Bentley deal adds cherry to manufacturer’s 70th birthday cake

Frank Dudley's factory in Birmingham

Frank Dudley (FDL) has won an important contract with Bentley as it looks to keep its own foot on the accelerator as it marks its 70th birthday.

The Birmingham manufacturer has already seen sales rise 20% to £6m over the last twelve months.

The Bentley deal, along with significant body and white work for Sertec Group, is the latest in a long line of ‘wins’ for the metal pressings and deep drawn component specialist.

“We’ve come a long way since my grandfather Frank started the business in his small shed in Birmingham,” said managing director Grant Dudley-Toole.

“His approach of ‘getting products, right first time’ is one that we have built our business around and has been crucial in helping us introduce lean manufacturing and world class quality and delivery performance – two important factors in us winning the recent contracts for Bentley and a major earth moving equipment manufacturer.”

Established just a few years after the second World War, Frank Dudley initially started life supplying quality washers for automotive businesses.

Elliot Dudley-Toole, manager at FDL and fourth-generation family member, said: “Today, we operate from a 57,000 sq ft facility in Birmingham and have an array of presses from 30 tonnes to 630 tonnes on both progression and tandem lines.

“We have also invested over £200,000 into a nut insert machine, a new grinder and additional spot welding capabilities to ensure we can manufacture volumes ranging from 50 components per batch to 15,000 parts per week.

“The recent purchases – combined with recruitment of a buyer, project manager, tool maker and four apprentices – will give us the capacity to target £7m of sales by 2019, with a specific focus on growing our export work.”