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SIS Pitches’ Factory Investment

SIS Pitches’ Factory Investment: A leading UK-based pitch manufacturing company has invested £1.8 million in a new turf production facility, safeguarding more than 50 jobs, and creating an additional 15 positions by 2022.

Despite the uncertainty facing UK businesses through Brexit, SIS Pitches has re-affirmed its commitment to British manufacturing with this major investment.

SIS Pitches Make Factory Investment

The purchase of a new backing plant will allow SIS Pitches to extend its current site in Maryport, Cumbria, increase production volumes and grow its workforce.

It’s welcome news for Cumbria, where unemployment rose by 1.5% between October and December last year, as recorded by the Office for National Statistics.

SIS Pitches is a world-leading full-service provider in specialist sports pitches and landscaping grass. Last year, SIS Pitches designed, constructed and installed SISGrass hybrid pitches at six 2018 World Cup venues, including the Luzhniki Stadium pitch for the opening match and the Final.

The new factory, which covers an area of more than 2,100 square metres, is one of the most technologically-advanced production facilities in Europe. The company will use the new factory to deliver the highest quality, long-lasting synthetic surfaces.

George Mullan, SIS Pitches Owner and CEO, said: “This investment in new state-of-the-art facilities and technology will support our ambitious growth plans while also creating and safeguarding jobs in the local community.

“The Glasson Industrial Estate has been at the heart of manufacturing for more than 50 years and, despite business uncertainty in the face of Brexit, we are very proud to be able to continue that tradition through this significant investment. We are also grateful to Cumbria LEP for their investment in the project.

“Our new factory will ensure we continue to provide the highest quality products and increased output, maintaining our position as the market leader in the manufacturing of synthetic turf.”

The expansion plans at the Glasson Industrial Estate has benefited from a £274,000 Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership investment, which supports wide-ranging projects including transport, skills, business support, broadband, innovation and flood defences through its Local Growth Fund.

SIS Pitches Make Factory Investment

The site has been home to UK turf manufacturing since 1966, when Palmyra Ltd, the UK’s largest polypropylene artificial grass manufacturer, relocated to the north west of England as part of its expansion plans.

The new SIS Pitches facility utilises the latest technology in thermal insulation, LED lighting, laser-fire detection and advanced cladding systems, while the new backing plant will be the most advanced turf backing system in the UK.

The state-of-the-art coating line, the most advanced in Europe, provides SIS Pitches with the option to run either new standard latex coating or their new ‘SISBond’ Polyurethane technology, both of which are applied to the back of the synthetic turf during the manufacturing process to secure the artificial grass fibres to the backing cloth. The line also comprises new turf straighteners and guidance units to ensure products are fit for purpose, plus an advanced roll-up unit to eliminate creasing and enable turf to be rolled tighter than before.

SISBond Polyurethane has been specially engineered to provide a much stronger and durable backing than other systems. It is primarily used for elite performance, providing enhanced fibre retention and greater resistance to moisture.

In addition, SIS Pitches has also developed and launched a new UK-made premium yarn that is designed to maximise durability and fibre resilience, thus further enhancing their reputation as market-leaders in turf innovation and technology.

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JCB Unveil New Factory Plans

JCB Unveil New Factory Plans: JCB is to invest £65 million in a new plant in India as the company prepares to celebrate 40 years of manufacturing in the country, it has been announced.

The new factory will be located in Vadodara near the port city of Surat in the State of Gujarat on the West Coast of India and will fabricate parts for global production lines as the company prepares to meet increased demand.

JCB Unveil New Factory Plans

JCB Chairman Lord Bamford yesterday (Monday, March 25th) laid the foundation stone for the new plant which will be JCB’s sixth in India – a country which has been JCB’s biggest single market since 2007. The announcement follows the start of work on a new £50 million factory to build cabs for JCB machines in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire which will be completed later this year.

Lord Bamford said: “With major investment in manufacturing capacity in the UK and India, we are very well placed to grow our business in the future. This year we celebrate 40 years of JCB India and our success over those four decades is down to our continual investment. It’s fitting that we mark the 40th anniversary with an investment in a factory which will give us enormous manufacturing capacity.”

JCB India already has factories in Delhi, Pune and Jaipur. Production at the new facility on a 44 acre site will begin next year. It will house the most modern laser cutting, welding and machining technology and will be a fork-lift free operation. It will be capable of processing 85,000 tonnes of steel annually.

JCB India MD Vipin Sondhi said: “For 40 years JCB has remained committed to India. The decision to build a new world-class factory at Vadodara builds on JCB’s commitment to India. The chosen site is strategically important because it is located close to a major sea port which allows efficient transportation.”

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Makita’s New Factory Service Centre

Makita’s New Factory Service Centre: Makita UK has opened a third regional Factory Service Centre (FSC) in the busy London borough of Hounslow.  This new FSC joins Makita’s HQ facility in Milton Keynes, which serves the whole of the country, as well as Glasgow, which supports the rapidly expanding market penetration of the brand in Scotland and northern England.  The London FSC will primarily service the essential London and South East region.  In order to offer the best service levels in the industry Makita is committed to offering improved national coverage for the benefit of end user customers, as well as the network of Makita distributors, by building these dedicated FSC’s.

While these facilities satisfy a vital role in providing technical repairs and maintenance services for all mains and cordless construction machines, and the rapidly expanding range of grounds care tools, including 2-stroke and 4-stroke petrol engine products, training remains the cornerstone of Makita’s marketing success.  It ensures that both authorised distributors and operators are fully conversant with the power tools they own, or may purchase in the future; how to obtain the best and safest performance from these machines, and how to maintain them for efficiency and productivity.

Makita's New Factory Service Centre

The first FSC to be opened is based at South Street, Glasgow, which offers Makita product training across the complete range of products; product servicing courses, as well as accredited courses such as the successful and certificated City & Guilds Correct & Safe Use of Handheld Power Tools.  A user or instructor certificate is issued upon successful completion.  Courses are available to meet individual needs and bespoke power tool training can be designed to meet specific requirements.

At each location the theory elements of courses are held in a lecture theatre, followed by essential hands-on practical work which is carried out in specially adapted and fully equipped training demonstration rooms.  Courses are of 1 or 2 day duration or tailored to specific needs.  The CITB certificated course, which can include a combination of in-house and on-site training, relates to abrasive wheel training, and both instructor or user courses are available.  Gas nailer user training, chainsaw cross cutting and service courses are also available.

Tony Coleman, Technical Manager, Makita UK, says: “We are already receiving a very warm welcome from all sectors of the power tool industry in this heavily populated area of west London.  If demand becomes similar to that we’ve established in Glasgow and Milton Keynes we will be looking for additional training personnel.  Both employers and operators will benefit from this convenient location offering improved local services to all customers.”

Makita's New Factory Service Centre

Makita has great experience in supporting worthwhile challenges as WorldSkills UK, APL Apprenticeships and Hire Association Europe Apprenticeship schemes to help support customers of the future with product and training support.  Employees and employers can benefit from Makita’s outstanding training courses, which compliment high quality power tools used by professional trades’ people, raising ambitions and abilities for many.

The Makita range is supported with an equally comprehensive range of over 4,500 accessories and consumables products.

For more news and product information about Makita UK please visit www.makitauk.com.  Follow us on Twitter @MakitaUK, Facebook.com/makitauk and google.com/+makitauk

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Factory Visit For Pellenc Dealers

Factory Visit For Pellenc Dealers: Twenty Pellenc dealers from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland recently headed to Pertuis, France for a visit to Pellenc’s state-of-the-art facilities, as a reward for being the best performing dealers for the range of environmentally friendly battery-powered equipment.

After arriving in Marseilles, the delegates were driven to Pertuis and given a presentation of the company and told how Etesia UK, the exclusive distributor for the UK and Ireland, and Pellenc had come to work together ten years ago before they set off on a tour of the impressive R&D department, which has seen 844 patents registered. Next up was a tour of the factory including production, assembly line and distribution centre. Key statistics about Pellenc include:

  • 1500 staff worldwide
  • 18 subsidiaries
  • 7 industrial sites
  • 50,000+ customers

Factory Visit For Pellenc Dealers

The second day gave everyone the chance to test out the latest equipment ahead of its 2019 launch before departing for a sight-seeing tour of Marseille.

The trip was rounded off with a presentation to the best overall and best new Pellenc dealers of the year, which were won by RT Machinery (best overall Pellenc UK dealer) and Myrddin Garden Machinery (best new Pellenc UK dealer).

Pellenc’s zero emission concept offers a full range of truly professional handheld power tools are powerful, silent and emission-free thanks to the lithium-ion technology and ‘brushless’ electric motors which are patented to the company.

Pellenc tools can be seen in every major city, as well as the majority of national trust sites around the country.

Scott Reynolds of RT Machinery said: “It was very interesting and surprising too – I never realised just how big the Pellenc operation was. It was also fantastic to pick up the dealer of the year award, which rewards the efforts of the whole RT Machinery team.”

Matthew Clark of South East Groundcare Machinery also commented: “I was amazed at the sheer scale of the operation – from the R&D department, which invests a considerable amount of profit back into the development of new products, to the assembly line. It has given me a greater insight into product development and to test the new products ahead of their launch was very interesting.”

Factory Visit For Pellenc Dealers

Etesia UK Managing Director Les Malin said: “To get feedback from Pellenc dealers on new products ahead of their official launch is invaluable. Our customers now acknowledge that battery products are here to stay and can see the benefits of this technology, so it’s vital that our dealers see what our future plans are. We are very proud of our relationship with Pellenc and have gained recognition with local authorities, landscapers, contractors as well as groundsmen and greenkeepers who are now looking at environmentally-friendly products as a real alternative to petrol machines.”

For further information, please contact Etesia UK on 01295 680120 or visit www.pellencuk.com

You can also follow Pellenc UK on Twitter and Instagram @PellencUK for much more news, reviews and insightful views.

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A Look At The Polaris Opole Factory

A Look At The Polaris Opole Factory: Founded by David Johnson and brothers Edgar and Allan Hetteen in 1954, Polaris Industries is now a global powersports leader. Employing over 10,000 people worldwide with annual sales in 2017 of $5.4 billion, Polaris has been the world leader in off-road vehicles for over 30 years. In 2014, Polaris enhanced its manufacturing capability by opening the first Polaris factory intended for the production of off-road vehicles outside of North America in Opole, Poland.

With over 300 employees, the 33,700m² Opole facility plays a pivotal role in the production, homologation and development of off-road vehicles for Europe, Middle East and African markets for Polaris. In 2017, the Opole Distribution Centre was built which occupies an area of 17,500m².

A Look At The Polaris Opole Factory

The average journey for one of the 7000 active components coming into the facility from one of the 200 vendors from around the world, would start upon their arrival into the warehouse area. There are over 3300 pallet locations in the racking system and 1000 supermarket flow rack locations for the components to be housed and sorted. Any parts that come from overseas in disposable packaging are repacked into internal reusable boxes.

Next stop is the Welding area, which currently produces 46 ATVs and 26 SXS each day. Each of the 10 dual stations for ATV or 20 stations for SXS chassis are fitted with fume ventilation systems and a Visual Work Instruction screen which presents an isometric view of the parts to the operator. There’s a robotic welding cell too, where suspension components are manufactured.

Painting operations consist of both plastic and metal painting areas. The plastic paint areas have two spraying ovens installed and the metal painting system has an automated painting line which takes care of the whole process from chemical pre-treatment to curing. All painters are trained in house to ensure they’re perfectly qualified.

The facilities and plant service team ensure the factory runs smoothly and equipment is maintained. There is also a dedicated test team who put the vehicles under scrutiny on the 2km test track, situated at the rear of the factory – this also includes an asphalt test area, to simulate on-road experience. This data, along with the experiences of the test drivers, is used to further develop vehicles with the US team.

Once the components have been welded and painted, they make their way to their penultimate stop – assembly. There are two horse-shoe shaped assembly lines – one for RZR, RANGER and GENERAL vehicles and one for ATVs and ACE vehicles. Operators are provided with visual work instructions – 3D image files and the operator can rotate the image to view different angles – instead of paper instructions. The material is presented in convenient packing and locations so that there’s little material handling for the operator.

Designed with efficiency at the heart, all of the operators are visible from any point on the line so that the group leaders can see how the production is flowing and make any corrections should there be any problems. The length of the assembly process depends on the complexity of the vehicle. An example of a complex vehicle would be the RANGER, which takes around one hour 20 minutes to assemble. Staff are rotated between the different assembly lines to ensure they are skilled on both lines and their minds are fresh.

Once assembled, vehicles are tested on a rolling road to check all functions and then put directly into a crate and wrapped, ready for distribution. Random vehicles are pulled from the line and checked for extra quality checks. Nearly 40,000 have been produced since the ISO 9001 certified factory opened in 2015 – it was the first Polaris factory with a certified Quality Management System.

“Working at the Polaris factory here in Opole isn’t just a job for our employees – our staff take part in charity events, attend Polaris events and are able to experience the Polaris product for themselves. We foster a positive working environment and as a result have a low staff turnover. Since opening the factory, the nearly three-quarters of the staff who started with us in 2015, are still with us and we have members of the same family who work here. We look forward to the future of the Opole facility – and see it going from strength to strength due to our capacity and our employees skills.”, said Director of Operations at Polaris Opole, Bogusław Dawiec.

‘Understand the riding experience. Live the riding experience. Work to make it better.’

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Pellenc’s Factory Award

Pellenc’s Factory Award: After transforming its state of the art factory in Pertuis, France, the Pellenc group has been presented with the Industry Showcase of the Future award.

Since the Pellenc group was created in 1973, the company has based its development on a policy of constant innovation. The group’s ability to be able to anticipate changes in its markets has led to the registering of 1081 patents – winning numerous awards for the excellence of its products.

 

A forerunner when it comes to lithium-ion technology, Pellenc has established itself in the “Zero Emission” professional power tools market. The company has seen rapid growth since 1973 and in just the last five years Pellenc has doubled its turnover. With a policy of investing 10% of its turnover back into research and development, the group is committed to continually developing its industrial processes and this led to the transformation of its factory.

Pellenc’s factory transformation objectives were to not only improve operations but also to enhance the working conditions for employees – increasing their safety and optimising the comfort of the workstations.

The transformation of the plant has already proved to be hugely beneficial. Assembly times have been significantly reduced, while service rates in the workshops and production line areas have also been greatly improved. In turn, the teams involved feel better prepared and trained for the various stages of production.

Pierre-Antoine Barre, Pellenc Industrialisation Methods Manager was delighted to have achieved such large-scale objectives: “Transformation of the Pertuis site means that the Pellenc group’s capacity and industrial flexibility has grown, and the competitiveness of its product range has improved, building on French know-how, a symbol of industrial excellence and a source of employment reaching +7% a year.”

Pellenc's Factory Award

Aurélien Blanc, technical assistant in the portable power tools shop, offered a great insight from an employee’s point of view: “The changes in the plant have reduced movements needed and distances covered. They provide real improvements in ergonomics, productivity and quality of work.”

The Industry Showcase of the Future award is testament to the success of the factory transformation, but Pellenc refuses to rest on its laurels. There are many more factory projects planned for this year, including new innovations for the newly created areas, new workflow displays and automation systems.

Always seeking further improvements, the Pellenc group continues to innovate and it is no wonder that its products are spearheading the markets throughout Europe and beyond.

Pellenc products are exclusively distributed in the UK by Etesia UK.

For further information, please contact Etesia UK on 01295 680120 or visit www.pellencuk.com

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Etesia Factory Visit

Etesia Factory Visit: Etesia UK dealers were recently given the opportunity to visit the company’s HQ and factory in Wissembourg, France to see their state-of-art factory and production line.

More than 15 dealers, made up of new and existing companies, took part in three days of visits and saw the skill, precision and professionalism of Etesia operations.

Etesia Factory Visit

Visitors got the chance to see the newly-refurbished visitor centre to the automated fabrication and production line, viewing the quality control and attention to detail which goes into every pedestrian and ride-on machine.

Etesia boasts one of the best networks of green space maintenance equipment specialists in Europe; it has become a key supplier of local authorities and landscape contractors throughout Europe, while acquiring an exceptional International dimension with operations in over 40 countries spread over five continents.

Les Malin, operations director of Etesia UK, kick-started the trip by relaying the unique benefits of Etesia machines, while Patrick Vives, President of Etesia SAS told the intriguing story as to how it all began with the unique Hydro 100 machine over thirty years ago. Attendees were then delivered a presentation on the advances in technology, a sneak preview of the new products which will be launched ahead of 2018, followed by a tour of the impressive, state-of-the-art factory.

A hearty lunch complimented by some delightful local wine ensued as the group had time to muse on the Etesia experience before being given the opportunity to get hands on with some of Etesia’s machinery outside.

The day was rounded off with an evening visit to the luxurious Royal Palace, Kirrwiller, which saw everyone enjoy live music, acrobats, and other enchanting entertainment.

The last day began with a tour around the picturesque town of Wissembourg with a private guide before meeting the town’s Mayor for a greater insight into what Etesia offers the local area in terms of employment and export.

The trip was concluded with a visit to Maginot Line – a line of concrete fortifications, obstacles, and weapon installations built by France in the 1930s to deter invasion by Germany and force them to move around the fortifications, which was constructed on the French side of its borders with Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Luxembourg.

At the end of the visit Les Malin, operations director of Etesia UK, thanked everyone for attending: “We are very proud of the work we do in the UK with our dealers and of our facilities in France. To be able to show the people, who are effectively our sales force, just how much effort goes into achieving the best, and to get their feedback, is invaluable.”

For further information, please visit www.etesia.co.uk

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Makita’s New Factory Service Centre & Academy Has National Role

Makita’s New Factory Service Centre & Training Academy In Glasgow Has A National Role: Makita UK has opened their first regional Factory Service Centre (FSC) & Training Academy in Glasgow’s Govan commercial district to support the rapidly expanding market penetration of Britain’s number 1 professional power tool range in Scotland and Northern England.  Whilst this new facility is already providing a valuable regional role the FSC has already been awarded the national responsibility for the secure environment of servicing Makita’s comprehensive range of dust extraction machines.

To carry out maintenance or repair functions on an extractor approved for use with Class L, M or H dust particulates, the repair facility must protect both the technician working on the machine as well as the workshop environment from dust contamination should material escape from the extractor.  The FSC facility will now handle all dust extraction servicing for the brand right across the UK.

Makita's New Factory Service Centre & Academy Has National Role

Commercial Photography by Ian Arthur

“The protection of our staff is paramount and that is why we have made this substantial investment,” says Norman Dodds, Manager of Service & Training at the Glasgow FSC.

The Factory Service Centre & Training Academy covers nearly 1000m³ on South Street in the G14 area and delivers technical repairs and maintenance services for the full range of Makita products, including all mains and cordless construction machines, and the rapidly expanding range of grounds care tools, including petrol engine products.

Training is a cornerstone of Makita’s marketing success ensuring that both authorised distributors and operators are fully conversant with the power tools, how to obtain the best performance from the machines and how to maintain them for efficiency and productivity.  Makita offers a full itinerary of training courses covering the extensive product range.  A key course: The Correct and Safe Use of Handheld Power Tools is a City & Guilds accredited course which offers either a user certificate or instructor certificate upon successful completion of the course.

The theory element of courses is held in a lecture theatre, followed by the essential hands-on practical work which is carried out in specially adapted and fully equipped training workshops.  Courses, including Health & Safety related and Correct Use, are of 1 – 2 days duration.  Any CITB certificated courses, which may include a combination of in-house and on-site training, relate to Abrasive Wheel training; an instructor’s course or user course.  Gas Nailer user training, chainsaw cross cutting and service courses, are also available.

“We are receiving a very warm welcome from all sectors of the power tool industry in this part of the world,” reports Norman Dodds. “I foresee that we will need to increase our staff and in particular our training personnel as demand grows from both employers and operators who can now benefit from this convenient location.”

For more news and product information about Makita UK please visit www.makitauk.com.  Follow us on Twitter @MakitaUK, Facebook.com/makitauk and google.com/+makitauk

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