A company that makes lightweight aluminium components for the automotive industry was recognised at the Powys Business Awards for its innovation and use of technology.
CastAlum Limited, which has been based in Welshpool since 1999 and has 150 employees, won the Technology and Innovation Award, sponsored by CellPath, at the annual awards ceremony held at The Hafren, Newtown on Friday, October 20.
Organised by Mid Wales Manufacturing Group (MWMG) with support from sponsors, the coveted annual awards, which began in 2009, are open to companies, organisations, social enterprises and charities.
Castalum is a high pressure aluminium die casting and machining centre that produces complex components for almost all makes of cars.
The company became the first in the UK to start making dies from printed forms instead of steel which improved productivity, quality and enhanced the ability to produce increasingly difficult components.
CastAlum has introduced a second printer in its new additive manufacturing suite now that printed inserts are included in every die it uses.
The progressive company also uses Microsoft SharePoint technology to train and develop employees. Using a database of work instructions as its base, CastAlum has developed a purpose-built app to track what training has been completed and what is still required for each employee.
“This is only the beginning of a journey to modernising training and every day we are thinking of new uses for the technology,” said Greg Howe, CastAlum’s training manager.
“We also invest heavily in our apprenticeship programme – many of our employees started as an apprentice. We find as people grow with the business, they gain experience that we just will not find elsewhere.”
Receiving the award, CastAlum’s managing director Karl Meredith: “This is a sign that the pioneering work we are doing at Cast Alum is worthy of recognition.
Also, I can’t emphasise enough how important apprenticeships are to teach skills which Rhys Jones, our additive manufacturing engineer and apprentice mentor, has proven.”
Powys Business Awards judges said: “CastAlum have succeeded in truly embedding innovation into their business. Innovative use of new and existing technologies has clearly been championed within the business and encouraged with resource allocation.”
“At CastAlum, technology adoption is endorsed by the leadership team and embraced as a tool to train the next generation of staff.”
The award runners up were P.M Training and Assessing Ltd, Crickhowell and Arcticfox Adaptive Ltd, Montgomery.
CastAlum’s managing director Karl Meredith and additive manufacturing engineer and apprentice mentor Rhys Jones receive the Technology and Innovation Award from Tim Davies from CellPath, sponsor.