Name change helps target £3m of new ‘lightweight’ opportunities

Posted on 20 Feb 2014 by Tim Brown

One of Wrexham’s leading automotive suppliers has changed its name in order to tap into demand for lightweight ‘eco’ parts across a range of global markets.

Cobra Automotive Engineering will now be known as Applied Component Technology (ACT), as part of its desire to secure up to £3m of new contracts in automotive, aerospace and new generation low carbon vehicles.

A new corporate identity has been developed and a website launched following a communications exercise that involved all major customers and suppliers.

It marks the company’s one-year anniversary following its purchase by specialist industrial investors Pemberton Capital and the appointment of Bob Woods as the new Managing Director.

In that time, ACT has re-established its presence as key supplier of interior trim technologies and products to tier 1s and car markers across the globe.

All 75 staff have been retained and, following recent wins to supply a plastic bumper part for a luxury vehicle manufacturer and new low weight load floor, the company is confident it can create new jobs in 2014.

“We are really excited about the new brand as it marks the next stage of our development and reflects more closely the services and products we now provide,” explained Bob, who has spent more than 30 years in global manufacturing.

“Our core business has been with the automotive sector supplying load covers, load floors, sun blinds and safety barrier nets. The attributes that have run throughout this different component mix are our design capability, quality performance and ability to create solutions to very difficult problems.”

He went on to add: “Over the last twelve months we noticed that the mass reduction technology we’ve developed could be applied to lots of different markets, including aerospace, rail and marine, so felt having ‘automotive’ in our name restricted us somewhat.

“The signage at our factory has been changed and the website is now live. We’ll also be promoting the new brand at a forthcoming SMMT Forum event in March.”

ACT, which boasts £7.5m of sales across 8 different countries, has also made a number of high profile appointments to bolster its senior management team.

Karen Warwick and Neil Southam have joined as Human Resources Manager and Business Development Manager respectively, with Brian Warwick and Paul Worthington promoted to look after technical, product development and quality.

Bob said: “There’s lots of opportunities out there for ACT and we need to make sure we manage this growth effectively, ensuring the quality and delivery performance we offer the customer are at the heart of our expansion.

“These new additions to the management team recognise this fact and put us in an excellent position to go after work that could take us past the £10m barrier.

“Everything is in place at our 70,000 sq ft facility in Wrexham. We’ve got the quality of people, the new identity and the necessary technology and automation, such as the 900 tonne injection mouding machine, high frequency welding and a high-pressure polyurethane robotic line.

“The latter gives us 7500 hours of high quality production and the capacity to process 300,000 load floor boards every year.”

ACT is currently looking at progressing a new lightweight galley trolley for airplanes and rail, as well working with a new supplier to develop ‘green’ material that will help OEM’s to achieve ELV directive compliance.

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