GROWING demand for tool transfers is helping a Birmingham precision component manufacturer expand and take on more staff.
Brandauer has seen a surge in the number of companies looking to transfer complex tooling in order to solve production issues and bottlenecks.
The firm, TheBusinessDesk.com’s Exporter of the Year, has already completed multiple projects in the last 18 months and is currently exploring a number of other enquiries for potential customers in the automotive, medical and alternative power generation markets.
Managing Director David Spears said the growth had come from an increasing demand for secure supply, the need for additional capacity and a unique ability to solve challenging tooling requirements.
He said an ongoing relationship with one of the world’s largest manufacturers of components for domestic appliances was proof of this.
“We’d been talking to Otter Controls for a considerable length of time, as they had been identified as an ideal potential client for us,” he said.
“As the relationship developed, we were presented with a challenging tool transfer opportunity concerning two specific electrical connectors for use in the base of kettles.
“After a swift industry bench-marking exercise, we were selected as the preferred solution and started work on the transfer, a sizeable task and one that was made more difficult by the fact that ongoing global supply requirements still had to be fulfilled.”
He continued: “The transfer process commenced with a free 15-hour tool inspection service, developed to diagnose any issues with the existing tool and to ensure they could run in our presses.
“During this process, we identified a number of dimensional problems, which were causing issues with quality and on-time delivery.”
With the relationship between the two firms established, Brandauer has been able to increase safety stock levels and remove the need for excess premium shipping costs.
“When undertaking a project of this magnitude you have to give the client complete peace of mind and I think we achieved that by working together with Otter Controls personnel to manage the process in-house, from the inspection through to the re-development and then full production,” added Mr Spears.
“Confidence was so high, we went from shipping via its UK headquarters to delivering direct to its Shenzen-based manufacturing facility.”
During the tool transfer, Otter Controls also engaged Brandauer as a technology partner for the development of a new welded contact production process.
A project manager and hand-picked team of engineers were quickly assembled and sent to Austria for three months to learn about the process and bring the machine back to Newtown, where it was in full production for 24 months.
The process was so successful that the same machine is now up and running in Otter Controls’ Derby facility.
Brian Smith, Group Operations Director at Otter Controls, said: “From the initial fact finding with Brandauer, it was clear that the company demonstrated great levels of professionalism across all areas of the business, including exceptional tooling and design capabilities.”
Brandauer, which currently employ 53 people, is on course to smash the £10m turnover barrier for the first time in its history and currently exports 80% of its precision parts and stampings overseas.
L: Brian Smith, Group Operations Director (Otter Controls) | R: David Spears Managing Director (Brandauer)
Article via The Business Desk by Duncan Tift