US banker turned metalworker comes good

17 May 2017
The new machine has significantly lower running costs compared with CO2

The new machine has significantly lower running costs compared with CO2

A former Wall Street investment banker who left his high-flying career in the city five years-ago to buy a subcontract sheet metal fabricating business in Kent has doubled the company’s turnover.

Back in 2012, Troy Barratt purchased the 28-year-old sheet metalworking and fabrication company, Contracts Engineering Ltd (CEL) from its previous owners, who wanted to retire.

By 2016, turnover had doubled to £2 million per annum, while the number of employees increased by over 50% to 30 people.

Mr Barratt, managing director, CEL, said: “When we took over CEL, the CO2 laser machine’s utilisation rate was under 50% over an eight-hour day shift plus nearly daily overtime. “

“We quickly moved to a double shift, 16 hours a day, put a Bystronic service contract in place and were able to raise the time the machine was cutting to 60%. This is among the highest in the industry for subcontract manufacturers.”

He added that part of the £600,000 investments that have been made since 2012, includes the purchase of a BySprint Fiber which started operating in early February this year.

The new machine has helped increase utilisation even further due its efficiency features. 

Being vastly more productive than the machine it replaced, it has helped to transform laser cutting services at the company from a perennial bottleneck into a work centre that has spare capacity to support the next phase in the company’s growth. 

Mr Barratt said that the new machine has significantly lower running costs compared with CO2. Electricity consumption is also down and the company is saving on maintenance costs too.

CEL’s growth has been underpinned by increasing its amount of fabrication work over the last few years.

Notable projects completed by CEL involve commercial developments and installations across multiple sites in London, Bristol, Cambridge, Manchester and many other European cities.

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