakin built an automatic cutting machine in his back yard and the increased production at reduced cost was the beginning of the product’s success.
As UK sales increased steadily, more factory space was needed.
Tom had originally bought a semi-detached house next door to his pharmacy to locate his first factory and a short time later a second terrace house next door was also purchased.
UK sales increased steadily
The company begins exporting, opening markets in Europe using individually appointed, exclusive distributors in each country.
Tom’s son, Jeremy Eakin, joins the company as Marketing Manager.
Expansion into Europe continues combined with a first glimpse into the US market.
Paul Eakin, joins the team as Operations Manager
Tom’s other son, Paul Eakin, joins the team as Operations Manager. As demand for the products grows steadily, TG Eakin Ltd move to a new purpose built factory just a few miles away in Ballystockart, Co. Down and this remains the headquarters of the Eakin Group today. During this year, a range of Fistula & Wound Pouches were also developed.
Cohesive sales continue to grow steadily
Cohesive sales continue to grow steadily and progress is made into more new markets. This requires an extension to the factory premises at Ballystockart.
Introduction of Cohesive Slims
This year saw the introduction of Cohesive Slims. They offered patients the same great skin protection but a slimmer profile. Tom Eakin retires as Managing Director but remains as Chairman of the company. Jeremy Eakin is appointed as the new Managing Director.
New product range introduced
Eakin Stoma Support Belts are introduced to the product range.
R&D Department Established
A Research & Development Department is established to enable Eakin to bring exciting new skin friendly solutions to market.
TG Eakin Ltd acquire Pelican Healthcare Ltd
TG Eakin Ltd acquire Pelican Healthcare Ltd, a Cardiff based ostomy manufacturer, and Paul Eakin is appointed as Managing Director of Pelican Healthcare Ltd.
Eakin subsequently launch the new Pelican Pouch range of ostomy pouches across many of our international markets.
The same year, Cohesive Paste is also launched, based on the same skin friendly formulation as Cohesive Seals.
An advanced range of Eakin Wound Pouches was also introduced this year.
Office and factory premises extended
The office and factory premises at Ballystockart are extended once again to coincide with the company’s significant growth.
New accessory products are introduced to the range
New accessory products are introduced to the Eakin range such as the Surround Skin Protector, which offer complete protection by providing a waterproof and bacterial barrier for the skin.
Another new product launched is a silicone based Release Adhesive Remover, which allows pain free removal of pouches. The fresh minty smell helps to mask odours and enhance user confidence and discretion.Eakin Cohesive celebrates it’s 30th birthday! Tom travels to WCET/WOCN conference to meet nurses from around the world.
Now exporting to over 30 countries worldwide, TG Eakin Ltd receive the Queens Award for Enterprise for Exporting Achievement, Northern Ireland’s Best Small/ Medium Business accolade and is named as one of Ireland’s Best Managed Companies. As well as operating a successful business, the focus of this family-owned and managed Group remains the improved quality of life for people with a stoma.
Following on from the new-look Eakin website that was launched in January 2011, we completed the rebrand of our packaging in 2012.
We no longer use specific colours to represent product groups. From our research we know that the strongest element of our brand is the Eakin name itself which we have given more prominence on the new packaging. Each pack features a crisper, cleaner purple and grey look, with easier to read labelling.
2012 saw the launch of a new product in the Eakin range, Protect™ Barrier Film. Eakin Protect™ is an advanced barrier film designed to protect the skin against harmful bodily fluids, excoriation and harsh medical adhesives. With its quick drying formula Protect™ dries in seconds to form a durable silicone film on the skin. And with added Vitamin E, Protect™ will nourish and moisturise the skin whilst at the same time providing the optimum in skin protection.
TG Eakin Ltd came out tops in an all-island competition to identify best business practice. Comber-based TG Eakin Ltd was crowned the 'Ulster Bank Business Achiever 2011' at the all-island final of the awards, which took place in April 2012.
Factory extension complete
The factory extension is now complete. We have created a short time lapse video of the progress outside the factory. Visit our YouTube channel tgeakinltd15 to see how it has transformed! We are excited to reveal a first look inside our new clean room and a storage area. The storage shelves are currently being put in place. To give you an idea of the size of the raw material and finished goods storage area ... at full capacity, it will hold 1,200 pallets! It is roughly half a kilometre from one end of the factory to the other!