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Alucast looks for new opportunities following £2m investment

Posted on 15 Jan 2024 and read 963 times
Alucast looks for new opportunities following £2m investmentAlucast managing director Martin Haynes in front of the 800-tonne LK high pressure die-casting machine

A £2 million investment drive is helping Alucast to pass the £10 million sales mark as it looks to make the most of new opportunities. The MAN Group member has increased its workforce by 20% to more than 120 people at its base in Wednesbury, and has commissioned six CNCs, a HDTD low pressure machine to boost its range of capabilities.

Headlining the recent funding boost is an 800-tonne LK high pressure die casting machine that can produce high-integrity parts from a fully automated cell, reducing component handling and making the company more competitive overseas. It has proved a wise decision, with Alucast already securing a new export contract worth £1.2 million.

Alucast CEO John Swift said: “We have always taken a long-term strategic view on how we move forward and this, firstly, has helped us negotiate some tough economic challenges and, secondly, is helping us take advantage of opportunities in the automotive, electrification and hydraulic components secotrs. This is our largest investment drive in nearly a decade and reflects an increase in demand for our high/low pressure, gravity and sand-casting expertise, not to mention our expansive machining capabilities.”

He continued: “The latter is proving extremely important as we are offering added value services for a host of blue-chip Tier Ones and the vehicle manufacturers directly. We are offering them the security of supply they are crying out for.”

A drive for change

As a founding member of the Manufacturing Assembly Network (MAN), Alucast was one of the main drivers behind the MANifesto, a response to the Government’s faltering strategic vision for industry. It is a blueprint the organisation published for making the UK globally competitive.

Bosses launched the MANifesto earlier this year and believe the ‘four pillars of Investment, People, International Trade and Sustainability and Net Zero’ should lead the overarching approach and will form the guiding principles for the individual businesses inside the collective. The Group is now calling on the Government to do its bit to facilitate growth by providing tailored support and by removing some of the bureaucratic barriers currently in place.

Martin Haynes, managing director of Alucast, added: “There are lot of opportunities out there for UK manufacturing, but many of them will require investment in new technology and people to make them a reality. At a time when interest rates are high, it would be great to see the Government act and do something to encourage and reward firms that are prepared to spend and improve their businesses.

“With the level of recent capital investment, we now have capacity in our foundries and will also look to push on with other value-added services, including heat treatment, non-destructive resting (NDT) and casting simulation. We will do the innovation; all the politicians need to do is give us a level playing field and economic conditions that don’t change every week.”

The Manufacturing Assembly Network works together to encourage collaboration, best practice sharing and to promote UK manufacturing. MAN is made up of Alucast, Brandauer, Grove Design, James Lister & Sons, KimberMills International, Muller Holdings, Nemco and PP Control & Automation.

Collectively, the Group boasts £100 million-plus annual sales, employs more than 1,000 people and exports products to over 50 countries from its 20-plus factories. MAN can also call upon the R&D and technological expertise of Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), which has been an associate member since 2014.