/Sheet Metal Overview

With 20 years experience supplying prototype parts primarily in steel and aluminium, PGM has supplied in excess of 500,000 parts for prototype builds, with a wealth of experience in simulation, manufacturing & tooling.

In house capabilities include:

  • Iterative forming sim loops to predict springback/twist to create tool surface
  • Tool design, pattern design and pattern manufacture in-house
  • Management of external casting supplier
  • Machining tools in-house and tool try out
  • Parts production, laser trimming, and inspection of all parts / assemblies produced
  • Q Loop Modifications managed internally with a fast turnaround from assessing of modification, complete tooling mods and parts produced
  • Prototype Tooling upgraded for production volumes.

Sheet Metal
Traditional ‘artisan’ skills remain and can be deployed as required for low volume manufacturing. Techniques enable us to create 1 off’s, including full BIW structures for Proof of Concepts etc. Techniques include:

  • Wheeling
  • Hammer Form Tools
  • Rubber Press Forming
  • Sheet Metal Finishing
  • All forms of Conventional Welding.

Prototype Press Shop
A comprehensive prototype facility supported by experienced setter operators, with access to 9 hydraulic presses (from 125 tonne to 680 tonne), two brakes presses and one 5000 tonne rubber press.

Laser Facility
Over 15 years experience in laser cutting with 3 Axis and 5 Axis of steel, aluminium and magnesium, with offline programming capability generated by Cenit/Catia.

PGM utilises an extensive range of CMM equipment with capabilities of inspecting the smallest parts to fully finished vehicles, and dedicated build tables for the detailed inspection of finished part and sub-assemblies with full BIW Assembly Capacity.


BIW Build Support for Vehicle Build Type
PGM has over 20 years experience in producing a wide variety of BIW build types for customers at various stages of a vehicle programme.

Each build type utilises a unique skill set, including:

  • Styling Reference Models: Physical but non functioning design property to represent interior or exterior surfaces
  • Packaging Buck: Functional model to assess packaging properties (ingress/egress, vision angles, occupant position etc)
  • Tech Demonstrator: Modified or complete BIW in low volumes to showcase updates or developments
  • Bespoke Builds: Reverse engineered or ‘make to fit’ bespoke builds using artisan methods for replicas, classics and 1 off
  • Show Car: Static, non functioning interior and exterior finished to high standards
  • Mule (M1) Build: New Upper structure adapted and matched to a C/O UN from a donor vehicle
  • Prototype Builds: Production representative builds to support verification and sign off of engineering attributes
  • Production Build: Various build events from Hard Tool Functional Build to volume production.

BIW Build Support for Product Type
PGM has over 20 years experience in producing a wide variety of BIW build types for customers during vehicle programme life:

  • Architecture Type: monocoque, space frame & body on frame structures
  • Build Scope: From local modifications, long wheel base variants, new upper structures, convertible conversion, addition of new closures to a completely new BIW complete
  • Material Type: Sheet steel and aluminium, aluminium extrusions and castings and also various composites
  • Joining Technology: Welding, self pierce riveting, bonding tooling can be designed and manufactured in a wide range of materials to suit volume, cost, quality, timing and component functional requirements
  • Jigs & fixturing methods specified to suit build type/volume in secure build rooms
  • Range from ‘egg box’ forms to low volume production capable framing stations

Explore our other divisions

Manufacturing Advanced Engineering

/Premier Projects

#01 / Bentley Arnage – Stretch Vehicles

We are proud of our long standing relationship with Bentley, supplying them with Body in White vehicles – fully stretched and ready for paint.

Our full vehicle bespoke service caters for the many variances during the manufacturing lifetime of the Arnage. Variant vehicle lengths require all doors to be remanufactured, stretching both the front and rear doors enabling a style line between them that could encompass all lengths. All tooling is manufactured on-site in steel or cast iron. All tools were designed and manufactured using Autoform simulation, ensuring the feasibility of all new part and tool designs. The build fixture was designed and manufactured to be flexible.

We have currently supplied over 700 bespoke Arnage BIWs straight into paint at Bentley.

/Premier Projects

#02 / Jaguar Land Rover - Prototyping

It has been a privilege to work with Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) for more than half our company life! We have an established partnership with JLR for prototyping and fast response problem resolution. More recently, the relationship has evolved to add strength and depth to the partnership through:

  • Low volume production proven in automotive and aerospace
  • Enhanced facilities and streamlined systems
  • Relocation and strategic development

The new XJ is a recent testament to the strength of our ‘special’ relationship with JLR. Manufacturing every single panel, including the closures, closure assemblies, superstructure and underbody, it demonstrates our expertise in aluminium and validates our low volume production capabilities.

/Premier Projects

#03 / Nilsson Vehicle Company - Specialist Vehicle

Nilsson Special Vehicles is a special vehicles company, manufacturing limousines, ambulances and hearses. We were tasked with manufacturing prototype and production panels and assemblies for the Volvo S80 and V70 range of vehicles consisting of a Hearse and limousines of varying lengths.

We reverse engineered the finished prototype vehicles. Digitally scanning the finished prototype vehicles a CAD file was created for all new BIW panels and assemblies. We then created machining data for tool manufacture and laser & inspection files.

Laser scanning was used for creating the full CAD file and also for the final part inspection reporting. Autoform press simulation was utilised for the feasibility of parts and the proving of all manufactured press tooling. Patterns and tools were cut using CNC milling stations and pressed parts were 3D Laser cut.


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What thickness of materials can you laser cut?

Mild Steel: up to 10mm
Stainless Steel: up to 4mm
Aluminium: up to 5mm

What is pressing?

Pressing (also known as stamping) is the process of placing flat sheet metal in either blank or coil form into a stamping press where a tool and die surface forms the metal into a net shape.

What is a press brake?

A press brake is a special type of machine press that bends sheet metal into shape. It is one of the oldest mechanical metal deformation processes. During the process, a piece of sheet metal is formed along a straight axis. Precision bending is a function of both the press, the toolingand the work-piece material. Material properties such as yield strength, ductility, hardness, and the condition of the material, all affect the amount of spring back of the material. The most common industrial press braking process is called air bending.

What is laser cutting?

Laser cutting is a way to cut precise patterns in a material. Traditionally, the material has been metal (aluminium, copper, brass and titanium), but it can be any material – plastic, wood, leather to name a few. It allows a level of accuracy and complexity impossible with conventional machining tools. When cutting stainless steel or aluminum, the laser beam simply melts the material, and high pressure nitrogen is used to blow the molten metal out of the kerf. On a CNC laser cutter, the laser cutting head is moved over the metal plate in the shape of the desired part, thus cutting the part out of the plate.

Laser cutting machines are integrated into a larger CAD/CAM (computer-aided-design, computer-aided-manufacturing) system that takes a design file and implements it on a workpiece. These machines represent a stepping stone in the continuing trend away from hands-on manufacturing, putting human workers in a more removed, creative design role.

Do you have any quality systems?

ISO 9001: Quality Management standard that helps us to be more structured and organised.
ISO 14001: Environmental Management standard that helps us to be more environmentally friendly.