Stamp of Approval for West Midlands Custom Metal Stampings Specialists
Embodying numerous decades of proven industry experience, Clamason Industries Ltd. is amongst Europe’s leading manufacturers of quality precision pressings and custom metal stampings. With a turnover well in excess of £20 million, and continuous annual growth of (measured at 18 per cent between 2015 and 2016), Clamason Industries has developed an unrivalled reputation within the global export and manufacturing markets. The successful history of the company as a leading manufacturer of components in precision pressings and custom metal stampings dates back to the formation of the firm in Kingswinford, West Midlands in 1947.
Clamason were originally specialists in the development of small and intricate parts, which utilised both multi-slide and low tonnage high speed presses. Each of these capabilities are still core competencies within the business today, which has since evolved to hold manufacturing facilities within the United Kingdom and Nitra, Slovakia. Nowadays, Clamason produces precision metal components and assemblies that are employed across a multitude of automotive, industrial and medical applications.
The midlands company reached an important milestone during December 2016, when it was announced that its management had completed a buyout of Clamason with assistance from Connection Capital. The new business structure will allow Clamason to make longer-term investment decisions, while the deal has also provided capital for the on-going growth of both the company’s UK and Slovak manufacturing facilities.
“The management buy-out (MBO) was a structured and well-planned handover from the family group. The family were keen for the business to maintain continuity with its past, meaning that a MBO represented the best way to develop the company in the future, while retaining its heritage and brand positioning,” reveals Clamason Industries CEO, Neil Geoghegan. “The MBO management team are involved in all of the main disciplines within the business and have in excess of 60 years of experience at the company between them. The team partnered with Connection Capital to help with the MBO and the transaction was one of the biggest MBOs to be completed in the Midlands during 2016. Another significant factor was that the advisors on the project were exclusively Midlands based. Santander provided banking services with Mazars, Eversheds, Gateley and Freeths also involved in structuring the deal.”
An important element of the MBO was a focus on protecting the values that had been instilled within the business throughout the course of seven decades of family ownership. “We possess a wealth of experience, morethan 1500 years in the UK team alone with 35per cent of employees having ten plus years of service, this gives us a massive advantage when it comes to solving complex problems and overcoming challenges when executing projects,” Neil continues. “We also have a very collaborative culture, one that is displayed in the cross-table discussions that regularly occur in which we pull together the thoughts and opinions of all of our key staff.”
Clamason is equally as keen to mould the talents of the next generation of employees, with ten apprentices currently going through the business. “Our apprenticeship schemes are all locally generated and form a key part of a layered approach to business continuity, the intention of which is to think ahead in order to secure the future growth of Clamason and its people,” states Sales Director, Ian Davies.
The company can list a number of blue chip clients, including the likes of Bosch, Delphi, Visteon, Sanofi, Schneider Electric and Siemens, who are supplied with components that originate from Clamason’s 60-plus stamping machines located at its 6600 square metre Kingswinford facility and its 2700 square metre site in Slovakia. The latter facility will be undergoing an extension to 4700 square metres in July 2017 in response to increasing customer demand. Clamason are also considering another European manufacturing location to support several of its key customers.
Throughout its history Clamason has made significant investment in its production capabilities, the purchase of larger stamping presses, andthe development of advanced welding and automation. This has enabled the company to target the expanding markets in the fields of automotive safety and electronics. Applications within these sectors include the development of complex custom metal stampings for airbags, engine control units, in-car entertainment systems and driverless technology, which is an increasingly important area of growth.
“We are presently embarking on an important new medical (coil spring) project,” Ian adds. “Our customer in this instance has a good understanding of how we operate and they like that we can bring our automotive experience to this particular market. The fact that we can rapidly bring a high level of competence to what is traditionally a slow-moving industry is also something that our customer is very excited about.”
As Neil correctly highlights, we live in a world where today much of what takes place in the manufacturing industry is defined by the carbon footprint that it creates. While a number of traditional manufacturing techniques, such as extruding and casting, are becoming less sustainable, stamped metal products provided by Clamason can be recycled multiple times, making them a light touch when it comes to environmental impact.
In addition to being increasingly focused on the concept of sustainability, the market that Clamason finds itself in today has a particular ‘wait and see’ mind-set. This is especially prevalent in the UK in light of the vote to leave the European Union in 2016 and the ongoing Brexit negotiations. Despite this fact, the company finds itself well placed to counteract any potential downturns. “We are a pan-European business in that we buy from the UK and mainland Europe, and sell to blue chip companies in Germany, France and beyond,” Ian details. “While these companies do have alternative suppliers that they can turn to, the value that we create for them is significant enough for them to continue to partner with us.”
Stable and profitable, the company expects to achieve an added growth of around 18 per cent for the year 2016-2017. “This is a market that is in constant need for innovation and being at the cutting edge of design, automation and productivity, has gone hand-in-hand with our ability to deliver quality products in extremely short time-frames,” Neil concludes. “It is this level of service that continues to strengthen the relationships with our range of global customers.”