Visitors from around the world joined Street Crane to celebrate the opening of its £3m hoist factory on September 11th.
Street is the UK’s largest crane and hoist manufacturer, and around 70% of its £35m turnover is derived from the sale of hoists and crane kits to overseas manufacturers.
“We currently have the strongest order book in our history,” explained managing director, Andrew Pimblett. “We have worked hard to build an international network of nearly 90 overseas distributors in 48 countries.
"To support our global network we have continually invested in the business, creating products such as our ZX hoist range to meet mainstream lifting needs up to 80 tonnes. This is a product specifically developed for world markets and is designed to conform to multiple international standards and be adaptable to demanding end user requirements.”
Though Street Crane operates in a world market dominated by major international competitors, the company’s policy of not building cranes overseas but supplying high technology hoists and electro-mechanical components to other independent crane makers, has really paid off.
“This trade is mutually beneficial, because our overseas partners are no longer reliant on the same major multinationals for hoists and components who are also their competitors," says Andrew. "In addition they can offer their customers a more unique crane. Increases in hoist production volume that we achieve by exporting gives us scale economies in our home market and supports the research and development that is so essential to stay ahead.”
The new hoist factory will give the company capacity to increase wire rope hoist production from a current level of 2,500 hoists to 3,200 hoists per year. The company anticipates that, based on current growth, a second shift will be needed by 2016 to double production – bringing further jobs.
Over 10% of Street Crane’s 200-strong staff work in research and development. This involves the development and refinement of cranes and hoists and also bespoke software for crane design and costing, which Street supplies to its overseas partners as part of its support package.