News

Mach 2012

26/04/2012

Last week (16-20th April) we exhibited at Mach 2012 at the NEC.

As with any exhibition it is not easy to predict results so soon after the show but the gut feeling is that it is going to be successful in terms of new sales. The number of visitors to the stand was lower than might have been expected, especially for a five day show but the quality of enquiries seems to be very good - time will tell.

One good thing about the show was the air of confidence that things were improving. Everyone seemed to be in a positive mood, a better mood than I have come across for many years.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to come and talk to us.


Made in the Midlands Expo 2012

26/04/2012

We attended the Made in the Midlands Expo at the Banks's Stadium in Walsall on Tuesday (24/04/2012). The event was very well organised, very well attended and proved to be an excellent networking opportunity.

We made several new contacts and have arranged meetings with many of them to discuss future work.

The 'buzz' around MIdlands manufacturers was very encouraging and led to a very friendly gathering.

The Made in the Midlands organisation is doing some fantastic work in encouraging local manufacturers and suppliers to work together.


Sustrans - Carlton-le-Moreland

26/04/2012

Portrait Bench unveilled in Carlton-le-Moreland

Quote from Stan Underwood, Chairman of organising committee - "I want you to know how delighted we are - the steering committee AND the local community - with the finished Portrait Bench group. It's stunning!
Thank you very much for all your work on translating not very brilliant photos into such an amazing piece of art work."


Darwin statue erected in Lichfield

03/04/2012

A statue manufactured by Cannock based Laser Cutting firm Laser Process to commemorate Erasmus Darwin has been erected on Cathedral Walk in Lichfield.

The work, which will be officially unveiled in May 2012, was one which held particular resonance for Laser Process managing director David Lyndsey: “I was born in Lichfield so it’s particularly nice to be involved in something like that happening in your home town” he said.

Erasmus Darwin was a renowned scholar and the grandfather of Charles Darwin, the author of The Origin of the Species 150312-1. The statue represents the four major aspects of Darwins career: botany, medicine, science and writing.

Laser Process were responsible for the production of the figures in stainless steel which were then assembled and installed by Marine Fabrications. The Darwin Walk Trust were responsible for the funding and planning of the work.

This is not the first time that Laser Process have been involved in innovative public art projects. The company secured a lucrative contract to produce 240 life-size statues for installation along Britain’s footpaths and cycle ways as part of the project led by transport charity Sustrans. This has seen the company produce mimics of famous figures such as Gary Barlow, Stan Laurel, Rob Brydon and footballer Ledley King in their respective local areas, affording national exposure to the handiwork of the Midlands firm.


Innovative laser firms growth evidence of resurgence in Midlands Manufacturing

03/04/2012

Staffordshire based laser cutting specialist Laser Process is enjoying impressive growth so far in 2012 as a direct consequence of diversification and a buoyant Midland manufacturing sector.

The company has hit the £5 million turnover mark for the first time in it's history, after securing a healthy amount of repeat business from some of the region’s largest manufacturers and an increasing number of new customers.

Managing Director David Lindsey says: “Business is buoyant now, things seem to be picking up and we’re benefiting from it. I think manufacturing in general seems to be having resurgence in the West Midlands. Confidence seems to be returning to the economy and all the talk at the moment is quite positive. Everyone is fairly optimistic about the future and I think the West Midlands is a great region to be in manufacturing at the moment. I’m confident the business is going to have a good year.”

The tough economic climate in recent years encouraged the firm to diversify, securing a lucrative contract to produce 240 life-size statues for installation along Britain’s footpaths and cycle ways as part of the project led by transport charity Sustrans. This has seen the company produce mimics of famous figures such as Gary Barlow, Stan Laurel, Rob Brydon and footballer Ledley King in their respective local areas, affording national exposure to the handiwork of the Midlands firm.

Mr Lindsey adds: “Sustrans are focused on improvements to the UK’s cycle ways and footpaths. Most of that is attributed to quite substantive projects like building bridges over rivers but there is also a certain amount of money for what they call portrait benches that feature the statues. The subjects are all chosen locally and represent a mixture of local celebrities, figures from history and local symbols. The statues are installed with the benches which are made of recycled railway sleepers and we’ll have manufactured just over 240 statues when the project is completed. The commission represents a significant contract and exposure of our skills nationwide.”

Another public art project the company was involved with was the creation of a stainless steel statue in Lichfield to commemorate Erasmus Darwin, a renowned scholar and grandfather of Charles Darwin. The work, which will be officially unveiled in May 2012, was one which held particular resonance for David: “I was born in Lichfield so it’s particularly nice to be involved in something like that happening in your home town” he said.


Good News Week - Friday 30/03/2012

30/03/2012


26/3/2012

Ernst and Young  - UK exports to emerging countries will grow by 12% per annum for the next ten years. That represents a growth of 200% over the period.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded Babcock a £350 million contract to refit HMS Vengeance, the last of the Vanguard class submarines.

Work will include fitting Vengeance with a new Rolls-Royce pressurised water reactor, similar to the one being installed on the new Astute class submarines. The core will fuel the submarine until it is decommissioned. 2000 jobs saved.


27/03/2012

Some interesting points in Bank of England agents' report this morning:  

  • companies now less inclined to import intermediate goods...
  • a series of factors are "tending to lessen the advantage of high volume foreign producers"
  • rapid increase in production costs abroad (particularly Asia) has eroded competitiveness of imports
  • problems with extended supply chains overseas such as quality issues and time delays
  • natural disasters around the world have highlighted the risks inherent in extended supply chains

 

28/03/2012

UK’s current account deficit: £8.5 bn in 2011 q4, down from a £10.5bn in the previous quarter.

D G Controls Ltd ? - New tooling and Automotive production order won from East Europe

EEF Economics Team ? - Despite weakness at the end of 2011 highlighted in today's GDP release, growth in the 1st quarter of 2012 seems likely:

H.T.Brigham & Co. Ltd - New tooling and Automotive production order won from East Europe

29/03/2012

George Osborne  "the role that technology plays in driving job creation and economic growth becomes more important each day"

Cobra UK -  A SHROPSHIRE aerospace firm has unveiled what is believed to be the world's lightest economy aircraft seat.  


Probrand -
A BIRMINGHAM technology firm has told Business Secretary Vince Cable that the city lies at the heart of the UK's technology sector. 

30/03/2012

French automotive company chooses Sunderland for new factory:

 


Darwin statue erected in Lichfield

15/03/2012

A statue to commemorate Erasmus Darwin has been erected on Cathedral Walk in Lichfield. the installation took place today (March 15th 2012) ahead of the official unveling in a few weeks time.

Erasmus Darwin was a renowned scholar and the grandfather of Charles Darwin, the author of The Origin of the Species

The statue represents the four major aspects of Darwins career i.e. botany, medicine, science and writing.

Laser Process were responsible for the production of the figures in stainless steel which were then assembled and installed by Marine Fabrications. The Darwin Walk Trust were responsible for the funding and planning of the work.


Portrait bench at Sleaford

18/01/2012

This picture is of the Potrtrait Bench in Sleaford. It features Mark Gould and Nev Crane who are local cycling celebrities and Oliver Harding who won a competion to be immortalised in steel.




Gary Barlow - Back for good

16/01/2012

Gary Barlow is back on his home patch - and for good.

He is one of the subjects of the latest Portrait Bench to be unveiled by Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity. The bench, which has been placed by the River Dane, adjacent to the Memorial Hall in Northwich, Cheshire, also features marathon champion, Paula Radcliffe and figure of a salt worker.

The figures are life size and made of steel and are designed to rust, naturally, over time to become a golden brown colour much like the Angel of the North.

As with all characters, associated with the Portrait Benches, the subjects are chosen by the local community in which it is installed. The Bench will be officially unveiled later this month.




Seeing is believing? Not

16/01/2012

Reading email newsletters this morning I see that "news from all quarters indicates a positive mood amongst steel makers in Europe" whilst, at the same time, "there is talk of redundanies at Tata in Corby and at Ruuki in Finland". Obviously NOT positive indications from all quarters. However, this situation seems to me to be typical of the information we are fed. I would imagine that the talk of redundancie has some substance, so what is positive about that.
Who are the experts?, can they be trusted? (was it not experts that got us into this mess in the first place?). There was a time when we could make serious decisions based on what we were reading but these days we can only look at our own business and make decisions on what we can see on our own doorstep. The bigger picture is proving too big for everyone. who is paying wages to these 'experts' - and why?