Haworth Castings is a family firm with a wealth of experience that stretches back over three generations. Today, the business is run by Andrew Haworth and it was Andrew’s grandfather, Alan Haworth, who first started the company in London in the 1950s, with a small team of six staff.
Traditional casting methods
In those days, Haworth Castings mainly worked with large shipbuilding companies. At that time, the foundry used CO2 gas casting in which the sand mixture was cured by blowing gas over the mould.
The mould manufacture process was also very different – with foundry engineers creating moulds using green sand extracted by hand from large pits. The running systems weren’t integral to the sand patterns so engineers had to incorporate these themselves. Oil-fired furnaces were also used in the early years.
“Today, our processes are much cleaner, with the use of electric and gas furnaces and sand reclamation,” explains Andrew Haworth. “This has helped to improve safety, reduce our environmental impact and lower costs at the same time.”
Haworth Castings transferred from the original site in London to the Isle of Wight before relocating to Romsey in 1967.
Graham Haworth, Andrew’s father, took over the business in 1969 and during this period he initiated the launch of Inidam – a non-destructive test and inspection facility that operates on the same trading estate as Haworth Castings. Inidam, which was sold to an independent buyer in 2006, provides an extensive range of testing services for Haworth Castings and many other commercial customers.
Graham also led the purchase of R E Cross, a machining company in Basingstoke with which Haworth Castings has had a long association, following the retirement of its owner.
Growing the business
Andrew Haworth joined the family business in 1988 and, since taking over at the helm in 2005, he has overseen the acquisition of two companies – Wessex Castings and Chiltern Castings – with staff from the respective businesses transferring to Romsey.
“These acquisitions have enabled us to grow our skills base, expand the company and continue to deliver the highest-quality service that our customers have come to expect,” says Andrew.
“In days gone by, customers would often have their own in-house paint shop or machining units but this is not the case now,” he adds. “Customers are looking for a one-stop-shop solution – fully machined and treated castings. So, our business has evolved to meet these requirements and we’re now able to offer everything from heat treatment through to machining and finishing.”
In recent years, there has also been extensive investment in plant and machinery across the two sites in Romsey and Basingstoke, enabling the company to diversify into other business sectors.
Today, Haworth Castings employs a total of 36 staff and the firm serves customers in the defence, aviation, energy, marine and even healthcare sectors.
So, how does Andrew envisage the business changing in the future?
“Well, it’s inevitable that the emergence of new technologies, such as robotics, will have an influence on the business moving forward,” he explains. “However, as we tend to focus on small batch production, we would only ever introduce such technology if it offered deliverable benefits to our customers.
“Throughout our history, customers have always relied on Haworth Castings for a personal service tailored to their needs and that will continue – whatever changes lie ahead.”
If you would like further information about our casting, finishing, testing and machining capabilities please email us today at: email@example.com or call +44 (0)1794 512685.