A Barnsley hose company, which already exports across Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, is about to move into the US and South American market.
Managers at Xtraflex Ltd, a manufacturer of flexible hosing, predict that the move to new markets will more than double turnover from £1.8 million to £4 million.
Xtraflex Ltd cuts and assembles hoses to suit a range of applications including the pharmaceutical, marine, automotive, oil and food process industries. Its hosing is used in the manufacture of products such as cosmetics, chocolate and other food stuff.
The company already exports 1,000 specialised safety hoses a month for the American fire brigade. The new contracts will see it exporting 1.8 million metres of brake hosing to the US and Mexico, to be used in everything from motorbikes to armoured vehicles.
The company, which moved to new premises at Fallbank Industrial Estate in Dodworth in 2012, is being supported by Enterprising Barnsley, a European-funded programme delivered by Barnsley Council.
Managing director, Simon Cooper, said: “We love a challenge and there is always something innovative going on, so I’m delighted with the way the business is expanding.
“We are often able to use a single product to resolve problems in industries from Sheffield to Saudi Arabia.”
Since the move Xtraflex Ltd has spent £50,000 on new equipment and it has two automatic cutting machines on order.
Staffing has doubled from four to eight since 2012 and the company is about to take on a new graduate apprentice who will be learning all aspects of the business.
Xtraflex was set up by its parent manufacturing company, Xtraflex NV, in Belgium.
“We are committed to staying in Barnsley,” said Simon. “It offers us fantastic transport and communication links and supports our aspirations as an export company.
“Enterprising Barnsley has been incredibly helpful. They have helped us become better organised and we are introducing a lean manufacturing process, which is reducing waste and transforming us into a much more efficient company.
“Our new paperless office systems are saving us £500 a month on paper and ink alone.”
The Enterprising Barnsley programme is part financed by the Yorkshire and Humber European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013.
Enterprising Barnsley offers a wide range of free business support to small and medium-sized business with growth potential. The programme is supported financially by the European Union and has attracted £3,015,276 investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development, through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.
Andy Arnold, of Enterprising Barnsley, said: “We are delighted that Xtraflex is doing so well.
“We’ve spent a lot of time helping them to reorganise their systems and the physical layout of the building which is improving the flow of work through the factory and making them more efficient and cost effective.”