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Invertek Drives to invest £10m and create new jobs
Welshpool-based Invertek Drives is making a £10m site investment, as it expands following significant growth in global sales. The investment will create an expansion to its global variable frequency drive (VFD) manufacturing and distribution facility, increasing production from 350,000 units a year to 600,000.
The investment will also see the development of a new application centre that will be used to showcase Invertek’s products to potential and existing customers and used for training sales, technical, and servicing personnel.
Over the next 12 months, 85 new jobs will be created, on top of the 280 people already employed at the global headquarters, and follows a major recruitment drive over the past year in both its production and research and development departments.
The extension to the existing 5,500 square metre manufacturing facility comes just three years after it was completed in early 2019. The company will also purchase the building from the Welsh government which undertook the initial construction, before leasing it back.
Shaun Dean, CEO of Invertek Drives, said: “We’ve seen significant growth in sales and turnover over the past 18 months despite the global pandemic. Invertek’s approach to maintaining strategic stock of components has ensured we’ve been able to continue manufacturing our Optidrive range of VFDs despite the global supply chain problems currently facing many manufacturers.
“Invertek continues to commit to investing heavily in the innovation, development and manufacturing of VFD technology. The expanded manufacturing facility will allow us to increase production from 350,000 units a year to 600,000. This is part of our drive to create the leading next generation VFD technology that will help to further reduce energy use and associated CO2 emissions globally.”
The company designs and manufactures VFDs used for the accurate control of electric motors used in many applications and industries globally. These range from conveyors to CNC machines, HVAC and ventilation systems, to water pumping applications. The investment will add three new production lines each consisting of six global assembly cells (GACS) allowing the increase in production.
The VFDs are also major contributors to creating energy savings and reducing associated CO2 emissions in processes by making electric motors more efficient, cutting energy use by between 30% and 50% in many cases. They control the speed of motors, pumps and fans, ensuring they operate at optimum speeds.
Invertek says around eight billion electric motors consume nearly 50% of the electricity produced in Europe. Globally, 40% of electricity is used to power industry, with two-thirds of this used by electric motors. And yet less than 20% of electric motors are controlled by VFDs.
Investment will also be made in its expanding innovation and research and development facilities. New R&D laboratories, including a dedicated motor room, test and validation centre have already been completed over the previous two years.
The investment is being driven by Invertek Drives parent company, Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd (SHI).
Shaun Dean concluded: “The new application centre will showcase our products for existing and potential customers, as well as featuring technical and training facilities. This will act as a global hub for our sales and marketing, technical support, and training teams. In turn, this supports our extensive network of international sales offices, partners, and representatives.
“In 2022, we will see further investment globally in our sales network. We have already witnessed the rapid growth of Invertek Drives USA, with an expanding HQ near Chicago. We are also investing further throughout the EMEIA region where there continues to be significant growth and opportunities.”