High tech North Wales firm’s £750,000 investment in the future

A world-leading company from North Wales is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a £750,000 investment in its future.

Precision engineering firm Microtech specialises in making components used the manufacture of aluminium drinks cans in the UK and across the globe.

Microtech was founded at Bersham Enterprise Centre, near Wrexham, in 1989 and the high tech company now employs 17 people.

They not only survived but thrived during the recession thanks to the booming drinks can industry.

As a result, turnover has increased by between 10-15 per cent every year for the past few years and has now topped £1.1 million.

Managing Director Brent Evans paid tribute to Chartered Accountants and Registerd Auditors Coxeys for the role they have played in Microtech’s success story which has seen them diversify to also make products for the aerospace industry.

Mr Evans said: “It’s very important to us that we have access to the expertise available at Coxeys who have helped us grow in recent years. We always get good advice and good service which gives you peace of mind.

“It’s always good to know that Coxeys are watching our backs so to speak on the financial side. They’re a good professional company and we enjoy doing business with them.

“I joined the company four years ago and we have been having an exciting time with levels of investment going up with new machines and new software.

“We are very optimistic as we look forward because turnover has gone up year on year by 10-15 per cent a year over the past three or four years. It’s going well.”

Fellow directors Vaughan Hughes and Duncan Evans have been with the company from the outset.

The firm has invested £750,000 in new machinery to expand their capacity and increase the accuracy of what they do.

The new kit includes two computer controlled milling machines that ensure accuracy to within a few microns which are a thousandth of a millimetre.

Duncan Evans said: “We engineer components used in the manufacture and printing on billions and billions of beverage cans every year which can contain anything from cola to lager to tea.

“We make the parts that go into the machine like the bushes and parts of the track work that go into conveying the cans from one machine to another.

“The main area of our expertise is on the decorating side of the business and we make the mandrels the can sits on as its being printed.

“It’s a massive industry worldwide. In this country a big percentage of the cans being printed are sitting on our mandrels so if you’re drinking a can of cola or lager in the UK, the chances are it’s been made with components manufactured here in Wrexham.

“We are very busy at the moment, we’re always working overtime. In fact, it’s been buoyant throughout the recession.

“It’s been classed as a world-wide recession but drinks can manufacturing has been on the up in the Far East and China. They have been growing at an enormous rate over there. Countries like Brazil are an emerging market and there’s a lot of money being spent over there at the moment.

“Our machines are very accurate – we’re talking down to microns which are a thousandth of a millimetre. We’re manufacturing some rollers now where the maximum tolerance is five microns – it’s precision stuff, we do push the limits a bit.

“There are other parts of the industry that require some pretty straightforward engineering and we do that as well but we can turn our hands to the accurate stuff when required.

“There’s no way we could have achieved the turnover we doing now with the machines we used to have.”

As part of the firm’s 25th anniversary celebrations, they have set up a £1,750 fund and have urged local clubs and associations to apply for the prize money. The winner will get £1,000 with prizes of £500 and £250 up for grabs too.

They are also planning a charity evening to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Society in memory of late colleague Colin Savage – the father of ex-footballer and broadcaster Robbie Savage – who had Pick’s Disease, which is a form of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Director Vaughan Hughes added: “It’s a big year for the firm and reaching our 25th anniversary is an achievement in this day and age.

“We have a lot of experience in a niche industry, we’re well thought of in that industry for supplying quality parts.

“It’s also helped that our main customer Unimaq on Wrexham Industrial Estate has grown during the same period, that’s been really satisfying as well.”

Anthony Lewis, a Director of Coxeys, is delighted to have been able to play a role in Microtech’s success

He said: “The business is a great success story and Microtech are going from strength to strength.

“They are a very progressive firm who don’t like to stand still – companies like this depend on innovation to continue to grow, it is their lifeblood.

“Microtech are great ambassadors for local business and industry. They are world leaders in their field.”

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