From rock ‘n’ roll places to rock-solid cases – a journey through manufacturing excellence

Posted on 14 Dec 2023 by Lanna Deamer

The Manufacturer’s Lanna Deamer recently paid a visit to CP Cases, a company with a history embedded in the music industry, but which has since diversified to provide its rugged solutions to a number of industry verticals.

It’s always an enjoyable experience when the team and I get to visit some of the UK’s top manufacturers as we get to see where the magic happens. When I first researched the company we were going to visit next on our list, I can’t lie, I didn’t think it was going to be up there with one of my favourite manufacturers, having recently walked away from Lush and Nim’s Crisps loaded with goodies. However, CP Cases, who design and manufacture rugged, impact-resistant cases, containers and electronic racks, really surprised me.

When we walked through the doors of the Isleworth manufacturing site and saw an old flight case belonging to John Entwistle (former bass player from British rock band, The Who) in reception, I knew my colleague Joe Bush would be in his absolute element. Combined with this, the company operates out of a former film studio, responsible for creating such classics as The African Queen, starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, back in the 1950s. This was further evidenced by the stunning old school posters on the wall and some traditional cinema seats in reception (coolest manufacturer reception I’ve been in to date).

We’ve only just begun…

CP Cases began its journey in the 1970s when the live music industry was booming. Artists like The Who, The Moody Blues and Deep Purple were touring all over the world with their beloved instruments and vital sound systems. With artists spreading their wings and world tours (literally) beginning to take off, the company saw a gap in the market to supply sturdy cases for these precious cargos. 

Fast-forward to the present day and CP Cases have since diversified its expertise to safeguard practically any valuable or fragile equipment during transportation or storage. While it used to focus mainly on flight cases, we were told that element only accounts for around two percent of sales, and the company now has the remaining 98% coming from its Amazon cases and racks, ERacks and Airships for outside broadcast equipment, portable medical and military equipment and a whole lot more.

Over the course of 50 years, CP Cases has worked with a range of industries, from security and defence, to medical and outside broadcasting, with vastly different working requirements and casing needs. By leveraging the power of CAD/CAM software, the manufacturer harnesses advanced technology to conceptualise and refine designs. The software enables the company to translate creative ideas into precise digital models with a visualisation of every aspect of the product.

Peter Ross, Founder and Managing Director of CP Cases told us: “Many of our products are accredited to MIL-STD-810F, rated IP65 and carry NATO stock numbers, with our Airship complying with IATA standards when required.  

Peter Ross, Founder and Managing Director of CP Cases

“We are dedicated to delivering top tier solutions that not only meet industry standards but also embody our core values of precision, reliability and customer satisfaction. It’s a mark of our enduring commitment to quality; a commitment that has stood the test of time and will continue to guide us in our pursuit of excellence.”

The design process

The process begins with the client’s enquiry, followed by a thorough understanding of technical needs, performance requirements and compliance specifications. A detailed quotation is then prepared, encompassing specifications, accreditation and engineering drawings for pricing and lead time information.  

This involves creating detailed engineering drawings, assembling a comprehensive bill of materials, entering manufacturing and delivery details into an ERP system, and then providing the production floor with the complete manufacturing package. 

Upon receiving the purchase order, the delivery date and destination are confirmed. The product design is finalised and client approval is obtained before proceeding.  

Peter explained: “The design process and protocols prioritise product integrity in manufacturing, with ISO 9001 certification adding to client confidence. We offer a variety of standard product sizes and can also create customised solutions through our UK design team for almost any application.”  

What does CP Cases make?

It seems that one of CP Cases key strengths lies in the diversity of products it offers under one roof. During our factory tour, we got to see a range of the company’s different products. From its popular Amazon Cases and Amazon Racks which protect electronic, IT and telecommunications equipment in climatic extremes, to camera covers which are used at some of the most prestigious live sporting and music events. The company has even developed bespoke cases for the transportation of The Ashes and Premier League trophies. 

Peter further mentioned: “We handle the entire process, from manufacturing to processing, making us a comprehensive one-stop destination for anyone seeking customised protective solutions, regardless of their complexity.  

“I must emphasise that we have remarkably low customer turnover. While some project-based customers may temporarily fade from our radar once their projects conclude, they often resurface with new projects; sometimes days later, on occasions even after a two-year gap.  

He added that this unpredictability poses a challenge for CP Cases as the company’s primary marketing concern revolves around determining if customers have moved on. Many are likely in a dormant phase due to the absence of ongoing projects, so customer retention remains an ongoing challenge. This is where participating in exhibitions has become invaluable and has helped the company stay at the forefront of industry. 

“Our expertise extends to transport and handling, covering a wide range of challenging environments. We’re well-equipped to address virtually every scenario. Additionally, electromagnetic interference (EMI) is an increasingly prevalent concern, as is cyber security as threats can emerge anywhere, including within electronic systems in the field. Consequently, the demand for screening electronic equipment is skyrocketing, and we’ve positioned ourselves as specialists in this area. This often involves utilising aluminium products, which aligns perfectly with our strengths. As a result, we’ve established a strong reputation in this field, which has further solidified our position.” 

CP Cases has partnered with the Met Police for an extended period of time. Peter explained that there is a reliance on the manufacturer for a wide range of products, from specialised backpacks equipped with radio transmitters to items designed for various event needs, such as security checkpoints with metal detectors.  

Defence and security constitute the lion’s share of the business, comprising 40-50% of its operations. The manufacturer has also made its mark in the marine and offshore sectors, working on significant projects like naval vessels, including aircraft carriers, Type 45 destroyers, and other surface ships.  

Additionally, the company has ventured into the electronics industry and are a major player in the oil and gas sector. The medical field is another significant area, accounting for approximately 20% to 25% of the business, primarily in renal and orthopaedic applications. The company’s involvement in telecommunications is notable, especially in electronic news gathering (ENG), which involves live streaming and satellite links for reporting telecom news globally. This segment holds a substantial market share for CP Cases.  

As mentioned previously, the company is also heavily active in the realm of outside broadcasting, which is predominantly associated with sports events. This entails various camera setups and requirements, including large gantry cameras for horse racing, as well as smaller cameras for positing inside the goal during football matches.  

Peter explained: “One of our key product lines includes Amazon Cases and Amazon Racks. For instance, the image on the left showcases a case measuring approximately 2.7 meters in length – a sizeable container. Initially designed for the oil and gas industry for downhole tools, these cases have found versatile applications, including housing large drone components. In fact, one of these cases held a pod that was utilised in the Eurofighter aircraft.”


CP Cases could have been hit badly by the range of challenges that many manufacturers have had to face over the last few years. From Brexit to COVID to supply chain disruption, it hasn’t been an easy period for the sector. However, the manufacturer has been on what Peter described as a ‘Made in Britain’ path for some time now.  

He said: “We’ve invested significant effort in reducing business risks, primarily by focusing on risk mitigation rather than simply following a predetermined course of action. This approach stemmed from the realisation that some people may have overlooked the long-term costs and potential risks associated with elongated supply chains, such as the early indicators we observed during the COVID-19 outbreak. Given the unique and responsive nature of our business, it’s crucial to have local control rather than relying on large, distant supply chains to avoid potential disruptions.” 

Many manufacturers are now looking towards digitalising their operations and deploying emerging technology and CP Cases are no different as the company is currently engaged in a project to digitise its shopfloor operations, aiming to collect valuable data from its machines to continuously optimise their performance.  

However, CP Cases recognise the importance of not getting overwhelmed by data and emphasised the need to have clear objectives from the start. The company is also implementing a new data logging system, which has already revealed insights into energy consumption. 

Additionally, with a new ERP system on the horizon, CP Cases is streamlining various aspects of its business operations, from commercial activities to design and inventory control, across the US and UK through cloud integration. This digital transformation marks a significant shift from the challenges the manufacturer faced in the past when doing business globally, especially during the 1970s. Nowadays, the barriers have diminished, and global commerce is much more accessible, thanks to modern logistics and technology. 

Overall, CP Cases has evolved from its rock ‘n’ roll roots to become a versatile manufacturer providing protective solutions across a wide range of industries while embracing digital transformation and mitigating risks associated with supply chain challenges.

Key takeaways

  • CP Cases, initially known for providing sturdy cases for the live music industry, has diversified its offerings to include a wide range of protective solutions.  
  • The manufacturer places a strong emphasis on understanding clients’ technical needs and performance requirements.  
  • It offers customised protective solutions for a variety of applications, from electronic equipment to sports and live events, including transportation cases for prestigious items like The Ashes and Premier League trophies.  
  • CP Cases serves a diverse range of markets, including defence, security, marine, electronics, oil and gas, medical, telecommunications and outside broadcasting.  
  • The company is actively pursuing digitalisation to optimise its operations and data collection. 

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