One of the Black Country’s leading foundries is celebrating after securing a prestigious automotive quality accreditation.
Alucast, which is a specialist supplier of sand, gravity and pressure castings, has secured TS16949 as part of its continuous improvement drive and believes this latest development will pave the way for 33% growth between now and 2018.
Boosted by the industry-specific approval, the company is expecting to win a number of new orders, taking turnover from its current £7m level to £10.4m in three years, potentially creating 25 new jobs in the process.
“We’ve always offered outstanding manufacturing standards to our global client base, but in order to win more work with tier 1 and car makers we had to secure TS16949…it’s fast becoming a pre-requisite on tenders,” explained Martin Haynes, Technical Manager at Alucast.
“It is a quick estimate, but now we hold the accreditation we believe we can bid for more than £5m of additional work every year…that could change our company forever.”
He continued: “It’s a massive investment in time and money, there’s no escaping that. However, the additional measures we have put in place are already generating cost savings through reductions in waste and greater throughput of work.
“Our Parts Per Million (PPM) score has improved and ‘right first time’ is becoming the norm.”
Alucast, which is a member of the Manufacturing Assembly Network (MAN), has seen sales rise by 5% this year to £7m.
This has been driven by a number of new contract wins in the premium sports car segment, supplying complex castings to the commercial vehicle market and three reshoring wins worth nearly £500,000.
Seven new people have been employed as part of the expansion, taking the workforce to over 100 people…a number of whom are young apprentices starting their career in the foundry industry.
Tony Sartorius, Chairman of Alucast, continued: “Martin and his team have worked tirelessly to ensure we received TS16949 at the first time of asking and this will give us a great platform from which to grow. Our workforce has bought into the initiative and a united effort has produced the results we wanted.
“In addition to the accreditation, we have recently installed MAGMASOFT® casting software that is speeding up time to market and reducing the cost of prototyping.”
He concluded: “This is part of a £1m investment that also includes new CNC machines, replacement furnaces and building and layout improvements.”
Formed in the late sixties, Alucast offers a single source manufacturing solution for sand, gravity and high-pressure aluminium castings.
It has recently installed a low pressure facility to further develop its expertise in structural parts and continues to offer fully machined castings ready for its customers to assemble trackside.
The company operates from a 55,000 sq ft facility in the heart of the Black Country, with clients spanning automotive, construction, electronics, hydraulics and vacuum goods.