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Last updateFri, 20 Jul 2018 11am

Half a century of steel manhole cover production in the UK

Despite decades of seeing other firms send their steel manhole cover production overseas, Clark-Drain has remained committed to in-house manufacturing in the UK.

The company’s origins are very much in innovation and when it formed in 1965 as Clarksteel Ltd the first product was also the UK’s first steel manhole cover. The company has since built a reputation for product quality and customer service, maintaining several customer relationships dating back to those early years.

A rebrand to Clark-Drain in 1998 reflected an increasingly broad product range using various materials. Steel manufacturing has remained strong in the business, which operates impressive production facilities such as fabrication, galvanising and powder coating at its base in Cambridgeshire.

This in-house capability enables quality control throughout the process. However, that’s just part of the picture: control of fabrication and finishing on site also brings flexibility in terms of scheduling. It’s not uncommon for the company to quickly reorganise production schedules or add extra shifts to meet demand or accommodate specific orders.

Customers benefit from the firm’s onsite galvanising and powder coating facilities in other ways, too. Avoiding the need to transport products around the country or further afield for finishing reduces costs. Many customers also welcome the environmental benefits of sourcing products with fewer road miles involved.

Clark-Drain also maintain an in-house design team. The result is ongoing product innovation, with the company continuing its track record for bringing new ideas to the market. In recent years their designers have addressed everything from increasing manhole cover product life, to improving sealing for better odour control. The design team also works with customers on bespoke designs.

As well as steel products, the company’s range covers a variety of materials, from polymer concrete linear drainage channels to polypropylene chambers, ductile iron manhole covers and underground fixtures and fittings. 

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