UK wire manufacturer reports European sales boost

A Black Country manufacturer has reported a major increase in European sales.

Alloy Wire International (AWI), which supplies round, flat and profile wire, has seen orders soar to nearly a third of its predicted £13m annual turnover, with the firm’s commitment to short lead times and security of supply securing a string of new clients.

Investment in creating a strong network of sales offices across the globe is really paying off, with local on-the-ground knowledge now present in 40 countries and proving crucial to building strong relationships in the automotive, aerospace, high value engineering, medical, oil and gas and nuclear sectors.

AWI’s shipping department also put in place a number of contingency plans with some of the world’s best transport carriers, ensuring its material can be anywhere in Europe within three weeks of the order being placed.

Tom Mander, managing director designate, commented: “We’ve seen all the newspaper headlines around Brexit and the complications it is causing, but we’re bucking the national trend it seems.

“Yes, it hasn’t been easy, and we’ve had to spend a lot of time and money in getting the processes right. However, the results speak for themselves with European sales up 20% over the last twelve months, underlining the importance of supply chain resilience.”

He continued: “A lot of our growth has come through our ability to meet supply requirements when we say we are going to do it. Our lead times are three weeks, and this is among some of the fastest in industry, thanks predominantly to our investment in 400 tonnes of stock at any one time, the quality of our production capabilities in the UK and our logistical operation.”

Alloy Wire International, which operates from two factories in the West Midlands and Yorkshire, has seen similar growth outside of Europe, with the buoyant oil and gas industry encouraging a major surge in North American business.

Demand for round and profile wire – manufactured in corrosion resistant and/or high temperature resistant alloys such as Inconel X-750, Phynox, Inconel 718, Hastelloy C-276 – is coming from customers producing springs and fasteners that are used deep underground or under the ocean.

The medical device sector continues to buy wire made in alloys like MP35N, Phynox and, vacuum melted grades of stainless steel for their metallographic purity.

Mr Mander added: “Customers in these high-tech sectors stipulate raw material from selected approved sources and the wire being manufactured to specific AMS and ASTM specifications. We adopt these practices, making it easy for customers to select AWI as their programme partner.

“This is further strengthened by our quality and operational systems being accredited to AS 9100 (Aerospace) and ISO 13485 (Medical devices).”

Alloy Wire International

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