A Midlands engineering firm is bucking the worldwide trend with £5 million worth of new business in spite of the gloomy global financial crisis.
Thompson, based in Halesowen, has secured contracts for seven new friction welding machines from many of the top international makers of construction machine components including Caterpillar.
The machines, made at Thompson's manufacturing facilities in Hereward Rise and Chancel Way, are specially designed to friction weld a variety of hydraulic cylinder piston rods in a wide range of diameters from 20-130mm.
Four of the machines have been supplied to customers in Europe, the United States and the Far East including two Caterpillar plants. The remainder will shortly be delivered to manufacturers based in South America and Asia.
Thompson says its success can be attributed to continued investment in research and development, and the skills of its engineering team.
"Thompson machines are continually developed so they offer the latest innovations for customers who want the very best in terms of product quality and integrity, especially for the manufacture of parts such as piston rods," said sales manager Nick Edge.
The firm has developed a series of new machine features that includes environmentfriendly, low energy and quiet-running drives and a new linear track system which allows for more streamlined operation of the weld head unit.
"Thompson has been producing equipment for construction machine makers for more than 40 years and it is the company's ongoing investment in innovation, which ensures Thompson's position at the forefront of the market," added Mr Edge.
Established since the early 1960s, Thompson employs 100 staff at its two sites in Hale-sowen and has an annual turnover of around £20 million.