Our Story & Background

Coltraco is a family company, with 3 generations of the family working for the business alongside an extremely talented group of individuals, all who share our values and commitment to science and commercial integrity. The company was founded in 1987 by Mr. E C Hunter, a Royal Naval (RN) Submariner 27 years at sea & his son Mr. Carl Stephen Patrick Hunter, the current CEO.

Mr. E C Hunter spent 5 years working for the Admiralty Research Laboratories, specialising in sonar technologies. It became clear to him that marine CO2 suppression systems could benefit from a portable ultrasonic device, able to monitor the contents. Methods at the time involved either weighing cylinders, or using testing devices that included a radioactive source. Identifying a significant market opportunity, with large commercial vessels typically holding up to 600 x 45KG cylinders on-board, Mr. E C Hunter retired and set to work. By 1987 he had produced the world’s first dedicated marine portable liquid level indicator, able to monitor multi-banked rows of cylinders aboard commercial vessels. Whilst the original monitoring device was complex to use, its accuracy was unparalleled, able to read cylinders to within 1/8th of an inch or +/- 1.5 mm. It took another 3-4 years until 1990 to develop a unit which was more user-friendly.Today, Coltraco have equipped over 9000 ships, 25 Navies, 1000 offshore oil & gas platforms, 100 power stations and 5000 fire safety companies. We export to 105 countries and exports constitute 85% of our output.


Coltraco manufacture a wide range of over 18 Products and Systems.

Ultrasound technology is the central foundation of our technical expertise, Coltraco offers a range of products and systems across 3 key categories:

  • Monitoring of Fire Suppression Systems – portable products & fixed monitoring systems
  • Watertight Integrity Test Indication – portable products & fixed monitoring systems
  • Condition Monitoring – portable thickness gauging, flow monitor & bearing indication products

In January 2016 our CEO Carl Stephen Patrick Hunter was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the Durham University, UK for his contribution to Physics and Business, innovative ‘research & development, and for providing continued professional development to the students he worked with. Below are a few photos from the special occasion, with Carl, the Vice-Chancellor, his family, and some of the Coltraco Team.


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