Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Managing director Mark Carter explains that when the BP Chemicals plant in Baglan Bay near Swansea began to wind down its operations in 1994, he was determined that its hard-won safety experience should not be lost.
He says: "We compiled a very comprehensive information base by speaking to the people there, and that's essentially what we've been marketing ever since. Obviously, there have been some technological changes, but it's really Baglan Bay knowledge that we're exporting across the world."
This knowledge base is constantly being updated. RAP International's flagship software, RAPnet, links up to a global community of around 10,000 users at more than 140 installations - including ones in the US, where the company has a permanent presence.
Whenever an accident or near-miss occurs on any site, or there is a new piece of legislation, it is logged and added to the database. Then, whenever someone attempts a similar task, they are offered guidance to avoid errors that have been made elsewhere, and advice on how to comply with the new law.
With the help of the Welsh Government, RAP International gained its first international footholds in China and Malaysia. It now trades in more than 30 countries, and its client list includes such giants as PetroChina and Valero as well as BP.
The company, which employs 24 people, recently moved to Swansea's Urban Village - a business hub that is helping to revitalise the city's High Street. Having found new premises, its current priority is to diversify its client base beyond the oil and gas sector.
Mark says: "As part of this strategy, we are targeting steelmaking, which is very much part of Wales' heritage, as well as water and electricity. But no matter whether it is steelmaking or petrochemicals, we work hard to ensure that our customers achieve all their aims with our software. We were thrilled when Borealis, one of our multinational polymer-manufacturing clients with sites all over the world, acknowledged us as one of their top suppliers."