Braime Elevator Components wins Britain's Queen's Award for exports

by Teresa Acklin
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   LEEDS, U.K. — Braime Elevator Components, a British manufacturer of steel elevator buckets for the grain handling industry, won the Queen's Award in 1998 for exports. The company's exports have more than doubled in the past three years and account for more than 80% of sales.

   Keith Lilly, Braime's sales manager, said the award was typically given to large, multi-national companies. “This is unusual for a company of our size,” he said. “It's a prestigious award in this country and a very great honor.”

   Braime Elevator Components, a family owned company based in Leeds, has only 16 employees. Its products — primarily elevator buckets, electrical control equipment, elevator belting and accessories — have been exported for the past 23 years to more than 40 countries in North and South America, Europe and Asia.

   The company is part of the T.F. & J.H. Braime Holdings Group. Braime also has subsidiaries in the United States (4B Elevator Components) and in France (Setem).

   After the award was announced, Braime was profiled in two British newspapers. In an interview with the Financial Times, Nicholas Braime, the company's director, attributed the company's success to “technical expertise in this specialized field.”

   Braime has four major competitors worldwide — two in the United States and two in Europe. “In many cases, we design the product and guarantee its performance so customers come to us for a whole package rather than just order the components,” Mr. Braime said.