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Innovations Award 2023 Finalists!

We’re delighted to announce that WBE has been shortlisted to the finals of the Innovations Award 2023. The team has been recognised for the hard work that we have all put in over this year and years previous.

Our commitment to investment and increasing market share across our sectors has stood us out ahead of our peers. Winning long term contracts, and making sure that complex machining work remains here in the UK, has been on our radar for many years now and its nice to see our hard work slowly pay off.

The Ventilator Challenge UK Project

Whiteley Brooks has been working with one of the world’s most iconic motorsport companies as part of the Ventilator Challenge UK Project.

We usually supply high-quality precision engineering parts for motor sport, medical, automotive, defence, diesel testing and new technologies sectors. Our high-profile within the industry led to McLaren Racing getting in touch and asking us to work alongside them on the programme to provide ventilators for the NHS during Covid-19 – on the same day the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub asked us to get involved too!

“It has been a great opportunity to highlight the diversification abilities of our 35-strong staff as well as the adaptability of the machinery.”

“We have been involved in motorsport for over 40 years and we have built great relationships with teams involved in the industry.

“The Growth Hub is always ringing and emailing to check how we are getting on during the Coronavirus and mentioned the Ventilator Challenge UK project and so did McLaren Racing, which was part of a consortium to accelerate production of medical ventilators, because of our strong business reputation.

“We were more than happy to take part because we have such large capacity at our premises in terms of machinery and it felt like we were doing something for the greater good.

“This was 100 per cent the right decision having had an opportunity to help in this terrible time.

“It was quite a long process providing the quotes and sourcing the materials because we needed large quantities. Eirinn Turner, another director, worked day and night to ensure our manufacturing facility was used at an optimum.

“We were able to provide considerable quantities of parts and our staff worked all available hours including nights and weekends to fulfil the order.

“It was good to have been part of the Ventilator Challenge UK project and to use our machines and knowledge to help other people while they are seriously ill in hospitals.”

Jat Purewal, Director

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Whiteley Brooks Major investment plans 2018/19

Whiteley Brooks Engineering have completed a major investment program over the past year, over 500k has been invested into plant and machinery. We annually have an investment program that we plan out, however this has been a major injection.

New compressor has been purchased to service the whole premises, allowing us to have a backup compressor system. 2 Doosan DNM5700H Milling machines have been brought in to increase Milling capacity, both with 5 axis capability. A Doosan Puma GT2600 has also been invested in to ramp up capacity on the turning section. Laser Scanning Technology has also been introduced into our inspection department, we have recently purchased a Quantum M Faro Arm.

Whiteley Brooks Supports Coventry for City of Culture 2021

Whiteley Brooks Engineering is supporting Coventry to become UK City Of Culture in 2021. If this is successful it will bring great economic and cultural benefits to the city and the region. Hull is currently enjoying its year as UK City of Culture 2017, and £150 million is to be invested into their economy as a result.

Winning City of Culture 2021 for Coventry would change our city as we know it today. The younger generation would reap the benefits in many ways in the future: better job prospects and more of them, more places to eat and shop. Above all it will change Coventry’s reputation as a city forever.

We have a tremendous history and heritage that goes way past the fact that Coventry was hit hard during World War II. The city has a lot to showcase and shout about, from the invention of the jet engine to watch making, ribbon weaving and let’s not forget our involvement in the motor industry. Whiteley Brooks hope you too can be as enthusiastic as us for 2021!!!

2015 marks 50 years for Whiteley Brooks Engineering

50YearsImgKen Whiteley and Stan Brooks became business partners in 1965 and Whiteley Brooks Engineering Ltd opened for business on April 2nd in a small unit in the village of Wolston on the outskirts of Coventry. They had both been employees of Coventry Gauge as centre lathe turners when they took the decision to ‘Go it alone’; they purchased two lathes and set up shop. For the first few years both of them worked as machinists as well as doing all of the day to day administration of the business. Ken Whiteley, recently married, actually lived in a flat above the factory while the business found its feet. Early customers at this time were Leslie Hartridge Ltd, AP Lockheed and Marwin Tools. It was several years before they had enough work to take on an employee to help with the machining and some time after that that they could afford a secretary to look after the paperwork. Both Ken and Stan wanted to work in a clean environment and right from the start introduced an ethic of cleanliness and tidiness that remains to this day.

Whiteleybrooks-1970s-b&wThe business eventually grew too big for the Wolston Unit and in the January of 1972 Whiteley Brooks Engineering moved to the current site on the then new Industrial Estate in Binley, Coventry. In the spring of that year the current Managing Director, Gear Purewal started work with the Company as a Trainee Machinist. Gear was at that time studying at Henley Technical College and was chosen by Ken and Stan from a number of hopefuls because he had taken the trouble to wear a suit and tie. The business continued to grow throughout the 1970s allowing Ken and Stan to acquire more machines, recruit more machinists and spend their time managing the company.

In the early 1980s the work started to become increasingly difficult to produce on manual lathes and milling machines and they decided to invest in a small CNC Milling Machine. This was a huge investment at the time and even with a Government Grant introduced to assist small businesses to invest in new technology there was a financial risk. The new machine was used mainly for producing the profile on prototype clutch plates and hubs for AP Lockheed, it was not an easy transition but eventually the investment started to show a return and in 1983 a second machine was installed. In July of 1984 Joe Reynolds joined the company as a CNC programmer and Production Engineer and Gear Purewal was asked to take on the duties of Shop Foreman. Towards the end of 1984 work from AP Lockheed started to slow down and eventually dried up all together. Whiteley Brooks Engineering had for some years been modifying cast iron brake discs for the fledgling AP Racing department and they started to offer more work, so after a difficult winter, the company started to get back on its feet producing clutch and brake parts for the Motor Sport industry. It was around this period that Whiteley Brooks purchased its first CNC Lathe and CMM machine.

In 1987 Gear Purewal was promoted to become a director and In 1988 Stan Brooks retired due to failing health and Eirinn Turner started as an apprentice. The company was now progressing rapidly with the acquisition of a new CNC machine tool every year. The first DNC links were installed in order that programs, written on BBC computers, could be downloaded straight to the machine tools. The relationship with AP Racing was becoming more important to both companies as Whiteley Brooks started to get more involved with the manufacture of their clutch parts and started to develop methods for machining the carbon friction plates for the new clutches. AP Racing were about to become an autonomous business and move to Coventry.

IMG_2317In 1991 Stan Brooks passed away. The Company continued to grow replacing conventional machinery with new CNC machines. By 1996 the existing factory unit was proving too small so the workshop area was extended back to the boundary fence to create more room. In 1997 Joe Reynolds became a director and Eirinn Turner became Shop Manager. By the beginning of the new millennium it was clear that more space would be required for machining and the front offices were extended upwards allowing for a dedicated Inspection Room.

The new millennium bought in more work and in 2002 Ken Whiteley retired but continued in a consultancy role. In the same year Jat Purewal joined the company, the factory unit to the right came up for sale and Whiteley Brooks purchased the freehold with a view to future expansion. This was required sooner than expected with the building work to join the two units not fully finished before machines were purchased to start cutting in the new work area. This allowed for a purpose built Metrology Department and a new CMM machine.

Whiteley Brooks Engineering was now machining all of the components for AP Racing’s formula one clutches and a large proportion of their other race clutches. Both companies were enjoying considerable success when the 2008 recession hit. Cut backs were required and unfortunately the company had to lay off five members of staff. The remaining staff took cuts and Whiteley Brooks Engineering realised that to get through the recession it would need a larger and more diverse customer base. A campaign to win new customers was started and the company started to market itself, in 2008 Jat Purewal and Eirinn Turner were added to the board and as the recession lifted several new customers were on the books. By 2012 the new factory area was filling up and Whiteley Brooks Engineering had the opportunity to purchase the unit on the left side of the original building. Once again the building work was still in progress when it became necessary to put machines into the building and it was at this point that the company introduced a night shift to cover its busier periods.

In 2013 Ken Whiteley passed away. Whiteley Brooks Engineering is continuing to grow as a business, it now has a much broader customer base and although the majority of its work is still in motor sport, new customers and new technologies are helping to keep the business strong.

2014 Roundup

The start of 2014 was very busy for Whiteley Brooks with the usual rush for new parts for the start of the Formula 1 Racing Season. The area designated for the new Stores was cleared and new racking and storage bins purchased. The stock was gradually re-located over a period of time as production needed to be maintained during the move. Some extra training was undertaken as the responsibility for stock was being moved and the new position of Materials Handler was created. Work was also started on the modernisation and refurbishment of one of the front offices of the third unit. Whiteley Brooks Engineering had for some time been looking at the possibility of a bespoke meeting and training room and the opportunity was taken to utilise the spare office space available. In May 2014 Joe Reynolds retired as Director and Tom Patrick joined the company as Operations Administrator.

2013 Roundup

The 2008 recession now seemed to be lifting and the investments that had been made during the preceding years allowed Whiteley Brooks Engineering to take advantage of the upturn in orders. New teams were entering Formula 1 and required parts to get them to the grid on time and our existing customers became busier as optimism in the industry returned. The modernisation of the third factory unit was nearly complete and another two Bridgeport CNC mills, also with 5 axis capability, were purchased from Engineering Technology Group. Towards the end of 2013 it was decided to re-locate both the Material Stores and the Finish Parts Stores into an area at the rear of the new unit. Two more Doosan Lathes were purchased from Mills CNC to compliment the turning section.

2012 Roundup

2012 saw the third factory unit purchased and building work started immediately to modernise the building an join it to the existing units. The lighting was replaced with modern low energy tubes, the floor was cleaned, DNC links were installed and compressed air supply installed. Two new Hardinge Bridgeport CNC Mills, one with 5 axis capability, were put into the unit as soon as the main shop was ready. A third seat of Pathtrace/Edgecam CAM programming software was purchased and Craig Hitchman joined the production engineering team from the CNC turning section.

2010 Roundup

Investing in Equipment

To complement the existing 5 axis Mazak Machining Centre Whiteley Brooks have invested in a Nikken 5 axis attachment to one of the existing Hardinge CNC Machining Centres. The machine software has been upgraded to accommodate full 5 axis machining giving an extra facility in what is becoming an important part of the services offered. Whiteley Brooks Engineering also invested in a new Laser Marking Machine to complement the two existing Vibro Marking Machines. This is a further improvement to the traceability that Whiteley Brooks Offer as standard. It means that even coated, fragile and difficult surfaces can be permanently marked without damaging them.

A new CNC lathe has been ordered and delivery is expected in December 2010. Whiteley Brooks Engineering have chosen a Doosan Puma 2600 Turning Centre from Mills CNC. This will complement the two existing Doosan Machines and improve the output of the Turning section. Whiteley Brooks Engineering´s maintenance policy means that the older machines are still capable of turning out quality components and therefore this new machine will be an addition rather than a replacement to our plant.

Time to diversify:

Working with suppliers to the MOD and Photographic industries
The years 2009 / 2010 were difficult trading years for Whiteley Brooks Engineering and Motorsport in general. Whilst maintaining the Companies services to its traditional market Whiteley Brooks Engineering decided to diversify into other related fields. With encouragement and help from the MIA several new opportunities were investigated. Successful bids were tendered and orders have been received from the leading supplier of Unmanned Ground Vehicles to the Ministry of Defence. Also a leading supplier of equipment to the professional photographic manufacturing industry has placed orders for parts with a view to a long term technical partnership.

Quality is the way forward

Future plans for 2011 include the upgrading of the Quality Control Department. A significant investment is to be made into replacing the software used on the Company´s two CMMs. This will enable the Inspection Department to use CAD models as a base for inspecting finished parts and programming the CMMs. A decision on which software to go forward with should be made by the end of 2010.

MIA Members

In 2010 Whiteley Brooks Engineering became a member of the Motorsport Industry Association (M.I.A). The Company felt that this organisation would help to increase their profile within the Motorsport and related industries and also represent the interests of the Motorsport industry at Government level.

2009 Roundup

Whiteley Brooks experienced a successful ‘Autosport 2009 Show’ NEC, Birmingham

Autosport Engineering in January is an important start to the year for any Company supplying the Motor Sport industry. Whiteley Brooks Engineering used the show this year to launch their new brochure and web page and to introduce both potential and existing customers to their new 5 Axis CNC Milling capability. A healthy increase in enquiries after the show confirmed that the company continues to be a respected supplier to the industry.

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