For Black Country castings firm Alucast its association with Made in the Midlands has been a long and successful one.
During its membership, the Wednesbury-based firm has enjoyed considerable success.
The company, which employs more than 100 people, was one of the first to sign up to the fledgling network but its faith in its principles remains steadfast, as Chairman Tony Sartorius explains.
“We were in the first 10 to 20 members to sign up and we have remained part of it ever since because we believe in its values and what it is looking to achieve,” he said.
“By the time we joined we had already formed the MAN (Midlands Assembly Network) group and one of the reasons I was so keen to be part of the Made in the Midlands network was so I could promote MAN to the rest of the Midlands, and from there, the rest of the country.
“MAN was smaller then but with the help of MIM it has developed its own relationships and best practice.”
After taking a step back from his MIM activities to focus on the business, Tony - recently named as one of MIM’s inaugural Ambassadors - is once again taking a more active role in the network.
“I wanted to resume a more active role because MIM has grown a lot and now the larger companies are on board this will have a beneficial effect on the supply chain. Hopefully, this will also have a positive impact on both employment and GDP as these larger companies look to source work with local suppliers,” he said.
“Also, we didn’t have the opportunity back in the day like we do now to visit some of these big plants. So this is another reason I’d recommend the network.”
One of Alucast’s founding principles is to invest in growth and it has continued to do that, with positive results.
“Alucast has seen a 15.8% increase in turnover over the last quarter. There has also been strong investment in the business and the workforce has increased by 20% over the last year,” said Tony.
The firm, founded in 1967, produces aluminium components using three main processes; sand, gravity and pressure die casting. It serves the automotive, hydraulics and vacuum industries as well as offering a bespoke service to others.
The company is now targeting new ‘lightweighting’ opportunities for complex castings in the automotive and agricultural markets. To help with its innovation, it is also working with fellow MIM member WMG.
The firm’s two and a half acre site houses the foundries plus a fully-equipped machine shop, machining parts ready for trackside delivery to customers. By successfully utilising x-ray, heat treatment and other processes, the firm has secured a number of high profile business wins, including the Bugatti Veyron brake calipers and famously, components for the Olympic torch for the 2012 London Games.
It has also utilised MagmaSoft technology, helping to improve training as well as produce faster lead times, avoiding expensive prototyping.
The company continues to invest in growth, which in turn supports its aim of strengthening the region’s economy.
Part of the investment has seen the company successfully attain quality standards ISO 9001: 2008 and ISO/TS 16949: 2009.