Nov 1-2: Mechatronic Solutions launch the Podconnect at the NEC

November 1, 2017

We return to Mechatronic Solutions after this two year old post was selected by most of the visitors to this site last month – the majority coming from the United States.

A fact summary:

This company designed its first robot for the Morgan Matroc ariel assembly in 2000 and the  Kaizen workshop was developed in 2002, described on this site in 2015.  – see with Change Agent Andrew Thomas.

It now offers RoboPod, a standardised platform for robot applications that they say ‘represents a first in the industry’ used in these sectors:

and also automotive  aerospace, packaging, process automation and testing

Robopod have unveiled the Podconnect, an Automated Intelligent Vehicle (AIV) which – as its name suggests – has in-built intelligence and can operate autonomously. It connects machines and systems for ultimate efficiency: “Automated logistics and safe, efficient delivery of materials make the manufacturing environment work seamlessly with other functions”.

As well as these physical and logistical benefits, Podconnect provides detailed information back to managers; providing valuable statistics on performance, output, stock and flows. See a video here.

The Advanced Engineering Show 2017 is described as ‘The UK’s largest annual gathering of advanced engineering professionals’. It attracts professionals from across the UK and worldwide advanced engineering industries: including managers and directors as well as those specialising in fields as diverse as Research and design (R&D), Design, Test engineering, Production, Logistics and Procurement.

On 1st November, the 2-day exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham will see Mechatronic Solutions launch Podconnect AIV Autonomous Intelligent Vehicle plus a new Robopod brochure setting out information about the whole range. 






DK Rewinds: maintaining and manufacturing spares for traction motors

May 6, 2017

DK Rewinds a Smethwick family business founded in 1976 by Mr Harbhajan Singh Bhogal, has two sites in the area, employing over 60 full time staff, including three electrical engineering apprentices.

It provides a “One Stop” repair and rewind service for traction motors in the utilities, rail (below) and industrial sectors.

It has a dedicated staff and specialist equipment providing a comprehensive maintenance service for those three sectors.

Its extensive CNC machine shop manufactures spares for many different types of electric motors in use all over the world today.

 The British rail freight company English, Welsh and Scottish Railway Company (EWS) was taken over by DB Schenker but trains still carry the EWS liveries and logos

The company was visited last year by London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport, Val Shawcross, who met staff and talked about their work.

Balvinder S Bhogal, managing director and Val Shawcross

DK Rewinds supplies components and undertakes repairs to keep London Underground trains operational. It specialises in repairing the traction motors that power Central Line trains, producing new components for motors that match the originals so that faulty trains can be quickly fixed and brought back into service.

Balvinder Bhogal said: “We have been working with Transport for London for 30 years as a key supplier. This has enabled DK Rewinds to invest in our workforce, which includes training apprentice and graduate engineers. The work we receive from TfL is very important to the Midlands and the region benefits greatly from these business links.”

The latest news: DK Rewinds attended the Freight in the City’s summit, Improving the last mile’, on 1st March 2017 at Edgbaston Stadium.





Subcon Lasers: ‘in the forefront’ due to continual investment in the latest technology

April 16, 2017

Subcon Laser Cutting, based in Nuneaton, invests in the latest technology available to keep at the forefront of a rapidly changing and challenging manufacturing environment.

Business Desk published news of its acquisition of the UK’s first 8kw fibre laser cutting system with Cooline technology, which helps to cut fine detail into thick material and is controlled remotely using the latest iPad technology. This machine, installed at the end of 2016, was supplied and made by the Trumpf Group in Germany and the investment is already opening up opportunities including new orders from India, with further enquiries from Belgium, Switzerland and Italy.

Production Engineering Excellence Magazine, which covers the latest technological developments relevant to production engineers and managers, reports that Subcon Laser Cutting received the CET Coventry & Warwickshire ‘Excellence in Manufacturing’ award. The winners were announced at a gala dinner and presentation night at the Ricoh Arena in October.

This interesting photograph shows Subcon’s 5 Axis Laser Cutting TruLaser Cell 7040. Though  other laser cutting services will only work on flat sheet, bar and plate, the 5 axis service is involved with creating high quality 3D parts. It is highly regarded by the automotive industry because it is versatile – can work with anything ranging from prototype/body to supporting all kinds of production lines.

Tom Mongan, general manager of Subcon Laser Cutting, speaks in similar vein to the one of the co-founders of this website, Peter Davies (Professional Polishing, Smethwick), who noted that although the usual downbeat attitude to manufacturing persists, when he attends business gatherings the attitude is buoyant, with news of orders coming in.

Mr Mongan said: “Depending on what you read or who you listen to, they say UK manufacturing lags behind our EU counterparts in productivity and investment, well not from where I am standing and I would like to know who is providing the statistics and information”.





WMP co-founder named Businesswoman of the Year

December 7, 2015

 bhamawards logo

On Friday 27th of November at the Edgbaston Stadium audiences voiced their appreciation for Birmingham, as the city’s people came together to join finalists, sponsors, ambassadors and judges in a night of celebration and entertainment.

The Birmingham Awards is the first of its kind to encompass a plethora of different categories celebrating everything from the best bars, restaurant and club to small businesses, the best individual business man and woman of the year, best independent retailer and best blogger, to name a few.

Professional Polishing Services attended the event and were ‘very excited’ for not only were they finalists for Business of the Year but their MD, Kirsty Davies-Chinnock, was a finalist for Businesswoman of the Year.

kirsty 2 awards 2015

They are delighted to announce that Kirsty was named Businesswoman of the Year.

Award for co-founder of West Midland Producers website

December 5, 2014

venus award brummieSee The Brummie aggregator site (left) and ‘Our Birmingham’ for more news about Aston’s Kirsty Davies-Chinnock winning a ‘Working Woman’s Oscar’.

In June 2012, Peter Davies, chairman of Professional Polishing, Smethwick, noted that although the usual downbeat attitude to manufacturing persists, when he attends business gatherings the attitude is buoyant, with news of orders coming in. Co-founder Pauline Davies and managing director Kirsty agreed.

This remark eventually led to the setting up of the West Midland Producers website, which records good news from the West Midlands’ small and medium producers, which has not been highlighted in the mainstream press.

After reading Power Capacitors of Tyseley at Westminster a locally based engineer who travels the world in the course of his work emailed: “Glad someone local is making something”.

This underwhelming remark prompted the editor to count the number of firms covered on this site since August 2012 and reply:

“Look at and you will see news of 54 WM companies making something – the large majority located in the Birmingham area. There must be so many others in the region. And that is only in the SME sector”.

Solihull-based Koolmill nominated for the British Business Awards 2014 in China

October 6, 2014

best  of british header

Following last year’s news of the 2013 award for Koolmill, which gave a detailed description of this innovative technology, Alec Anderson, Managing Director of Koolmill Systems Limited, writes:

“With 31 machines installed at 6 mills in China and leading the world in the production of healthy “Germ” retaining rice we are delighted and very proud that Koolmill has been named as one of the 5 finalists in the GREAT British Product category of The British Business Awards 2014 in China.

koolmill picture

“Competition is pretty tough with McLaren – formula one and supercars – also a finalist in our category.

“I will be interviewed by the judging panel after the public vote has closed and the winners will be announced in Beijing in November.

“We do appreciate that there are many demands on your time but, if you can spare a few minutes, voting is open until 5pm (UK time) on the 16th October and we would really appreciate your vote. The voting process is not particularly user friendly, you need to register first before you can vote.

“You can vote here Please feel free to circulate in your networks and social media”.

Graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Programme
Midlands Innovation of the Year – Midlands Business Awards 2014
BusinessMasters West Midlands Innovator 2013
Highly Commended Business Innovation – Midlands Family Business Awards 2013
Chinese Government Recruitment Program of Global Experts (
Chinese Government Foreign Expert In the Field Of Technology
Zhejiang Provincial Government West Lake Friendship Award 2010

Encraft organises Coventry meeting for WM manufacturers: Tuesday 22nd July

July 18, 2014


encraft logoLeamington-based Encraft was established in 2003 by Matthew Rhodes and a small group of engineers and investors. The company vision makes low carbon energy technologies for buildings more commercially viable in the UK by reducing the costs of high quality independent technical advice and now delivers high quality engineering and technical services to thousands of customers.

One of the worldwide projects involved Encraft’s senior consultant Kate Ashworth who travelled to the Philippines to help to set up wind monitoring for a remote off-grid island, joining ex Encraft consultant Diana Benato who is now working for Engineers Without Borders.

encraft in philippines

Kate was able to join Diana for 2 weeks in July under the Encraft CSR policy, where half a consultant’s time to the project in donated by the firm and the other half by the consultant.

coventry uni logo

Encraft are organising a breakfast meeting on 22nd July at Coventry University targeted at manufacturing companies in the West Midlands to present new opportunities available in purchasing, managing and reducing energy for their sites. The meeting will showcase where reductions can be made, including measures which do not entail a large capital outlay. Funding opportunities available to West Midlands-based SMEs to reduce energy costs will also be presented at the meeting.

Energy costs have a significant impact on business profitability, particularly in the case of manufacturing SMEs. A range of new smart technologies to optimise existing manufacturing processes and funding incentives to drive potential savings are now available, and Encraft can help manufacturing companies unlock these.

The event is aimed primarily at energy managers for West Midlands-based manufacturing SMEs – however larger manufacturers are welcome to attend. SMEs/Companies that will benefit most from this event will be those with large energy bills, aging energy infrastructure or building fabric, or cases where the organisation has identified a need to upgrade heating and lighting plant but needs qualified independent assistance to understand the available options.


The event is free, but early booking is strong advised as there is a limit on numbers at the venue. To book your place, please visit the Eventbrite booking page.