In 2005, Axiom Process sold none of its Shale Shaker units. In 2007, it sold 79. So explains the business’s rise through the Hot 100, with a compound growth rate of 85 per cent for the past four years and a turnover of £5.3m.
The machine is used by the oil industry to separate black gold from rock cuttings during the drilling process. “We assemble everything in the UK,” says chairman Marshall Bailey. “We’re a young business and it’s vitally important that we keep an eye on quality. For this reason, we won’t think about manufacturing overseas for a few years yet.”
Axiom has two types of customer: oil companies such as Shell and BP, and drilling contractors such as Transocean. Bailey expects demand to increase and hopes to produce 150 Shale Shakers a year by 2011. Interestingly, a decline in oil activity would benefit this goal: “Fitting a new Shale Shaker means stopping oil production on a rig. Companies are happier to do this when business is quiet,” says Bailey.