Midlands manufacturer Thompson earns high praise for its innovation

Pictured above: l to r: Global sales manager Nick Edge, managing director Alan Shilton, Lord-Lieutenant of the West Midlands Paul Sabapathy CBE and operations director Peter Lovegrove


Thompson, the award-winning friction welding machine manufacturer, has been lauded by the Queen’s personal representative in the West Midlands for upholding the Black Country’s traditions of innovation and hard work.

Lord-Lieutenant Paul Sabapathy CBE said the Halesowen-based business had the same qualities of spirit and enterprise that had helped forge the global reputation of the region more than 200 years ago.

He made his comments as he presented the company with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise (International Trade) during a special ceremony at Thompson’s headquarters attended by staff, customers and local dignitaries including Halesowen MP Sylvia Heal and Dudley’s Mayor Councillor Pat Martin.

“It is not easy to achieve a Queen’s Award. It is very competitive and sets high standards. This accolade reflects the hard work of each and every one of you,” said Mr Sabapathy.

Nick Edge, Thompson’s global sales manager, paid tribute to the commitment and dedication of all the company’s employees as he accepted the award on behalf of the firm. 

Thompson has achieved Britain’s top commercial prize thanks to a 163% increase in overseas business over the last three years. It continues to flourish with sales enquiries already up 200% on 2008 figures.

It is the second accolade for the company as it recently received a silver Performance Excellence Award from Boeing, the world’s largest aircraft makers, in recognition of its high standards as a supplier.

Thompson manufactures a range of rotary friction welding machines for producing parts for the aerospace, automotive, construction machine, mineral exploration and power generation sectors. 

It plans to move into new markets with the launch of a new range of equipment that uses linear friction welding technology. The first model, the E100, has set a new record for the largest-ever linear friction weld by joining a 10,000mm2 titanium component, exceeding the previous record of around 5500mm2.

Established for almost 50 years, Thompson has an annual turnover in excess of £20 million and employs 87 staff.


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