Pictured are Russell Hartill (Worcester Presses), Louise Forrest, David Cotterill (both Cotmor) and Emily Jackson (Worcester Presses)
A £250,000 investment drive is helping a leading Black Country metal pressing specialist take advantage of new domestic and reshoring opportunities.Cotmor Tool and Presswork
, which employs 16 people at its Brierley Hill factory, has seen sales soar to £2 million following the easing of lockdown and is now setting its sights on procuring £1 million of new orders over the next 12 months.
The company has formed a strategic partnership with nearby press supplier Worcester Presses
to capitalise on this growth and this development has resulted in the installation of three Chin Fong presses — two 110-tonne and one 160-tonne.
Two ‘state of the art’ Tomac decoilers have also been introduced, in addition to Titan monitoring technology designed to improve tool and press life, as well as a die cushion to help accommodate multi-functional tools.
David Cotterill, who runs Cotmor with his wife Wendy and daughters Louise and Natalie, said: “Volumes have bounced back stronger than any of us expected and this has given us the impetus to look at new equipment that will make us faster still and give us capacity to take on up to £1 million of new work.”Firms looking to reshore
“Around 80% of our work is overseas and we ship deep drawn, precision and progression presswork to clients in Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, Turkey and South Korea. A lot of these components are technically difficult to produce and, since lockdown, we are seeing an increasing number of inquiries from firms looking to reshore to achieve security of supply.”
He continued: “We knew we needed more capacity, so started talking to Worcester Presses about our future requirements and the flexibility of the machines to be able to produce components destined for a range of sectors including agriculture, commercial vehicle, foundry and food and drink.
“After much discussion, we agreed on the robustness and durability of the Chin Fongs and the installation process and training were superb. Now the challenge is to win the work to fill them.”
Dudley-based Worcester Presses has experienced a similar upturn in fortunes, seeing demand for its range of hydraulic and mechanical presses and ancillary equipment rise by 30% over the last six months.
The company, which has recently recruited two extra people, has been working with Cotmor to deliver a tailored ‘production’ solution for around nine months, culminating in the installation of the three new presses. Cotmor is now exploring the possibility of sourcing a 400-tonne Chin Fong from Worcester Presses, which will be one of its largest machines to date.
Russell Hartill, Worcester Presses managing director, said: “The Cotmor partnership is a fantastic example of two Black Country businesses working together to deliver a world-class manufacturing capability.
“David and his team’s expertise is second-to-none and, when this is combined with our technical knowledge and the performance of our presses, you have all the ingredients you need to be competitive and win work from overseas.”
Louise Forrest, Cotmor financial director, concluded: “We have been really impressed with the performance of the Chin Fongs and these presses are definitely up there with some of the best in the market for performance, durability and production flexibility.”