A precision pressings and stamping firm which has a history spanning three centuries has won a series of contracts worth £3.5 million.

Brandauer, which employs 50 people at its headquarters in Birmingham, will begin production on a range of new complex components destined for the automotive, security detection and renewables markets this year.

The deals come as the company celebrates its 150th anniversary after going from humble beginnings in 1862 and soon became one of the leading manufacturers in the Birmingham pen trade, exporting throughout the world.

Located less than 200 metres from its original Grade II listed factory, it remains an independent, wholly family-owned business, now in its sixth generation.

Rowan Crozier, sales and marketing director, said the company exports billions of parts every year, from China to the United States.

He said: “2012 is a massive year for Brandauer and one where we can reflect on our 150 year history, celebrate our achievements while looking forward to future growth.

“The new contracts are a perfect start to the celebrations and illustrate how we are using the same skills of quality and innovation, that were fundamental in founding the business, to secure the firm’s future.”

He continued: “We are also investing close to £1 million on state-of-the-art equipment, including two new high-speed Bruderer presses that will produce up to two billion parts every year.”

Under its bold new 150th logo, Brandauer plans to exploit its anniversary to the full, including publishing a 36-page history of the family business, VIP visits to the factory, and a design competition for first-year students at the Birmingham School of Jewellery.

The company will also be exhibiting at Southern Manufacturing, MACH, Subcon and MicroMachining Live.

Managing director David Spears said: “Very few family-owned manufacturing businesses reach their sixth generation and we owe it all to the skill and dedication of our workforce. The 150th anniversary is a great opportunity for us to celebrate our achievements and the excellent relationships we have with our customers and suppliers, some going back 40 years or more.

“Apprenticeships have played a vital part in the company’s story, from the very beginnings of the business to the present day, as I started my own career as a Brandauer apprentice.”

Chairman John Berkeley added: “Attracting new young talent will be one of the key themes for 2012, using the anniversary to promote engineering careers in schools and further afield.

“We will also be co-operating with Birmingham’s Thinktank science museum at Millennium Point and the city’s Museum and Art Gallery to display our products, both old and new.”

Brandauer – one of ten independent companies that work together as MAN – Midlands Assembly Network – produces in excess of four million parts every week for customers in the automotive, aerospace, electronics, medical and alternative energy sectors.

It offers the range of services required for the supply of pressed metal components, from prototyping, design and in-house tool production through to high-quality manufacturing of difficult materials and global logistics.

One of the company’s highest profile projects was the design and production of pumping slot shield strips used throughout the 27km length of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

Following this initial successful collaboration, the scientists at CERN asked Brandauer to use its technical expertise to develop vital pressure relief springs, 2800 of which will soon be fitted to the LHC, the world’s largest machine.