‘Apprentice Power’ helps Brandauer secure £500,000 ‘nose clip’ reshoring opportunity


The power of young minds has played a key role in the launch of a new modular tooling approach that is enabling the rapid development of new nose clip designs for use in face coverings all over the world.

Brandauer, a metal pressings and stamping specialists, has employed six apprentices in the roll-out of its Quick Clip Tool modular tooling concept, which was one of the first in the country to win funding from Innovate UK’s Covid-19 Business-Led-Innovation in Response to Global Disruption fund.

Part of the Manufacturing Assembly Network (MAN), the company used £75,000 to develop a quick changeover capability to a progression tool, giving it the option to manufacture the clips in multiple profiles, widths, thicknesses and lengths.

It has given the Birmingham-based manufacturer the opportunity to win over £500,000 of reshoring business from Asia over the next five years and extends its production capacity to 100 million nose clips per year. This meets a 50% increase in demand from existing customers, as well as selling its own products direct to the marketplace.

“Face coverings have become part and parcel of everyday life and we reacted very early on to ensure our position as a critical supplier was cemented,” explained Rowan Crozier, CEO of Brandauer.

“With funding secured from Innovate UK, we decided to get our young apprentices to lead on the project, with six of them chosen to work on the design, the prototyping, the product introduction and then the actual manufacture.”

He continued: “They were overseen by the senior management team, but intervention was rarely needed. Instead, we revelled in watching young engineers embrace a task that could save lives as well as being commercially viable for our business.”