July 5 2019 @ 8:30 by Steven Hugill
A metal rainscreen and fabrication company behind work on a flagship UK football stadium is planning further growth following a £2 million-plus investment.
BTS Facades and Fabrications, based in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, has bought new automated equipment and rented additional premises.
The business has also strengthened its workforce and launched the BTS Designs division, which it says makes it unique in the industry.
The company worked on Tottenham Hotspur’s new £1 billion stadium in North London and managing director Phil Atkinson said it is now ready to take the next step in its growth.
“We have seen exceptional growth over the past few years and now is the right time to invest to ensure we keep up the momentum.
“The automation we’ve invested in fits our key objectives of quality, speed and efficiency, and ensures we stay one step in front of our competition.
“A few years ago, we started to look at automation, and we have recently taken delivery of the UK’s first Trumpf fully-automatic panel bender, which bends rainscreen panels, as well as ordering a fully-automated punching system.
“The ‘lights out’ system means we’re able to set the machine away in the evening and return in the morning with the load completed, thus saving time and speeding up production.
“Some people believe that automation equals job losses, but it’s quite the contrary in our case – our headcount increased from 40 to 55 over the past 12 months.
“For us, automation isn’t just about speed and efficiency, it’s also about quality.
“Using this new equipment, a typical rainscreen panel is bent to perfection in a third of the time of a traditional press brake, and then every panel after is exactly the same.”
Phil added the company, which also worked on a project at Jaguar Land Rover’s site in Gaydon, Warwickshire, was excited about its BTS Designs venture, which arose after the business spotted a gap in the market.
“The design services offered by other companies are often outsourced, whereas we do it under the same umbrella, meaning clients can come to us for a fuller end-to-end service,” revealed Phil.
“This strategy makes us unique in the industry and has had a massive impact on our sales growth.”