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The Friday Roundup – 22/02/2019

Every Friday, we round up our top 5 most popular reads from the week, along with sharing some of our favourite finds from around the web.

This week’s roundup sees Tiger Trailers complete its new £22m Winsford factory move, a Welsh Government programme for SMEs creates its 5,000th job, plus hardware vs. software: which wins in manufacturing…?

Our top 5 most read this week

1. Tiger Trailers opens new £22m factory in Winsford

Trailer and commercial vehicle body manufacturer, Tiger Trailers, has moved into its new £22 million manufacturing facility in Winsford, Cheshire. The relocation on the Winsford Industrial Estate coincides with rapid business growth, providing scope for production capacity to double in the next 12 months and signalling the creation of 200 new jobs. The bespoke production plant and office complex is laid out over a 20-acre site comprising 168,000 sq.ft of state-of-the-art chassis fabrication, body assembly, paint and final finish facilities. Offices include a 3D engineering suite, a specialist training facility and a full height showroom –unique among UK trailer manufacturers. Design and construction of the new facility, which incorporates a host of energy-efficient systems, was completed in just 12 months. Established in 2014, Tiger Trailers has seen remarkable growth culminating in the move to its new home. To date, Tiger Trailers has delivered over 5,000 trailers and bodies into service with some of the transport industry’s leading logistics operators in the UK and Europe.
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2. 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 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. 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.
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3. Accelerated Growth Programme creates 5,000 jobs in Wales

A Welsh Government programme offering individual support to SMEs looking to grow and expand has created its 5,000th job, Economy Secretary Ken Skates has revealed. Business Wales’ Accelerated Growth Programme has been an enormous success since its inception in 2015, and reached the impressive milestone as Tiago Szabo, a factory operator for Wrexham based automotive design and manufacture company Hi-Mark, began work at the company’s 25,000 sq ft site. Economy Minister Ken Skates was at the factory to witness their growth and to meet Tiago. He said: “The Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme has been a real flag bearer for Business Wales and it’s fantastic to see that it’s now been directly responsible for some of our most ambitious and high potential SMEs creating 5,000 new jobs across Wales.” Jack Yates, Managing Director of Hi-Mark, added: “The support we have received through the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme has been invaluable to us. It helped us through a tricky negotiation phase with a major customer, resulting in us securing a significant order which we may not otherwise have been in a position to win.”
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4. Workwear Express opens new £3.5m factory in Durham

Workwear Express has opened its new 40,000 sq ft factory following a £3.5 million investment. The new facility, which is located next door to their existing 25,000 sq ft factory, has already created a number of jobs, with a further 30+ job opportunities expected to arise in the near future. More than 170 people are employed by Workwear Express and the expansion will support plans to double turnover by 2023, following a significant increase in customer demand. Coming from numerous sectors including healthcare, industrial and hospitality, Workwear Express has over 100,000 active customers across their e-commerce, key accounts and international divisions. Workwear Express was first launched in 1990 from the back of a van and is now home to the most advanced and sophisticated printing and embroidery machinery on the market today. The company was keen to point out that their success was down to a commitment to providing the very best service for customers, with their staff sharing a vast amount of experience, knowledge and expertise when it comes to all things workwear. Managing Director, Andrew Ward, said:: “We are proud of our North East roots and committed to supporting the local economy and jobs, our people are the backbone of the company and our strong position is thanks to the contribution our fantastic staff have made to the success of the business, many of them long-serving.”
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5. New factory set to double turnover for AE Aerospace

Award-winning manufacturer, AE Aerospace, has moved to a larger factory to accommodate the company’s rapid growth and keep pace with customer demand. The Birmingham-based company received the keys for its new 16,500 sq ft factory in September 2018 and had production at its new facility up and running by the start of December. AE Aerospace delivers a range of precision engineering solutions to customers including Rolls Royce, UTC / UTAS, Collins Aerospace, Goodrich, Siemens & Moog, with products being used on Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier aircraft. AE Aerospace has already committed to creating 20 additional jobs since its move, and by the end of the year the site will employ 70 people. With four times the capacity of its previous Dymoke Street premises, the new factory will accommodate an ambitious expansion programme, which has been supported by a £1.75 million funding package from Lloyds Bank.
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Our favourite #GBmfg & #UKmfg tweets of the week

Recommendation roundup

Our picks of the business and manufacturing related content that caught our attention this week.

1. Hardware vs. software: which wins in manufacturing? / via @raconteur

Investing in both hardware and software is critical for innovation. Smart manufacturing and smart factories are expected to have driven a 27 per cent increase in efficiency in the manufacturing industry between 2017 and 2022, according to a report by global professional services firm Capgemini. While every manufacturer will be unique in how it operates, they’ll all be working with the same universal goal in mind: to optimise processes, move faster and, most importantly, deliver products and services to customers seamlessly. The speed at which a factory moves will largely depend on R&D teams being given the flexibility and freedom to innovate. For innovation to occur, investments need to be made in hardware and software. Getting this balance right can be tricky.
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2. UK employment hits another record high / via @BBCNews

The number of people in work in the UK has continued to climb, with a record 32.6 million employed between October and December, the latest Office for National Statistics figures show. Unemployment was little-changed in the three-month period at 1.36 million. The jobless rate, remaining at 4%, is at its lowest since early 1975. Weekly average earnings went up by 3.4% to £494.50 in the year to December – after adjusting for inflation, that is the highest level since March 2011.
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3. Meet Start-Rite’s first-ever female CEO / via @EDP24

As a former buyer for Harrods and Tesco, Kate Tansley is now spearheading Norwich’s 227-year-old beloved children’s shoe firm as its first-ever female boss.
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And finally, some bonus picks to add to your reading list this weekend:

1. The HMV business has a buyer but should the brand be saved? / via @MarketingWeekEd

HMV is far from being a phoenix rising from the ashes but it has been given another chance to prove its place in a digital-first world. But is it too late for the music retailer to turn its brand around?
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2. ZSL London Zoo shares animal X-rays / via @BBCNews

The expert veterinary team at ZSL London Zoo has shared a selection of X-rays made during routine health checks of its 18,000 animals. The fascinating images reveal the inner workings of a variety of different species, including frogs, snakes, geckos and turtles. ZSL London Zoo veterinary nurse, Heather Macintosh, said: “Most people can recognise a human X-ray but they probably haven’t seen the individual segments of a large hairy armadillo’s exoskeleton or the long tail-bones of a big-headed turtle.” The pictures were released to coincide with ZSL’s Vets in Action event, which aims to educate visitors on the work that goes on behind the scenes.
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Spot something you think we should see? Share with us! Email and we may feature it in an upcoming post.