Britain's last remaining maker of wire goods for the food and bakery sector is expanding its product range as part of a massive investment and diversification strategy.
Eurowire Containers, based in Cradley Heath, is also launching a website next month allowing customers to buy products online.
The moves are part of an ambitious expansion plan devised by the firm which employs 15 people.
Eurowire is moving out of just wire manufacture to make solid metal trays, metal kitchen tables and sinks, while it is also investing heavily in new machinery and training.
The final part of its plan will see it launch its own design studio to produce its own products and allow other manufacturers to draw up their own plans.
Kamal Uddin, joint managing director of the company, said: "We wanted to move away from just relying on wire which is a low value product, which would typically cost #5 to #20. Now we produce stainless steel tables, and extended our product lines from bakery products to anything people wanted us to make. With a table it could be #150 upwards. It is all part of moving us up the value chain and moving us towards a one-stop shop."
The plan gained momentum after Eurowire was asked to produce solid metal trays to help the production of Magnum frozen deserts for a company in Worcester.
Previously, its wire basket products had been used in the production processes of food factories as well as for delivery of bread and cakes.
Mr Uddin said: "In the Magnum project we had to get involved with laser cutting, and sheet metal work and everything followed from there.
"We have worked with our staff to help them learn new skills and up-skilling and buying new machinery."
After developing the expertise to produce solid metal containers, Eurowire decided to look at other ways to use its new techniques. Mr Uddin said: "In Birmingham and the Black Country there are a number of restaurants which need metal tables, and we are coming up with the products they require.
"We are situated much closer so we can physically supply the tables and other parts much quicker."
Mr Uddin said Eurowire could also make tables to their customers' individual requirements.
"Everybody has a different sized area to work in, so we also offer flexibility. We can produce tables which range from 60cm long to ones which are 2.4 metres long, and ever longer.
"People can give us the measurements and we can build the tables to order, while our tables are flatpack so they are easy to get in.
"Tables like this last for for a long time, but when people set up new factories or new restaurants, buying new tables and sinks is part of their investment.
"Also, when they expand their kitchen we can supply more. Our tables can withstand a lot – being used 24 hours a day, seven days per week.
As part of the diversification process Mr Uddin went around to various restaurants across the Black Country to see what they wanted.
The next phase of Eurowire's plans is to increase the mechanisation of its production process, with two CNC machines being bought.
"Bakers wake up at 10pm, and finish their days at 9am. Lots of our customers find it difficult to contact the company.
"Some might want to order something at 5am, so this will help," said Mr Uddin.
Eurowire is now spending #20,000 on marketing to alert the market to its wider potential, in addition to the #100,000 for new machinery and #15,000 on staff training.
The investment has been recognised with the firm recently winning the Learning Company of the Year Award in the Black Country Asian Business Association 2006 Business Awards, organised in association with BLBC.
There is also a #200,000 project to refurbish its site and set up a design centre which should be open next summer.
"But this centre will not just be for us, it will be available as a walk-in centre for small companies to come in and use. Lots of skills have disappeared – that is why we are spending so much time on training."
Mr Uddin said the firm's reputation and innovations meant it was able to withstand overseas competition.
He added the firm, which currently exports only to Ireland, also wants to expand into Europe.
"We can design products and bring them to the customers in ten days, compared with the normal four to six weeks.
"Tables made in Europe cost between 200 and 600 euros. We are so much more competitive and can drive them there by car at that price."
Eurowire was established 15 years ago by Mr Uddin and Mohammed Yunus. Baz Maan joined the team at the family-owned company three years ago.
In 2003 the management contacted Business Link Black Country for advice on how to diversify their business.
Advisers Paul Basil and David Norris were appointed to provide initial information.
BLBC has provided regular support and advice since then, most recently enabling the company to access #7,225 from the West Midlands Manufacturing Challenge Project.
Turnover is due to increase from #546,000 last year to #650,000 this year.
"We have been so busy planning the future that we haven't really been selling our products this year," said Mr Uddin.
"But we have still managed to increase sales and we expect the figure to double next year."
As part of the plan the company expects to increase its workforce by five more to 20 by the end of next year.
Mr Uddin said: "This is all part of a long-term path for the company. We have had a bit of luck, but have worked hard and are looking forward to the future."