The cable manufacturer’s Merseyside facility was on the receiving end of a £1 million investment this week, which will pay for a new £450,000 drum twister and two extrusion lines.
In a move to remain a potent force in the UK’s cable-manufacturing market, the investment is part of a plan for international growth and increasing output, while distinguishing its product from poor quality and unsafe cable entering the UK market.
The Approved Cables Initiative is a means by which standards of cable sold in the UK meet certain guidelines, according to regulations in the UK and the EU as well as international standards.
John Light, managing director of Tratos is largely responsible for the company’s presence in Italy: he persuaded the Italian board to purchase the operation in Knowsley, Merseyside three years ago.
Mr Light explained the decline of the cable manufacturing industry in the UK: “In the last year alone, B3 in Ireland went into receivership, Prysmian have now merged with Draka and AEI cables were only recently saved from bankruptcy because their creditors accepted a small proportion of their debts; even so, they have made many redundancies,” he said.
Dr Maurzio Bragagni, export director of Tratos, commented on the state of manufacturing in Europe: “There are many black clouds hanging over Europe, but if we don’t invest, Europe as a manufacturer is finished.”
He added: “As a company with €150 million turnover, we have invested €10 million on new equipment in the last year alone to modernise our factories. We have a desire to continually increase our competitiveness and profitability: hence we have new, faster machines that allow us to compete with China.”