Cats and Pipes

Origins

Father and son, John and David Carpenter have been operating in the automotive exhaust industry for over 20 years and their move into the specialist catalytic converter market over five years ago, though challenging, has advanced the company’s technological and engineering resource to a point where they can now produce a cat’ that is tailor - made to suit any particular application. The Carpenters previously manufactured exhaust systems and their in – depth knowledge of the industry assisted in their fore-sight of the demand for specialist technology once new legislation governing car emissions took force in recent years.

Success Factor

The three main factors that have driven Cats and Pipes since inception are knowledge of the Automotive industry for over 25 years, manufacturing a good product and extensive knowledge of the speciality of product development. Their programme of new technological product development and the expansion of the manufacturing facility in North Wales has been assisted by the Welsh Development Agency. Project Manager Ian Zacharia and Innovation Technology Adviser Gwion Williams, both of the WDA have played an important and supportive role in the Carpenter’s innovative venture.

The Future

Cats and Pipes aims to grow again over the next 2 years. The firm recently achieved R103 Type Approval and is now expanding its export market by supplying ‘direct fits’ into Europe. John Carpenter, Joint Managing Director said "We buy in virgin ceramic substrate and manufacture our own steel substrate and then load the precious metals onto each unit. This gives us the ability to manufacture to individual specifications, unlike our competition that rely on universal units from places such as the US for their cans. All our cats’ and direct fits are assembled on site and the loading and canning facility gives us a good deal more flexibility and the ability to produce solutions to order. We feel, with the arrival of new, more stringent, emission regulations over the next couple of years, the market will require cats’ with much tighter specifications and we believe we are, at present, the only aftermarket manufacturer in the UK with the ability to meet this challenge." said John. Producing thousands of units per year, whether a popular specification or a ‘one off solution’, Cats & Pipes currently distribute to manufacturers, distributors and the automotive trade in general and with the award of the R103 Type Approval expect their market in mainland Europe to rapidly expand in the next couple of years. The firm also aims to develop facilities for in-house testing, for manufacturing precious metals which clean the harmful gases, and for tooling which will produce the metal cases, which house the catalyst substrates. The firm is also in the process of gaining ISO9000 Part II.