Alloy Wire, which manufactures 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.
Managing director Mark Venables 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 £60 billion of civil build projects and billions more involved in decommissioning 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 wanted 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 leadtimes and an ability to deliver bespoke solutions in a range of exotic alloys.
“We've been supplying the nuclear sector for more than 17 years, typically at tier three or four,” Mr Venables added. “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.” Fit for Nuclear