Onwards & upwards for British firm with largest project to date

Onward Fabrications is celebrating almost 50 years in industry by producing a furnace casing measuring 18m long x 4m wide x 3.5m high, destined for use in South Africa to hot dip galvanize a large range of steel products.

Pictured left to right: MD Darren Price, Founder John Price and Technical Co-ordinator Carl Pearce.
(L to R) Darren Price (managing director), John Price (founder) and Carl Pearce (technical co-ordinator) – all Onward Fabrications.

The company employs 12 people in Willenhall, West Midlands and has a portfolio of domestic and global customers in a diverse range of sectors.

The goods it produces include large turntables used by articulated lorries so that they don’t have to reverse in built up areas/city centres following a delivery, robust chargers for foundries to allow maximum utilisation of the furnace, and vibratory de-watering and sizing screens for the sand and mineral mining industries.

Other Projects have included structures and support steelwork; walkways; kilns; dryers; cupolas; air heaters; sheet-metalwork – hoppers; tanks; cyclones; guards; and fume and dust extraction.

Managing director, Darren Price explained how this latest project was possible: “We have a modern workshop with crane rail height of 12m that facilitates the manufacture of large fabrications and structures utilising our overhead cranes. This has allowed us to carry out work on this scale.”

Since moving to the Owen Road Industrial Estate in 1984, the business has continued to invest and increase its offering by constructing a new building to house a new CNC water jet cutting machine, and later purchasing an adjoining building which houses its CNC milling and turning machines.

Price added: “We haven’t come across a material yet that we can’t cut, above all the water jet offers a far superior finish to laser cutting and we can cut up to 200mm thick.”

Onward Fabrications now has a total workshop area of 15,000 sqft with two-off 20 tonne and two-off 5 tonne capacity overhead Cranes. This is a far cry from its humble beginnings when company founder, John Price started the business in a small rented wooden building in Portobello.

The director concluded: “Our longevity is attributed to the sheer scale and capacity of our work, along with a firm commitment to and investment in the three P’s – people, process and product.

“Teamwork is hugely important to this business and we’ve also taken on an apprentice through In-Comm Training in Aldridge, who also help us with our health and safety requirements. This has helped us to gain BS EN ISO 9001:2008 Quality Certification, BS EN ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Certification, and BS EN ISO 18001:2007 OHSAS Certification.”

With a current turnover of £1.5m and a longstanding and expanding customer base, Onward Fabrications is in a good position and looking forward to celebrating its next major milestone – half a century in business.