Midlands manufacturer ‘pushes aside’ Brexit uncertainty with £2.25m upgrade

Posted on 8 Oct 2019 by The Manufacturer

A Black Country aluminium casting specialist has invested more than £2m expanding its operation, to meet the “increasing demands” of its automotive client base.

Alucast has upgraded its casting capabilities by opening a 7,000 sqft machine shop in the West Midlands, to support lightweight and complex component production for the likes of Aston Martin and Lexus.

The Wednesbury-based manufacturer said its £2.25m investment signals the company has “pushed aside” business uncertainty surrounding Brexit, and given Alucast, “the speed and precision necessary to meet just-in-time delivery requirements of existing and future orders”.

Alucast Machine Shop Tour (L2)

Aston Martin Lagonda’s independent non-executive director Lord Carrington and Lord Whitby from Made in the Midlands opened the new facility – image courtesy of Alucast.

As part of its expansion, the aluminium foundry can now summon 20 CNC machines at any one time, with five of those capable of a five-axis cutting function.

Alucast said the additional capacity will be used to provide thin-walled lightweight castings for Aston Martin in South Wales, and new components for Lotus.

Alucast added that the investment will reduce lead times, improve repeatable quality and ensure “a 30% increase in capacity to take on up to £3m of new projects”.

thumbnail_Alucast Machine Shop Tour (L)

The new 7,000 sqft machine shop supports lightweight and complex component production for the automotive industry – image courtesy of Alucast.

“It would be quite easy for us to let the uncertainty rule our decisions, but that would be a mistake and mean we lose ground on our international rivals,” said Alucast managing director, John Swift.

“The £2.25m we’ve invested in the new machining shop, associated R&D projects and casting facilities is absolutely vital to keeping us at the forefront of the supply chain and in a solid position to continue to grow our base in the Black Country.

“We have to be proactive in supporting our clients with their ambitious expansion plans and this investment does just that.”

Alucast said its new lightweight contracts for automotive clients should be joined by a “raft” of customers in agriculture, hydraulics and the oil and gas industry.

Alucast is part of the Manufacturing Assembly Network, an eight-strong group of sub-contract manufacturers and an engineering design agency who work together to win orders and share best practice and resource.

The collective, which enjoys more than £150m sales and employs over 1600 people, can offer every engineering discipline imaginable, including automation and control systems, forging, plastic injection moulding, PCB development, precision machining, high-volume pressings and welded assemblies.

Its membership also includes: Barkley Plastics, Brandauer, C-MAC SMT, Grove Design, Kimbermills International, Muller Holdings, PP Control & Automation and Ricor.

By Rory Butler, Digital Journalist