Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

Staff from Eggleston Steel being given a demonstration of the LVD pressbrake machine at the company's facility in Banbury.

ONE of Derby's oldest companies is weathering the political storm clouds by preparing for its biggest-ever investment in new equipment.

Steel stockholder Eggleston Steel, which can trace its history back to 1809, is defying the industrial inertia by planning to spend almost £1.5m to keep it at the cutting edge of its sector.

It is buying three new machines for its premises at Alfreton Road – a laser cutting machine, a pressbrake which folds steel plate, and a guillotine. Costing £850,000,  this batch is expected to be installed by June.

It matches the previous biggest investment of machinery – the most advanced laser profiling machine in the country – made five years ago.

The company hopes to then buy a plate processing machine which will cut steel using a plasma process while also being able to drill, tap, mill and counter-sink plates.

Eggleston managing director Richard Hewitt said this machine uses additional capabilities that are a new concept, something the company does not offer.

“It will enhance our capacity and hopefully open new markets for us,” he said.

It hopes to have this equipment, costing another £500,000, installed by the end of the year. Together with new software and other ancillary spending the total cost will be almost £1.5m.

Eggleston provides steel for customers working on a DIY project to full loads for national companies working in the engineering, fabrication and construction sectors.

Its products are used in a wide range – from fire escapes to ducting for power stations and structural steel for buildings

Three-quarters of the steel sold is processed in bespoke fashion in some way for customers – sawn, guillotined, folded or profiled into specific shapes, anything from a weather vane fascia to giant sculptures weighing tonnes.

In addition to existing customers, the company hopes that the new equipment will lead to new markets across the rail, automotive, aerospace industries and agriculture.

Richard said the initial items were being bought from Belgian-based company LVD, a new supplier for them, but well-known in the trade.

“They took four of us over to their factory to show off what they make and do. We were impressed with what they had to offer and it gave us confidence moving forward.

“Like us, they are a family-owned business which struck a chord.

“Despite the current political situation and problems facing British industry we are determined to continue moving forward and investing in machinery and staff.

“These investments in machinery will increase productivity and the quality of the finished product as well as profitability. We have created two additional jobs prior to delivery to give us a head start.”

 


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