Metals storage company Kasto believes the downturn may be coming to an end as it unveiled its new UK service centre.
The German company said after a difficult six months in 2009 it had received several orders which indicated that companies were prepared to start buying again.
The group, which also supplies workshop saws for metal cutting, moved from Southampton in the south to Milton Keynes to be nearer its customer base and industry. There are 60 steel stockholders in the UK.
Managing director Ernst Wagner said the company had struggled between March and August but in September had received an order for a storage tower and then a further three orders in October.
He said: “Hopefully these are the first signs that the market is relaxing and that people are making that commitment again.”
The company provides bar and sheet storage solutions by supplying tower, gantry and overhead systems. It is currently working on a 25m high storage tower to be supplied to a UK customer in March 2010.
Mr Wagner said that despite selling 1300 such towers worldwide, pickup in the UK had been slow, and that the region was a ‘virginial’ market.
It was a case of educating the market of the benefits of vertical storage systems, which can reduce space by 60% compared to traditional horizontal systems.
“We are trying to make the market aware of the benefits of an automated storage system in a market where costs are extremely high,” he added.
He believes there is a future for manufacturing in the UK despite negative reports.
“There are a lot of negative press reports but don’t believe the reports. The UK costs can be as competitive as the EU and the UK has use of a lot of new technology.”