Automotive supplier invests in expansion

Linecross Composites

A Staffordshire manufacturer has invested £1.7m into the expansion of the business so it can continue to meet demand for its products.

Cannock-based Linecross Composites – part of the Linecross Group – supplies engineered thermoformed and polyurethane components to clients in the automotive, leisure and speciality industries.

The expansion of the Bridgtown site could lead to the creation of a number of new jobs and herald a move into new markerts.

The company, which was formed in 2012 when parent company Linecross Ltd bought its competitor BI composites out of administration. In the intervening five years the company has seen a programme of phased investment to support growth.

The latest investment has seen the business purchase new plant and equipment, and undergo a reorganisation to provide additional capacity and operational efficiencies.

Two new injection moulding machines will enable the business to mould large automotive interior parts. Ancillary equipment to support these machines includes a new 16-tonne lift capacity crane for tool movements, robotic handling systems to remove moulded parts from the machines and an ultrasonic welding robot to support assembly operations.

Broadening its process offering will enable to the firm to produce lower weight products, which will open up a number of new markets.

The company’s varied client base includes Bentley and Aston Martin, JCB, London Taxi Company and caravan manufacturers Swift Group and Coachman.

It is currently working with luggage brand Antler on a new product. Linecross has developed a method to process new material, Armordon – a self-reinforcing polypropylene fabric which exhibits exceptionally high impact strength, combined with low density – into a super-light, super-tough new suitcase called Atom.

Linecross chairman David Austin said: “We are delighted with the success of the Cannock site over the past five years. We have a bright, dedicated team in place here in the West Midlands and have established a culture of collaborative partnerships with our customers and other industry specialists, which has enabled us to support many iconic, global brands.

“The future is bright for Linecross Composites and we will continue to invest in our infrastructure, technology and our people to ensure that we remain at the forefront of new plastic and composite materials and technology.”

The Linecross Group saw turnover exceed £27m in the last financial year and is expected to top £30m next year.