Leading UK lock manufacturer Pickersgill-Kaye is targeting the global security and rail markets as part of a new export-driven initiative to boost its order books.

The Leeds-based company already supplies the lion’s share of door locks and security systems to the UK rail market but a growing international reputation has resulted in a third of its turnover over the last two years, totalling nearly £2million, being generated from overseas customers, and the company is confident that its global sales push can boost exports again this year.

Despite being forced to make cuts during a challenging 2009, Pickersgill-Kaye weathered the economic storm and believes that, while the home market is still sluggish, there are opportunities overseas, including the mighty Russian rail network.

Pickersgill-Kaye sales manager Harry Griffiths explained, “From 2012 until 2030 thousands of locomotives are going to be built in Russia and we want to get our locks on to these trains. We have invested in training from Chamber International for our entire export department, as well seeking advice on the Russian and Chinese markets from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).”

Mr Griffiths added, “We had nearly a million pounds of export orders on our books at the end of last year and are cautiously optimistic we can get an even bigger slice of the world market in 2010. The training we received from the Chamber and assistance from UKTI has certainly improved our export operations and our confidence.”

The engineering company’s export boom has been spectacular. Fifteen years ago its only overseas customer was Irish Rail. Now it supplies high security custodial locks to the Malaysian police and continues to win orders in the rail sector from European companies including Siemens, Bombardier, Alstom, Irish Rail and CAF, in Asia from companies such as Jiwon Tech and Rotem in Korea, Dalian/Ocean Eagle Holdings Ltd in China/Hong Kong and Hitachi in Japan, and in North America from companies such as Axion Technologies and Electro-Motive Diesels.

Mr Griffiths believes that supplying a reliable, premium product is the best way to grow the overseas market. He said, “There is a move towards higher quality, more robust products, which is where our strengths lie. Our locks work in sub-zero temperatures and can last the lifetime of the locomotive so many operators are now specifying P-Kaye locks to the train manufacturers in order to guarantee the standards they need.”

Pickersgill-Kaye rail products include external LED train door status indicators, internal and external cab door locks and internal egress and external access devices, but the company’s survival is down to the ability to diversify.

It has recently established itself in the UK and Irish security markets following the successful launch of a custodial locks range for prisons, police stations and other detention facilities and is now supplying high security gate locks for perimeter fencing at key utilities, military and infrastructure sites with large areas which need to restrict and control access.

Employing over 50 people in Leeds, Pickersgill-Kaye recently relaunched its website to showcase its renowned products. Backed by excellent levels of service and a solid reputation, the company is confident that it can continue in its bid to win new business against stiff international competition.