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Sheffield Forgemasters invests £6.5m in machinery

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Heavy engineering firm Sheffield Forgemasters is to invest £6.5 million in machinery to enable it to expand into the advanced manufacture of forging and castings.

The company will install two new Bostram machines: a five-axis milling machine and a vertical turning lathe to enable three-dimensional machining of increasingly complicated, ultra-large cast and forged shapes for industries as civil nuclear power and defence.

Sheffield Forgemasters told PE that it has been outsourcing some machining work but could not guarantee the quality, by investing in the machinery it will avoid a bottleneck in production.

The investment will not immediately create any new jobs, but the company is in the process of appointing 14 apprentices, some of those will be machinists.

James Tate, chief finance officer at Sheffield Forgemasters, said: “This is a milestone investment for the company and one which will create greater efficiencies for future projects, as well as allowing for further advanced machining techniques.

“The company has placed inward investment high on its list of priorities since the management buyout in 2005 and we will invest significantly more in research and development as a percentage of turnover than most UK manufacturers.”

The majority of the investment comes from Forgemasters’ own development budget, but having pledged such high levels of investment, the company qualified for £650,000 funding from the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Business Investment Fund.

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