Laser power helps Birmingham firm capitalise on £1.2m investment

Posted on 3 Jul 2015 by Jonny Williamson

Leading sheet metal specialist, Birmingham Prototypes is planning to almost double its turnover after making one of the biggest investments in its history.

Birmingham Prototypes Limited (BPL) has spent £1.2m on a 5,000 sq ft extension of its Redditch factory and the installation of an advanced TRUMPF 7040 5-axis fibre laser cutter.

Birmingham Protoypes (Machine)
The TRUMPF 7040 5-axis fibre laser cutter.

One of the first of its type to be installed in the UK, the machine gives the growing company the ability to offer a full turnkey solution for automotive and aerospace clients looking for prototype components and low volume production.

The firm believes annual sales will grow by £2m thanks to this new capacity, with three new people added to the 16-strong workforce to cope with the expected increases in demand. More recruits are planned for later in the year.

Founder, Mick Adams explained: “We have a long history of producing parts that require 5-axis laser cutting, but with increased scheduling and quality issues associated with sub-contracting out the process, we realised the time was right to bring the full manufacturing process in-house.

“This gives us greater control, the ability to turnaround customer requests quicker, not to mention new capacity to go after new work…vital if we are looking to grow over the next five years.”

Birmingham Prototypes (L3)
Mick Adams, founder, Birmingham Prototypes.

BPL’s business has been built on tackling complex customer requirements for prototype or low volume parts. Its expert team of engineers have many years’ experience of working with Tier 1 and OEMs at the early stage of design and then managing the project through to completion.

Every completed part passes through BPL’s laser scanning inspection facilities, which feature a CMM touch probe and 3D laser scanner (accurate to 6 microns) and a handheld arm accurate to 15 microns – again equipment all purchased in the past year.

The customer then receives parts with all the necessary documentation, such as PPAP, FAIR and IDMS.

Adams concluded: “Automotive and aerospace are our two main markets. However we also have clients involved in rail, defence, medical and energy sectors.

“Our full range of expertise spans tooling design and manufacture, press work, fabrication, assembly and general sheet metal working.”