• Company Overview
  • Supply Chain Led Solutions
  • Company History

Company Overview

Francis W Birkett is a ‘one-stop shop’ precision machine shop, specialising in the complete supply of components in heat, wear and corrosion-resistant alloys.

FWB joined foundry and engineering consortium, Westley Group, in 2002. Through our partnership with other Westley Group companies, we are able to offer a single source of supply for an impressive range of precision machined components, manufactured by various processes. Our extensive CNC as well as conventional machining facilities offer the flexibility of low to high volume production.

  • Sand & Shell Castings – Manufactured by our sister company J. T. Price on our new semi-automatic moulding carousel.
  • Centrifugal Castings – High-integrity ‘spun’ cast rings and tubes are produced by our sister company Spunalloys.
  • Gravity Die Castings – Our sister company Walter Frank (which shares our Hightown Road site) manufactures gravity die castings.

All items are machined, tested and assembled at FWB in a seamless supply chain process. Keeping the manufacture of items within Westley Group has many benefits for our customers, ensuring a fully traceable, reliable, high-quality single source of supply.


One of FWB’s key technologies is self-lubricating bearings for harsh environments. Find out how our trademark product FranBerLube™ can reduce your maintenance costs and out-perform traditional bearings in use.


At the forefront of the company’s strategy is the continued investment in modern casting plant and machinery. The company is investing heavily in its machining operations to accommodate machining of all materials right through from bar feeding technology to 5 axis machining centres. The company currently employs around 100 people, has ISO 9001:2008 certification and is seeking approval to ISO 14000 and 18000 standards.

Supply Chain Led Solutions

We understand the strict demands in a supply chain, and tailor solutions to our customers’ specific delivery requirements.

Aside from standard lead times, FWB is able to offer the following supply chain led solutions:

  • Fast track
  • Kanban
  • Consignment Stock
  • Vendor Managed Inventory
  • Part assembly
  • Full assembly
  • Utilising free issue or our own sourced accessories


Company History

Francis W. Birkett & Sons Ltd was founded in 1862 and became incorporated in 1912. The operation started as a brass foundry in Cleckheaton town centre.

Over the years FWB has grown via acquisition, including the purchase of a foundry in Huddersfield. Here, the alloy range was expanded to include aluminium, along with traditional copper-based alloys.

FWB’s original site in Cleckheaton town centre

FWB’s Huddersfield site

In 1952, Prince Philip attended the grand opening of FWB’s new site in Hightown Road, Cleckheaton; an impressive purpose-built 3 acre site which it shares with sister company Walter Frank.

FWB’s Hightown Road, Cleckheaton

After changing ownership in 1969 the company ultimately joined engineering consortium Westley Group in 2002. This marked an exciting opportunity for FWB to benefit from shared resources within the Group and offer a single source of supply for our customers.

In 2013 a strategic decision was taken to make FWB a centre of excellence for precision machining, testing and assembly, supported by a £1M investment in foundry manufacturing operations. A semi-automatic moulding carousel was installed at Westley Group’s Stoke-based foundry J. T. Price, which has created a high-quality, reliable casting resource. FWB is proud to be able to offer its customers a ‘one-stop shop’ for the complete supply of precision machined components.

FWB’s semi-automatic moulding carousel