Excalibur Screwbolts - award-winning innovation for the international construction industry
Excalibur Screwbolts, based at Hockley in Essex, was recently awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category - a remarkable achievement for a company of just 5 people. The award recognises the international success of the Excalibur Screwbolt invented by the company’s founder, Charles Bickford. The Excalibur Screwbolt is a revolutionary type of fixing used in many safety-critical applications in construction, form-making, scaffolding, railway maintenance, tunneling and security.
According to John Stevens, Business Development Manager, “The revolutionary concept of the Excalibur Screwbolt is that it screws directly into the toughest substrate, such as concrete, without the need for additional fixings or special tools. Traditional fixing methods require the use of through-bolts, expansion anchors, sleeves and resins which are often less than effective.”
The product has proved so effective that it has now gained worldwide success with millions of Excalibur Screwbolts in use across a range of industries where a reliable and firm fixing is required into hard and difficult materials. As a result, the company has won a number of major international contracts that include fixing the seating at the US Olympic Stadium in Atlanta and securing services within the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.
“Half of our business is now export, with key markets in Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East and Scandinavia,” says John Stevens.
“We sell through a network of distributors, as well as directly to specialist end users. Essex has the transport infrastructure through London Stansted Airport and the international ports at Harwich and Tilbury to provide us with easy access to that global marketplace.”
International customer support is also critical to the company’s ongoing success. “Although we invented and patented the Excalibur Screwbolt, we now face competition from multinationals who offer ‘me too’ products. Where we score highly is in the quality of technical support and personal service we give our customers. The Excalibur Screwbolt is used at the higher end of the market for safety-critical applications where this level of technical support is vital,” says John Stevens.
“We are also collaborating with many of our customers to develop new niche products tailored to their individual needs. So again, Essex offers our support team easy access to customers in the UK, Europe and around the world.”
The company has continued to expand since its formation in 1986 and now offers a growing range of products based on the Excalibur Screwbolt concept. John Stevens recognises the importance regional support has played in the growth of the company.
“INVEST Essex has provided us with valuable business support and we have recently benefitted from a Proof of Concept grant from the East of England Development Agency which has enabled us to explore new market opportunities. Overall Essex has proved a good location for a small, growing company operating in international markets.”
- Associated Files
- Excalibur Case Study (243 KB)