EDGE Innovate: A Family Company with a Global Reach

When County Tyrone based KMC Engineering opened its doors in 1994 no one could have known that 14 years later the family owned company would evolve into EDGE Innovate to become one of the world’s biggest manufacturers and exporters of sophisticated equipment for the quarrying, waste handling and recycling sectors.

Today, as it increasingly focuses on the growing environmental sector, EDGE Innovate employs around 170 people directly, and currently exports more than 99% of its products from its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, having developed a strong presence throughout overseas markets such as North America, Australia, and Middle East.

So, what has contributed to its rapid and impressive success? Comments Managing Director Darragh Cullen: “There are many things that have come together to make the company what it is today, not least our staff and employees – from the shop floor to our sales people, to our marketing department and to our management team.

“We have some excellent managers here, some have been with us for a long time, others are relatively new, providing us with an excellent mix of management skills; it is good to bring in new people with expertise in different sectors who can provide a fresh outlook.

“Our workforce is very loyal and everyone is proud to work here; we have a lot of committed people who believe strongly in the company and the brand we have created. They will go the extra mile for us and for our customers. We are not afraid of change. We don’t stand still, we are always moving forward, questioning our processes and procedures, always open to fresh ideas and suggestions, always flexible in our approach.”

Ever since those KMC Engineering days when the company was sub contracted to a number of major exporters and manufacturers, the management team has been good at keeping costs under control, keeping overheads to a minimum and moving forward in an efficient and productive way.

“Our people have always had a flair for good design and KMC Engineering provided us with a solid base to grow and evolve into EDGE Innovate. Our customers are our sounding board in terms of new ideas and new products; we are very customer driven in everything we do,” says Darragh.

“We have a strong marketing team both locally and internationally and consequently our brand is known and respected in many countries. We are not called ‘EDGE’ for nothing. We strive to give our customers an ‘edge’ in the marketplace over their competition.”

Award Winning

No one, then, perhaps should be surprised that this year has been somewhat special for the company as it was presented with the Queens Award for Enterprise recognising its excellence in International Trade for the second time, having won its first Queen’s Award in 2019, becoming only one of seven companies to achieve two such Queen’s Awards.

“Given the sad passing of Her Majesty the Queen, the awards will always be treasured,” adds Darragh who earlier this year met the new King. “When we were invited to Buckingham Palace for the awards presentation, it was the then Prince Charles who hosted the ceremony, as he did back in 2019.

“We view this latest award as recognition of the hard work and resilience of all our stakeholders over the last three years, especially during the time of the pandemic. With staff suffering from covid, isolating and with enforced lockdown, it has been an extremely challenging period. I want to thank our entire team for their help during this time. To our suppliers who have been faced with their own difficulties, thank you for your support. To our customers who have had to deal with long delivery times and increased costs, thank you very much for your patience.”

We mentioned earlier that EDGE Innovate is flexible in its approach to business – and that extends to its product designs; in fact, much of its equipment is produced with flexibility in mind. “Bringing new products to the market on a regular basis is very important, no more so than in the environmental sector where demands, standards and legislation are changing all the time,” explains Darragh, “which is why we are able to tailor existing products to specific customer requirements; what suits one client in one country may not necessarily so in another, so being able to ‘tweak’ our equipment designs makes it a lot more efficient and cost effective for both us and the customer.”

Of course, the company has a very proactive R&D department, constantly working on new designs and innovations, utilising latest technologies to do so. “R&D has always been an integral part of our business from the very beginning. At the moment, there is a big focus on electrification of equipment, but requirements differ from one country to another in terms of recycling needs and demand for carbon neutral products, so it is always a balancing act. Ultimately, I look forward to the day when there is no diesel powered equipment leaving our facilities.”

Dealer Network

Turning to the dealer network; that is the lifeblood of any company, and comments Tom Connolly, territory sales manager: “Our partners across the world are hugely important. Currently, we have 70 dealers and partners around the world and we maintain and foster a strong positive relationship with all of them. We work as a team, which is another reason for our success.”

Tom has been with the company for over 15 years and has established solid working relationships throughout the dealer network. He is always seeking out new emerging territories and new partners who would be a good fit for EDGE Innovate and much of his time is spent abroad.

“The big selling points for Edge is the versatility of the machines we have in our portfolio, and being able to focus on a diverse range of applications, especially in the waste and recycling sector – from small operations to multi-nationals, we have equipment that can perform in a variety of different environments and tasks and meet different regional levels of legislation and standards.”

The company’s long term goals is to ensure that EDGE becomes one of the biggest names in the waste and recycling sector in the UK, as it already is in other countries. That process is already underway, with the appointment of Red Knight 6 Ltd (RK6) as their exclusive distributor for England and Wales. RK6 are distributors of world leading crushing, screening and recycling equipment for the quarrying, demolition and waste recycling industries throughout the UK & Ireland.

“We have been looking for a partner that will work with us on a long term basis and help drive greater sales throughout the UK. The experience RK6 has and the way they want to work with their partners fits perfectly with what we are looking for to grow our UK business,” said Tom.

Adds Paul Donnelly, Managing Director of RK6: “The EDGE Innovate product range compliments the brands we already work with perfectly. We recognise the opportunity for EDGE Innovate in the UK is a huge one and we look forward to delivering similar success to that already seen by our other partners.”

Ongoing Investment

Three years ago EDGE Innovate embarked on an £8m investment plan to cope with growing demand for its products. A new paint shop and stores facilities have been added, increasing production capacity by 30% and a new Customer Welcome Centre is being established to house its ever-expanding sales, marketing and aftersales departments.

“The new centre will be well utilised as we are constantly welcoming customers here from all over the world, sometimes for product training, other times to let them see our production processes and to get to know them on a more personal basis.”

So, what does the future hold for EDGE Innovate?  “We want to continue to grow at a controlled level, placing strong focus on product development, product support and service excellence. As I said, the only real difference between any business is the people who work in it and I believe we have the very best.”



Associated Businesses

  • With over 30 years’ experience in designing and manufacturing; EDGE Innovate has quickly become a global leader in the design and distribution of a range of equipment used in the recycling, materials handling and quarry industries....