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Made in the Midlands weekly round up - 09/12/16

Posted on: Dec 12th

This week, Midland manufacturers celebrated the whirlwind year of 2016 at the Made in the Midlands Christmas Drinks celebration at Hotel Du Vin, Birmingham on Thursday 8th December.

In a show of post-Brexit solidarity, manufacturers drove a fleet of trucks outside the venue to prove that Midlands manufacturers are stronger together. Vehicles were driven by Salop Powder Coating, Frank Dudley, Yeoman Pressings, Pemberton Engineering, Cooper & Jackson, SSC Laser, BBE Engineering, AEO Oscroft, Petford Group and Phoenix Tooling and Development.

Furthermore, Made in the Midlands and Threeway Pressings hosted a charity raffle at the event in support of Save the Children. Manufacturers collectively raised £540 for the charity to signify the importance of communal spirit. Threeway Pressings conduct charity work throughout the year and will present a Bullbarrow full of spirits to the eventual winner of the raffle which will be revealed on Christmas Jumper Day.

We also invited three members into the MIM TV studio for the latest installment of our ‘Meet Britain’s Makers’ series. Filtermist International’s Managing Director, James Stansfield, Professional Polishing Services Managing Director Kirsty Davies-Chinnock and Zaun Limited’s Research and Development Manager, Adam Christie.

£3m manufacturing training and development centre set to bridge Marches skills gap

Detailed plans for a new state-of-the-art training hub in Shropshire were unveiled for the first time yesterday, with the aim of supporting ‘2020 learners by 2020’.

More than 100 local businesses and stakeholders attended the £3m Marches Centre of Manufacturing & Technology (MCMT) launch event in Bridgnorth to find out how they can play their role in helping it reverse the region’s skills and competency gaps.

The MCMT, which is led by a consortium of Classic Motor Cars, Grainger & Worrall, Salop Design & Engineering and training provider In-Comm, will provide a high-tech environment for individuals to learn from engineering experts on the latest technology – all geared towards giving them opportunities to apply their new found skills on real life manufacturing situations.

Gareth Jones, Managing Director of In-Comm, added his support: “We will be looking to open our doors for office based courses from April 1st and full engineering courses from August 2017. There is a lot of work ahead to equip the centre and build a pipeline of learners who want to be part of something new and exciting.

“There is a lot of engagement planned with Shropshire schools and colleges to get young people thinking about engineering and manufacturing as a career and, it is important to stress, that the MCMT is open to all employers in the area.”

AJ Robotics and Engineering Technology Group reflect on business

Peter Tobin, Managing Director of AJ Robotics explained: “We have installed systems for Tier 1 automotive suppliers such as Rosti McKechnie and IAC, and Mayborn Group/Sangenic, owners of the Tommee Tippee brand.

AJ Robotics has been trading for six years offering robotic solutions to clients across various industries including but not limited to, Plastic injection moulding, robotic CNC milling systems, welding systems, laser cutting, press brake systems and the food industry.

We currently supply new six axis articulated from manufacturers such as KUKA, NACHI and KAWASAKI, we can also supply refurbished robots from manufacturers such as ABB, KUKA, FANUC. All robots can be supplied as the robot only or we can do full turnkey systems to your exacting requirements. Robotic systems are more affordable than you imagine and ROI on a basic system can be from as little as twelve months.

Alternatively, Engineering Technology Group, Managing Director Martin Doyle said: “It has been a challenging year dominated by Brexit related uncertainty but one that we have ultimately come out of very well.

“Like many, we experienced a lull in early and mid-summer.  I think buyers were simply waiting to see what happened after the referendum but soon after, when things started to return to something like normality, we saw an upturn as confidence returned.  Obviously, as a nett importer (of machines tools), we have had to wear the effects of the low sterling value but confidence has returned to the marketplace, we have recovered well and the order book into the first quarter of 2017 and beyond is optimistic.”

ETG has also announced the completion of the second phase of a restructure of the business by consolidating the Capital Equipment Division and the Operations Division under one roof as it continues to focus on efficiencies and customer care.

Brammer discuss website, project and awards nomination

Brammer, a distributor of industrial maintenance, repair and overhaul products (MRO) and services, is pleased to announce the launch of Brammer Online, its new dedicated web store which gives customers enhanced, 24/7 access to its extensive range of industrial supplies. The website can be accessed at

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) partnered with Brammer to manage the supply of its MRO spare parts to its manufacturing operations including its Wakefield site. Working with CCEP since 2009, the partnership has since evolved and is now based on a core concept of best practice in MRO procurement – vendor managed inventory. To achieve this, Brammer implemented its Insite™ service – effectively a dedicated branch housed within the Wakefield plant, achieving cost savings of more than 11% to date.

Moreover, Brammer’s partnership with Coca-Cola Enterprise Partners (CCEP) in Wakefield has seen its Insite™ team nominated for a prestigious ‘Maintenance Team Award’ at the Manufacturing Champions Awards held by Works Management.

Additionally, Brammer has renewed its pledge to the University of Bath’s engineering students after sponsoring its two racing teams – Team Bath Racing and Team Bath Racing Electric – for a second year running.

Metalast reveal their work with five case studies

Metalast provided the chrome iron ballast for trimming during sea trials, for a world class 73M Luxury Mega Motor Yacht built in 2012. They completed this project within 48 hours notice by using air freight to deliver the material to Monaco.

They also completed work on the largest ship in the Royal Navy’s fleet, built at Rosyth Shipyard, Scotland. Metalast supplied the specialised grade of VariDense heavyweight ballast material to Tarmac for use within their Ultiballast product. VariDense has also been specified for the heavyweight edition of the sister ship HMS Prince of Wales, currently in the building phase.

Furthermore, Metalast supplied 400 tonnes of VariDense ballast for the Pelamis Wave Energy Converter. They supplied the material in 25kg bags to meet the specifications of the client.

Also, Metalast fulfilled an urgent request for 80 tonnes of VariDense to re-ballast this cruise liner after a major refit project prior to departing on its Christmas voyage.

Finally, Metalast supplied the ballast to Macduff Shipyards Limited that was required for this steel scallop trawler in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.

Sorion cover future exhibitions, events and quality standards

Sorion have rebooked The Manufacturing Management Show in 2017 and we have also booked to exhibit at The Manufacturer Smart Factory Expo in 2017, which is the UK’s only dedicated exhibition in response to Industry 4.0. This show runs in tandem with Advanced Engineering on 1st & 2nd November 2017 at the NEC Birmingham.

They are hosting an open morning at Sorion’s offices which will include a series of seminars demonstrating how manufacturing businesses can maximise the potential of shop floor guided assembly, end-of-line electrical testing and how they can fully utilise build data to maximise efficiencies, embracing what is now called “Industry 4.0”.

We are delighted to confirm that we have been successful in our re-accreditation of the ISO9001:2008 standard by Lloyds Register. Furthermore, 2017 will see Sorion work towards the transition to the new ISO9001:2015 standard.

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