When customers have to go to several different companies for different stages of product manufacturing it can sometimes be a lot of hassle, would it not just make sense to have all the facilities under one roof? That is exactly what Cooper Brown Enterprises (CBE) thought and took the companies BG Engineering, NiTEC, Pentag Gears and Spire Laboratories under one roof, and rebranded as CBE+, with individual divisions rebranded as CBE+ Precision; CBE+ Electroless Nickel, CBE+ Gears, CBE+ Beam Pumps and CBE+ Laboratories.
It all started back in 2017, CBE invested in BG Engineering and NiTEC, and then in 2018 Spire and finally Pentag joined, and everything has been moved over into the recently renovated facilities in Chesterfield.
The idea is that now everything you require in a product is manufactured in one place. Whilst taking me round the new factory, Anthony Holmes Managing Director explained: “We are now a one-stop-shop literally from manufacturing to testing, to plating. Everything you see is machined here.”
The main idea behind this is to reduce cost for both the company and customer, reduce the amount of admin that goes with each part, reduce fuel costs and emissions on the environment, but most importantly to simplify the process. Holmes added: “When you think about it now, it makes total sense, it’s a surprise it wasn’t thought of sooner.”
CBE can now produce any part or component required from customers across a number of industries. Holmes explained gas is a big industry for the company, but now with new facilities, and testing facilities on site, the company is hoping for some more aerospace customers. “We have a lot of business in the renewables sector, and recently have done some gear boxes for EVs, but steam regulation bodies are the most manufactured part. Gas pressure used to be the biggest, but steam has recently taken over. Whether this has anything to o Brexit or not, who knows?”
With the onsite testing facility, the company tests every part and product three times as a standard. Holmes also explained: “We also have a new sulphur dioxide testing cabinet, where the parts we test after ten cycles, which takes ten days will certify the parts for 30 years under water.” Again something else to work with aerospace and defence customers.
It was clear to see the company had a lot of positive plans for the future, with the rebrand and renovation, and also with all the research and development areas the facility has.
Marie Cooper, Group CEO, explained: “Since becoming accredited to AS9100 for our precision engineering business, we have experienced strong demand from customers for other services within the group. We recognised the benefits of having a single brand, so we can more easily demonstrate the complementary capabilities that we can offer to the supply chain. Our aim is to become a multi-disciplinary supplier to many industries including the aerospace and defence, energy and renewables sectors. The Open Day also gave us the opportunity to reveal our exciting ‘Vision for the future’, whilst enabling delegates to see the investment we have made here.”
Cooper also expressed that moving the manufacturing businesses all onto one site has meant a significant investment in acquiring equipment and technology, implementing a new factory layout, refurbishing the offices, manufacturing facility and conference room, plus build a brand new laboratory for testing, validation and certification for the plating industry. She added: “We are also investing in a new aerospace plating line, which we expect to be completed by the end of 2019.”