Category: Case Study

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Introduction to Midlands Manufacturing Case Studies

Manufacturing is critical. We know that. We see it in our daily lives. The real question is how critical. How do we understand this importance more fully, and communicate it more effectively? Some recent research by the West Midlands Economic Forum commissioned by Birmingham City University suggests that the comparative contribution of manufacturing, taking into […]

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MAN Group, 2014

MAN Group is an innovative alliance of 11 companies operating within numerous supply chains including automotive, aerospace and renewables amongst others, who have joined together as suppliers to share best practice and create a stronger combined force when tendering for contracts.  They provide complete technical and engineering solutions for customers developed from the combined engineering […]



In a complex and competitive market, the requirement for Rolls Royce to innovate by producing new improvements and products has been increasing all the time. In response to the ever increasing need for speed in design, the business has been leading the sector in developing design engineering automation and ‘knowledge-based engineering’ (KBE).  KBE uses knowledge […]

premier olympic torch


Introduction Established in 1992 and owned by Chairman, Denis Meagher, who began his career at Salt Engineering as a tool-making Apprentice, Premier Group grew out of practical skills and know-how in specialised sheet-metal working. As a privately-owned, Coventry-based business, Premier Group is on track to deliver £15m turnover in 2014, up from £12m in 2013 […]


Government’s leading economic policy objective, as stated in the National Plan for Growth (March 2011), is to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth more evenly shared across the country and between industries. Financial services enjoyed strong growth at +25% over the period 1997-2007, moving from 6.5% to 8.5% GDP. Whilst manufacturing, as categorised, shrank as […]


Government statistics, compiled by Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), show UK Aerospace sector outperforming the wider economy during the recession, with output growing by an average rate of 7% from 2008-2013. The BIS Growth Dashboard states, “By 2031 the global civil aerospace market is estimated to be worth in excess of $4.5 Trillion.  […]


GKN, 2014

GKN plc, as a global engineering systems and components supplier, enjoys a distinguished history dating back over 250 years. It includes business dealings with Isambard Kingdom Brunel through the Guest family in Wales, and it was the Birmingham entrepreneur, Arthur Keen, who bought out the Guest business, Dowlais, in 1899, and who, two years later, […]

Brooks England Saddles

It is not always appreciated that until the 1950s Brooks England was the largest manufacturer of saddles in the world. Around this time the West Midlands was producing at least 50% of UK bicycles through two leading businesses, Phillips Bicycles and Tube Investments.

The business had been founded long before then though, by John Boultbee Brooks in 1866 after he left his home in Hinckley at the age of 16 to make his fortune in Birmingham by making leather saddles for the horse trade. The company’s reputation is built on quality, authenticity and a heritage that is cherished by owners and customers alike.

Morgan Motor Company

Introduction This case study is based on discussions with Charles Morgan during the period 2010-2013. Innovation was focussed around making Morgan relevant to upcoming generations through radical design innovations including – the Morgan Aeromax and Three wheeler production models, and the LIFECar concept model.  Company results posted for 2013 showed turnover remaining broadly in line […]

Westfield Sports Cars

Introduction Westfield Sportscars manufactures a range of 3 broad model types within the current factory-built and kit versions of their two-seater, open top sportscars, made for road and race track use and produced from their Dudley based factory in the West Midlands. “In essence we have three types of cars,” explains Julian Turner, “the Lotus […]