A Black Country manufacturer is setting its sights on a share of the £60bn nuclear sector after securing a new funding boost.
Alloy Wire, which makes round, flat, shaped profile and electrical resistance wires in a range of exotic nickel alloys, has become one of the first companies in the West Midlands to start the Fit For Nuclear (F4N) journey.
The Brierley Hill-based firm will benefit from a £10,000 grant to help it develop a new strategy for targeting this market and ensuring it meets exacting health and safety and performance standards required by the major contractors.
It is anticipated that this funding – combined with ongoing support from manufacturing experts at the Business Growth Service – will unlock nearly £750,000 of potential contracts.
Mark Venables, Managing Director, commented: “Some of the specialist wire we produce is used within component parts, seals and in springs destined for the nuclear sector – especially where they need to operate effectively in corrosive and intense high temperature environments.“
With £60bn of civil build projects and billions more involved in de-commissioning existing plants, there is a significant opportunity for us to grow our sales from 8% of our current turnover.”
He continued: “It’s not the easiest sector to penetrate so when we decided we want to do more, we turned to Fit For Nuclear for additional support to help us review our operations and identify where we could make improvements.
“The process to gain funding was extremely rigorous and encompassed every aspect of the business, including strategy, design, leadership, process, quality management and health and safety.”
Alloy Wire will spend the next five months working its way through the Fit For Nuclear programme, working with assessor Huw Jenkins and expert consultants Start 2 Finish Marketing and Initiative Quality and Safety Ltd.
The initial focus will be on developing a strategy that identifies the firm’s key strengths for attracting new work, including technical experience, fast lead times and an ability to deliver bespoke solutions in a range of exotic alloys.
With the additional funding, the company has started to produce a nuclear specific brochure/website and is looking to attend a number of exhibitions to showcase its capabilities.
“We have been supplying the nuclear sector for more than 17 years, typically at tier 3 or 4. As we have invested in new technology and skills, there is definite scope for us to get involved in civil build projects and also in components that can be used when decommissioning reactors.”
Established in 1946, Alloy Wire is a world leader in the manufacture of precision drawn round wire, flat wire and shaped wire in a comprehensive range of high performance and exotic Nickel alloys.
The company supplies wire from 0.025mm (.001”) to 21mm (.827”) and currently works with 4000 customers in 15 sectors.
Its extensive stockholding of exotic materials, ability to provide small batch quantities and 2 to 3 week lead times has helped it establish a global reputation that sees the company’s products used in more than 15 sectors and in 45 countries across the world.
Huw Jenkins, Fit For Nuclear Assessor, concluded: “We are delighted to be engaging with Mark and his team in helping it target more opportunities in the nuclear sector.
“There is a definite desire to pursue more UK content and Alloy Wire is already delivering world class performance to clients in automotive, aerospace and oil and gas, so F4N will help it understand what it needs to do to secure more orders in nuclear.”
Fit For Nuclear (F4N) has been developed by the Nuclear AMRC with the support of its nuclear industry partners, and is delivered to businesses in England in partnership with the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), now part of the Business Growth Service.
The expanded Fit For Nuclear programme, which is supported by the Regional Growth Fund, aims to help UK manufacturers measure their capabilities against industry standards and take the necessary steps to close any gaps.