Making the world a safer place

Making the world a safer place

TRM makes products in demand all over the world, for use in the most demanding environments, as Peter Jackson reports

Sunderland-based manufacturer Thermal Resources Management (TRM) Group has completed three major international projects, creating jobs and boosting the group’s exports to 85% of output in 2014.

Large contracts on the high-profile New Delhi metro system, the huge Kuwait University campus and Kuwait International Airport have been completed by the group, which has added 10 staff in the last 12 months, bringing the total workforce at its facility at the Wear Industrial Estate, Washington, to 90. TRM is aiming to create more jobs over the next year as part of further expansion plans.

The group makes temperature measurement devices manufacturing, industrial heating systems and fireproof wiring cable. It claims its thermocouple and trace heating equipment is unique in the UK, and widely used in the petrochemical, oil and gas, aviation, electronics and automotive sectors.

At the peak of the New Delhi Metro system project, TRM supplied 40,000 metres of wiring per month. The public transport system now covers 120 miles and carries up to two million passengers a day. Delhi's metro network, which has been 30 years in the making, is considered a state of the art system, with air conditioned driverless trains, magnetic fare cards and electronic fare gates.

The group has also completed a £1m project at the New University City campus for Kuwait University, supplying fireproof wiring cable for bombproof shelters that can withstand the fiercest fires. Each bomb shelter can hold hundreds of people. 

The massive campus, which will be the world’s largest when completed, occupies a 540 hectare (1,285 acre) site. By next year, more than 30,000 full time students will be accommodated at its 16 colleges and related support facilities.

Kuwait is an important and growing market for the TRM group, which also includes sister company MICC (Mineral Insulated Cables Company). The group is returning to the country for the Big Five Kuwait Show, the nation’s largest construction event, where it will be exhibiting with a local company it has formed a partnership with to win work from the huge infrastructure investment currently underway in the country.

MICC has also finished a key job supplying its technically-advanced fire survival cable – which can withstand fire for two hours – at the new Kuwait International Airport administration building, designed by Foster and Partners.

Sunderland City Council’s business investment team has worked with the group since it moved to Washington.

The City Council has supported the growth of group’s current plant, but its exporting successes mean it is close to outgrowing the space and it is keen to work with the City Council again to find larger premises.

TRM works with partners in India, the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and the US, and it is looking to appoint partner companies in Oman, Qatar, Dubai and Brazil.

The group’s annual turnover is now around £8m, and it invested more than £75,000 in upgrading its communications systems, including an enterprise relationship programme.

TRM has been equally successful in exporting its industrial trace heating solutions, forming partnerships with leading constructors of concentrated solar power plants, for completed projects in North America, Africa and Russia. It has also attracted world-leading customers such as Reliance Industries, and has worked with Starflex in India to provide design and insulation solutions to Reliance, one of the world’s biggest companies.

The group’s advanced temperature sensors are also supplied to UK and global power station operators, to support them in their research and development needs.

Doug Dooley, managing director of TRM, said: “Our products are used in the most demanding of places worldwide such as the bottom of oil wells, nuclear plants and in the skies, all of which demand the highest standards of safety for vital temperature measurement devices.

“We are delighted at the company’s success in winning major projects worldwide. These each bring work to our plant in Sunderland, and increase the numbers and quality of jobs we can offer local people.”

Councillor Harry Trueman, deputy leader of Sunderland City Council said: “TRM is a first rate example of our successful manufacturing sector. They create unique products, keep ahead of their markets and are fleet of foot, adapting to changing requirements to sell successfully worldwide. It is fantastic news that the companies are exporting 85% of their products and winning complex projects against global competition.”

The TRM group has staff with more than 50 years’ experience in research and development, manufacturing and applications of mineral insulated wiring cable, heating cable, thermocouple cable and many kinds of plastic heating cables. TRM’s customers include the heating, wiring and temperature measurement industries, such as petrochemical, chemical, oil field, natural gas, metallurgy, telecom, aviation, power plant, electronics, military industry, and nuclear industry.