UK - Jobs boost as Thomas Dudley reveals £10 million foundry plan

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A new foundry is being built in Tipton as part of a £10 million investment by Dudley-based Thomas Dudley Group.

The Thomas Dudley foundry at Birmingham New Road, Dudley

It is thought to be the first major foundry to be developed in the Black Country for many years and will mean a sizeable jobs boost for the area.

The foundry is being constructed alongside an existing foundry on the Thomas Dudley Foundry site at Vaughan Trading Estate, Sedgley Road East.

A new moulding line has just been installed at the former Duport Foundry site, which was bought by the group in 2014.

The Tipton foundry and the 84-year-old castings foundry at the main Thomas Dudley site in Birmingham New Road were brought together as the Thomas Dudley Foundry division at the start of the year.

Work on the new state-of-the-art foundry began last month.

The investment in the moulding line will increase manufacturing capacity by 50 per cent and further enhance Thomas Dudley’s capability to engineer high quality castings to extremely tight tolerances and delivering improved quality.

There will also be a new sand plant, with pouring/casting handling systems and a new extraction system is to be fitted throughout the foundries site.

The foundry site in Birmingham New Road

Next year work will start on providing dedicated finishing facilities including shot blast, core making, warehousing, a filtration plant, compressors and robotic fettling.

Mick Cramphorn, foundry director at Thomas Dudley Foundry, said: “We have now invested over £25m in the last 10 years in our foundry capabilities.

"This third new Disamatic moulding line will produce approximately 425 moulds per hour within a fully integrated facility.

“It gives us a competitive advantage as this investment combines safety, quality and productivity into a world-class manufacturing technological and flexible foundry solution.

"We take on our values and are extremely committed to the investment in our people and therefore with this new foundry, it will generate future job opportunities, and further support our commitment to the Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills.”

The Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills has one of its four sites at Tipton on the former Duport site offering foundry training.

Dr Pam Murrell, chief executive of the West Bromwich-based Cast Metals Federation, said: "It is great news to see a new foundry being built in the Black Country.

"I can't remember another one in this area in recent times, certainly not in the last 15 years."

Dr Murrell said it reflected increasing investment in the UK castings industry, which has seen business up 11 per cent this year.

"There is a positive trend and investments like that by Thomas Dudley are very encouraging."

Thomas Dudley Foundry took home the award for best use of technology in the 2018 Express & Star Business Awards in June.

A new multi-million group three-storey headquarters building next to the Birmingham New Road foundry was officially opened in June.

As well as its iron castings, the group is known for a range of bathroom products. It will celebrate its centenary in 2020.

Thomas Dudley Foundry won the award for best use of technology in last month’s Express & Star Business Awards. The group won the Black Country Chambers’ best use of technology, business of the year and innovation awards last year