In 1998 SMF & CSM Industries was bought by H.C. Starck Inc, and the name was formally changed from SMF Ltd to H.C. Stark (West Horndon) Inc. Production continued and as well as stocking and fabricating refractory metals, SMF/HC Starck used their extensive experience in the fabrication of nickel alloys to offer a full design and fabrication service to the chemical, pharmaceutical, furnace, aerospace, defence, nuclear and electronic industries.
In July 2004 the West Horndon plant was officially closed and most of the West Horndon employees were made redundant. Gary Cook, one of the skilled and experienced machinists took this opportunity to set up and establish the new Special Metals Fabrication Ltd at premises based in Wickford. The new Special Metals Fabrication was thus born and is now a thriving and successful fabrication company with the emphasis on growth. Many of the original West Horndon employees have now joined Gary, each bringing along their unique skills, knowledge and experience to the business.