High-growth tech firm invests close to Nissan in Sunderland UK

Oct 3, 2017   Tier Suppliers

Fast-growing technology business AR Controls has completed a £600,000 ($795,000) expansion to a new factory in Sunderland, enabling it to create jobs and win further contracts with global manufacturers.

The company supplies control panels and electrical design, inspection and testing services to major manufacturers, including Nissan, Gestamp, Caterpillar, Mecaplast and Faltec. 75% of its work is currently with the automotive sector.

A growing number of customers in manufacturing and heavy industry means that AR aims to diversify across sectors and into worldwide markets as it expands.

Major projects have been completed recently for Knauf Insulation UK, Peterlee and Polypipe in Doncaster. AR Controls designed, built, programmed and installed innovative systems for both companies. In the automotive sector, it completed £500,000 of system upgrade projects at Nissan Sunderland during the two-week summer shutdown, with a faultless start up when production began.

AR Controls has invested in cutting edge equipment to cater for growing demand for its robotic, automation, motor drive and gearbox upgrade design and installation services.

The firm designs and develops equipment used in manufacturing and engineering, including control panels, machine safety systems, conveyors and software systems. It was founded by Andrew Ramsey (pictured above at right, with Cllr Harry Trueman of Sunderland City Council), who previously spent over 20 years working in the automotive industry. He said: "We offer robust competencies in highly complex solutions, which means our services are regularly in high demand.
"Our move will enable us to broaden our offering with more involvement in mechanical design. We are also installing a new robotic demonstration system in our workshop to test and implement new customer applications.

"We really appreciate the advice and support from Sunderland's business investment team. It's good to have them alongside as we grow."

The company was launched in 2013 and has since grown its annual turnover rapidly from scratch to an estimated £1.3 million this financial year. To facilitate further expansion, the group has invested £600,000 in acquiring a new HQ on Sunderland's Sunrise Enterprise Park, consolidating its two sites in the city.

The move was supported by Sunderland City Council's Business Investment Team, which helped to identify a site suitable for its growth plans. It will enable it to increase its headcount by a third to around 30 in the next two years and service a growing customer base.

Councillor Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: "AR Controls' decision to expand its presence in Sunderland and create new jobs is indicative of the city's growing reputation as a world class location for manufacturing and engineering. It strengthens the city's knowledge economy eco-system which is attracting high skilled jobs and investment from thriving companies.

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