Top posts in June: Linecross Composites & Newby Foundries – USA interest & a visitor from Kazakhstan

June 21, 2017

It is interesting to see these 2013 posts attracting attention and an unprecedented number of visitors from the United States – three times as many as from the UK, which usually heads the list.

Newby Foundries (iron & steel castings) has overcome its difficulties and BI Composites (Halesowen) was taken over by Linecross (above), saving 120 jobs. This means we say farewell as it now has 280 employees, more than the SME upper limit of 250.

The last entry on the Linecross website was dated 2015 – but probably public outreach is not a priority for the busy company. At the end of 2016 it was selected as one of the UK’s fastest growing private-companies by Real Business.

The advent of a solitary reader from Kazakhstan caused the writer to wonder what the link would be. She found that this country is home to one of the companies in Russia’s POLYPLASTIC Group. As a manufacturer of plastic materials and a processor into several products, reading about the wider range of Linecross products would be of interest and we noted several POLYPLASTIC UK contacts.

See one Kazakh POLYPLASTIC factory here: Arystan Stepnogorsky Pipe Plant

Russia’s industry was being severely damaged by a financial crisis in the 90s but POLYPLASTIC, set up in 1991 managed to maintain its level of production, becoming a top-rated plastics processing conglomerate.

Next week: an update on Kings Norton’s Adi Group






Glassworks Hounsell launch“My Engineering” scheme

October 11, 2013


Glassworks Hounsell and Chartered Accountants E R Grove & Co of Halesowen have launched a “My Engineering” work placement scheme. 12 college learners will be working for 12 different manufacturing companies within the Black Country throughout their academic year. The project is seeking to expand and is inviting other manufacturers and colleges to join the new scheme.

In order to acquire a wide range of skills and experience different manufacturing backgrounds, each student spend time with at least two of the 12 participating companies. Further information can be seen on the website of Midlands Business News.

hounsell w brinkmanAlready collaborating with the University of Birmingham, William Brinkman of Glassworks Hounsell said, “We are currently working with a number of very talented engineering students in our design department. However, there is a lack of young and interested skilled labourers. Working closely with colleges is therefore one of our key objectives and in order to get young people interested in manufacturing in the first place, their perception of the sector and our image have to change.”

John Hounsell founded Hounsell Engineering Limited in 1887. That company later merged with Glassworks Equipment Limited in 2000, to establish the business in its current form.

Glassworks Hounsell celebrated its 125th anniversary last year – announcing an impressive turnover increase of more than 50% from 2011-2012.

hounsell staffFrom right to left, Brian Hicks (MD), Will and Oliver Brinkman.


BI Composites of Cannock and Halesowen & Linecross of Oakham

January 18, 2013

bi composites logoBI Composites of Cannock & Halesowen is a leading manufacturer of moulded components made from composite materials, winner of a Quality Award from Jaguar Landrover for the consistent high excellence and levels of quality components supplied.

A few months before this award it was reported that one of their design team, Kevin Bradley, received a silver medal for his ‘outstanding contribution to innovative plant and equipment component design using composite plastics and vacuum forming’ – an International Award for Excellence – from the Off-highway Plant and Equipment Research Centre.

bi compositesHowever, BI Composites went into administration last November, because of a large pension deficit. Brian Hamblin, partner at administrator Chantrey Vellacott DFK, said a number of businesses had been interested in taking over BI Composites which was basically a profitable business.

Following negotiations, Mr Hamblin was able to tell BI Composites’ 120 employees, before the Christmas break, that their jobs had been secured because the company had been bought by Linecross of Oakham, and both will now work together as Linecross Composites.

linecross 2 logoLinecross was established over 40 years ago and is a leading manufacturer of specialist plastics for the automotive sector, supplying Bentley and JCB:

• Thermoformed interior components & assemblies
• Under bonnet components
• Polyurethane systems
• Thermoformed exterior components

Linecross' new warehouse

Linecross’ new warehouse

Its managing director Stuart Fry said “Linecross and BI Composites are both innovative and creative companies which share very similar production processes and customer bases, such as working with the likes of Bentley and JCB, and we’re excited to be joining the two together.”