UK first for Black Country manufacturer

Posted on 16 Sep 2015 by Fred Tongue

A UK first has been installed in the West Midlands and is set to help a local manufacturer secure £1m of new orders.

Specialist supplier of plugs, fittings and repetition turned parts, BMI Engineering, is starting the first production run on its new £300,000 Metra 6.45 CXZ, which offers both multi-spindle and CNC capabilities.

The firm is the first in the country to source a machine of this type and can now serve its global client base with greater accuracy and speed thanks to financial support from NatWest and Lombard.

(L to R) Paul Willetts (Lombard), Richard Dowen (NatWest) & Chris Peare (BMI Engineering).
(L to R) Paul Willetts (Lombard), Richard Dowen (NatWest) & Chris Peare (BMI Engineering).

The Halesowen-based firm has their sights firmly set on the automotive, agriculture and hydraulics sector and has said that if they hit the £1m new business target, that the workforce will increase from 27 to 35.

The firm’s production manager, Chris Peare commented: “This is a major milestone for our business and really sets us apart from our competition, both in the UK and overseas.

“We have worked very closely with Metra CNC Ltd to develop the 6.45 CXZ, with our engineers contributing to the design to make sure we get the most out of it.”

He continued: “So far we have run two quick orders on it to see what it can do and have been amazed by the results. One example saw it manufacture a part – that took 70 seconds to produce in South Korea – in just 7.5 seconds.

“We are currently talking to a major car manufacturer about a troublesome component and the view is we can use this machine to make it quicker and ensure repeatable quality. That order alone could be worth £900,000.”

The purchase of the Metra equipment is one part of a £600,000 investment effort by BMI Engineering which has also seen the installation of a Star SR32J sliding head lathe and a Miyano 7 axis turning centre. The investment and purchase of new manufacturing equipment coincides with the companies 40th year in business.

Peare added: “We have combined traditional multi-spindle machinery with state-of-the-art technology…a combination that should help us retain contracts and win new orders.

“Clients tend to use us to solve manufacturing problems and we have one of the best reputations for being able to re-engineer parts to eradicate quality concerns or speed up production runs.”