Queen’s award for engineering company that grew export sales five times in three years
5 May 2021
Engineering company Chelburn Precision has won the Queen’s Award for International Trade, after its overseas sales increased fivefold in three years.
The increase from £360,000 to £1.7 million derived primarily from the USA and mainland European markets.
It is further estimated that 95% of domestic sales are ultimately exported as many of the company’s UK customers deliver their products overseas. Chelburn’s total turnover is now in excess of £5 million.
Chelburn director Katie Travis commented: “Every project we do is unique so it needs great technical and problem-solving skills.”
Founded in Rochdale in 1982 by Roger Travis and now run by his son Neil Chelburn manufactures key components in one-offs or batch quantities for machines needed in industries such as rubber and plastics, paper converting, oil and gas, industrial gear boxes, printing and canning.
Its products range from complex pumps for the oil and gas industry - weighing as much as eight tonnes - to clutch shafts for paper converting just 60mm in diameter. The key is precision and measurement tolerances can go down to 0.01mm.
Most parts are made out of stainless steel, aluminium and cast iron and Chelburn now has more than 130 suppliers for all the components needed for its projects.
The company recently invested £1.6 million in three state of the art computer-controlled machines to enhance quality and speed.
Chelburn is also in the process of establishing a work experience programme with training and apprenticeships company Rochdale Training.
“We are thrilled to receive Queen’s Award recognition, particularly now in the wake of the pandemic,” Katie Travis added.
“Covid has been an exceptionally challenging time for us. Furlough was not an option because we knew we were critical suppliers to some of our biggest customers and so it was crucial we played our part and maintained the supply chain.
“As a company, we are proud of that achievement. Coronavirus has had a big impact on our staff, with illness, shielding and many juggling working life with the demands of home schooling. To receive the award now is a great recognition of all that effort, commitment and teamwork.”
The Queen’s Awards are given for outstanding achievement in the categories of innovation, international trade, sustainable development and promoting opportunity through social mobility.
Traditionally announced on the Queen’s birthday, April 21, this year they were delayed due to the death of Prince Philip.
Photo:(clockwise l-r) Queen's Award, Chelburn co-directors, Kate and Neil Travis, Chelburn staff