A £750,000 investment in a second e-coating line is helping a Midland manufacturer target a record year.
Foleshill Plating, which employs 24 people in Coventry, has recently installed a state-of-the-art electrophoretic plant that offers greater automation, speed and, thanks to a built in pickling process, a much cleaner finish for customers.
It is an ambitious move for the family-run company, who already work with blue chip clients like Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover due to their commitment to quality and technical innovation.
Backed by strategic and financial support from the Manufacturing Advisory Service–West Midlands Auto project, the firm is now aiming to increase turnover from £1.4 million to £2 million over the course of the next 12 months.
Gurpal Thadwal, company secretary at Foleshill Plating, said: “This sector of manufacturing has undergone some major changes over the last decade and we have had to move with the times to ensure we offer something different.
“We’ve moved away from chrome, nickel and decorative plating as it is difficult to comply with current environmental legislation. Instead we have focused our efforts on retaining and securing new work through zinc electro-plating and our e-coating arm of the business…this helped us withstand the recession and emerge with our order book intact.”
The substantial investment in the new line brings the latest robotics to Foleshill Plating, which was first established in 1978 by the current managing director Mohan Singh.
Designed by environmental specialist Chris Waterhouse of EPD Consultants, the bespoke plant features seven flight bars that move along a series of baths all controlled by a central panel.
This means the company can handle larger parts – of up to four metres and weighing up to a tonne – and all processes can be done on one line reducing lead times.
Mr Thadwal added: “We are an approved coating specialist for Caterpillar Perkins and Aston Martin, providing finishing on the body sides, the bonnet and bracketry for the luxury marque’s range of cars. Outside of automotive, we also do coatings for aerospace, architectural and hardware customers, not to mention animal products, including luxury dog kennels.”
MAS-WM has worked with Foleshill Plating for nearly ten years providing manufacturing benchmarking, one-to-one mentoring, strategic advice and funding towards installing new machinery and systems at its Coventry site.
It has also assisted in helping it meet the latest environmental legislation and develop bespoke software that allows for automation of office functions.
“The investment in the latest line, which has been self funded, puts Foleshill in an excellent position to take advantage of a resurgent automotive sector,” said MAS-WM Auto’s Rachel Eade.