Sensitisers (Western) Ltd was incorporated in 1973. We began trading in the coating of mill reels in 1974. The founding directors were Peter Readings, Jack Stevens, Brendon Bartlett and Robin Taylor.
Our first products were Drafting Film, Sepialine Diazo Tracing Paper, Double Matt Sepialine Diazo & Double Matt Blackline Diazo. Although we only had one coating machine, demand for work was high and more buildings were quickly constructed to cope with the quick growth.
Our product Sepialine LP (lightproof) set a new standard and we gained great recognition. These products were characterized by their excellent line definition and visual density, with industry leading background cleanliness, resisting oxidation & light discolouration.
With such qualities, Sensitisers diazo films performed better than the originals they were imaged from. A second coating machine was constructed, and we still only employed 10 full time staff.
Kernow Coatings Ltd is incorporated and begins to trade in the conversion of mill reels.
Diazo Redline and Blackline aluminised speciality films and cardstock introduced.
In 1981 the company has 50 full time employees, demonstrating incredible growth. This expansion requires another building to be purchased.
Sensitisers starts manufacturing translucent films, designed to rapidly dry plotting inks without skips or nib clogging
Our first laminating machine is constructed Another unit is built to house the expansion
Sensitisers Research Ltd is established Purchase of Deepcut Property.
Production of high density Diazo Phototool films for printed circuit board manufacture commenced.
We made our first brave venture out of reprographics and into studio light filters.
“Stabildraft”, heat-stabilised translucent polyester films for large format Xerography launched.
We established our own logistics fleet named TDS.
Nick Hale is appointed Finance Director and Clive Blockley is appointed Sales and Marketing Director.
In recognition of its growing export business, Sensitisers Western Ltd changes its name to Sensitisers International Ltd
Sensitisers makes a key strategic decision to start transitioning its formula book to aqueous chemistry-the company launches its first water based coated product, “Kernowplot” Another coating machine is constructed.
Sensitisers Research develop new receptive surfaces, designed to absorb inks jetted from the new breed of Inkjet poltters.
“Kernow DesignJet” translucent films are introduced.
K Color logo is registered The small format laser printing market gathers pace.
Our first generation laser printable film is launched, “HydroCopy White”.
Another exciting development in business-manufacturing of Inkjet Gloss and Satin papers for full colour graphics commences.
A further coating machine is constructed to cope with the level of work being introduced
Our unique Window Cling adhesive is developed
Sensitisers Group Ltd is incorporated and becomes the holding company for the group.
Peter Newell is appointed Finance Director, James Greenwood becomes Business Development Director, and Mike Bond is appointed Operations Director.
Sensitisers celebrates its 25th Anniversary.
A new product range of papers and films specifically for desktop inkjet printers is launched. In-line heat-stabilisation commences on one of our coating lines.
Our wide format inkjet profile expands with new “Stoplight” roll-up and pop-up banner films and floor graphics for exhibition displays and promotion.
Sensitisers International Ltd begins to trade under the name Kernow Coatings Ltd. Sensitiser Research relocates. New Research facility established in Penryn.
A new coating machine is constructed enabling faster output of aqueous coated products and the ability to coat and laminate to 1600mm widths.
Our first product for UV Inkjet printing is launched.
Kernow Research develops a new generation of toner receptive surfaces for a major OEM.
HydroSol launches, creating a new range of aqueous coated films for solvent inkjet.
Large format inkjet evolves with new hardware running solvent based inks, for improved outdoor durability.
International growth continues with the start of operations in North America.
The HydroPrint range quickly expands with clear, translucent, and coloured films being developed.
A new Pemco sheeter helps us keep up to speed with the extra workflow.
HydroPrint success continues with 2nd generation chemistry with a new conductive core A new Elite slitter aids our growth.
HydroSol STL is launched, a market leading banner film which eliminates the need to laminate.
Kevin Boyes appointed Operations Director, Phil Bartlett becomes Technical Director. Kernow North America Inc is incorporated and begins to trade
HydroPrint 3rd generation products with high salt water resistance are introduced.
HydroSol 205STLR, our Satin Textured Lightblock roller banner media with 30% ore-cycled PET wins the SGIA product of the year
Kernow Coatings gains British Standards 5609 Certification for its HydroPrint marine immersible permanent adhesive label product 060HWM14.
Research and Development expands with a new environmentally controlled test suite.
Kernow Coatings now has 100 full-time staff.
We celebrated our 40th anniversary with a large dinner and dance for all our staff and former directors at a local hotel.
Our 4th generation HydroPrint chemistry with high alcohol and cleaning solution resistance is introduced.
The HydroPrint trademark is registered in the USA Bosy Colak is appointed group Sales Director.
Our research lab underwent a large expansion to make way for new pilot coaters.
A year of major changes, following on from our 40th anniversary, we undergo a whole new rebranding along with a completely new website
We have our biggest ever presence at FESPA, highlighting our specialist Wide-Format Latex and Solvent Media
We start a long term plan of investments, highlighted on our new Investments page of the website
A new state-of-the-art pilot coater has been installed to deliver production quality without the need for full-scale manufacturing.
Launch of our new product KernowPrint MetaliK – an exciting range of highly reflective silver, gold and copper board suitable for dry toner print processes.
The KernowJet Wide Format range now includes:
KernowJet Interiors – non-woven wallcoverings specially developed for tough environments
KernowJet FloorSharK – an easy-to-apply and remove floor graphic film
KernowJet MetaliK – highly reflective silver, gold and rose-gold adhesive films
We invented our Cobalt™ Coating Technology, specifically designed for Hewlett-Packard’s excellent range of digital printer presses; HP Indigo, and launched our own range of print media called KernowPrint® for HP Indigo Driven by Cobalt™ which includes white and coloured synthetics, and expanded to include metallic and clear films for HP Indigo printing.
We appointed Garry Hume our new Operations Director. Garry worked for over six years as our Business Development Manager and has vast experience in the coating industry in both an operational capacity and from a technical perspective.
Kernow has been expanding its international business in Australia & New Zealand since 2018 and at the same time consolidating a partner network throughout Asia.
With more than 50 years of experience developing world-class synthetics for the print market, Kernow Coatings has taken pride in a long history of quality, precision, and innovation built into every one of our products.