01 Oct 2016
A recent Business News article in the Hertfordshire Mercury featured a product that we manufacture at Replas on behalf of Marxman Ltd, and was a big hit on Dragon's Den.
A family-run business has played a part in a couple's success on hit TV show Dragons' Den.
Viewers may have seen Martin and Jenny Chard from Barnet earn support last month for the Marxman pen, a patented tool that marks fixing positions on walls.
But they probably are not aware Hertford business Replas Machinery helped bring the concept to fruition.
Martin and Jenny's product, which was demonstrated on the BBC show, sprays a dot of green chalk through a plastic nozzle, allowing drill positions to be marked accurately on to any surface.
The dragons were so impressed that all of them bid to invest, with Deborah Meaden's £50,000 investment eventually sealing the deal.
To make prototypes and test the concept, Martin was supported throughout the development of the moulding tools by Replas Machinery, which is based in Mimram Road in Hertford.
Derek Cannell and sons Richard and Paul, who have run the company since 1981, specialise in the design and development of new products by making tools in-house and managing the full production, assembly and packaging process.
They helped design the nozzles so they could be successfully moulded.
Richard said: "We are delighted that Martin and Jenny's hard work and perseverance is now paying off.
"It was clear to all of us that the product is unique in solving a common problem, and this has been validated in the Dragons' Den."
The idea for the invention came to Martin in 2007 while he was installing a sink in his job as a maintenance engineer.
Following a patent search, the Chard family have since invested more than £100,000 in obtaining patents and preparing to go the market.
"It was great to find such a company on our doorstep with an in-house toolmaker," said Martin.
"We can make changes literally overnight allowing us to react instantly to market."
Marxman is available from select DIY stores and online at www.marxmanpen.co.uk