General Information - For whom the bell tolls
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For whom the bell tolls
Young builds upon the faith of his founding father
Breaking the mould for aid
|Article taken from the Foundryman - October 2002|
|For whom the bell tolls|
|Floor Moulding Area|
Displaying all the
obvious signs of a traditional jobbing foundry Archibald Young Ltd is also
blessed with a contemporary attitude driven by managing director Ian Young -
the man at the top. In addition the foundry's new premises in Motherwell, have
brought something to shout about in the Scottish foundry industry.
The new Motherwell site
lies adjacent to a chapel housing a bell that is one of the first castings
made by the company in 1959 when Ian's father established the foundry.
This simple, factual piece of information is somewhat representative
of the importance of roots and of the longevity of traditional skills and
their continued place in today's society.
It also happens to be a pleasant introduction to a company that
appears to owe much success to positive thinking and hard work.
The new site also
supports a further foundry (purpose-built in 1973) in nearby Kirkintilloch.
Purchased in December 2000 the Motherwell site, a stone's throw from
where the foundry was originally based, offered adequate room for expansion
(in fact double the size) with the capacity for further growth in the
future. The move,
equating to a £300,000 investment, began in March 2001 and despite the
logistics of any relocation the company was casting on the new premises by
May 2001. Having used the Kirkintilloch site as a halfway house in the
The final (for the
moment) piece of the jigsaw that comprises the Archibald Young Group of
Foundries is Premier Castings Ltd, in Oldham, Manchester; an acquisition
that allowed the group to spread its wings into the iron sector and increase
its market base accordingly.
Renowned for its range of
quality castings in copper-based and aluminium alloys, the move into iron
alloys, some years ago, once again increased the company's versatile product
portfolio. Electric melting facilities came on-board in the mid 1980s
and investment and acquisition has continued since.
Indeed it has been this
versatility coupled with flexibility that has stood the Group in great stead
during difficult times for many foundries, north and indeed south of the
border - a flexibility that extends beyond metal cast to actual method of
production. Casting capabilities are up to 1000kgs in copper-based alloys
and iron alloys and 500kgs in aluminium alloys with moulding incorporating
greensand, air-set and the Co2 process. The incorporating of air-set technology coincided with the
Inductotherm electric furnaces and oil-fired furnaces to facilitate the mix
of metals, the Motherwell site has seen increased capacity since relocation
and there is an intention to install additional electric melting in the
future. The recent relocation
also gave rise to the opportunity to re-invest in capital equipment with the
new CNC turning and milling machines being installed.
The group offers a complete added-value service with its in-house patternshop producing wood, resin or metal patterns in a traditional fashion using modern technology, along with a comprehensively catalogued pattern store. The foundry can utilise customer's tooling or can manufacture tooling in-house to customer specifications as much or as little as is required.
Ian has certainly
continued his father's hard work rather than luck' philosophy, incorporating
the sales aspect as well as production.
It is the professional and confident manner in which sales leads are
sought and converted that is particularly impressive at Archibald Young.
As Ian is quick to claim, 'it is all merely a matter of research, you
need to sell your service'.
Ian is firmly rooted in
the belief that a value for money package is still the mainstay for any
business, particularly as he puts it, in a depressed industry.
With quality, price and service being at the forefront of Ian's
customers' minds and the world market becoming increasingly accessible, Ian
and his team have striven to embrace a new age proving that e-commerce and
foundries can be compatible.
This foundry group has
for some time been receiving and processing enquiries and firm orders via
the Internet and Ian is a great supporter of the virtues of international
trade. Archibald Young Ltd was quick to design and develop a website
and open a Euro bank account in addition to supporting overseas trade
missions to adopt a global attitude and prospect for new business.
Far from cut-off, the
foundry has both Glasgow and Edinburgh international airports on its
doorstep; most convenient with half of the group's turnover being from
England and export customers being spread over a further eight countries.
Main export markets at present include Canada, Ireland, France,
Germany, Holland and Italy.
Yet another strength of
the group is its wide range of products with main markets being marine,
civil and general engineering, ship building and mining and the pump and
valve industry - much of which is repeat business, based upon the foundry's
good reputation. This latter market sector has been buoyant over recent years
and has ensured that Archibald Young has maintained a respectful order book.
In addition Ian has been keen to diversify and keep options open with
some interesting results.
Notably the foundry has a
good working relationship with Glasgow School of Art and a number of
sculptures have been made by Archibald Young using sand which has proven a
more cost-effective method for local sculptors than lost wax, which has, in
turn, enabled local artists to win commissions against more expensive
competition. This aspect of the business has grown to represent some 10%
of the £2.5m turnover for 2001 - the total turnover having increased by 10%
on the previous year, the growth trend set to continue year-on-year.
Ian is proud of his
support of local craftsmen and skills and has promoted traditional skills
throughout the foundry, employing apprentices and training them from grass
roots level. A total of 62 employees are now working for the group and
enjoying the rewards of relative stability and long-term prospects that many
other foundries cannot promise.
In addition the Young
foundry dynasty is set to continue with Ian's son Andrew having joined the
company fulltime after completing his degree and following many formative
years of helping out to earn pocket money.
One thing is clear, if he possesses his father's and grandfather's
sense of determination and forward-thinking the Archibald Young bells will
be ringing in Motherwell for many years to come.
Archibald Young Ltd has
returned from a trade mission to Dublin with an immediate order worth £4,000
for its specialist bonze castings. The
deal was secured as a result of the Export Explorer scheme provided by Trade
Partners UK - the government organisation the provides support services for
UK companies trading overseas.
Trade Partners UK
supplied the foundry with a tailored market information report prior to the
trade mission, outlining their prospects and detailing potential customers
with a number of 'warmed contacts'. Within
three days of his visit, managing director Ian Young had taken an order from
the Dublin Art Foundry and had also made contact with many other potential
'The support provided
through Export Explorer and the information from the report meant I was able
to make the most of the three days in Dublin', said Ian.
'As a small company you don't often have the time or resources to
investigate a market yourself. Trade
Partners UK managed the organisation of the mission, the value of which
should never be underestimated'.
Ian added, 'Although we were already exporting to a single customer in Ireland prior to Export Explorer, we wanted to examine further business opportunities in the country so called upon the expertise of Trade Partners UK. In addition to the order received on the mission, I also had an enquiry for an order worth £50,000 as well as interest from a great many other potential customers.'
Young Ltd, Founders & Engineers