West Midlands firms to showcase at Engineering show

13,000 visitors and over 750 exhibitors expected at NEC for UK’s largest engineering exhibition.

Barkley Plastics, based in Highgate, is uniting with support programme Drive West Midlands to highlight the region’s automotive expertise at this week’s Advanced Engineering UK 2015 (4th-5th November, NEC, Birmingham).

The plastic injection and toolmaking specialist will take part in a delegation – comprising private sector companies from the West Midlands’ six Local Enterprise Partnerships – to showcase its services and cutting-edge technology to the wider engineering market.

Formed in 1965, Barkley Plastics boasts one of the largest toolmaking facilities in the UK, offering moulding solutions to sectors including automotive, industrial, IT, medical and retail. The company’s 40 injection moulding presses produce more than 80 million mouldings each year, which are distributed across the UK and internationally. In the past year, the firm has invested over £400,000 on new equipment, including a 650 tonne moulding press, making it possible to produce larger components of up to 2.5kg in shot weight.

Matt Harwood, Business Development Manager at Barkley Plastics, said: “We’re looking forward to joining Drive West Midlands at this year’s event to showcase the company’s potential, from the production of automotive plastic parts ranging from engine bay to cosmetic interior components, to providing a one stop shop for ambient light guide assemblies.

“We will be speaking to delegates to illustrate why OEMs and Tier 1s should be looking increasingly towards Midlands manufacturers to help them develop a robust automotive supply chain and hopefully increase their local sourcing levels.”

Barkley Plastics joins alloy wheel manufacturer Rimstock (Invest Black Country); engineering solutions provider Penso (Coventry & Warwickshire); car parts manufacturer Gestamp (Make it Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire); powertrains developer AVL (Worcestershire) and metal component manufacturer Advanced Chemical Etching Ltd (Invest Telford & Wrekin).

The region’s presence is headed up by Drive West Midlands, a new initiative set up to support companies throughout the supply chain and overseas investors looking to locate in the area. It was launched in June by inward investment agency Marketing Birmingham and UK Trade & Investment’s Automotive Investment Organisation.

David Shepherd, Sector Relationship Manager (Automotive) at Marketing Birmingham, added: “The West Midlands boasts one of the world’s strongest automotive industries, home to some 40,000 highly-skilled employees. This year’s Advanced Engineering UK exhibition provides a valuable opportunity to build on this reputation and to join forces with six of the region’s most pioneering companies to demonstrate the global strength of our automotive supply chain.”