Reliable, FDA compliant, water system for Fisherman’s Friend manufacturing

The needs

The success of Fisherman’s Friend worldwide has meant several expansions to the manufacturing facility over the years. But exporting has made other demands: some countries require the product to meet with the regulations of the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) and the Medical Health Regularity Authority (MHRA). 

This means that water used in manufacture must comply with the water quality standards for Purified Water, that is conductivity <1.3μS/cm at 25°C, Total Organic Carbon <500ppb and total viable bacteria count <100cfu/ml. Lofthouse of Fleetwood has three separate production facilities, each supported by an Veolia Water Technologies validated water purification system.

Now they were installing another new production facility to meet expansion needs for new ‘zip’ packaging for the overseas market and, several million Fisherman’s Friends being consumed globally every year, reliability was top of the wish list. Once again, Lofthouse of Fleetwood turned to Veolia Water Technologies.


The solution

The main Fisherman’s Friend production facility, where water is used as an ingredient, is supplied with Purified Water by a Veolia Water Technologies OrionTM packaged water treatment solution system, whilst the sugar free facility has an IonPROTM LX system to supply up to 1000 litres/hr water for final rinse following cleaning. Veolia Water Technologies’ solution for the new Pharma suite facility was a second IonPROTM LX, together with full support provided by a 24 hour response service agreement and a ‘Disaster Recovery Plan’.

The results

The IonPROTM LX is fully compliant with FDA and MHRA regulations and, as Lofthouse of Fleetwood knows from experience, it is a very reliable plant. However, engineering section leader Paul Grassie is aware of the cost of lost production, so to ensure that all the water systems operate at peak performance he took out a five-year AQUAservice Diamond - 24 hour response service contract which covers all four plants. This means that Veolia Water Technologies’ engineer can prioritise any issues, reduce down time and minimise disruption to manufacturing.

The contract includes emergency breakdown cover, parts and consumables, media/membrane replacements, calibration and an in-depth annual report for regulatory compliance. By taking up a multi-year agreement, Lofthouse of Fleetwood benefit from fixed price for the duration, providing cost savings and reducing admin time.
In addition, Lofthouse of Fleetwood has registered under the Mobile Water Services ReACT scheme for disaster recovery planning. This is where modifications have been made to the inlet/outlet, so that in the event of a major failure, a mobile treatment plant can be on site, connected to the system and operational within a few hours.

The client

Lofthouse of Fleetwood have been making Fisherman’s Friend since 1865 when chemist James Lofthouse of Fleetwood in Lancashire (UK) first formulated a menthol and eucalyptus syrup. The company developed Fisherman’s Friend into the familiar lozenges which are now available in over a hundred countries around the world.

The enormous popularity and success of Fisherman’s Friend has led to Lofthouse of Fleetwood receiving the Queens Award to industry for Export Achievement on three separate occasions, along with many other awards for export success.