Shropshire Star

Shrewsbury firm's £2m investment is 'game-changer' and will bring jobs boost

A Shropshire-based pressings and assemblies specialist has invested more than £2m in acquiring its largest ever progression press.

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SDE Technology

SDE Technology has installed the impressive 1000-tonne Chin Fong press and coil handling line at its Brixton Way factory in Shrewsbury, an installation that will allow larger die usage and help create larger products for use in the automotive sector.

Eight new jobs have been created because of the investment.

The press, which has a bed size of 4.5metres x 1.8metres, has capacity for over £2m of new revenue, with the management team already in discussions with larger OEMs and tier 1s looking for security of supply and opportunities to de-risk the supply chain.

“This is our largest ever progression press and one of the largest in the UK automotive supply chain,” explained Richard Homden, Managing Director of SDE Technology.

"It is a fantastic time to invest in this new capability. Yes, there are current headwinds, but for the bold there are also opportunities, with lots of reshoring, electrification and carbon reduction projects currently being discussed.

“The £2m investment will be a game-changer for our business and the West Midlands as a whole.”

SDE Technology is one of the largest manufacturers of pressings and assemblies in the UK, employing more than 130 people across its core production business and at Salop Haulage Ltd.

The company has overcome tough trading conditions, the pandemic, chip shortages and energy costs to secure several new opportunities in the automotive sector and is now planning on maximising its latest Hot Form Quench (HFQ®) process.

This is a revolutionary hot forming process for producing high strength aluminium parts for use in the automotive, aerospace, and renewable sectors and gives designers the freedom to create parts that offer significant weight savings, yet still deliver higher structural strength.

It also delivers improved formability in six and seven thousand series alloys that cannot be formed cold. In some instances, it can also reduce the part counts from multiple components to just one.

Chris Greenough, Commercial Director at SDE Technology, concluded: “The Chin Fong investment comes off the back of two earlier press installations, offering 100 and 200-tonne capabilities.

“These have been put in initially to deliver pressings for the white goods industry, but they could also be used to support other tooling projects going forward.”