UK Manufacturing sector spurred by on by Threeway Pressings

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The growing success of Threeway Pressings this year has capped an excellent year for Midlands manufacturing as this Tipton firm has continued to excel in new markets, grow its business and achieve all this, manufacturing here in the U.K Threeway Pressings is involved in the manufacture of precision presswork components in ferrous and non-ferrous metals for the automotive, construction and white goods sectors.

A new 200 tonne Rhodes press has doubled production capacity to 1.8 million parts a year. Modern CNC tube manipulation equipment has been purchased and the company’s welding and robotic welding facilities have been increased by a third. In addition, a new purpose-built storage and distribution facility means stock can be held for customers on a Kanban basis and dispatched and delivered within 48 hours.

Threeway’s diversification strategy has seen it expand its facilities to include section rolling, which has enabled work to be repatriated from China. Customer lead times will be reduced and Threeway will add yet another growth area to its business. Its injection moulding plant has also received investment in tooling and machinery to retrieve operations that were previously outsourced. This is facilitating better control of production and stock holding and has already doubled productivity.

The Tipton-based firm’s diversification is giving customers access to a substantial variety of integrated manufacturing solutions under one roof, and is a key factor in the steady rise of Threeway’s turnover and profitability.

Branching out into garden and leisure products is proving to be a highly successful venture. Bullbarrow Products, a division of Threeway, is the market leader in the manufacture and supply of wheelbarrows for the gardening, hardware and building industries. Its portfolio of 57 models – from lightweight, manoeuvrable models, to sturdy, heavy-duty barrows – is unmatched by any of its competitors in the marketplace.

Bullbarrow also produces a wide range of garden and leisure accessories including trolleys, flexitubs, children’s sledges and snow shovels. It launched its newest product – the Bullcart, a revolutionary two-wheeled cart that’s easy to push or pull thanks to its low centre of gravity – at Glee 2011, the UK’s top trade show for the garden industry and held annually at the NEC Birmingham.

“We had a tremendous response when we exhibited at Glee,” director Phil Stanley told Business Report. “Our stand looked very impressive with all our Bullbarrow products in various colours on display and attracted a lot of interest from buyers. Around the same time as the show we launched our new website – www. bullbarrow.co.uk – and this is also helping us to raise our profile among the 2,000 garden centres and builders’ merchants in the UK.”

Spyra-Base, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Threeway, is the UK’s leading manufacturer of ground anchors. With their spiral design, these can be rotated into the ground by hand and used for a variety of garden, DIY and security applications, anything in fact from securing a parasol or tent to a caravan or boat. Unlike rival products, Spyra-Base anchors create minimum ground disturbance when being inserted or removed, meaning they are good for the environment and reusable.

Threeway has this year invested a “six-figure sum” to bring Spyra-Base’s

manufacturing operations to its Midlands base. This has involved investment in new machinery, tooling, and sales and administration resources. The relocation of the business, says Threeway, will also create future job opportunities in the region.

Director Richard Perry commented: “We decided to manufacture all our Spyra-Base products in the UK because we couldn’t find suitable suppliers elsewhere, including China. We have designed and developed our own machinery that will enable us to make the components to the required quality standard enjoyed by all our presswork and injection moulding customers. .

“This will also give us greater capacity and flexibility to increase production in response to customer demand. What’s more, our prices will remain competitive when compared to foreign imports.”