A Midlands supplier of commercial vehicle engineering and industrial hardware is re-shoring component production from China with the help of experts from the Coventry-based Manufacturing Technology Centre.
Bloxwich-based Albert Jagger Engineering, which has been producing metal components for more than 70 years, has already re-shored production of almost a quarter of a million fastening components and in the process has, in some cases, reduced costs by up to 50 per cent.
An SME team from the MTC’s Manufacturing Support Services operation worked with Albert Jagger to revolutionise their factory. The team of 11 MTC engineers produced a new factory layout, introduced new technology including CNC machines and automation, and re-trained staff using virtual and augmented reality.
As a result, the firm was able to produce fastening components which had previously been imported from China for between 20 and 50 per cent of the cost. In addition they have slashed stockholding costs by 50 per cent and created space in the factory for future growth.
Magnus McFarlane, lead advisor with the MTC’s transformation team, said, “The management team at Albert Jagger have delivered an amazing transformation – visually, culturally and technologically. Their strategy of re-shoring production is one that a number of UK businesses may be considering, and at Albert Jagger they have created an agile facility and a resilient supply chain.”
Albert Jagger’s chief executive Garth Cooper said, “Our work with the MTC has been truly transformational. We’ve invested in our factory and in new technologies, we have taken on staff and improved the skills of our existing employees. We are already seeing the benefits of our strategy to re-shore and recently secured 200,000 units of product originally outsourced to China.”
Albert Jagger supplies products to a range of automotive companies including commercial vehicle manufacturers, agriculture, construction, rail, medical, aerospace and emergency services.
The MTC Manufacturing Support Services team has worked with more than 500 SMEs, and at any one time has more than 150 live projects.
The MTC was founded by the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and TWI Ltd. The MTC’s industrial members include some of the UK’s major global manufacturers.
The MTC aims to provide a competitive environment to bridge the gap between university-based research and the development of innovative manufacturing solutions, in line with the Government’s manufacturing strategy. The MTC is part the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK.