Black Country news and blogs Thursday 18 January 2018


West Midlands Producers

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WM manufacturing opportunity: permanent magnets for wind turbines 

23 Dec 17

Birmingham’s Professor Rex Harris (FREng) is drawing attention to a recent article in the Guardian Review on wind energy giving an up-beat view of off-shore wind farms which, he agrees, are showing a lot of promise, particularly compared with…

Updating KPM Marine 2013: John Clancy’s legacy fund, the BSBLF  

7 Dec 17

Birmingham City Council leader John Clancy said earlier this year, “(Entrepreneurs) risk-takers are hugely important to the city economy, creating jobs and wealth.

Nov 1-2: Mechatronic Solutions launch the Podconnect at the NEC 

1 Nov 17

We return to Mechatronic Solutions after this two year old post was selected by most of the visitors to this site last month – the majority coming from the United States.

Top post: Mechatronic Solutions: Kings Norton Business Centre 

25 Oct 17

Most widely read post last month with American visitors again topping the list.

Berck of West Bromwich: worker-management co-operation, training and investment 

26 Sep 17

Berck Ltd, a family-run company in West Bromwich, founded in 1947, took difficult decisions to weather the downturn following the 2008 economic crisis.

Metro and Redwood: new banks offering loans and savings accounts for small and medium sized companies 

7 Sep 17

Metro Bank started operations in 2010.

Arc Specialist Engineering Limited: Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Walsall 

6 Aug 17

Arc Specialist Engineering Limited, formerly known as Bowman Birmingham Limited, is a group of steel processing businesses formed in March 2013 which manufacture and supply various specialist steel products.

A Perry & Co: new staff and new premises 

18 Jul 17

Good news has been received about yet another family-owned firm.

Top posts in June: Linecross Composites & Newby Foundries – USA interest & a visitor from Kazakhstan 

21 Jun 17

It is interesting to see these 2013 posts attracting attention and an unprecedented number of visitors from the United States – three times as many as from the UK, which usually heads the list.

German readers head the stats list: Aquapak Polymers top post 

22 May 17

Twice as many German readers visited the site last week compared with UK visitors – why? Most read news: a March entry, Aquapak Polymers, a sustainable plastics manufacturer, is relocating from Kings Norton to new 50,000 sq ft production…

DK Rewinds: maintaining and manufacturing spares for traction motors 

6 May 17

DK Rewinds a Smethwick company family business founded in 1976 by Mr Harbhajan Singh Bhogal, has two sites in the area, employing over 60 full time staff, including three electrical engineering apprentices.

Subcon Lasers: ‘in the forefront’ due to continual investment in the latest technology 

16 Apr 17

Subcon Laser Cutting, based in Nuneaton, invests in the latest technology available to keep at the forefront of a rapidly changing and challenging manufacturing environment.

Warrior Doors in Tyseley 

26 Mar 17

Warrior Doors Ltd is an SME manufacturing company making stainless steel, aluminium and fully glazed high  security doors  for commercial properties, industrial premises, banks, bullion dealers, jewellers, local authority housing and housing…

Aquapak has moved its production base at Hollymoor Point, Rubery 

5 Mar 17

Aquapak Polymers, a sustainable plastics manufacturer, is relocating from Kings Norton to new 50,000 sq ft production base at Hollymoor Point, Rubery.

Zaun, another successful West Midlands manufacturer 

25 Feb 17

 Zaun, which makes high security and perimeter systems steel fencing, has an extensive range of  perimeter fencing ,  high security fencing ,  sports equipment ,  automatic electric gates ,  security bollards  and  hostile vehicle mitigation…

Albert Jagger decides to bring in some ‘on shore’ manufacturing capability   

27 Jan 17

Walsall-based Albert Jagger is a large manufacturer and suppliers to the commercial vehicle bodybuilder, boat builder, agricultural and engineering industries in the UK.

Thermotec news 

12 Dec 16

Thermotec Plastics , based  in Electra Park, Witton, is a Birmingham-based plastic and composites manufacturer, ‘bespoke supplier’ of engineered solutions in vacuum forming/thermoforming, polyurethane mouldings and super lightweight composites…

Meriden-based StadiArena’s project in Ahmedabad 

22 Oct 16

StadiArena’s unique technology was developed by  StadiArena founder, managing partner , accountant and former professional footballer Paul Fletcher (below right) in 2004, before he set up the business in 2007.

A project which aims to encourage UK businesses to source locally 

1 Oct 16

In April this year the press reported that after three years of trial and research, Glastonbury Festival launched a sustainable, recycled stainless steel pint cup for use on a major scale at this year’s event will only have been missed by …

Webster and Horsfall of Hay Mills: on the Times’ SME 2016 FastTrack list 

14 Sep 16

    Part of the FastTrack citation included this paragraph: “Founded in 1720, this family firm works with Birmingham University to develop its wire technologies for customers in the oil, gas, pharmaceutical  and automotive industries.

Brooks Forgings 

21 Jul 16

Brooks Forgings, established in 1960, is a leading UK supplier of hot-forged and machined fastener components.

Crofts & Assinder 

29 May 16

Earlier this month Pamela Pinski wrote about Crofts Assinder Limited  based in Lombard Street, Digbeth, “the birth place of industry in Birmingham”.


8 May 16

When the writer complained about discomfort during longer cycle journeys she was told to get a Brooks saddle.

CMA Moldform in Erdington 

8 Mar 16

Erdington’s CMA Moldform , established in 1990, provides design and casting facilities for industry, optical art moulding, centrifugal  and vacuum castings, and high capacity rotacasting.

Will Chancellor Osborne cripple the ‘makers’? 

18 Feb 16

Chancellor George Osborne closed his   2011 Budget speech   by setting out his aspiration for “a Britain carried aloft by the march of the makers”.

Birmingham-based ADI group 

3 Feb 16

Birmingham City Council leader John Clancy has said that the only chance of future success is to create wealth and jobs through capital spending – and his vision is for Birmingham to become a city of 1,000 small and medium sized businesses…

New Year Greeting from Koolmill’s director 

8 Jan 16

Exemplar: The Manufacturer  TOP100 – 2015 Ranked No.

Morefresh, a supply chain service* 

1 Jan 16

… Bringing the countryside to your doorstep! … Philip Meredith, director of Morefresh , a company the writer first featured on Birmingham’s late lamented Stirrer in 2009, addressed his customers in a September newsletter .

The Black Country Growth Deal: automotive, aerospace and construction sectors 

8 Dec 15

A link in the Brummie led to the Birmingham Press article: ‘ Made in the Black Country, sold around the world’ and an online search added more information.

WMP co-founder named Businesswoman of the Year 

7 Dec 15

  On Friday 27th of November at the Edgbaston Stadium audiences voiced their appreciation for Birmingham, as the city’s people came together to join finalists, sponsors, ambassadors and judges in a night of celebration and entertainment.

Redhill Manufacturing – a topical offer 

29 Oct 15

Redhill Manufacturing was established in 1977 in Redditch, near Birmingham, focussing on manufacturing sack trucks and platform trucks, with four employees, operating from a 1,600 square foot unit on South Moons Moat Industrial Estate.

M6 Motor Bodies 

29 Sep 15

Andy Savery set up his garage in 2000, with no plan beyond being his own boss and running that business until he retired.

PPS: re-investment to secure success for the future 

24 Aug 15

Following good news from Hydraforce , a press release about their latest investment has been forwarded by managing director, Kirsty Davies-Chinnock of Professional Polishing Services Ltd in Smethwick.

Hydraforce: new premises to open next month 

24 Aug 15

In February, the story of Aston’s HydraForce , which celebrated 25 years in Birmingham last year was told on this site.

Studentship available as BCU and Brandauer collaborate to develop low cost pressed metal sensors 

7 Jul 15


Start-up Birmingham 

12 Jun 15

Startup Britain has released new stats about how many companies were started in the UK in 2014.

Mechatronic Solutions: Kings Norton Business Centre, Birmingham 

4 Apr 15

Mechatronic Solutions, one of the UK’s leading providers of innovative automation solutions and systems integration services, has delivered over 400 projects during the last 25 years across a wide range of manufacturing sectors.

Reshoring in the West Midlands 

5 Mar 15

As Peter Davies, chairman of Professional Polishing said on a sister site in 2013, “ it is great to see that there is a new buzz word around – onshoring!” The reshoring trend, successes and possible pinch points, systematically explored and…


6 Feb 15

Aston hydraulic manufacturing company HydraForce , which celebrated 25 years in Birmingham last year , received £1.8 million from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund in July, following an analysis of the market which found potential…

Birmingham’s Brandauer – reshoring and multi-skilling 

23 Jan 15

It is good to be able to update our 2012 news from Brandauer , the presswork and stamping specialist, now located in Bridge Street West, Aston/Newtown, which is celebrating a major reshoring achievement, wresting an order from a US company…

Government payment strategies boosting the working capital of corporates but jeopardising the future of SMEs 

8 Jan 15

Andy Richardson , in the Northern Echo , reports on the findings of the government’s Public Accounts Committee, whose chair, Margaret Hodge, said: “Small and medium-sized enterprises have a vital role to play in the UK’s economy…

Top posts of 2014 

4 Jan 15

BI Composites of Cannock and Halesowen Linecross of Oakham Parry People Movers and building products based in Cradley Heath ‘Reshoring’: Coventry’s RDM Automotive and other Midland businesses .

The tip of the iceberg: “demanding money with menaces”- pay to stay on Premier Foods list of contractors 

22 Dec 14

Earlier this month, the business secretary Vince Cable asked the Competition and Markets Authority to investigate the kind of “pay to stay” arrangements being used by Premier Foods.

Award for co-founder of West Midland Producers website 

5 Dec 14

See The Brummie aggregator site (left) and ‘Our Birmingham’ for more news about Aston’s Kirsty Davies-Chinnock winning a ‘Working Woman’s Oscar’ .

Power Capacitors of Tyseley at Westminster 

24 Nov 14

Power Capacitors Limited has been a leading specialist in Power Factor Correction and associated equipment based in Birmingham since 1973.

Rising demand for conveyor modules 

30 Oct 14

Strong demand over the last twelve months from the warehouse, distribution and post and parcel sectors has led to 45% growth for Conveyor Units , who manufacture conveyor modules in Lye and a five acre site in Stourport-on-Severn.

Solihull-based Koolmill nominated for the British Business Awards 2014 in China 

6 Oct 14

Following last year’s news of the 2013 award for Koolmill , which gave a detailed description of this innovative technology, Alec Anderson, Managing Director of Koolmill Systems Limited, writes: “With 31 machines installed at 6 mills in China…

H.T. Brigham in Coleshill expands and still finds time to maintain a remarkable blog 

22 Aug 14

Two years ago news of H.

A focus on family business 

5 Aug 14

Joachim Schwass, Professor of Family Business at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) based in Switzerland and co-director of the Global Family Business Center, mainly focuses on owner related issues, in particular from…

Encraft organises Coventry meeting for WM manufacturers: Tuesday 22nd July 

18 Jul 14

  Leamington-based Encraft was established in 2003 by Matthew Rhodes and a small group of engineers and investors.

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