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3 minute read

Arrowsmith Engineering lands new $1m US contract

One of Coventry’s leading aerospace precision component manufacturers is flying high after securing a $1m order from the US.

Arrowsmith Engineering, which employs 60 people at its recently extended facility, is manufacturing a production part for airplane engines that fly millions of miles every year.

Backed by support from the Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP), the company now expects to double annual sales to £7m by 2020 after impressing customers with world class quality and ‘right first time’ performance.

It has also just been awarded the Silver SC21 award, making it one of a select group of firms across the UK to achieve this supply chain standard.

Arrowsmith have just secured a $1m order in the US / Picture: Arrowsmith

“Our client base is the who’s who of the aerospace sector and the only way we get to supply into these type of businesses is by offering precision components and on time delivery…in fact, the latter is at 98% for the last year,” explained Jason Aldridge, Managing Director of Arrowsmith Engineering.

“This was a key factor in us winning the new order and will take the business to a whole new level. We’ve had to employ 12 new people to cope with the increased demand, including 3 interns, 2 new apprentices, a quality engineer and 6 machinists.”

He continued: “SC21 is a significant award in our sector and for us to secure Silver is a fantastic achievement and one that will safeguard and, hopefully, win us new work. It’s a very difficult standard to attain and we really benefitted from the expertise and support of MGP in refining our systems.”

Arrowsmith Engineering is a specialist in precision turning, milling, thread rolling and grinding, providing components in titanium, nimonics, stainless steel, exotic metal and engineering plastics.

The company has been working with the Manufacturing Growth Programme since October last year, first with the SC21 application and then, more recently, in a gap analysis for the new AS9100D aerospace quality standard.

There has also been assistance given in developing a long-term strategy and how to make the most of international opportunities.

Jason Aldridge (Arrowsmith Engineering) with Michelle Connor (Manufacturing Growth Programme) / Picture: Arrowsmith


Jason continued: “As a SME, you can sometimes get weighed down with just meeting daily customer requirements and lose track of what could be the bigger picture. That’s why having a specialist from MGP, who has time to look at the overall strategy of the business, can be beneficial.”

Manufacturing Growth Manager Michelle Connor said: “One of the things we do really well is getting under the skin of the business we are supporting, identifying the exact support it needs in order to move it to the next stage.

“This is exactly what we did with Arrowsmith and, thanks to the openness of Jason and his management team, we were able to bring in specialists to assist with its SC21 accreditation. The expertise was very targeted, but has the potential to unleash the firm’s potential and generate more than £3.5m of new sales.”
2017 has been an exciting year for Arrowsmith Engineering, with the completion of the new factory extension.

This included a new build office block to house 18 staff, break-out room, canteen and dedicated meeting space, not to mention 3,500 sq ft of extra production space and the installation of advanced measurement equipment and NDT degreaser.

The Manufacturing Growth Programme, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by Economic Growth Solutions (EGS), is promising to fill the void left by the Manufacturing Advice Service (MAS) by providing access to specialist assistance to help manufacturers to grow and improve.

This is being achieved through an 18-strong network of experienced manufacturing growth managers, access to industry specialists and the opportunity to apply for an average grant of £1400 and rising to a maximum £3500.

Support can be used for leadership and management, R&D, lean manufacturing, productivity and capacity, quality systems and supply chain development.