Walsall manufacturer furloughs machine room staff after losing contract

Walsall-based castings and engineering group Chamberlin has furloughed all staff in its machine shop due to losing its biggest customer to a competitor.

The machine shop on Bloxwich Lane Industrial Estate
The machine shop on Bloxwich Lane Industrial Estate

The machine shop on the Maple Leaf Industrial Estate has been experiencing volatile demand due to Brexit, Covid-19 and customer safety stock building.

The customer of the largest contract representing about 75 per cent of the machine shop's output has informed Chamberlin of an earlier transition to the evolution of its next product which has been awarded to another supplier.

As a result ongoing customer orders are likely to be a fraction of the original contract.

The company will be pursuing a claim relating to the earlier than planned transition and in the meantime all staff in the machine shop have been furloughed.

The company is taking further mitigating actions to reduce costs during the machine shop temporary shutdown, although the financial impact cannot yet be determined.

At the end of September Chamberlin announced that production levels at the Company's two foundries in Walsall and Scunthorpe remained at or above pre-Covid-19 levels, and this continues to be the case.

Trading at its Petrel business in Birmingham was below normal sales levels but is improving.

The company is continuing to explore additional manufacturing opportunities for the machining centre with existing Tier 1 customers and prospective new customers.

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