Star MIcronics GB reports that it had a "fantastic order intake during May", according to managing director Bob Hunt, who said that sliding-head lathes ordered during the month reached well into double figures for the first time since before the credit crunch.
"I am realistic enough not to expect that level of monthly orders to be repeated often during the rest of 2011, but it is a real tonic when it does happen," he said. "June is also looking very good at the moment."
All of the Star lathes are destined for subcontractors around the UK, which implies that the success being enjoyed by OEMs, particularly in export markets, is filtering down the supply chain and giving sufficient confidence for investment, the company says.
Three of the lathes will go to customers that are new to Star.
Another statistic of Star GB's sales achievement in May is that double machine orders were placed by two existing customers that are expanding, which alone accounted for 40% of May's order intake.
One customer was Astec Precision, Ulverston. Managing director Peter Smith said: "There is every reason to invest in more Star machines at the moment, as historically the lathes have proved very capable for producing our tight-tolerance electrical and electronic components."
The other twin-lathe installation will be at a firm in the Midlands. In this case, in-depth process development undertaken by Star GB's engineering manager, Brian Chamberlain, led directly to order placement.