Good news stories for UK MANUFACTURING - Bruderer

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Good news stories for UK MANUFACTURING

February 26, 2019

We have all no doubt seen masses of media coverage about the Brexit situation and obvious speculation about the end result.

However, we strongly feel that good news stories deserver as much, if not more coverage to show what the state of manufacturing is in the UK.

Here are some Good News stories so far from 2019.

 

Space industry manufacturing in the UK up 27% annually.

The UK’s space industry has seen significant growth in income, exports and employment with total income now standing at £14.8 billion, Science Minister Chris Skidmore has announced.

Space industryMuch of this growth is due to space manufacturing, including satellites, ground systems and components, which increased at a rate of 27% per year. This contributed to three quarters of the overall change in total income.

The main findings from the independent UK space industry: size and health report show that, compared to the 2016 survey:

  • Income up from £13.7 billion to £14.8 billion
  • Employment up from 38,522 to 41,900
  • Exports up from £5 billion to £5.5 billion

The report also shows that an average of 39 new companies have been added to the UK space sector every year since 2012.

This is the most authoritative survey of the sector. After the previous survey showed a slowing annual growth rate to 1.6% in 2014/15, today’s figures show an acceleration with annual rates of 2.1% for 2015/16 and 4.5% for 2016/17.

The UK has significant capabilities in this area, building major parts for one in four of the world’s commercial telecommunications satellites.

Beyond the direct effects of the space industry, the satellite services industry supports a wealth of other sectors worth an estimated £300 billion of UK GDP, up from £250 billion from the previous survey. Earth Observation services, such as data for monitoring land use and agriculture, is a significant growth area, supporting £92 billion of GDP and growing at a rate of 25% per year.

 

Tata Steel restarts blast furnace at UK steelworks

TataThe life extension project of Blast Furnace 5, described by the Indian steel giant as the “biggest single investment” in its European operations in over five years, is seen as a critical part of its long-term strategy to strengthen its operations in the UK.

Tata Steel marked a new start at one of the UK’s largest steelworks at Port Talbot in Wales with the relaunch of a blast furnace at a cost of “tens of millions of pounds”.

The life extension project of Blast Furnace 5, described by the Indian steel giant as the “biggest single investment” in its European operations in over five years, is seen as a critical part of its long-term strategy to strengthen its operations in the UK.

“This project demonstrates our commitment to building a stronger and more sustainable steelmaking business in the UK, now and in the future,” said Hans Fischer, Chief Wxecutive of Tata Steel’s European operations

 

CAF Rail starts work on new trains at Newport factory

CAF has started design and engineering work on new state-of-the-art diesel multiple units (DMUs) for the Wales and Borders franchise, being built at the company’s facility in Newport, South Wales.

CAF trainsCAF is supplying 77 state-of-the-art DMUs. The 51 two-car and 26 three-car units will enter service from early 2022.

Engineering and project team members from CAF are working with their Transport for Wales counterparts to ensure the new vehicles meet customer requirements and deliver the best possible performance for the rail network.

Richard Garner, CAF’s UK Director, said: “Work on the Wales and Borders franchise project is now well underway to ensure the project is delivered on time.

“CAF is proud to be playing a key role in delivering Transport for Wales’ commitment to transform rail travel for passengers. Our ‘Made in Wales’ trains will realise benefits for both Transport for Wales and its customers on this important rail network. There will be faster, more frequent services and increased customer capacity, with passengers experiencing a high-quality, reliable and comfortable service.”

Kevin Thomas, Chief Executive of Transport for Wales Rail Services, added: “We are here to deliver Welsh Government’s vision of a high quality, safe and accessible transport network that the people of Wales are proud of. Using the latest technology, the new trains will transform the passenger experience and attract new customers to the railway by making it more accessible and more comfortable with air conditioning, wi-fi, step-free access and power and USB sockets for each seat. 2022 can’t come soon enough for us or our passengers.”

The high performance DMU’s will be based on the UK Civity platform, designed for commuter and regional services. They will incorporate the latest safety technology, including enhanced CCTV, combined with exacting interior design specifications for customer comfort. Carriages will also feature advanced multimodal passenger information systems and luggage, pushchair and bike storage.

 

UK lands F-35 fighter jet assignment worth £500m

The UK has landed a new assignment from the US Department of Defense worth around £500m.

F35The nine-figure deal was awarded to the aircraft repair hub for F-35 fighter jets Sealand, North Wales, where it will support hundreds of new jobs.

It will see workers at the MoD’s Defence & Electronics Components Agency (DECA) carrying out crucial maintenance, repair and upgrade services on a wider range of F-35 avionic systems.

In 2016, it was announced that the UK would be the location of the global repair hub for the first tranche of F-35 components, building on the Sealand Support Services Ltd (SSSL) joint venture struck between DECA, aerospace giant BAE Systems and defence tech company Northrop Grumman.

SSSL’s services for F-35 aircraft are due to commence from 2020. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “This announcement keeps Britain right at the centre of the global F-35 partnership, the largest defence programme in history.

“It is a vote of confidence in our highly-skilled workforce and high-tech industry that provides us and our allies with the very best of what British engineering has to offer.”

He continued: “This deal builds on the strong foundations of the UK’s enduring defence partnership with the US. It is a significant boost for British jobs and those highly-skilled workers who enable these world-class fighter jets to continue keeping us safe and secure.”

In November last year, Sheffield architects HLM won a national competition to design a new £160m base for F-35 fighter jets in the UK.

It follows a £135m MoD contract, awarded in 2017 to a joint venture between building firms Galliford Try and Lagan Construction, for a new F-35 hangar at RAF Marham in Norfolk.

 

An expanding Coventry manufacturing business has unveiled its £10m headquarters which has helped complete the rebirth of one of the region’s most famous industrial sites.

The Expert Group, which counts clients including Jaguar Land Rover, Aston Martin and Ford, has created a 75,000 sq ft design and manufacturing technology facility in Lyons Park and is set to expand its workforce by 40 in the next few months.

ExpertThe creation of the new building means that Lyons Park – which used to be Jaguar Cars’ Browns Lane plant – is now fully occupied.

Expert Tooling & Automation’s new home has brought its five premises in Coventry together under one roof.

Twenty jobs have been created in project management, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering by the move to take the number of employees in Coventry to 180 with an additional 40 jobs expected to be added in the coming months.

Managing director Angelo Luciano, who acquired Expert Tooling & Automation in 1998, started his career with Jaguar Cars in 1986.

He said: “When I was 22, I worked at Jaguar Cars in Castle Bromwich and visited the Browns Lane site often so it seems fitting that Expert Tooling & Automation has become the final company to move to the site of its former factory.

“Three of our previous purpose-built units were in Banner Lane in Coventry and we needed to expand to accommodate our increasing order book.

“We’re developing technologies for lightweight electric vehicles including new joining methods for mixed materials used vehicle body structures consisting of composites and aluminium, and we’re also involved in the design and manufacturing of battery production lines.

“Human collaborative robots will become more mainstream in the industrial automation sector with the expected changes in the employment market and the increase demand for further automation, these robots are designed to work alongside humans without the restriction of safety guards. Expert has more than extensive experience in this field and we were the first company to install a human collaborative robot at Jaguar Land Rover in 2017.

“We are really proud of our new technology centre and our new headquarters will mean we can continue to compete for work nationally and internationally in the future.”

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, opened the new facility.

He said: “This is a fantastic facility which will help to further establish Expert Tooling & Automation as the UK’s largest automotive equipment manufacturer.

“Angelo and his team are to be congratulated on steadily building a successful business over the last 21 years and this impressive new headquarters will provide the platform for future expansion and job creation.

“The company’s success means that the renaissance of Lyons Park has been completed and that speaks volumes for the economy of the city and the region.”

 

CORRUGATED SHEET BOARD, IS SETTING BENCHMARKS IN GREAT BRITAIN

Progroup officially opens new corrugated sheet board plant in Ellesmere Port and in so doing also commits to doing business in the UK in the future.

ProgroupThe plant in Ellesmere Port will produce up to 235,000 tonnes of corrugated board a year, making it the most efficient and powerful of its type in the world. “The new plant in Ellesmere Port will provide us with a more than competitive production facility delivering exemplary, efficient process workflows,” says Jürgen Heindl, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Progroup AG.

“We are confident that Great Britain will continue to remain an important market within Europe in the future,” emphasised Jürgen Heindl. The new plant will replace the previous corrugator machine in Ellesmere Port, which once wrote the first chapter in the company’s history in Offenbach (Germany). It was shipped to Great Britain in 2008 and installed there. This was the machine with which Progrou first started production in the UK exactly 10 years ago to the day. Over its twenty-five years of production, the machine has manufactured more than 3,500,000 Tm2 of corrugated board. This is roughly equivalent to a one-metre-wide strip of corrugated board that stretches nine times from Earth to the moon

 

A business best known for its Henry vacuum cleaners has revealed expansion plans that could create 300 new jobs.

Numatic International hopes to expand its 50,000sq m factory in Chard, Somerset, by a third.

HenryIt wants to create seven buildings to house laboratories, workshops, offices and warehouse space.

The company has stated it hopes to increase its turnover by 30% in the next five years.

Mayor of Chard Gary Shortland said: “Numatic’s beauty is that they are an international firm, they do not just reply on the European market, and it’s fantastic news for Chard.”

The same site was previously turned down for housing, and Mr Shortland explained this was because it was so close to the factory.

He said: “The housing that was turned down was on the manufacturing side of Numatic and it would not have been an ideal place to live. “We do need to make sure we put safeguards in for the houses which back on to the manufacturing side, so they are not adversely affected.”

Although the application includes eight buildings, only three would be built in the first phase of development. The company bought a 12-acre site in Chard in 1989. By the end of 2017 it owned 26 acres, and land purchases for Numatic’s latest expansion mean it now has 34 acres.

Currently, the factory has close to 1,000 permanent staff and more than 100 agency staff.

A Numatic spokesperson said: “Our target is to achieve a £200m turnover, a 30% increase, in the next five years. “To achieve the target growth, we will need extra buildings and an estimated 200-300 jobs will be created.”

 

‘World class’ aerospace campus to be built in Derby

A brand new multi-million pound campus is set to get the go-ahead and could be up and running as early as 2021, according to bosses.

iHub PattonairThe new aerospace warehouse and offices will cost £19.3m and be located at Infinity Park Derby, just off Infinity Park Way.

The building will comprise an 80,000 square-foot warehouse, 15,000 square-feet of office space, with a further 30,000 square-feet of mezzanine offices within the warehouse.

Derby City Council has said that the new building will help stimulate growth and support the city’s transport engineering supply chain sector at Infinity Park Derby.

Councillor Matthew Holmes, cabinet member for regeneration and public protection said: “Derby is a world leader in transport engineering, and this is a fantastic opportunity for the Council to help grow and enhance the facilities we have within the city. “This investment will continue to cement our commitment to innovation and growth.”

The building is set to be leased by Derby-based transport engineering supply chain company, Pattonair.

The firm provides distribution and supply chain management services to the aerospace and defence sectors, including sourcing, inspecting and delivering a range of products such as bearings, fasteners and seals, with operations across the world.

Pattonair CEO Wayne Hollinshead said: “We’re delighted to be announcing our plans for a world class aerospace campus at Infinity Park. “We are keen to work alongside Derby City Council as a partner in this exciting new chapter for Pattonair, delivering world class service to our customers.

“This new site covers 9.7-acres, doubling our operational facilities and allowing us the capacity to produce more and create new jobs. Should we get the green light, we aim to be operational during 2021.” Infinity Park currently holds the iHub which boasts leading-edge technology and office space for aerospace, rail and automotive businesses. The council’s cabinet will be asked to approve expenditure and include the project in the regeneration capital programme on Wednesday, February 13.

 

German manufacturer Wenzel Metrology UK has moved its headquarters to the East Midlands as part of a wider strategy to drive growth.

The manufacturer moved into a period property as part of the switch, which allows the firm to better serve its existing national client base, as well expand its operations across the region.

WenzlA crucial component to the firm’s future growth, the new offices in Sandiacre are nestled between Nottingham and Derby. The firm looks to add to its stellar customer base, which includes renowned brands such as Rolls Royce, Bentley and Magellan Aerospace.

Wenzel Metrology is a world leader in coordinate measuring technology, providing highly accurate measurement equipment across a wide variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, power generation and medical technology. Its machines, which have an install base of more than 10,000 worldwide, are used to provide highly accurate measurements of specialist equipment, including aero engines, car bodies and medical joints.

“It’s great to be here in the East Midlands. The new location opens up a wealth of opportunity not only in terms of our existing clients but also for expanding our operations across the country with our top engineering talent. This is a company with more than 50 years’ experience in providing highly accurate metrology solutions to some of the biggest brands in the world, so we can’t wait to let even more people know of the quality offered by Wenzel machinery,” commented on the move Steve Hughes, managing director of Wenzel Metrology UK

 

BAE Systems announce joint venture that will sustain 400 jobs

BAE Systems and Rheinmetall have announced that they have signed an agreement to create a joint UK-based military vehicle design, manufacturing and support business. The new joint venture will be headquartered at BAE Systems’ facility in Telford and will sustain over 400 jobs in the UK, as well as preserve key technology and engineering skills.

BAERheinmetall will purchase a 55% stake in the existing BAE Systems UK-based combat vehicles business, with BAE Systems retaining 45%. The establishment of the new joint venture is subject to regulatory approvals which are anticipated to be completed in the first half of 2019. Once the approvals have been completed, the joint venture will be known as Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL).

In addition to managing and growing the existing combat vehicle support business, the intent is for the new joint venture to play a major role in the delivery of the British Army’s new Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) and other strategic combat vehicles programmes.

The combination of Rheinmetall’s military vehicles technology and products with the additional capabilities and products brought to the joint venture by BAE Systems, such as Trojan, Terrier, Warrior, military bridging and the AS90 self-propelled artillery system will create a European market leader in the military vehicle sector. RBSL will have the potential to create hundreds of additional UK jobs, both in Telford and the wider supply chain. While initially focused on these major UK programmes, RBSL will also form an integral part of Rheinmetall’s Vehicle Systems Division and will participate in and contribute to various global military vehicle pursuits and contracts.

Jennifer Osbaldestin, Managing Director of BAE Systems Land UK business, said: “We are committed to evolving our combat vehicles business so that we better serve our customers’ future interests. Joining forces with Rheinmetall in the UK provides renewed purpose for our vehicles business and allows us to deliver products, services and technology that help land forces excel in their vital roles. We look forward to working together to ensure the joint venture is a trusted supplier to the British Army and our international customers.”

Ben Hudson, Global Head of Rheinmetall’s Vehicle Systems Division, added: “We are excited about the potential the new joint venture holds for Rheinmetall, BAE Systems and ultimately our customers. The combined capabilities of our two great companies will offer our customers a comprehensive portfolio of military vehicles and associated technologies both now and into the future. We are proud to invest in the UK and expect to substantially grow the current business and the Telford manufacturing facility over the coming years.”

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