Cambridge Precision celebrates reshoring success

Posted on 13 Jul 2015 by Callum Bentley

A Cambridgeshire precision machining specialist has taken advantage of the reshoring trend by bringing a prestigious contract back to the region.

Cambridge Precision Ltd – which employs 70 people at its factory in St Neots – has secured an order to manufacture precision machined products after beating its Hungarian rivals on price and quality.

Supported by the Business Growth Service’s Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), the company has impressed the client with its quick response times, shorter turnaround and an ability to get involved from design right through to final production and delivery.

Troy Watts carries out some laser marking at Cambridge Engineering,

The contract is expected to eventually be worth £500,000 and has already created new jobs at the firm, with the promise of more reshoring work in the pipeline.

Chairman, Richard Hobbs commented: “There is definitely a move by the larger companies to review where they manufacture and this represents a great opportunity for UK firms that have come through the recession by working smarter and leaner.

“A few years ago, purchasing teams were chasing the cost downs so it made sense to migrate to low cost countries. The reality is that the total acquisition cost of the part ends up being significantly different to the original piece part price. With all costs factored in – not to mention the poor technical support you often receive – the original attraction does start to lose its appeal.”

Hobbs continued: “We still have to do our bit and make sure that we offer world class quality and are competitive on price. The Business Growth Service’s manufacturing experts helped with this by providing strategic support and funding towards change management and introducing learn manufacturing…something we want to continue with more training on 5S and Business Improvement Techniques.”

The reshoring success saw Cambridge Precision’s annual sales rise by almost 20% in 2014, an increase that was also bolstered by new business opportunities in aerospace and defence – a direct result of the company securing AS9100 accreditation.

As a result of this growth, there is an on-going recruitment campaign that will result in the appointment of 2 engineering apprentices.

Due to its proven success in precision machined parts further expansion is expected and more than £200,000 is currently being invested in the installation of new machine tools, a new Co-ordinate Measurement Machine and a number of building improvements to cope with the increase in orders and provide capacity for future new business ‘wins’.

Components manufactured at Cambridge Precision .
Components manufactured at Cambridge Precision .

Nick Raven, production manager, added: “We can offer machining; milling; turning; NPi, and also have a proven track record of completing specialist electro-mechanical assembly projects.

“Increasingly, companies are looking for you to get involved sooner and take a more vertically integrated approach to how you supply their products/services. This ‘one stop approach’ is already being offered and is something we are very proud of and will continue to build on.”

Business Growth Service has worked with Cambridge Precision for a number of years, providing the relatively young management team with advice, mentoring and signposting it to funding.

Business Growth Manager, Robin Cheyne concluded: “It’s really pleasing to see how the company has grown this year after identifying new opportunities, especially for making the most of work being placed back in the UK.

“The change programme and move to more lean manufacturing has seen it reorganise the factory layout over the two units. This is just the start and we will continue to support its expansion over the next year.”