Midland Caliper Centre (MCC) was established in 2002 and is responsible for the remanufacturing of commercial vehicle trailer and bus brake calipers.
Based in Leicestershire, England, the company started with one engineer working from a very small and basic workshop, but as business improved the need for increased productivity required additional staff and a larger premises.
In 2005, Midland Caliper Centre moved to a new 4,500 square foot factory, which brought with it year-on-year growth in sales and pushing the workforce to 28. This increase required further significant investment, and an extra 1,500 square foot unit was located to accommodate this investment.
In February 2014, MCC made what it describes as its “most significant and adventurous investment”, when the business purchased a new modern 13,500 square foot premises, increases its workforce to over 30.
That same year, Midland Caliper Centre opened a distribution depot in Rathcoole, Co Dublin, which carries excellent stock and facilitates the supply and regular core collection to the entire island of Ireland.
Wayne Estill, Dublin branch manager for Midland Caliper Centre said the decision to open here in Ireland has proved to be a massive success. “Opening in Ireland has proven to be a massive success with our customers, cutting down distribution costs and offering full hands on service that can only truly be achieved by having a personal presence,” he said.
In 2016, MCC was appointed commercial vehicle caliper supplier to Alliance Automotive/G Truck Group and was in 2019 awarded CV supplier of the year by the group’s members.
With Brexit on the horizon, Midland Caliper Centre made the decision in 2019 to purchase a new distribution depot in Lisburn, Co Antrim, to support its customers in Northern Ireland.
Wayne said: “Brexit of course has had a big impact, in that carriage charges from the UK have significantly increased but we have tried so far not to inflict this on our customers.
“It has also meant a heavier demand for us as haulage has not slowed down at all as you can see from the number of trucks on the roads.”
The remanufacturing process
Midland Caliper Centre supplies remanufactured commercial vehicle trailer and bus brake calipers throughout the UK and Ireland.
Remanufacturing is the process of returning a used product to at least original-equipment-manufacturer performance specification, while giving the resultant product a warranty that is at least equal to that of a newly manufactured equivalent.
Wayne explained: “The principal components are reused. Dismantling is carried out so that it is possible to ascertain component condition, wear or deterioration.
“Each part is thoroughly cleaned and examined. Any broken, missing or damaged items are replaced by new parts, or reconditioned so that they are as new.
“It may sometimes be acceptable to incorporate used items if their functionality is not affected. Any necessary rectification by, for example, machining or refinishing will be carried out to restore working condition. A refurbished product will operate to the same standard as a new one.”
The remanufacture and recycling process carried out by Midland Caliper Centre is environmentally green and friendly.
Taking an old Caliper, MCC strips it and separates the parts from the carcass, the main body is inspected for cracks, breakages and distortions etc.
Should any of these faults be found, the body is deemed to be scrap. Those casings that pass the initial inspections are then degreased and cleaned in a hot pressure detergent bath.
Wayne continued: “Shot blasting is the next part of the process where we achieve a high quality finish, the unit is then chemically plated ‘in house’, which achieves a far superior finish to painting and similar methods, any imperfections in the castings cannot be hidden leaving the unit ready for rebuild.
“The internals of the old caliper are thoroughly inspected, the overly worn parts are discarded, the main criteria in the remanufacture process is to use parts that are seen to be in a useable condition, bearings, rubber parts and the majority of smaller working parts are obviously replaced.”
Wayne further explained that once the unit has been reassembled by MCC’s dedicated and experienced engineers, the finished product is bench tested to ensure it is functioning correctly, the necessary parts are aligned, adjusting mechanisms are functioning, rubber parts are not split etc.
“The unit is then date stamped and the assembler code is added to ensure complete traceability,” Wayne said.
He concluded: “From testing the unit is then passed to the despatch department where a further inspection takes place and all the necessary caps, covers, bungs and labels are added, the unit is then boxed and either shelved or sent out.”
Midland Caliper Centre will also be in attendance at next year’s inaugural Commercial Vehicle Workshop EXPO, which runs alongside the Auto Trade EXPO at Citywest Exhibition Centre, Dublin, May 7-8, 2022.