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AWM Chair in Triple Midland Tour of £70 million 200 Company Programme

Nick Paul, Chairman of Advantage West Midlands is to make a special tour of Midlands' manufacturers to see for himself the results Advantage West Midlands support for the £70 million Premium Auto Research and Development Program at WMG at the University of Warwick.

The AWM Chairman is particularly eager to see the impact of the programme on 200 automotive supply companies across the West Midlands. He will thus be visiting three factories in the Black Country, Birmingham, and Coventry - each company is involved with industrial presses and each hopes that he will be impressed with what he sees.

The West Midlands is a crucial region in the world Premium Auto Industry. Intense competition with Germany, Japan and the USA means that the whole industry has had to raise its game.

For the West Midlands to succeed in this market it needs high quality final manufacturers and a supporting network of firms supplying skills, materials, components and technology. Ensuring West Midlands firms gain access to the highest level skills and state of the art technology is the role of the AWM supported $70 million Premium Auto Research and Development Program at WMG at the University of Warwick.

Nick Paul said, "The premium auto sector is vital to the West Midlands economy and I am delighted to see real benefits of the Premium Auto Program and to gain an appreciation of the real competitive challenges the firms in the sector face."

The three company visits are:

Whiston Industries, of Cradley Heath. Whiston are world class suppliers of automotive press tools, and are today developing increasingly sophisticated body panel designs. Collaborating with the Program has helped them to stay ahead by enhancing their R&D effort. Key collaborators in the program with the support of Jaguar Land Rover, they have helped shape the Premium Auto program from the outset. Bob Whiston, of Whiston Industries at Cradley Heath, said, "Innovation is vital to our business. It is great to be able to work with the University to take forward our ideas". Nick Paul will be visiting Whiston Industries on the 17th October at 12.00pm. He will be seeing the company's automotive press equipment in action.
Photo call: Whiston Industries at Oak Street, Cradley Heath, West Mids, B64 5JY.
Contact: Bob Whiston at Whiston on 01384 560606

Stadco in Birmingham are at the forefront of their business of pressing and assembling body panels. Within such a competitive industry and its pressures, PARD and Stadco have been working together to introduce a flexible manufacturing system, involving developing a fixtureless assembly program using co-operative robots. At present they are in the process of developing increasingly sophisticated body parts, an increasingly difficult task in that each part needs to be flawless. Collaborating with the Program has helped them to stay ahead by enhancing their R&D effort. Nick Paul will be visiting Stadco on the 17th October at 1.30pm. He will be seeing the company's press and assembly equipment.
Photo call: Stadco in Castle Bromwich, West Mids.
Contact: Paul Meeson on 01743 452585

CovPress Ltd of Coventry are at the forefront of their business of pressing and assembling body parts in white. Within such a competitive industry and its pressures, PARD and CovPress have been working together to produce a system of fixtureless assembly with co-operative robots, with the idea of reducing the cost of assembly for leading automotive suppliers. At present they are in the process of developing increasingly sophisticated body parts, an increasingly difficult task in that each part needs to be flawless. Collaborating with the Program has helped them to stay ahead by enhancing their R&D effort. Mike Gillett, Managing Director of CovPress Ltd, said, "Producing a new fixtureless assembly program is something that stands to help the premium automotive sector greatly. We really hope to see the benefits of our co-project with the Premium Auto Program." Nick Paul will be visiting CovPress on the 17th October at 3.00pm. He will be seeing the company's press and assembly equipment.
Photo call: CovPress Ltd, Burnsall Road, Canley, Coventry, CV5 6RT.
Contact: Mike Gillett, 024 7669 1000


Nick Matthews, Warwick Manufacturing Group,
University of Warwick 024 76 572 506

Peter Dunn, Press and Media Relations Manager,
University of Warwick Tel: 024 76 523708
or 07767 655860 email: p.j.dunn@warwick.ac.uk