Midlands Assembly Network adds forging power to its ranks

Posted on 21 Jan 2016 by Callum Bentley

A unique manufacturing collective is targeting over £2m in new sales after adding forging to its capabilities.

The Midlands Assembly Network, a group of sub-contract manufacturers, has welcomed KimberMills International to its ranks in a bid to open up new opportunities in the petrochemical and rail sectors.

This means MAN can now offer forged parts up to 75kg, as well all mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering processes, including high volume pressings; CNC machining; injection moulding; fabrication, and PCB development.

Tony Hague, chairman of MAN, commented: “We are delighted to attract such a well respected company and one that shares the same values that we do, values of continuous improvement, world class performance and innovation.

“KimberMills has recently invested £1m into a new forge facility, one of only a few new ones seen in the region for years. This gives it the capability to produce oil and gas pipe clamps and brake/suspension parts for the automotive sector.”

Kimber Drop Forgings employee working with new forge.
Kimber Drop Forgings employee working with new forge.

He went on to add: “There are a lot of natural synergies with member firms like Alucast and Muller Holdings and these clusters are already in the process of being developed.”

Established in 1919, KimberMills International offers high quality forgings and machined parts in steel; stainless steel; carbon; aluminium, and super duplex.

The firm, which employs 50 people across sites in Cradley Heath and Coventry, currently exports 25% of its annual turnover to customers in Canada, Dubai, Europe, Malaysia and the United States.

In addition to founders Mills Forgings and Kimber Drop, the group also comprises Taront Tooling (die and toolmaker); ABG Minerals (mining tool specialist); PSL (group finance), and PAJ (management services).

Larry Joyce, chairman, is delighted to be joining the Midlands Assembly Network.

“MAN is a fantastic example of Midlands manufacturers working together to retain work and bring contracts home to the UK. We’ve been watching its development for some time and glad it felt we had something to offer,” he said.

“We believe there’s about £1m of new orders we can secure from increasing our presence in markets like motorsport and F1, but the collective is much more than just the positive difference on the bottom line.

Expectign the new forge at Kimber Drop Forgings is Geoff Turbull and Larry Joyce.
Inspecting oe of the new forges Kimber Drop Forgings is Geoff Turbull and Larry Joyce (both KimberMills International).

“I know there’s a lot of best practice sharing we can benefit from and there’s significant savings we can enjoy from making the most of our combining purchasing power on common items.”

He concluded: “The brand is very powerful and I’m sure there will be a lot of marketing and PR we’ll be able to take advantage of as we get more involved.”

The Midlands Assembly Network is a collective of eight sub-contract manufacturers and a specialist design consultancy who work together to win work at home and overseas.

The group, which features Alucast; Barkley Plastics; Brandauer; Grove Design; Mec Com; Muller Holdings; PP Electrical Systems, and SMT Developments, employs 700 people over 12 factories and this year is expected to exceed £75m combined turnover.