Record sales for tube bending machine builder Unison
PUBLISHED: 21 May 13
Alan Pickering, Managing Director of Unison
The UK based pioneer of all-electric tube bending machines, Unison, is celebrating a record business quarter. The company made six machine sales during Q1 - worth over £1.5 million in total.
"The surge in sales comes after the prolonged downturn due to the credit crunch, and is due in large part to the sustained marketing efforts we made throughout the period," says Alan Pickering, Managing Director of Unison. "We've been taking interested parties on 'technology tours' around the facilities of existing users. This close-quarters contact has really helped potential users to understand the benefits of the advanced type of machinery we make, which is software-controlled and very versatile."
All six of the machines are destined for overseas clients in the USA, Germany, Holland and South Africa - for applications ranging from aircraft manufacture to general metalworking fabrication.
Unison welcomes the increase in its overseas business, which already accounts for over half of the company's output.
"Up to now we've been focusing our international sales efforts in just a few key countries," adds Pickering. "Expanding that international footprint is the next big step for Unison, and we believe these orders are the first of a large number this year - as we currently have an extensive enquiry list."
Unison also points to the continued investment it has made in engineering development over the last two years. "You can view a recession as purely negative, and cut back on spending until it's over, but Unison tried to see the downturn as an opportunity for engineering development," adds Pickering. "Over the last 18 months we have taken several major steps forward in technology, including upgrading the electrical architecture of our tube bending machines to an advanced industrial Ethernet network, and integrating a major new tooling facility that allows our machines to both bend and cut tubes in one continuous process."
Unison is taking on several new staff to help it meet the higher levels of demand, in departments including mechanical and electrical engineering design.
One aspect that is helping to win orders is the very low energy consumption of Unison's 'all electric' machines compared with traditional hydraulically powered benders. Unison machines only consume any significant amount of energy when actually performing a bend. By contrast, a conventional hydraulically powered bender typically consumes energy almost continually, as the system's fluid has to be maintained at pressure.
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