As EJOT announces it has expanded its UK manufacturing, R&D and technical support facilities in a multi-million pound programme, Robert Hardstaff, Managing Director at EJOT UK, tells Total Contractor how this will benefit the construction fastening specialist, and more importantly its customers…
EJOT has made a significant investment in its manufacturing capacity and technical support with a project that has more than doubled the size of its UK HQ, production and logistical facility near Leeds.
The construction fastening systems specialist, which manufactures a wide range of high-performing fastening solutions for the building envelope, plus numerous other construction applications, along with advanced engineering fasteners used mainly by the automotive industry, has boosted the size of its Sherburn-in-Elmet site to create what it describes as a state-of-the-art facility. This, the company says, has been designed in a way that tailors it to the needs of the UK market, offering class-leading support for customer innovation.
EJOT says the expanded facility will benefit from extensive additional manufacturing space and 40% more storage capacity through an enhanced logistical control centre. In addition, the company says the new site will benefit from a state-of-the-art upgrade to the EJOT Applitec centre which is already unique in the industry.
EJOT has stated this ‘application technology’ facility will be unlike any testing and R&D facility available in the UK, being triple the size of the existing centre, providing a resource for multi-dimensional fastener testing and new product development in conjunction with OEMs. The testing resources will include two new environmental testing laboratories where the long-term performance of EJOT products can be reliably assessed.
“A major step forward”
Robert Hardstaff, Managing Director at EJOT UK, said: “This investment in our UK site represents a major step forward for EJOT, giving us a unique position in the market in respect of the levels of technical, logistical and sales support we can offer, with a strengthening of our manufacturing base.
“Our ethos of ‘converting customer problems into product solutions’, both reactively and often proactively to prevent problems evolving in the first place, requires us to have the right technical resources and quality procedures in place to meet whatever challenges our customers face. Our new facilities will enable us to do this in a way that not only continues this level of support, but also reaffirms our unique positioning to the industries we now serve.”
Valued in excess of £6m in 2016, EJOT UK says the investment programme was proposed and agreed well ahead of the implementation of a post-Brexit agreement, supporting its long-term vision to provide market-leading support to UK customers, whilst creating an EJOT Group manufacturing centre of excellence for many of its key products in Yorkshire. The deal was rubber-stamped by the German-owned EJOT Group after the Brexit deal was reached, and progress on site continued apace despite the impacts of the pandemic for an on-time handover.
In addition to immediately providing an extra 4,500 sq. m of operational space, EJOT says the extended facility will create an ideal platform to develop EJOT UK’s future workforce. It will expand production of EJOT’s core range of fasteners, used in both the construction and engineering sectors, and include a new facility for manufacturing the LIEBIG range of heavy duty anchors. This brand was acquired in 2017 by the EJOT Group from Finnish company Sormat.
Robert continued: “The same quality management systems that we adopt across all EJOT production facilities globally will apply throughout our extended factory here, which is one of the reasons the EJOT brand maintains its position at the forefront of its markets.
“When the Group purchased our Sherburn-in-Elmet site back in 2003, it was done so with a long-term UK vision in mind, which is why a large site was chosen with room to grow. It is tremendous to see this vision fulfilled, boosting what many of our customers, OEM partners and professional associations already regard as a go-to resource for industry-wide training and meetings.
“The investment programme, however, represents so much more than just a building extension. It supports EJOT’s family business approach that drives our global strategy to continuously re-invest profits into the business and futureproof our employment needs by providing youth career opportunities in highly skilled and technical roles.”
EJOT UK says it is dedicated to investing in youth, with 15% of its current UK HQ workforce benefitting from an apprenticeship programme in various formats. These apprentices work across different areas of the business from technical services and quality management, through to engineering and manufacturing. They are working towards qualifications that are both vocational and degree level with participants attending college or university on a day release basis.
EJOT UK also says it ensures that everyone in the team benefits from mentoring – one of the cornerstones of the company’s success globally. This facilitates the sharing of knowledge, advice and guidance by a combination of tutors, senior management and often employees that have already graduated through the system to continuously improve skills and build on best practice.
EJOT points out its holistic thinking also applies to the design of the building extension, as the specification achieves a high degree of sustainability, including a centralised heating and cooling system and smart lighting throughout to optimise energy use. The company says the roof has also been equipped for the installation of photovoltaic panels as a futureproofing step to support the move to ‘green’ electricity, whilst the final stage of the project will see an upgrading to the original building which will include re-cladding to match the new extension and be consistent with the global EJOT brand.
With headquarters in Germany, EJOT GmbH is still a privately owned German family business and established its UK operations in Leeds in 1985, but the company points out it has a much longer heritage extending back to 1922. As the EJOT Group approaches its 100th anniversary, it says recent investments in its plants in Poland, India, the USA, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico and China, as well as the UK, ensure the business is in excellent shape for its next era.
In addition to the construction market, EJOT provides fastening systems for applications across manufacturing and engineering, including the automotive, white goods and electrical industries. Many of the world’s leading car brands depend on EJOT fastening systems throughout their manufacture as they meet the global challenges to build stronger and build lighter.
Find out more about the EJOT’s UK expansion programme – view the video here.