One of the West Midlands’s fastest growing manufacturers is dismissing uncertainty surrounding Brexit by investing more than £1m on a new factory extension.
PP Control & Automation has pressed the button on ambitious expansion plans that will see it add 1,000 sq metres of production space to its existing site in Cheslyn Hay, including a new logistics department and clean assembly area.
Construction work has already started on the building in a move that will give the company the additional capacity it requires to achieve its target of doubling sales turnover to £40m by 2021.
Control & Automation: Automated Crimping at the PP facility
New staff are in the process of being recruited for the first phase of expansion, with the control and automation specialist keen to invest in six new apprentices as part of this recruitment drive.
“There was a lot of talk about uncertainty holding back industry after the Brexit vote, but we have confidence – in the medium term – that UK manufacturing in general will be strong and the growth plans of ourselves and our customers remain unchanged,” explained Tony Hague, Managing Director.
“In the short term with Sterling weakening against the euro and the US dollar, we have actually seen growth in export markets as UK competitiveness has improved.”
He continued: “The additional 1,000 sq metres will be used for additional manufacturing space, a just-in-time logistics operation and new clean assembly area that we’ll need for new opportunities in the more specialist industry sectors, such as scientific equipment and semiconductor processing markets.
“Importantly, it gives us the manufacturing footprint required to increase sales by 100% and is a real show of intent when talking with potential clients.”
PP Control & Automation, which is a member of the Manufacturing Assembly Network (MAN), has become one of the world’s most respected suppliers of electrical control systems, cable harnesses and sub-contract manufacturing solutions.
Control & Automation: Mechanical Build at the PP facility
Employing nearly 200 people, the company has benefited significantly from the ‘outsourcing’ trend being employed by machinery builders keen to reduce production lead times, secure greater manufacturing flexibility and ultimately reduce overall manufacturing costs.
“Companies have realised that strategic outsourcing in areas of non-core activities offers many significant commercial and operational benefits, but they have to make sure they fully investigate their choice of outsourcing partner. Get it wrong and the consequence can be devastating,” explained David Fox, Chairman of PP Control & Automation.
“Manufacturers are more aware of the processes that they wish to keep in house, these are a core activity and key to their success and the areas they wish to invest in.
“Equally they observe non-core activities as being unnecessary and often a cost burden. This awareness is something we’re now looking to capitalise on through our involvement with the Manufacturing Assembly Network.”
He concluded: “Working in partnership with electronics experts SMT Developments and fabrication specialist Mec Com, we have launched the OEM Outsourcing Cluster and will be promoting this through a new brochure, digital marketing campaign and by attending carefully identified trade shows.”
PP Control & Automation, which holds ISO 9001:2015 and UL 508A accreditations, is targeting growth in Germany, the US and North America as part of its push for £40m sales.