A hydraulics company which was launched seven years ago in a spare room in Warwickshire has expanded its premises and is forging trading links with China.
Mike Forster established Trident Hydraulics & Electronics in 2003 at his home near Leamington and is now preparing to double his current site in Southam.
The new 3,000 sq ft premises will house a fully-automised test rig to assess large hydraulic components such as pumps and motors for a wide range of markets including the oil, shipping and transport industries.
Roger Luo and James Chen from China have visited Trident Hydraulics ahead of the opening of a new office in Kunshan, Shanghai, early next year to manufacture goods for the Chinese and Asia market.
Mike Forster, managing director of Trident Hydraulics, said its present 3,000 sq ft workshop, warehouse and offices at unit 12 at the business park would remain.
He said: “I used to design and build hydraulic parts in a spare room when I initially decided to set up my own business and eventually we bought this industrial unit in Southam in 2008 with help from Yorkshire Bank.
“The new premises at unit two will have two floors and we are designing and building a Test Rig in-house.
“The power of the pump test stand exceeds that required to test the largest hydraulic piston pumps manufactured to date.
“The system is fully independent and can test open and closed circuit pumps and motors.
“There are only four other companies in the UK that provide this service. At the moment we can only repair them and not test them, but that will all change when we launch the additional service in January 2011.
“The current unit will remain as our warehouse and upstairs we will have a boardroom and offices for Roger and James when they are in the UK on business as well as a conference room to provide training. We have nine staff but that may increase in the new year.
“I first went to China three years ago and have built relationships over there. We have formed a joint venture called Trident Hercules and Partners and a 3,000 sq ft unit will open in Shaghai in February or March next year to test components for Chinese suppliers and for us to be a distributor of products in the UK and Europe.
“We’re going to be designing products for the Asian market and with the contacts we have built with Roger and James, they will be able to open doors.”
Mr Forster, whose wife Clare is a partner in the business, said the backing of Yorkshire Bank had been an important part of the expansion plans.
Martin Boag, business partner at Yorkshire Bank’s Financial Solutions Centre at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, said its Investing for Growth initiative was perfect for companies such as Trident Hydraulics.
He said: “There is a gap in the market in the Midlands to test these extremely heavy hydraulic pump and motors cylinders and valves and the floor in the new unit has been strengthened particularly to house this machine.”