A UK first has been installed in the Black Country and is set to help a local manufacturer secure £1m of new orders.

BMI Engineering, a specialist supplier of repetition turned parts, fittings and plugs, is about to start production runs on its new £300,000 Metra 6.45 CXZ, which offers both multi-spindle and CNC capabilities.

Backed by financial support from NatWest and Lombard, the company is the first in the country to source a machine of this type and is now able to provide its global client base with greater speed, accuracy and the ability to manufacture complex parts in challenging materials.

Bosses at the Halesowen-based firm are already setting their sights on the automotive, agricultural and hydraulics sector and, if they hit the £1m new business target, expect to increase the workforce from 27 to 35.

“This is a major milestone for our business and really sets us apart from our competition, both in the UK and overseas,” explained Chris Peare, Production Manager.

“We have worked very closely with Metra CNC Ltd to develop the 6.45 CXZ, with our engineers contributing to the design to make sure we get the most out of it.”

He continued: “So far we have run two quick orders on it to see what it can do and have been amazed by the results. One example saw it manufacture a part – that took 70 seconds to produce in South Korea – in just 7.5 seconds.

“We are currently talking to a major car manufacturer about a troublesome component and the view is we can use this machine to make it quicker and ensure repeatable quality. That order alone could be worth £900,000.”

The Metra purchase is just one part of a £600,000 investment drive by BMI Engineering, which has also resulted in the installation of a Star SR32J sliding head lathe and a Miyano 7 axis turning centre.

These acquisitions complement 27 multi-spindle machines at its 20,000 sq ft facility on Vernon Road and takes place during the company’s 40th year in business.

Originally set up to machine castings for air and water applications, the company has grown into one of the UK’s most reliable manufacturers of turned parts in low, medium or high volume.

Its expertise has been taken up overseas, with over 50% of its turnover sent to customers in Argentina, Europe, Mexico, the US and North and South America.

Chris went on to add: “We have combined traditional multi-spindle machinery with state-of-the-art technology…a combination that should help us retain contracts and win new orders.

“Clients tend to use us to solve manufacturing problems and we have one of the best reputations for being able to re-engineer parts to eradicate quality concerns or speed up production runs.”

The purchase of the Metra machine was made possible thanks to BMI Engineering’s strong working relationship with NatWest and Relationship Director Richard Dowen.

A complex finance deal, which also involved Lombard, was put together and meant the transaction was completed four weeks ahead of schedule.

Richard added his support: “We are delighted to have come up with a solution between the Bank and Lombard that allows BMI Engineering to acquire this unique machine. It will increase capacity significantly and, importantly, pushes the firm into new markets.”

BMI Engineering is currently looking to recruit a young apprentice to work on the shop floor as part of its growth plans.

For further information, please visit www.bmi-engineering.co.uk or contact 0121 559 3406.