Tratos took over the former North West Cables plant in Prescot in 2009 and its impact in the 10 years since the acquisition has been transformational.
An Italian family firm with a global presence, Tratos has overseen significant investment into the site, quadrupling its footprint and employing around 60 local people producing cables of all types and sizes and exporting to 52 countries.
Now that commitment to and investment in the Merseyside business has been rewarded with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise to Tratos (UK). The innovation award was for a new cable sheathing compound, Tratos JBA, that can shrug off the most corrosive elements and protect cable function in the harshest of environments.
The JBA family of cables is mud and fire-resistant to extreme temperatures and capable of withstanding water and impact. Tratos produced one advanced compound that can be modified to meet specific cable performance elements to meet the requirements of a number of important industrial sectors.
This new technology brings big advances for industries including maritime, oil and gas, railways and mass transit as well as high-performance naval applications in a number of different countries.
Tratos (UK) chief executive and chair, Dr Maurizio Bragagni, said: “These products have advanced safety and performance. They were developed by the company to be used for telecommunication, power or signalling cables.
“The compound is able to resist fire to new and higher standards, and, at the same time, defend against the aggressive acids present in different environments from railway and transport to oil and gas platforms.
“This innovation is bigger than just producing a new generation of cables able to accept the challenge of higher performance standards; it is innovation that will transform unsafe cables.
“We were confident of the quality of the innovation and the advances it brings, but we were absolutely thrilled to learn it had been recognised with a Queen’s Award.”
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise celebrate and encourage business excellence. Winners must demonstrate outstanding results in their field of innovation, international trade, sustainable development and promoting opportunity.
Previous innovation category winners include Dyson and Oxford Instruments. Tratos (UK) representatives will be presented with the award at Knowsley.
Tratos is one of Europe’s largest independent cable manufacturers. Established in 1966, the company has five manufacturing facilities in Italy and the UK and employs people worldwide producing electrical, electronic and fibre optic cable solutions.
As well as investing in manufacturing capacity at Prescot, Tratos also has its own R&D and testing facilities which include the standard test for voltage, spark test and resistance as well as more in-depth tests for elongation, heat shock, shrink back and vertical flame tests.
Tratos (UK) committed to a five-year investment plan at the plant in 2014 and this has led to a number of investments totalling £17m.