A stainless record
With a history dating back over more than four decades, Cheesman Products (Automotive) Ltd. represents one of Europe’s most experienced exhaust system manufacturers
Since John Cheesman and his wife Mary founded the company in 1973, Cheesman has earned an admirable reputation in the design and fabrication of stainless steel products, specialising in tube bending and the production of exhaust systems. John’s extensive industry experience was a major factor in Cheesman becoming well known throughout the market. While John and Mary took semi-retirement in 2002, Cheesman is still owned and managed by the Cheesman family and continues the tradition of fabricating high quality stainless steel tubular products.
“Cheesman produces original equipment parts for low volume vehicle manufacturers. This can range from sports cars and mobility vehicles through to road sweepers and military vehicles. We have supplied some of our customers since the mid-1970s and continue to do so,” elaborates Managing Director, Paul Cheesman. “We see ourselves as a dependable and approachable company and can offer extensive manufacturing experience, exemplary customer service and on-time delivery records that speak for themselves. Our attention to detail in the manufacture of parts and our ability to listen to our customers’ requirements are key factors in how we operate.”
By working in close collaboration with clients, Cheesman is able to design and manufacture a portfolio of products that typically comprises exhaust systems including front pipes, silencers, tailpipes, water pipes, air cleaner pipes and an extensive variety of welded assemblies. The initial development of products can be undertaken using the intended vehicle to ensure simplicity of design, functionality and best fit, before the creation of a ‘master pattern’ from which all subsequent parts can be derived. As an alternative to using the vehicle, existing parts or engineering drawings can also be used to create the master pattern. The company’s in-house co-ordinate measuring machine (CMM) capability is finally employed for checking the accuracy of dimensions of parts.
Cheesman is an expert in delivering parts that fit the unique needs of its clients within the automotive market. Batch quantities manufactured by the company are typically of between ten and 500 units, depending on the product, but quantities as low as five off can be catered for if required. These products are predominantly manufactured in 304 stainless steel, but can also be fabricated in 409 stainless or mild steel should the client have a particular need.
Its depth of knowledge in exhaust manufacture, ensures that Cheesman can offer optimum design solutions that make practical, economic and aesthetic sense. The company’s dedication to delivering high-quality and on-time product solutions has enabled it to develop on-going customer relationships that, in some cases, have lasted for as long as 40 years. “In 2015 Cheesman delivered 98.1 per cent of its products on time despite moving premises and the machines being ‘down’ for the period of one month. Factoring out the move we would have delivered 99.83 per cent on time,” Paul reveals. “We strongly believe that any customer who uses us as a supplier deserves to receive their products on the date that they requested and that those products both fit the vehicle and perform as intended. This is especially important when supplying direct to a vehicle production line as we do by means of our Kanban delivery service. With a long history of content customers and minimal returns or rejects our products and designs have s own themselves to be truly impressive.”
The company’s move to new premises has given it the opportunity to further expand its manufacturing capacity to meet the technically demanding requirements of its clients. The business, based in Woking until April 2015, started with a single manually operated hydraulic mandrel tube bending machine with a capacity of ø1.1/2” x 20 swg, which is still owned by the company today for posterity. Currently Cheesman operates from a 17,000 sq ft, specially refurbished facility, located in Ash Vale, on the Surrey/Hampshire border. Over the years the company has continued to invest in machinery and equipment and now has a range of CNC tube bending machines with the ability to bend up to ø4”. This investment has increased not only the company’s manufacturing capacity, but also the demand for increased workspace within the business, resulting in the move to its current location. With the company’s move successfully completed, Cheesman will seek to continue to expand its service to clients old and new.
“During our time in Woking we initially increased the size of our premises by adding mezzanine flooring. Later we took on an additional unit to the two that we already occupied. We were overdue a move to larger premises but finding somewhere that met our requirements proved difficult. However we now have an enhanced layout of machines and space in which to better organise our production runs. We are looking to make use of our improved facilities by expanding our customer base with the view to forging more long-standing client relationships with companies in a variety of market sectors,” Paul concludes. “I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the contribution made by our staff, some of whom have been with us from the mid 1970s. Our team takes pride in their work and the products they make by following the Cheesman philosophy of keeping the customer happy at all times!”
Cheesman Products (Automotive) Ltd
Products: Original equipment parts for low volume vehicle manufacturers