August 18, 2020 @ 12:41 by Richard Dawson
Northumberland-based manufacturer, AGMA, has managed to step up to the fight against coronavirus by investing in new machinery.
AGMA designs and manufactures sterile and non-sterile cleaning and biocidal products, which it exports to customers in over 30 different countries.
Serving a broad range of clients from the NHS to major pharmaceutical companies, AGMA saw its order book swell during the pandemic, with production lines running at full capacity while staff adhered to social distancing measures.
Soaring demand created big challenges for the business, that were solved with the support of the Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing (SAM) Project, which provided grant funding and expert advice.
The support helped AGMA identify areas of production that could be improved through automation and invest in the machinery required to do so, safeguarding 30 jobs and increasing sales in the process.
John Taylor, finance director at AGMA Ltd, said: “Our sanitisers and hand gels have become extremely popular both abroad and domestically over recent months due to the pandemic.
“However, as a family company that is deep-rooted in Haltwhistle, we’ve continued to stand-by our commitment to give back to the community that’s served us incredibly well over 52 years, by continuing to donate products locally.
“We also supply the NHS and various other organisations – while fulfilling orders for clients.
“This would not have been possible had it not been for the support we received from the SAM Project last year.
“The funding and support were crucial to help us understand how automation can benefit our business and allow us to invest in new machinery, introduce new procedures and make us more competitive, while reducing production costs, expanding into new areas and safeguarding jobs.”
AGMA is now looking to the future as it continues investing in new machinery and processes, as well as ramping up its R&D activity to brings new innovations to market.
Ken Teears, project manager at SAM, said: “The SAM Project was launched in a bid to help manufacturers in the North East LEP area lead the way in product, process and technology innovation – and AGMA Ltd is a perfect example of this in action.
“The company is a fantastic case study of how manufacturers can innovate and grow by embracing new technologies and processes.
“Not only has investing in automation helped the company increase output and sales but it has also helped safeguard 30 jobs and maximise the potential of its workforce.”