Successful specialist has capacity but no room for complacency

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Following news that manufacturing suffered its worst performance for 14 months a Dudley based heat treatment specialist is still committed to further investment in the training of young people and additional processing plant.

Alloy Heat Treatment’s recent investment in apprentices and a drop bottom solution treating oven is taking their business to a new level.

Industry estimates suggest 80% of the global heat treatment market is captive; whereby organisations carry out bespoke heat treatment in house, leaving a 20% share for AHT to specialise in the light alloy industries.

Director and New Projects Manager Ian Perks said: “Much of our new business comes from the aluminium industry. There is high demand for new body shells for high-speed trains, trams, and buses, so energy saving, lightweighting and design flexibility are paramount criteria. Up to 50% weight reduction and similar ground-breaking solutions result from innovative production methods, like new casting technologies.

AHT predicts a bright business future, necessitating their investment in apprentices as future leaders.

Perks adds: “Industry has been losing skilled technologists and engineers and replacing them has been challenging. Our aim is to motivate a new generation of young people to train and gain formal qualifications to ensure the long term survival of our business.

“Increased demand has allowed us to employ academically bright young people who are enrolled onto day release degree level courses with tuition fees paid by the company. So far we have been delighted with the people under training. However it does appear that the vast majority of both “GCSE” and “A” level students obtaining reasonable grades do not realise just how well qualified they can become by taking up apprentice opportunities."

The company is keen to grow further and following a successful showcase at Farnborough they are putting out a call for even more business, particularly in the automotive sector. Their new oven is designed for intensive use up to 550 degrees centigrade and is used to apply heat treatment to semi-finished parts to increase their strength, endurance and life span.

Charles Addison, Chief Operating Officer at Made in the Midlands said: “AHT have a great vision for the future, especially in their attitude to apprentices, who they see as future leaders. This succession planning strategy will be hugely beneficial as they continue to grow.”

Perks concludes: “We believe in the future of British manufacturing and have the capacity to take on more business but there is no room for complacency. We have created jobs and our capex investment will further reduce lead times for our customers and bring growth to our company.”