A glowing example of British manufacturing, Norbar Torque Tools, based in Banbury, has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade for its contribution to UK manufacturing exports.
The family-owned business has become the world’s top specialist manufacturer of torque tools and this year celebrated 67 successful years. The award highlights a success story in a sector that has generally experienced decline.
Norbar equipment is used in a range of industries including manufacturing, sub-sea, aerospace, energy, mining and oil and gas. In the past six years the company has almost doubled overseas earnings from its worldwide markets and now exports more than 73% of its output. Norbar has distributors in more than 60 countries as well as nine of its own sales and service branches around the world.
Philip Brodey, sales and marketing director of Norbar, said: “At a time when all we seem to hear about is doom and gloom, this award will be a real boost to our staff and also hopefully send a message to other manufacturers that business is out there to be won.”
The award was not the only good news for Norbar. The £20m turnover firm is continuing to invest in production equipment, new business systems, sales channels and people.
Human resources manager Wanda Stewart-Lee said: “A number of education opportunities were identified in our six-monthly review process. One of those was that people wanted to understand the business better, so we organised a programme that uses presenters from around the company, educating others in the way their department fits into the output of the company as a whole. We feel investments we are making will help us make improvements to the bottom line.”
She added that Norbar was working closely with Warwickshire College to promote engineering as a career, and also to recruit at least one additional engineering apprentice by the summer.
Norbar Torque Tools is a third-generation family business that has been trading since 1942. It is a national finalist in the 2009 Coutts Family Business Awards. The company’s success is driven by a lean, agile culture together with continuous investment in equipment and people. This leads to consistently high quality and superior service, which is clearly appreciated throughout the world.