Meet The Manufacturer Top 100 2020 Exemplars: Edward Grainger

The Manufacturer TOP100 is an annual celebration of one hundred people working in the UK manufacturing industry that are making a significant impact. As we ask you to nominate someone you think deserves to be recognised this year we take a look back at some of our winners from 2020.

The Manufacturer TOP100 celebrates people going that extra mile in the manufacturing industry. Registrations are now open to nominate someone you think deserves to be recognised in 2021. As we look forward to this year’s winners being announced during Digital Manufacturing Week 2021 in Liverpool in November, we take a look back at some of our 2020 Exemplar award winners. Each year, a select number of the TOP100 are chosen by our judging panel for special recognition, we call them ‘Exemplars’.

Edward Grainger Managing Director, Grainger & Worrall Ltd

Grainger and Worall was incorporated by Edward’s grandfather and his brother-in-law (Worrall). It’s a family business that has weathered the storm of 2020 and although challenging at times Edward says, “We are here, and as long as we keep on doing the right thing, I think the business is in a good shape to go forward”. On his own career path Edward says, “I think I’d always known that my calling was going to be into the family business. And I was very fortunate in that”.

Various placements, one of which was with his family business’ longstanding customer, Ricardo, gave Edward a fortunate early insight into the exciting space of automotive powertrain R&D. In the early 1990s the family business was in Edward’s words, “modest sized” (30 people) and although it embraced the digital revolution the DNA, Edward says, “it remained finding solutions to problems, be that in the form of shape, mechanical performance, light weighting, time or often all of the above. Embracing emerging technologies like process simulation and rapid prototyping (digital sand
printing) enabled us to really exercise the art of the possible”.

On the changes that have occurred across the course of his career in manufacturing Edward says he was lucky “that in the late 1980s it was quite a traditional apprenticeship that I took and by the time it finished, it was almost 2D handcrafted skill sets followed by the digital age of CAD and CAM, and then later, 3D printing and so on. I was fortunate to have experienced that little window of the handcrafted stuff before the digital age came along, which was almost always the fallback…You know, it developed so quickly. I inherited my grandfather’s toolbox that he had from his uncle. And within 18 months of my apprenticeship it was obsolete and that was after almost 100 years of some of those tools being used. And so it still sits in my shed, and I still use it at the weekends for doing those things that we all like to do at home”.

From a modest size in the 1990s the business now employs almost 600 people today. On that incredible growth Edward reflects, “meanwhile along
with my brothers Matthew and James we steered the business to a sustained period of double-digit growth with a policy of ‘scale and scope’ to a global market. I am very proud to say we have, and continue to be a key contributor with our castings to countless motorsport titles at the highest level. We are at the heart of powertrains to the world’s most desirable and iconic cars, giving leadership and innovative solutions on and under the sea, in the air and now enjoying the challenge of future generation transportation. I am most fortunate to travel the globe (right now virtually), make friends and be inspired by outstanding individuals and their great organisations.”

In their own words

What is your favourite engineered/manufactured product?

The Car. I am far from a petrol head, but always marvel at the continuous innovation, application and ability of the industry to exploit on a mass scale globally to a deadline.

Please give one interesting fact about yourself that not many people know.

I make the finest game sausages, from field to table with delicious winter mash and gravy.

If you weren’t in manufacturing what would your dream job be?

Make more sausages! 

Listen to podcast with Edward Grainger below.