Welded steel mesh manufacturer Siddall and Hilton Products is investing £2 million in new specialised machinery as the firm celebrates its 125th anniversary.
The investment, its largest in 12 years, will increase capacity and efficiency at its Brighouse manufacturing site and head office, as well as creating more than ten new jobs.
The £18 million turnover Brighouse-based company dates back to 1895 and is the UK’s largest manufacturer of welded steel mesh for high-security fencing, general fencing and industrial mesh panels, processing over 1,500 tonnes of wire a month.
Currently employing 51 people, it is seeing sustained growth following an MBO in August 2019.
Under the leadership of Chief Executive Ian Thurley, the management team has undertaken a programme of operational improvements and the new machine will play a key part in bringing about further efficiencies and enabling the business to expand production in addition to creating a further 12 full-time manufacturing roles.
The new LGR102 welding machine, which is due for delivery in March, utilises the latest medium frequency welding technology and is manufactured by EVG, based in Graz, Austria.
It will be configured to manufacture 100% of Siddall and Hilton’s industrial mesh product range and will be the fifth in the company’s fleet of EVG machines. The investment has been funded by Siddall and Hilton’s primary lenders, ABN Amro.
“Having supplied all four of our existing machines, we have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with EVG going back over 30 years and know that their welding equipment is amongst the best in the world,” said Mr Thurley.
“The new machine will run 40% faster than any of our other machines and will produce up to 70% less process scrap. As it will focus on the production of industrial mesh, it will also free up capacity for fencing mesh on our existing equipment.”
He added: “We’re proud to be one of the oldest and largest employers in Brighouse and it’s great news for the business that we will be making our largest investment for over 12 years as we celebrate 125 years of trading.
“This exciting new phase in the business’ development also means that we will be expanding the team and we are actively recruiting mesh operators as we will need to increase our total headcount by 25%.
“We recognise that our success is dependent on having a committed and engaged workforce and we will be looking for people to train as the next generation of managers and engineers to take the business forward as we continue to expand.”