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East Midlands Chamber News

Eggleston Steel's matches biggest-ever investment

One of Derby's oldest companies is matching its biggest-ever investment in new equipment.

Steel stockholder Eggleston Steel, which can trace its history back to 1809, is spending almost £1.5m to keep it at the cutting edge of its sector.

It is buying three new machines for its premises at Alfreton Road – a laser cutting machine, a pressbrake which folds steel plate, and a guillotine. Costing £850,000, the new plant is expected to be installed by June.

It matches the previous biggest investment in machinery – the most advanced laser profiling machine in the country – made five years ago.

The company hopes to then buy a plate processing machine, which will cut steel using a plasma process while also being able to drill, tap, mill and counter-sink plates.

Eggleston Managing Director Richard Hewitt said the machine uses a new concept that the company does not currently offer. “It will enhance our capacity and hopefully open new markets for us,” he said.

The company hopes to have this equipment, costing another £500,000, installed by the end of the year. Together with new software and other ancillary spending the total cost will be almost £1.5m.

Eggleston provides steel for customers working on a DIY project to full loads for national companies working in the engineering, fabrication and construction sectors.

Its products are used in a wide range – from fire escapes to ducting for power stations and structural steel for buildings

Three-quarters of the steel sold is processed in bespoke fashion for customers – sawn, guillotined, folded or profiled into specific shapes, anything from a weather vane fascia to giant sculptures.

The company hopes the new equipment will open new markets across the rail, automotive, aerospace industries and agriculture.

Richard said the initial items were being bought from Belgian-based company LVD, a new supplier for them, but well-known in the trade.

“They took four of us over to their factory to show off what they make and do. We were impressed with what they had to offer and it gave us confidence moving forward.

“Like us, they are a family-owned business, which struck a chord.

“We are determined to continue moving forward by investing in machinery and staff.

“These investments in machinery will increase productivity and the quality of the finished product as well as profitability. We have created two additional jobs prior to delivery to give us a head start.”