Quality mark boosts innovative family business

25 Sep 2018


The need to make our buildings safer has resulted in a rising demand for the services of Sutton based engineering company Conway Control Systems Ltd (CCSL).

With a growing customer base the company needed to establish a recognised quality system and CCSL accessed a Business Growth Grant to help finance its journey to the ISO 9001 accreditation.

The company was formed 28 years ago when the current MD Graham Conway was made redundant and became a freelance engineer, designing control systems for the likes of British Aerospace and Pilkington.

CCSL has now become a family firm employing four people and manufactures control systems and other machined items for a variety of clients.

In recent years the major paint manufacturers have been developing intumescent paint products. This paint can expand to up to 200 times its thickness when exposed to high temperatures, enabling it to protect a building’s steel structure during a fire, and massively increase the time people have to safely evacuate a burning building.

The development and testing of these products requires high quality, accurate and reliable thermocouple temperature sensors and CCSL was asked to manufacture and supply suitable thermocouples for these applications.

Graham’s unparalleled knowledge in this field has led to products which fully meet the technical requirements, and many orders have followed.

As orders increased Graham designed and built an efficient production line to ensure that sufficient volumes could be manufactured reliably and cost effectively. The quality of the products has led to new customers coming on board, and the company now exports to paint manufacturers worldwide.

Graham comments: “Our product is of the highest quality. I like to make things for customers as I would like them to be if I bought them myself.

“I’m a bit of a perfectionist and that helps in my business”.

As further enquiries came in, it became obvious that just having the best product wasn’t enough, the company itself needed development.

Graham adds: “I always felt customers should be assured of the highest level of quality, and that we could possibly lose customers if we couldn’t demonstrate the right level of accreditation and there were companies that we couldn’t even approach without ISO 9001.”

Graham approached the Chamber for help and applied for a Business Growth Grant to fund both the consultancy and the accreditation to ISO 9001 2015.

The company achieved the ISO 9001 accreditation on the first attempt and has quickly felt the benefit with new customers already in place.

Graham comments: “I felt we really dropped on our feet with the Chamber, the adviser pointed us in the right direction and then everything just seemed to fall into place.

“I would definitely recommend St Helens Chamber and the Business Growth Grant.”

Business Growth Grants are available to SMEs based in, or moving to St Helens and funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The Grants can cover up to 35% of the cost of using external consultancy to support a wide range of projects.

For more information contact John Woods on 01744 742058 or email john.woods@sthelenschamber.com.

For more information on Conway Control Systems Ltd visit www.conwaycontrols.co.uk