A HANDRAIL company in Bolton which has installed bannisters in the US Embassy and Houses of Parliament is looking to use digital technology to expand its horizons.

Several celebrities have also retained the services of Burnden-based Handrail Creations (HR), the winner of last year's small and medium sized firms prize at the Bolton Business Awards.

But the advent of artificial intelligence, data analytics, augmented reality and the industrial internet of things could all assist the Raikes Lane firm to grow even further.

Bosses at HR have signed up with the advanced manufacturing campaign Made Smarter, which is aiming to swell the bottom lines of them and 11 other north-west businesses.

Kenny Macfarlane, HR's managing director, feels that adopting state-of-the-art systems and software is an important step for the business.

He said: "Joinery is no longer an old-fashioned trade – using state-of-the-art 3D scanning systems and software is crucial to building our company for the future.

"Being able to capture and process the 3D data we need using this new digital technology will speed up our process from survey to manufacture by up to 20 per cent.

"It will increase our efficiency, but more importantly it will reduce the chance of error, ensuring that our bespoke products are right first time.

"Looking to the future, it will undoubtedly give us scope to diversify into other products and services."

Donna Edwards, Made Smart north west director, added: "Working with business we have found that they are enthusiastic about the benefits of adopting new digital technology.

"Often they need funding support but also the specialist advice and insight to help them select the right approach for their business.

"This is exactly how Made Smarter can and is helping businesses across the region. It’s been interesting to see the range of businesses and sub-sectors the successful applicants have come from and the technologies selected."