Investment, Investment, Investment keeps TASC ahead

Investment, Investment, Investment keeps TASC ahead

Angela Crane at The Active Spring Company Limited was apologetic. Her husband and co-director James Crane had been called away to visit a customer who had some technical queries, but would be back shortly.

Not a problem.

It later became apparent that this responsiveness to customer needs, coupled with a massive investment in plant and machinery, has seen the company weather the recession and standing poised for continued growth.

Located in picturesque countryside near Thaxted in Essex, close to main trunk roads, motorway networks and Stansted Airport, The Active Spring Company (TASC) was formed in 1980 by James’ father – James taking the reins some ten years ago.

Second shift

Business Development Manager Barry Shaw explained that the company had seen its best ever months in February and March of this year (March being the best in the history of the company) and had retained a five-day week throughout the downturn with no redundancies, and are now working with continuous overtime.

“In fact,” says Barry, “we will be adding a second shift soon in order to cope with demand.”

TASC are specialists in the manufacture of all types of valve springs – Butterfly, Check and Poppet springs being typical examples – with particular expertise in the use of alloy wire i.e. Inconel, Monel, Hastelloy and Nimonic 90…

Arguably one of the prime reasons for the company’s stability is the sheer breadth of major industries they serve.

Gas, Oil, Petrochemical, Power, Aerospace, Aircraft, Automotive, Agricultural, Medical and Transport are all within their client portfolio: –


“We don’t specialise in any particular market,” James Crane says, “and 25% to 30% of our output is actually for other spring makers.”

How so?

“It’s about three things: Investment, Investment and Investment which takes us beyond some companies’ in-house capabilities.” James continued.

“We have invested in the most sophisticated machinery available to our industry including a line of Wafios machines and a Bennett Maxicoil MC-24 – the largest in the world – giving us one of Europe’s most extensive wire ranges, from 0.152mm to 30mm. The only way to compete is to modernise!”

That, and well over 100 years combined experience from TASC’s staff members and full accreditation to BS EN ISO 9001:2000 and AS9100 the Aerospace quality standard, I ventured to add!

Fast response

Firebird Metals’ responsiveness to client requests also resonates well with the TASC ethic of customer service: –

“Neil at Firebird has been working with us for about four years now,” said Barry Shaw, “We were looking for some Inconel wire which not many people supply, and that’s how we originally came across them.”

TASC typically quote their clients within 24 hours following a request, so it’s important that their suppliers in turn get their prices and availability to them as fast as possible: –

“Firebird do just that and Neil will always respond quickly even on the odd occasion he’s not able to help. Their service is very good and Neil is particularly helpful to us.”

On that note a refreshing interview was concluded with a progressive company which, like its near neighbours at Stansted, is primed, ready and cleared for take-off!

Active Spring image

Active Spring staff