Leading Black Country foundry sets its sights on £10m sales

Posted on 8 Sep 2015 by Jonny Williamson

Specialist supplier of sand, gravity and pressure castings, Alucast is celebrating after securing a prestigious global automotive quality accreditation.

The firm has secured TS16949 as part of its continuous improvement drive and believes this latest development will pave the way for 33% growth between now and 2018.

Martin Hayes (group quality manager) and Michael Warden (quality manager), Alucast.
Martin Hayes (group quality manager) and Michael Warden (quality manager), Alucast.

Boosted by the industry-specific approval, the company is expecting to win a number of new orders, taking turnover from its current £7m level to £10.4m in three years and potentially creating 25 new jobs in the process.

Alucast’s technical manager, Martin Haynes explained: “We’ve always offered outstanding manufacturing standards to our global client base, but in order to win more work with Tier 1 and car makers we had to secure TS16949, it’s fast becoming a pre-requisite on tenders.

“It is a quick estimate, but now we hold the accreditation we believe we can bid for more than £5m of additional work every year, that could change our company forever.”

He continued: “It’s a massive investment in time and money, there’s no escaping that. However, the additional measures we have put in place are already generating cost savings through reductions in waste and greater throughput of work.

“Our Parts Per Million [PPM] score has improved and ‘right first time’ is becoming the norm.”

A founding member of the Midlands Assembly Network (MAN), Alucast has seen sales rise by 5% this year to £7m.

Mateusz Andrzejewski inspects a casting
Mateusz Andrzejewski inspects a casting.

This has been driven by a number of new contract wins in the premium sports car segment, supplying complex castings to the commercial vehicle market, and three reshoring wins worth nearly £500,000.

Seven new people have been employed as part of the expansion, taking the workforce to more than 100 people – a number of whom are young apprentices starting their career in the foundry industry.

Chairman of Alucast, Tony Sartorius continued: “Martin and his team have worked tirelessly to ensure we received TS16949 at the first time of asking and this will give us a great platform from which to grow.

“Our workforce has bought into the initiative and a united effort has produced the results we wanted. In addition to the accreditation, we have recently installed MAGMASOFT casting software that is speeding up time to market and reducing the cost of prototyping.”

He concluded: “This is part of a £1m investment that also includes new CNC machines, replacement furnaces and building and layout improvements.”

Formed in the late-1960s, Alucast has recently installed a low pressure facility to further develop its expertise in structural parts and continues to offer fully machined castings ready for its customers to assemble trackside.

The company operates from a 55,000 sq ft facility in the heart of the Black Country, with clients spanning automotive; construction; electronics; hydraulics, and vacuum goods.