Mark Wembridge celebrates the strong order books and rise in manufacturing documented in a purchasing managers’ index for manufacturing, compiled by data firm Markit and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply. He sees the rising reputation of the ’Made in Britain’ mark.

fracino logoWembridge features several ‘high-quality and high-tech niche manufacturers’ who are ‘at the forefront’, including a Welsh semiconductor producer, makers of prosthetic limbs in Hampshire and an espresso machine factory in Aston, Birmingham:

“In Birmingham, they make espresso machines for export to Italy. Fracino, the UK’s only coffee machine manufacturer, was launched in a garden shed in 1963 by Frank Maxwell after he stripped down an espresso maker bought on a family holiday in Italy and decided to make his own.

“The third-generation family-owned business produces about 3,000 coffee machines a year. Almost 30% of Fracino’s annual turnover is generated by exports. The coffee makers range in price from £500 for machines for home use, to £7,000 for commercial machines destined for cafés, bars and restaurants”.

West Midlands Producers’ website notes the ‘30%’ because, though the industries featured do export well, they also retain a firm, reliable home customer base.