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record growth for Erodex

Record growth for EDM graphite & tooling specialists after £3.5million investment

Erodex UK Limited, the UK's leading supplier of EDM graphite & tooling to the aerospace market, has experienced record levels of growth following a £3.5million investment and expansion into North America.

Overall turnover increased 20% during the last financial year, following previous record years for the firm. The growth has been a direct result of the investment, specifically targeted at work within the aerospace and industrial turbine sectors.

Director Steve Rolinson comments: "We have experienced significant growth on the tooling side of the business, which in fact is the fastest growing part of the Erodex group. The decision to invest in our own tool rooms and dedicated tooling inspection facilities has given us a real point of differentiation in the market. As well as designing the optimum electrode, the electrode holder and work piece holder, Erodex design and manufacture the whole package, all with a single point of contact. This is unique in our market and we are seeing more and more customers buying into this mindset because of cost and time savings".

As well as picking up a number of new clients in China and Israel, the company have benefitted from their decision to establish a new £2million facility in Virginia, North America as well as investing £1.5million in a new UK tool room and machine shop. The decision to create a new UK tool room enables Erodex to produce their own tooling in house - particularly that with a significant amount of intellectual property. Doing so allows for tighter quality control, greater support and the carrying out of function trials by their own toolmakers prior to release.

Regarding the expansion into America, co-Director John Rolinson adds: "Rolls Royce Group announced that they were opening a new turbine blade facility in Virginia and Erodex were asked to support that as a result of our long term working relationship with them. This started off with us supplying graphite electrodes from the UK, however as their Virginia operation grew, we entered conversations about starting a tool room there so that we could offer the same fixture care and repair as well as inspection/trialling of tools in Virginia that we would do in the UK".

To facilitate the growth, Erodex have expanded their workforce by 10% to above 100, taking on three experienced aerospace tool makers, a Tooling Manager, two Project Managers, Designers and more CNC operators. A Group Quality Manager and Group Quality Engineer were also recruited as part of a move towards AS9100 Rev D, ISO14001 and NADCAP Certifications.

Steve Rolinson adds: "The move towards AS9100 Rev D, ISO14001 and NADCAP Certification will allow further diversification of Erodex into flying parts. We currently make the electrodes required to make flying parts, but accreditation such as this will enable Erodex to handle and inspect flying parts ourselves, which is part of our longer term strategy for growth".