Two local Midlands manufacturers Alucast - offering a single-source supply of sand, gravity, high and low pressure aluminium castings and HCM Engineering - one of the UK's leading exponents in the manufacture of tooling and prototypes, have joined forces to strengthen the supply chain and share best practices.
Both established in the 1960’s the two firms bed their technologies together to produce high quality affordable castings, and even exchange apprentices so future engineers get a rounded view of how the supply chain works.
Wednesbury based Alucast and Lye based HCM Engineering have a relationship spanning over 25 years and more. The aim of two like-minded companies is to reinforce supply for good value for money - especially on delivery time. They also regularly share best practices to innovate and adapt to customers’ requirements. This streams down to their apprentices as well, giving them the opportunities to see how other businesses in a similar field work. This highlights the importance of localising the supply chain to offer knowledge transfer to future generations of engineers - all because the firms are based in close proximity to each other.
Tony Sartorius, Chairman at Alucast said:
“Having local businesses with a similar mindset is very beneficial for any company who is committed to innovation. It helps solve problems quickly and more efficiently, it also means we can achieve more for customers. For example, because HCM is local and we have a great relationship with them, we can pick up the phone and get advice easily, or meet face to face the same day to solve issues.”
Both Alucast and HCM Engineering encourage the importance of having local suppliers, linking local businesses together who have the same goal - such as producing high quality automotive components. The two businesses have collaborated on many projects and their ongoing partnership emphasises the achievements of collective intelligence - two businesses working together to understand how to make a product in the best possible way, from material to application.
Simon Hanson, Managing Director of HCM Engineering, said:
“When producing tooling we have to look at the total manufacturing cost, not just the price of the tooling. The tooling has to be designed and manufactured to the customers testing foundry standards to ensure high performance and quality is achieved every time. Having a customer on our doorstep enables true integration of our engineering and commercial teams. Working with premier automotive and other brands, we can rapidly introduce new products to the market quickly and cost effectively which is key in this emerging electrification world. This strong local customer-supplier team approach saves time and money!”
Both firms are members of Made in the Midlands and believe that without opportunities for networking - such as the Backing Britain Breakfast mornings, local businesses may not realise that support is just down the road. In addition, it also creates more fortuitousness for best practice and knowledge sharing.