Across generations of family ownership, Muffett Engineering Solutions is innovating several markets 

Muffett Engineering Solutions (Muffett) is a leading bespoke manufacturer specializing in gears, gearboxes, and precision engineered components. Founded in 1920, the business boasts over 100 years of industry experience and expertise, bringing the highest standards in precision engineering and assembly services. 

Muffett started out as a general engineering shop, where the founder, Stanley Muffett operated from a small garage. The business began specializing in gears after the Second World War and has since grown to its current position as one of the leading manufacturers in the UK, Europe, and Asia. However, its product portfolio has diversified; Muffett has crafted components for equipment including medical scanners, many types of pumps, artificial limbs and components for the aerospace and automotive industries. Muffett Engineering technician

Throughout its growth, Muffett has remained under family ownership and is currently led by the fourth generation. With family values at its core, the company champions investment in both its people and its capabilities, which is reflected through its longstanding heritage and high employee retention. 

To learn more about Muffett’s evolution, we’re joined by Mark Jagelman, Operations Director, and Sarah Ebbrell, CEO, who represents the fourth generation of the Muffett family. “Our biggest market by sales is medical, and we supply the two world-leading companies for oncology systems,” Mark begins. “Specifically, we supply the mechanical and electromechanical parts that position the patient, move the scanner, and direct the radiation. We also produce parts for bionic limbs, and we’re actively looking to widen our product portfolio in the medical sphere. 

“We’ve got a comprehensive range of products and services, but a key area of the business is supplying parts for pumps, such as hydraulic pumps used for moving equipment, standard pumps with a rubber impeller, or peristatic pumps that move any kind of fluid like medicine, food, or even blood. We’re also in the oil and gas market, producing the gearboxes required for seismic equipment used in oil and gas exploration, as well as manufacturing gearboxes used in commercial aircraft in the aerospace sector. 

“What many people don’t realize is that we also produce gearbox housings, providing a one-stop shop for our customers. Our fully equipped assembly department is where we manufacture the gearbox housing, the internal gears, wiring looms, and shafts, as well as source electric motors to deliver a complete end-to-end solution.” 

On the topic of Muffett’s assembly capabilities, Sarah adds: “Many of our customers approach us with a drawing, but there are often problems of missing pieces and we’re tasked with finding a solution. We’re very much involved in the conceptual design stage of a product, and we collaborate with customers to find cost-effective, high-quality solutions. With some of our employees having worked here for over 37 years, our team possesses the expertise required to create innovative products that fulfil customer demand.” 

electrically operated, Mitutoyo MiSTAR 555 Co-ordinate Measuring MachineWith Sarah recently becoming Muffett’s new CEO, we’re keen to hear her vision for driving the company forward into a new generation. “To put it simply, my main ambition is to make the business bigger and better,” she states. “I’d like to double the size of the business, but more importantly, I want to ensure we’re prepared for growth with the latest systems and technologies in place and a team that works seamlessly together. 

“I believe that our biggest asset is our people. We foster a culture of collaboration, and as the age range of our employees spans from 16 to 60, we have a breadth of knowledge across the team and encourage them to learn from one another. On the one hand, we have fresh ideas and the utilization of modern techniques, technology, and equipment from young people, as well as decades of experience among our longstanding employees.” 

Mark agrees: “We’re passionate about investing in our people, as well as bringing new talent into the business. We run a great apprenticeship scheme and many of our employees, including me, are former apprentices, which is encouraging for many of our younger staff. To build engagement with the team, we bring people along where possible when we visit our customers, as this enables them to better understand the end product and appreciate the importance of their work.” 

Muffett’s commitment to investment extends to its manufacturing capabilities too. “We have a continuous investment program that sees us invest a minimum of ten percent of our profits back into the business each year,” Mark explains. “We’re part of a global market and we must stay ahead of the curve when it comes to modern working practices. However, it’s a careful balance between containing our costs and maintaining the quality of the product. 

“As we delve further into the realm of light-out operations, automation is crucial. We will be investing in a CNC milling machine with a ten-pallet auto load system, for instance, which can operate overnight without human intervention. The machine has in-process gauging and can check its own work; we just ensure there are sufficient pallets, tools, and materials to enable production with no manual labor.” 

With strategic investments, Muffett is continuously enhancing its efficiency and subsequently expanding its capabilities as it strives to grow in certain markets. “We have some interesting potential new customers lined up, and our current customer base is showing signs of increasing, particularly as we experience a lot of repeat business,” Mark says. “We’re currently focusing on our marketing efforts, as Muffett’s capabilities have always been somewhat of a secret, but we want people to know that we’re experts in our field. We have to get in front of the right audience and highlight our services to educate people on what we can do.” 

Sarah concludes: “Further afield, we hope to double in size within the next ten years and expand our reach to a variety of sectors and markets. We will continue to invest in our people, processes, and equipment to continuously innovate, enhance efficiency, and provide greater flexibility.”