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Major investment by family-run Warwickshire engineering business

3 mins read

A family-run engineering business in Warwickshire has invested over £600,000 to expand into new markets after receiving grant support.

MAS Precision Engineering specialises in manufacturing precision engineering components for a variety of industries including motorsport, automotive, electrical, hydraulics and medical, and exports to countries including Poland, Hungary, Germany and Thailand.

The 13-year-old business, which is based on the Manor Road Business Park in Atherstone, is run by brothers Martin Smith, who is the managing director, and Steve Smith, who is the works director.

The 11-strong company needed to make a significant investment of £180,500 for a new CNC sliding head lathe to accommodate a new contract which was won after another firm unfortunately went into liquidation.

Martin contacted the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub and was awarded a grant of £20,000 through the Coventry and Warwickshire Business Support Programme which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

This was on the back of a £236,000 investment in 2019 for a Nakamura WT150-T CNC turning machine. Such was the success in 2022, a further £239,000 was spent on yet another Nakamura CNC turning machine. This ensured MAS Precision Engineering had the latest machinery, software and technology to remain competitive and increase their success rate of winning new work.

Martin said as a family-run business they took a great deal of care with attention to detail which their customers appreciated.

He said: “We were struggling for capacity but the new machine is an opportunity to invest in our future because without the right machines we’re not able to operate efficiently or have the facility to support the industry.

“Many of our European partners have these CNC machines and if we don’t keep up with technology, we will get left behind.

“The new CNC machine means we can turnaround orders much more quickly because the previous machinery took four minutes to make a part which has been reduced to 84 seconds, meaning that output has more than doubled in the same amount of time.

“It also means we can upskill and train our staff on the new machine which will lead to the creation of two more jobs for another apprentice and a CNC tool setter.”

Linda Savitri, account manager at Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub, said MAS Precision Engineering is constantly looking for ways to increase its order book.

She said: “The business has made capital investments worth over £600,000 in the last four years and the grants have ensured the team is completing their orders on time as well as reducing pressures on its cash flow at a time when the cost of living and business costs are at an all-time high.”

Kierandeep Bal, business development advisor at Coventry City Council, added: “Martin has made significant investments into his business in such a short space of time to ensure that MAS Precision remain competitive and have the latest technologies available in order to win new orders.

“It has been a pleasure working with Martin on both occasions and seeing the difference the grant funding makes to a small business. The funding has led to business growth and new jobs created for the region including apprenticeships which is exactly what we are looking to deliver.”

Further support was provided by the Coventry and Warwickshire Green Business Programme, which is part funded by ERDF and delivered by Coventry City Council, Coventry University and Coventry University Enterprises.

The Green Business team identified an area of inefficiency within MAS Precision Engineering’s manufacturing process, where the finished products were passed through a parts washer to remove excess oil. By installing a centrifuge, the oil is removed from the parts and this prevents contamination of the wash detergent. The waste oil is returned to the machines and then re-used. The detergent now lasts longer resulting in a significant reduction in energy usage.

Jonathan Howl, business energy advisor at Coventry City Council, said: “We were able to support MAS Precision with a Green Business Grant of £1,980 towards the centrifuge cost of £7,795. Overall, the centrifuge will provide energy savings of nearly £2,000 per annum, whilst also reducing the carbon output by two tonnes. In addition to this the manufacturing process is now cleaner and ‘greener’, so definitely a ‘win-win’ situation for the business!”

The Growth Hub is supported by funders including Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council and Warwickshire’s District and Borough Councils.