One of the UK’s precision machinists has recognised the power of collaboration by becoming the latest firm to join the Midlands Assembly Network (MAN).
Muller Holdings Ltd, which provides CNC milling, turning, multi-spindle and conventional escomatic capacity, is looking to tap into the group’s global reputation and tendering power to smash the £15m sales barrier for the first time in its history.
The management team believes working in partnership with nine other like-minded manufacturers will give it the capability to quote for larger, more complex assemblies and increase its market share in new and existing markets.
They are also expecting to secure other softer benefits by sharing best practice on skills, business planning and manufacturing systems, not to mention splitting exhibition and marketing costs.
“It’s 21 years since we performed the MBO and the right time to look at moving the company forward again,” explained Paul Bethell, managing director at Muller Holdings Ltd.
“We’ve been growing steadily through a combination of investment in new machinery, getting the right people in place and looking at new opportunities. For example, we are now producing products for the gas and medical sectors, making up nearly £2m of turnover in the last year alone.”
He continued: “I’d seen what MAN has been achieving and wanted to be part of a collective that not only promotes the region’s manufacturing strengths, but actually works on safeguarding contracts and bringing new work back home.”
Muller Holdings, which first moved to Shropshire in 1941 to avoid wartime bombing raids, currently employs 150 people and annual sales stand at £14m.
This capability – all facilities are governed by TS16949 quality accreditation – has seen it build up an enviable client base spanning automotive (light and heavy vehicles), hydraulics, gas and, over the last year, a steady growth in defence and medical.
Paul went on to add: “In addition to joining MAN, 2014 will also see us start a £1m investment programme that will include the purchase of the first of three twin spindle 3 turret CNC Index lathes for the production of components to be used in a new car.
The Midlands Assembly Network is currently made up of nine companies including Advanced Chemical Etching, Alucast, Barkley Plastics, Brandauer, Grove Design, Mec Com, PP Electrical Systems and SMT Developments.
Together they employ over 780 people and turnover in excess of £75m, providing access to world class manufacturing in precision pressings, casting, etching, injection moulding, wiring looms, toolmaking, PCB assembly and electrical control systems and assemblies.
Tony Hague, Chairman, concluded: “Muller Holdings joining is a fantastic addition for MAN and gives us the capacity to offer CNC escomatics and multi-spindle services for the first time.
“The company also shares a lot of the same principles as other members in the group and is committed to working together to ensure Midlands manufacturing remains a world leader.”