Barnsley baling wire manufacturer expands with booming waste processing industry

A forward-thinking Barnsley baling wire manufacturer which yearly makes enough wire to circle the earth four times over has success tied up.

D R Baling (DRB) supplies major companies across the UK and Ireland with specialist wire to secure bales of compacted waste or recyclables.

It has invested millions of pounds in machinery to ensure its wire keeps pace with technical advances in the burgeoning waste processing industry, and is at the forefront of innovating new products.

DRB now commands at least 25 per cent of the British market for this wire.

It has increased its tonnage output by ten per cent year on year and last year made nine thousand tonnes of wire, enough to circle the earth four times over.

The Enterprising Barnsley business support programme, which is delivered by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, has given free business coaching to the company to support its growth.

Enterprising Barnsley aims to help Barnsley businesses develop and expand.

DRB aims to increase turnover from £7.5 million to £10 million over the next three years and has just been granted planning permission to build a new £500,000 office on its six and half acre site at Oxspring.

It also has industrial units on the site which are rented out to other companies.

Managing director Peter Robinson said the firm has built its reputation on the quality of its products and staff expertise while faced with competition from subsidised imports from Europe.

He said:

“Our wire must meet very exacting specifications and standards and we’ve evolved and grown as the industry itself has developed.

“We’ve always had a passion for what we do and providing a reliable, quality product and service underpins everything.”

DRB was set up more than 50 years ago by Peter’s father, David, at Birdwell, before moving to Penistone.

The family firm focussed on producing baling wire for the waste and recycling industry almost from the beginning.

Peter and his brother Matthew eventually took the helm and, in 2003, made a huge decision to move from a 4,500 square feet building to the former wire mill site 12 times the size at Oxspring.

The site itself is historic – the local water mill, which is located there, is known to have been used for industry for over 1,000 years.

The Robinsons’ leap of faith has paid off and the company continues to grow year on year.

Support received through the Enterprising Barnsley programme has included help to develop the company’s website and social media and marketing strategy, review patents and copyrights, and to make the company more “tender-ready”.

Deborah Robinson, Peter’s wife, who is the company’s accounts manager, said:

“It is vital when companies are quickly progressing on the production side that other areas of the business keep up to speed.

“The expert support from Enterprising Barnsley has been absolutely invaluable and I don’t think we realised how much we needed it until it was provided.”

DRB has equipped its premises with machines that can deliver the very latest techniques in wire drawing – the complex process of stretching steel to a required specification.

Two years ago DRB invested £1.2 million pounds to build a bespoke unit to house a new state-of-the-art furnace for annealing, a heat treatment carried out in a controlled nitrogen atmosphere which leaves the wire clean and scale-free.

In the same year, DRB developed a unique fully-automated system for the manufacture of rewound coils. The machine has tripled production of this product.

Orders of varying sizes are accommodated by the firm with a client list of more than 1,000 customers including major waste and recycling companies like Biffa, Perrys Recycling and IESA.

In addition, DRB supplies to galvanising companies such as the Wedge Group and Joseph Ash.  Its wire is used to ‘hot dip’ structures like crash barriers or construction girders into tanks of zinc and, like that used in waste and recycling, must meet stringent industry standards with certification and traceability.

DRB has also achieved ISO accreditation in quality and environmental management.

DRB is currently developing a softer, more pliable wire, for the galvanising industry, and is also researching and developing a product for the refuse-derived fuel (RDF) market – transforming waste into energy.

The Enterprising Barnsley programme aims to help Barnsley-based businesses expand, generating economic growth and creating new jobs.

Enterprising Barnsley is supported financially by the European Union.

The project has attracted £2,259,511 investment into Barnsley from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development, through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.

Peter and Deborah Robinson at D R Baling’s Oxspring wire mills

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