England's Pipe Coil Technology Ltd. is preparing to set up its first overseas manufacturing operation.
A subsidiary, Pipe Coil Technology Inc., will open Oct. 1 in the Cleveland suburb of Highland Heights, Ohio, officials said during an Aug. 13 interview at Plastics News offices in Akron.
Managing Director Gordon Fiddes said the Wallsend, England, parent company, which was formed in 1993 to design and supply coiling equipment for high density polyethylene pipe, exports about one-third of its products to North America.
For a large number of the products we're moving into, which are bigger, more expensive bits of kit, it really would not be feasible to manufacture them in the U.K. and ship them to North America. So this really allows us access to new markets in North America and consolidates our position in the plastics sector, he said.
Pipe Coil provides coiling, packaging and handling machinery for the manufacture of pipe, hose, tube and conduit; sub-sea flexible lines; and wire rope and cable.
Its 20,000-square-foot U.S. facility, which is being sublet from a metal fabricating company, will be configured similarly to the original Wallsend plant, which has 56-ton lift capacity and 40-foot crane beams, Fiddes said.
The initial U.S. investment is for $100,000 and the Ohio plant will employ 10 by the end of its first year of operation, he said.
As we've steadily grown sales in North America, we've reached the point where it makes really good sense to have a manufacturing base and establish a separate company in the U.S. that serves North and South America, he said.
Locating in the greater Cleveland area made sense because of its proximity to large customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Illinois, as well as good availability of trained labor, Fiddes said.
Pipe Coil Technology recently has seen increased U.S. demand for conduit as well as for medical and automotive tubing, said Bryan Friend, vice president of sales and marketing for North America.
We see ourselves as the technology leader in coiling, not just for the plastics sector, which we've traditionally been involved with, but also sub-sea cable and wire rope. What we're about is high-technology, high-end equipment and automation, Fiddes said.
Pipe Coil Technology's annual sales are about 10 million pounds ($15.4 million), he said. About 75 percent of the company's products are exported. The firm employs 40 in England.