Tube bending pioneer wins Queen's Award
PUBLISHED: 21 Apr 15
Unison staff celebrate winning a Queen's Award for Enterprise for export success of tube bending machinery. Photo courtesy of The Scarborough News
The tube bending machinery manufacturer Unison is celebrating being named as a winner of the Queen's Award for Enterprise - the UK's highest accolade for business success. The award for International Trade is in recognition of achieving outstanding export success.
Over the last year alone, 70% of company turnover has been generated by export sales including machines for Angola, France, Germany, Ghana, Mexico, Norway, Russia and the USA. Its current order book has machines destined for service in France, Germany, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Poland and the USA.
Unison MD Alan Pickering attributes the company's success and subsequent award to the company's innovative approach and investment in R&D. "Unison has always pushed the boundaries. We were the first company to manufacture an 'all-electric' tube bending machine in 1994 and we continue to challenge the status quo to help our customers to overcome their engineering challenges. This could be to bend lighter and thinner tubes for the aerospace industry, or heavier tubes used in undersea piping off oil rigs. We have built a reputation as the 'place to go' for complex and difficult tube bending applications, and this ability is underpinning our export growth. This is our third export award but we are particularly proud of this one."
Unison's willingness to push the boundaries has earned it the accolade of producing the world's largest all-electric machines. During the last 12 months, one machine capable of bending 7-inch diameter tube and pipe for pumping applications in oil, gas and shipping markets has been put into operation at a Norwegian company. Another, which can bend pipes with diameters over 8 inches, has just entered service at a US shipyard to assist with building aircraft carriers and submarines.
"The Queen's Award fills us with confidence for the future," adds Unison Non-Executive Director Peter Wilkinson. "Export volumes have grown by around 100% in both of the last two years. We aim to continue that trend, and are currently investing in operations in North America - our foremost export market. We are also actively seeking and recruiting agents and partners in other key world markets to join our world class business".
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