The Manufacturer recently reported that Tamworth workholding and machining firm Brown & Holmes, which employs 52 people, achieved record levels of growth in 2012 with sales hitting £5m for the first time.
Brown and Holmes was established in 1939 and has built a reputation for delivering superior quality workholding & precision machining solutions to a wide range of customers within the aerospace, auto, defence, pump and valve and energy industries. It offers design, manufacture, assembly, testing, inspection, tooling support, installation and after-sales support.
The company is also the sole UK agent for the FORKARDT workholding range of standard and special rotary power chucks, expanding mandrels and steady rest packages. The writer discovered that a chuck is a specialized clamp used to hold an object,usually an object with radial symmetry, especially a cylindrical object. It is most commonly used to hold a rotating tool (such as the drill bit in a power tool) or a rotating workpiece (such as the bar or blank in the headstock spindle of a lathe). Some chucks can also hold irregularly shaped objects.
Kevin Ward, joint director at Brown & Holmes, says the increase in business is due to a resurgence in demand for UK engineering expertise. Investments are also being made in larger vertical CNC machines and equipment which will reduce the firm’s reliance on subcontracting work in 2012. Improvements were made to the design department, additional soft and hardware was acquired and the company hired two new designers to build on its expertise in the latest 3D design and solid modelling techniques.
Staff training in technical development areas included courses in hydraulics and customer support training has proved central to the increased sales achieved last year. The company is now working with a sales consultancy, in order to improve the efficiency of its management systems.
Brown and Holmes is now a partner in the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) at Ansty Park in Coventry, which has been set up to bridge the gap between university based research and the development of innovative manufacturing solutions. L to R – MTC chief executive, Dr Clive Hickman, with Kevin Ward and Carl Baker, joint directors of Brown & Holmes (Tamworth)
It is good to learn that since 2011, Brown and Holmes has worked with South Staffs College in Tamworth to develop an apprentice scheme that brings back basic hand and craft skills and is geared towards today’s shop-floor requirements. Kevin Ward, joint Director of Brown & Holmes, said: “We are committed to investing in training new employees”.