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Paignton-based CSS Group (Casting Support Systems) is having a year to remember with a visit to Buckingham Palace to collect a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its export achievements and relocation to a brand-new, purpose-built, 60,000 ft2 factory.

James Head (left) with XYZ Machine Tools’ Managing Director Nigel Atherton at the front of ‘XYZ Alley’ in the new CSS Group factory

CSS Group company Investment Casting Systems Ltd was the recipient of the Queen’s Award. This was achieved following three exceptional years of export growth in the design and manufacture of mould and associated tooling for the composites industry, with the aerospace sector in the USA accounting for much of that increase in business. Between 2018 and 2021 exports rose from £267,000 to £1.7 million, this increase along with plans to double Group turnover within the next five years, prompted the relocation to the new facility; which is over the road from the old factory that had simply become too small for the business to move forward in.

Group Chairman and company founder Ted Head says: “This prestigious award and our need to relocate is testament to the efforts of everyone involved at the company, not just over the past few years but throughout our 40 year history.”

James (left) and Ted Head are delighted that the efforts of all of the employees have resulted in this prestigious award.

The relocation will see each of the three group company’s sharing the available space with the toolmaking side of the business being the stand-out area for development. With recent investment in new machining technology the move involved relocating six machining centres from XYZ Machine Tools. It was estimated by CSS Managing Director James Head that it would take three days per machine to complete the move. However, a concerted effort from XYZ’s machine movers and service engineers saw all six machines back in production, including laser calibration to within 6 micron/metre, within seven days. “It was an incredible effort by everyone concerned and as a result of the prompt and efficient service, what we are now calling XYZ Alley was back machining parts in very quick time,” says James Head.

The brand new 60,000 ft2 CSS Group headquarters and factory.

The future is extremely positive for CSS Group, with the forward order book for its toolmaking division looking strong, with further growth predicted from the aerospace, power generation and other industry sectors. The move to the new factory and office facility will allow for that growth to continue uninterrupted for many years to come.