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Huco`s US coupling delivers growth

01 November, 2006

Huco`s US coupling delivers growth

Huco Dynatork, the Hertford-based couplings manufacturer, expects to raise its revenue from about £5m last year to around £6m this year, following its takeover by the US group, Altra. According to joint managing director David Lockett (shown below), some of this growth will come from increased sales in the US via its sister company, Boston Gear.

Although the Altra takeover has created "some scope for rationalisation," Lockett reports that "there is not a lot of crossover".

Another activity with growth potential is the Dynatork air motor business which Huco acquired last year. Sales have already expanded from around £250,000 to £350,000 since the takeover. "It could be a much more substantial business," Lockett says. "We have lots of ideas to develop it."

He sees substantial potential for the air motors in the US. There is only one direct rival — a Taiwanese manufacturer. Lockett points out that the Dynatork piston designs are more efficient, quieter and cheaper to run than air vane motors. The company also produces the only plastic air motor, which can be used underwater or in applications where electromagnetic interference could pose problems.

The core of Huco`s activities remains couplings. It produces about 500,000 Oldham couplings and 60,000-70,000 beam couplings a year.

One effect of the Altra takeover is that Huco is adopting lean manufacturing techniques, although it will take a few years to implement them fully. "Lean manufacturing will allow almost a piece-part flow," Lockett says, "and will almost get rid of work in progress".

Huco, which employs about 60 people, is expanding its premises and investing in new machinery.

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