Driving Innovation: Colcrete Eurodrill’s Customised Solutions in the Drilling Industry

Drilling down

With a flexible yet robust manufacturing strategy in place, Colcrete Eurodrill continues to offer bespoke products and an unrivalled service as it maintains a leading position in the drilling industry

With a collective history spanning back to the 1930s, the merger of Colcrete and Eurodrill in 2001 under parent company Keller Ltd, marks a significant point in the companies’ history. Having both grown to become leading manufacturers of mixing and pumping equipment and drilling tools in the UK market, the company now occupies a leading position supplying major customers on high profile projects throughout the world. Based in Clay Cross, Derbyshire, Colcrete Eurodrill manufactures two distinct product lines. Eurodrill products consisting of drill rods, casing systems and Colcrete Issue 118 bpercussive drilling systems and Colcrete products consisting of mixing and pumping equipment. With target industries covering civil engineering, nuclear, tunnelling, renewables and offshore, the diverse range of applications means that Colcrete Eurodrill has established a customer focused reputation supported by an extensive bespoke offering as well as its standard range. As such, around 90 per cent of the company’s sales can now be attributed to customised solutions to specific individual client needs.

The strengths of Colcrete Eurodrill sit firmly in its customerfocused work ethic. As Managing Director, Mark Rex outlines: “Because we’re in a niche market people are looking for solutions to their problems and equipment that performs for them. Our key focus is on providing these solutions and equipment which performs in the way the client expects it to rather than just supplying a piece of off-the-shelf equipment that might fit what they need. Our outlook is always towards the customer and we always try to make sure that we deliver added value to the customer with a product that allows them to perform better on site.” On top of this is a strong focus on delivering quality, which is a major driving factor to the production process. “Price also has to be key and we have still to be competitive,” he adds. “However, when it comes to the ground inbetween where the solution is key, the added value outways the cheapest price and that is where we gain customer buy-in,” continues Mark. “So, if a client asks for it to be a certain size or shape, or specifies a required performance then that’s what we provide. This also includes training before it goes on site, to ensure that the customer can become self-sufficient.” This level of bespoke service is offered to the customer through an extensive level of collaboration from design to manufacture stage. With state-of-the-art 3D CAD software behind it, Colcrete Eurodrill’s design team is able to develop a concept at the tender stage to allow a client to inspect the product for function and aesthetics, and establish further specific requirements.

“From this point we can then move very quickly into the production stage,” adds Mark. “Normally our lead time is governed by outsourced equipment and components, but our production capacity works as efficiently as possible to ensure that as soon as any additional equipment comes in we are ready to assemble.” With such a reflexive capability in place the company can turnaround a large project in around ten to 12 weeks, and has been able to turn a complete mixer system around from design to delivery in four days.

Whilst Colcrete Eurodrill is solely responsible for equipment manufacture and carries out none of the on site construction itself, the nature of its customisable offering means that it has been involved in some high profile projects across the country, and indeed the world. “Through the success of Crossrail with our parent company, Keller, and a joint venture with BAM Ritchies we have Colcrete Issue 118 csupplied the main pumps for the ground treatment at Crossrail, which was used not just to pretreat the ground, but also to level out any subsidence,” highlights Mark. “We have also worked with BAM on their Dounreay project, which they won an award for, and with J. Murphy and Sons in London, who installed the cable tunnels prior to the Olympics. As well as this we have supplied equipment for the Heathrow Express, Jubilee Line and Channel Tunnel works.” Colcrete’s success has not been restricted to the UK either as through its extensive global distributor network the company has supplied to major projects throughout Europe, United States, Canada, Australia, Africa and Asia.

With projects like Crossrail ongoing and others like HS2 on the horizon, the industry to which Colcrete Eurodrill supplies is steady and Mark is pleased to report that the company is hopeful of achieving its forecast for the year. This positivity seeps into its outlook for the future as well, as he outlines the company’s plans to expand: “The next three to five years is going to be a time to concentrate on growing the business and expand the product line, whilst at the same time dropping some products that have passed their lifecycle as technology advances,” concludes Mark. “It will be predominantly about looking for growth and there is a big push at the moment to try and find more active distributors. Essentially, we’re looking for markets that will give us a steady flow of business. For example, Australia has been relatively quiet over the last 18 months for large capitalintensive projects, but there is still a steady flow of small business out there. The US is growing too and there has been some good repeat business throughout the distributors there. So the near future will both be about making sure we serve our existing customers in their markets whilst continuing to develop new customers in emerging or new market opportunities.”

Colcrete Eurodrill

Services: Manufactures drilling equipment