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Company News Celebrating 55 years in business with new investment

| Editor: Steffen Donath

A 250,000 pound investment in new presses and robots is proving to be a perfect ‘big’ birthday present for a plastic injection moulding and toolmaking specialist.

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Barkley Plastics is a founder member of the Manufacturing Assembly Network (MAN).
Barkley Plastics is a founder member of the Manufacturing Assembly Network (MAN).
(Source: Barkley Plastics)

Barkley Plastics, which employs 120 people at its Highgate facility in Birmingham, is celebrating 55 years of business by increasing its capacity to help take on new orders it has won in interior parts and lighting for the automotive sector.

The latest installation takes its total capital machinery spend to over 800,000 pound in the last five years and highlights the firm’s desire to move into more cosmetic and technical products that require industry-leading processing accuracy.

It marks another step-change in what has been a colourful history for the manufacturer, who started life after founder John Barkley placed a job advert for four toolmakers in the Birmingham Evening Mail.

In the 55 years that followed, the company has evolved its offer to remain a strategic supplier to the automotive sector, whilst also building a strong reputation in the domestic products, construction, electrical and leisure sectors, not to mention producing 20,000 plastic baubles for the world’s largest chandelier — used at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

“Things have never been quiet over the last 55 years, but I suppose that’s UK manufacturing for you,” explained Mark Harwood, Managing Director at Barkley Plastics.

“We’ve already tried to stay one step ahead of what the customer wants and this is reflected in the latest process that gives us additional capacity and production control to take on more automotive work. There will also be news of a groundbreaking development in injection moulding before the end of the year.”

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Mark continued: “The 250,000 pound investment is a perfect birthday present for us and will immediately be put to use on supporting a new project that will see us manufacture a selection of small, high volume JLR parts that will go across its range of vehicles.

“There’s no getting away from the fact that the capital spend is vital, but our people continue to be crucial to our ongoing success. We’ve got more than ten people who have been with us for forty years and David Challinor, the son of one of the founding members, only retired from the toolroom at the end of the year having given us 48 years of service.”

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