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5 May, 2006 - 12:42 By Staff Reporter

Laser marking specialist set to double size in US

A Letchworth manufacturer of specialist laser marking systems is to double its US operations in an effort to replicate the conditions that produced a 300 per cent revenue growth in the UK last year.

Electrox, which already has a significant presence in Indianapolis, Indiana, believes the combination of a ripening US market, new marking systems and a less travel-inclined customer base will provide the platform for a projected 30 per cent year-on-year growth rate.

The first of the staff are already been hired and will be based in New Hampshire on the north east coast of the US. Bases in the South East and West Coast are expected to follow as the company raises the number of US engineers from five to 10.

Electrox managing director, Howard Moore, said: “This will give us a substantially larger workforce and will enable us to build on our proven strength in both applications engineering and customer service and support.

“Now is the right time to increase our work with US companies because we have introduced several completely new laser marking systems during the last twelve months, so we are in a very strong position now, and the market in the USA is growing. We want to be a part of that growth.

“Not only are we expanding the workforce by adding additional engineers to the team, but we have also strengthened our customer service team. We are going to further strengthen our direct sales team over the coming months and the necessary support structure will be put in place around them.”

Electrox’s systems are developed in-house for use in product and component marking, flat bed sheet metal cutting and high precision welding. In 2005 it introduced a variety of production-orientated laser marking systems, all designed, developed and manufactured at its purpose-built Letchworth facility.

Armed with the new range of systems the company’s remarkable UK growth really took off when it began to visit potential customers and demonstrate the systems on site.

The result of the new approach was that an incredible 70 per cent of all sales in the UK went to new customers, while in the US it was 50 per cent new sales. In all Electrox sold over 200 laser systems with prices ranging between £17,000 and £70,000 each.

Moore said: “The feeling these days is that travelling is becoming increasingly tedious. We have been demonstrating on site for the last four months and the growth has been incredible.”

While in the UK it is relatively quick and easy to reach the length and breadth of the country, in the US it is more of a stretch.

It will be the job of the new US engineers to provide a wider geographical spread as Electrox attempts to take a solid foothold in this lucrative market.

Success is not restricted to Europe and the US alone. At the end of last year, Electrox won a deal worth over $1 million (£540K) with its Far East distributor to supply of the new Cobra V-12/20 Nd:Vanadate laser, used to mark mobile phone key pads.

Moore said: “Growth in the market for laser marking systems is world-wide rather than confined to the USA. It is largely due to the combined effects of dramatic improvements in laser technology and the rapid increases in the demand to mark products for both traceability and branding.”

Electrox will also increase its 62 Letchworth staff by around 10 per cent as a direct result of the company’s increased sales activity in both the US and Europe.

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