• Delivering quality for over 35 years
  • In-house design service NOW available
  • Collaborative, in-house, end-to-end process

A flash back to 1983

Trufab have worked with leading manufacturers for over 35 years. In this post, we take a look back at our history.

Originally set up by Malcolm Hickford and Ian Warburton, the team started their career working for Thomas Robinson; installing flour milling machinery, gaining valuable hands-on experience and practical thinking by working on site. This was a time of extreme hardship in the UK, with the government initiating massive industrial and economic changes in higher unionised manufacturing, and therefore adapting to the environment and changing times was almost a necessity to survive.

During this time, sheet metal workers were unable to undertake jobs such as tacking or welding, or even the simplest of tasks such as moving fabrication materials off the bench. Unions were heavily involved, setting times for jobs etc., and the whole process was seen to be painstakingly long, laborious and very expensive in the UK when compared to the competition internationally.

With the unfortunate shut down of Thomas Robinson’s fabrication department in 1983, and with Margaret Thatcher bringing in positive changes and initiatives such as business start-up grants around this time, Malcolm and Ian saw a perfect opportunity to take all their knowledge and experience, and work directly with major businesses and manufacturers who could subcontract Sheet Metal fabrication rather than outsourcing the work internationally.

Qualifying for the business start-up grant allowed the team to acquire Lodge Mill, in Rochdale. Over time and due to successful growth, Ian left the business and Neil Hickford, Malcolm’s brother, joined. Malcolm and Neil invested in better machinery and moved to an upgraded 2,500 sq ft unit off Spotland Road, where they were able to diversify their service offering by employing several skilled fabricators.

With continuous growth and investment over the years, they were able to move into the full 68,000 sq ft space, allowing the set up of other specialist areas and departments. Malcolm and Neil’s big ambitions and determination were the main drivers in changing traditional ways, with the introduction of newer and modern time-saving techniques such as CNC Laser and Programming. To this day, we stand by their core principles:

  • Our dedication to excellent customer service
  • Investment in people and metalworking skills
  • Development of processes and manufacturing equipment
  • Ongoing new product innovation
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