Reshoring gathers pace at Droitwich engineering firm

Posted on 7 Aug 2015 by Jonny Williamson

The reshoring of manufacturing back to the UK from Asia has seen Barton Coldform invest £500,000 into new machinery, with an additional £900,000 as demand for its services continues to grow.

The new equipment includes a £220,000 Charng Guey Thread Rolling Machine, which adds to Barton Coldform’s existing SEMS capacity – offering larger diameter parts to a variety of customer specifications.

Barton Coldform has also invested in additional ‘eight station’ rotary transfer tables to help meet the requirements of newly won automotive project work, which includes contracts being reshored back to the UK from Asia.

Formed in 1932, Barton Coldform is one of the UK’s oldest cold forging manufacturers. Its founder, Cyril Field, was the inventor of the Fixt-nut, an innovative fastener used across the automotive sector for more than50 years.

Since then Barton Coldform has grown into one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of bespoke critical fastenings and special cold forgings, supplying some of the world’s biggest names in the automotive, construction, marine and military markets.

Used for precision drilling of banjo bolts – perforated hollow bolts found in automotive fuel; oil; brake, and clutch systems – the new rotary tables will enable Barton Coldform to engineer high-product volumes for a new European automotive contract.

These highly complex, high performance parts presented a technical challenge which met Barton Coldform’s recent focus on advanced technologies typified by its development work with local universities and its abilities to produce rapid, highly-accurate 3D printed prototypes.

The final phase of investment has seen Barton Coldform upgrade its process controllers. Brand new ‘Brankamp ECO500’ units have been fitted to all 19 heading machines, providing remote monitoring capabilities and help improve efficiencies.

Managing director of Barton Coldform, Andrew Nuttall commented: “The investment in machinery provides us with new business capabilities that will make us more innovative, increase our competitiveness and meet the demands of new specialised contracts.

“For example we are already able to produce an unrivalled variety of parts for medium to high volume orders, but the new SEMS machine, ordered in response to customer demand, will help extend our capability further.

“Our manufacturing facility is unique within the UK cold forging industry – no one else offers such a comprehensive range of machinery under one roof and this investment will help to ensure we maintain our competitive edge within the sector.

“A further £900,000 is also being spent on two new heading machines which will increase the company’s capabilities at the 12mm and 18mm range.”

The new units will increase potential turnover of the factory to in excess of £24m a year – making it the largest cold forging factory in the UK.