Alumasc – unrivalled manufacturing steeped in history

Posted by judy

May14

Here at Alumasc, we pride ourselves on a long standing reputation for quality products and technical expertise…but like everyone else, we had to start somewhere.

Sterling Metals Factory circa. 1941

In fact, delving into the Alumasc archives will take you back to 1941 when we started life as Sterling Metals, with a mainly female workforce, specialising in the manufacture of war materials which were used during World War Two.

Due to the urgency of war, we became expert at finding ways to speed up the process of low pressure die casting aluminium…and so it began.

Once the war was over, the Sterling Metals factory was no longer needed by the government and a buy-out was organised, in partnership with London-based A Strauss and Company. The initials ASC were added to the word ‘Aluminium’ and the new company name Alumasc was born. The expertise acquired during wartime was then put to use in peacetime for the manufacture of goods for the commercial market.

The move from war material production to peacetime manufacturing also meant that Alumasc had to find new market niches and customers. The first range to be brought out was “Holloware” Aluminium cook and bakeware. There was a ready market for it, and it was also a suitable product for teaching unskilled workers the new manufacturing processes involved in producing goods made from aluminium.

The Alumasc stand at the “Burton Can Make It” Exhibition of 1948

As output grew, new skills were learned and the company became profitable, new machinery was acquired, and the company diversified its range to include things like rainwater goods such as downpipes and gutters. By 1948, the number of customer firms supplied by Alumasc had increased from 1 to 44.

Between 1949 and 1950 the company range expanded further to include products for the textile and catering industries  and the brewery trade. The 1950s brought steady growth in range and output, and the increase in facilities and technology saw the factory grow in size. The customer base rose to 1100.

Early Alumasc Rainwater Goods

Further consolidation and expansion took place in the 1960s and growth in the popularity of metal kegs being used to deliver beer took over from wooden barrels, which led to a large order from Guinness.

The product range was then expanded further to include the manufacture of castings for the motor trade. Further diversification came with the development of brass casting and by the mid-60s, the company employed about 750 people.

Gutters being cast using similar methods as we use today

Since then the company has consolidated its position and broadened its product range, responding to customer needs with the same expertise and investment which it pioneered at its inception.

Much of the manufacturing process and related technology may have changed, but the present-day workforce follows in the traditions of manufacturing excellence laid down over half a century ago, and the company’s list of major customers testifies to the standards it achieves and maintains.

The company continues to be a market leader in the manufacture and supply of Cast Iron and Aluminium Rainwater products with our installations being found on massively prestigious projects such as The Imperial War Museum and Marylebone Train Station. All of which, we hope are around in another 60 years as testament to the quality of our products.

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Alumasc Rainwater Systems 2014
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