One of the West Midlands’ best kept manufacturing secrets has capped a record-breaking year by securing two major industrial awards last night.
Brandauer, which produces millions of high tolerance metal pressings/stampings every week for customers in 10 sectors and across 26 different countries, was named the Confederation of British Metalforming’s Company of the Year in front of 200 people at Birmingham’s Grand Hotel.
Judges praised the Birmingham-based company for its resilience and ability to bounce back from the pandemic, developing a unique lamination process for electrification and increasing its tooling business from £500,000 to £2m per year.
This has seen it take turnover past £9m for the first time in its 161-year history, including new orders for a Slovenian automotive supplier of HVAC systems, a new $3m supercar and reconnaissance drones.
Working in partnership with In-Comm Training, the firm has also launched the UK’s first £1m Precision Tooling Academy to help develop the next generation of toolmakers.
In addition to company of the year, Brandauer’s Toolroom Lead Ollie Eskriett beat off the challenge of three other finalists to win the CBM’s best apprentice.
“It was a great night for the company and tops off a superb twelve months of growth, investment and diversification,” explained Stuart Berry, Manufacturing Director at Brandauer.
“To be voted by your peers in the metalforming industry is a massive achievement, as they understand the economic pressures we’ve been under and what it takes to come through situations often outside your control.”
Ollie Eskriett’s success underlies how far the 23-year-old engineer has come and the role he played in launching a quick clip modular tooling concept, one of the first projects in the country to win funding from Innovate UK’s Covid-19 Business-Led-Innovation in Response to Global Disruption Fund.
The company invested £75,000 to develop a quick changeover capability to a progression tool, giving it the option to manufacture the clips – used in medical face masks all over the world – in multiple profiles, widths, thicknesses and lengths.
This move has secured over £500,000 of reshoring business from Asia over the next five years and extends the company’s production capacity to 140 million nose clips per year.
Stuart added: “I was delighted that Ollie was recognised. He joined us an apprentice toolmaker bench hand seven years ago and he has progressed into being one of our best engineers, now managing the two busy toolroom departments.”
Stephen Morley, President of the Confederation of British Metalforming, concluded: “Brandauer is a perfect example of what makes our sector so special…tenacity, investing in people and delivering world class innovation and performance.
“It is a worthy winner of our main award, and we look forward to seeing its components exported all over the world.”
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