Excalibur Screwbolts, a pioneering manufacturing firm based in Hockley, is among nearly 250 UK firms named as winners in this year’s Queen’s Awards for Enterprise. This is the second Queen’s Award for the company who first won an award in 2009. This second award comes after Excalibur Screwbolts worked with Essex County Council’s Essex Innovation Programme (EIP) in developing a high quality, high endurance bolt that enabled Excalibur Screwbolts to win a contract with Crossrail (see below).
Second Queen’s award for Excalibur
“To win one Queen’s Award is very special, but to win two is unbelievable. This is such a proud moment. I’ve always believed in our products and I’m lucky to have a great team behind me who also believe in them. Winning another Queen’s Award is recognition that Excalibur has continued to innovate and adapt. The business is what keeps me going and this accolade has given me and my team a huge boost.”
Charles Bickford, Managing Director, Excalibur
Excalibur Screwbolts are the creators of the original patented high-strength twin helix threaded anchor that has revolutionised bolt fixing in the global construction industry. An owner-managed business based in Essex, England, serving the global engineering and construction industries in projects across tunnelling, railways, scaffolding, formwork, etc.
The Essex Innovation Programme’s (EIP’s) private sector business coaches have helped Excalibur Screwbolts to adapt big company techniques and practices to a small business environment.
Excalibur Screwbolts worked with one of EIP’s partner organisations, Ford, on the design and development of the Excalibur Screwbolt PLUS as well as benefit from Ford’s engineering experience and advanced material testing facilities.
The results of this work with Ford, ensuring their product was of sufficient quality and durability, enabled Excalibur Screwbolts to tender for a Crossrail contract, a contract that required above normal length of product life and quality. Excalibur Screwbolts unique corrosion protection system underwent stringent testing by Ford which proved the PLUS bolt was of suitable quality for use with Crossrail which resulted in Excalibur Screwbolts winning a contract to supply the first Crossrail station with the PLUS bolt.
Assistance via Essex Innovation
John Ashton and Sally Brazier worked with Excalibur under the Essex Innovation Programme, to modernise their brand, website and marketing materials, enabling them to be recognised as a significant supplier in the rail industry.
EIP and Excalibur Screwbolts have worked together on a number of projects resulting in…
- Support to finalise and launch the Excalibur Screwbolt PLUS
- Pre-market launch analysis
- Branding design
- Assistance with a successful funding bid & carbon reduction contribution
- Business planning, HRand marketing support
- Prospect advice
Since working with John and Sally, Excalibur has raised its profile and won projects to work with landmark engineering projects such as the London 2012 Olympics, the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and the Gotthard Tunnel. Two further patents have been filed.
Excalibur Screwbolts operates a policy of continuous development and improvement. In 2009 Excalibur Screwbolts received its first Queens Award for Enterprise in the “Innovation” category in recognition of the continued development and success of the original Excalibur Screwbolt. This original bolt with its high tensile strength, simplicity of installation and shear performance revolutionised the construction fixings industry. The original Excalibur Screwbolt range won the company several major international contracts including:
- The fixings for the tunnel services in the Channel Tunnel Rail Link
- The fixings for temporary structures at the 2012 London Olympics
Excalibur Screwbolts went on to develop the innovative Excalibur Screwbolt PLUS high corrosion resistant fixing which provides a cost effective, simple and secure method of anchoring into the toughest of materials – such as concrete – without the need for additional fixings, adhesives or special tools. It’s this bolt that was installed on Crossrail prime tunnel asset and has enabled Excalibur Screwbolts to win a second Queen’s Award.
About the Queen’s Award for Enterprise
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, announced each year to coincide with HM the Queen’s birthday, recognise achievements by companies in the areas of innovation, international trade and sustainable development, with individuals also eligible for recognition for enterprise promotion.
“The Queen’s Awards are a great way of celebrating the best of British business. We are a country full of exciting and innovative businesses that deserve to be celebrated. I’d like to commend all the winners for their hard work in creating jobs for people and driving our growing economy.”
Sajid Javid, Businesses Secretary
This project was undertaken as part of the Essex Innovation Programme (EIP), funded by Essex County Council. Case Study is published by permission of Essex County Council.