What More UK, manufacturer of housewares brand Wham, recently acquired Firsteel, the specialist coil metal coating company based in Walsall. They have jointly announced that the recent investment in the site, people and machinery has now reached £250,000, as just the first part of a planned £1m investment programme.
One of only two specialist suppliers of this nature in the UK, Firsteel supply the automotive and bakeware industries amongst others, processing steel and coating it with non-stick paint to make baking trays found in every supermarket, as one example. The company were formerly owned by British Steel / Tata Steel.
The markets they operate in require exacting standards of quality, and Firsteel are more than capable of achieving them. Their specialist knowledge is passed on through generations, with the longest serving employee time served at 41 years. Apprentices are now being trained in the specialist skills required, so that UK customers can say their products are truly Made in Britain.
They are in a growing market, and are investing heavily in maintaining and modernising equipment and facilities, as well as taking on staff. General manager Paul Didlick commented: “This is a large site and our speed on the very long line needs to be as fast as we can make, efficiently, to very high quality standards and with minimal down time.
“We’re going through a period of investment and improvement, to make sure our efficiencies are as good as they can be, as we go through a period of rapid growth.
“Seventy per cent of our output is exported, and China have dominated the steel supply market in the past. We’re proudly part of the British manufacturing heritage, and we’re investing to ensure we stay at the forefront of it!”
Adrian Blakemoor from West Brom, operating the trim to size machine for customers who require pre-cut materials, added: “The lines run at 60 metres per minute, which is fast. This cutting machine cuts at 100 strokes per minute, cutting to required length. My job is to ensure we keep to our very high quality standards. I inspect every piece to ensure it meets our standards – or it doesn’t go to the customer!”
Firsteel is a specialist supplier of coil coated steel for many different manufacturing uses, founded in 1957. The Firsteel business was a global pioneer in the development of continuously coated ‘non-stick’ products supplied into the bakeware sector. If you’d like to know more about them, visit the website www.firsteel.co.uk
What More UK manufacture metal and plastic housewares of all kinds, from around the sink items to garden, garage and officewares. What More is a proud member of Made in Britain and they export UK branded goods to 75 countries around the world, in addition to every major UK supermarket and another 1600 independent retailers.
For more information about What More UK visit www.whatmoreuk.com