MAN Group
29 Jun 2016

PP on course for £20m sales after machinery builders turn to outsourcing

New contracts in food, packaging and scientific equipment will help a leading West Midlands manufacturer smash £20m turnover this year.

PP Control & Automation (PP), which employs 200 people at its world class facility in Walsall, has seen a major surge of interest from machinery builders looking to outsource non-core competences in a bid to reduce lead times and optimise quality.

There has also been a greater drive to free up capacity and develop manufacturing processes that offers the end user a greater choice of configuration.

“Over £2m of incremental orders have already been placed in the first six months of the year and this growth – anticipated to reach 20% in 2016 – will necessitate the need for 30 new jobs,” explained Tony Hague, Managing Director of PP.

“We made the decision a few years back to take a collaborative approach with the world’s leading machinery builders, focusing on trying to get involved earlier in the process.”

Tony and Johm (crop)
£20m sales: (L-R) Tony Hague and John Armstrong (PP Control & Automation)

He continued: “This looked at areas where we can apply our controls and automation expertise to the early build stage and then bring our capabilities in value engineering and design for manufacture to the fore.”

PP’s growth plans have been boosted this week, with the appointment of John Armstrong as its new Sales Director.

He will be responsible for executing and developing the company’s sales and marketing strategy with view to increasing orders in the UK and driving diversification into new markets.

This will be achieved by utilising a strong contacts book and his knowledge of the OEM market, built up from 25 years’ experience working in senior positions for GEC Alstom and Rockwell Automation.

PP Process June 2016 (crop)
More than 200 people are employed at PP Control & Automation’s facility in Cheslyn Hay

“PP is at a really exciting stage of its development and I have the perfect opportunity to use my skills and knowledge to move the company to the next level,” explained John, who has been responsible for £multi-million systems integration, panel building and factory automation projects.

“We’re not looking for a scattergun approach to sales, quite the opposite. The firm has a fantastic reputation working with world leaders in their specific sectors and the focus will be on moving our expertise into markets we don’t currently have a footprint in.”

He concluded: “The initial challenge is to hit £20m this year, followed by an aggressive 5-year growth plan that could see £40m sales by 2021.

“This level of expansion will only be achieved by growing our international markets as well and this is where our approval to build control systems to UL508a for North America is proving so successful. We’re also enjoying some real traction in Germany, where our Stuttgart office is making some very good contacts.”

PP, which is a member of the Manufacturing Assembly Network (MAN), has just launched a new corporate identify, with the company adopting Control and Automation into its title.

This has necessitated the need for refreshed branding, new marketing material and the launch of a more intuitive website (

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The Manufacturing Assembly Network is a collaboration of 9 sub-contract manufacturers and an engineering design agency.

Its membership includes Alucast, Brandauer, Grove Design, James Lister & Sons, KimberMills International, Muller, Nemco, PP Control & Automation and WMG.


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