18 months after initial plans, the new building at Rainton Bridge Industrial Estate has officially opened. The event hosted Mr. Angelo Luciano, our Managing Director and Councillor Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council. They spoke alongside Operations Director Dave Bartell about the future of Sunderland’s automotive industry and Expert’s plans for the future to a crowd of the public and the press.
The building was officially opened with a ceremonial ribbon cutting. The honour was given to Expert’s newest addition, our collaborative robot! The £50,000 investment is able to operate without the usual guarding and safety considerations associated with industrial robots, as well as reduced programming which means it’s not shy of getting up close with the public.
The event gave opportunity for Dave to discuss the successes of the Sunderland manufacturing site over the last year, as well as looking forward to what the New Year will bring for Expert. The biggest news is Expert’s success with a tier one supplier to Alfa Romeo. With the existing facility unable to house such a vast line, Expert now have the space to carry out commissioning and testing in one place.
The £2.5million facility leaves an abundance of space in the existing, smaller facility. Dave and the team have taken full advantage of this, creating a dedicated fabrication area in this space. This means that outsourcing is no longer necessary, and allows Expert the rare luxury of being able to offer customers shorter lead times in addition to the reduced costs associated with keeping everything from design to management to fabrication to commissioning in house.
The new facility will lead to 25 extra jobs, with half already part of the 56 strong workforce and the rest to be created in the year to come. With an entire industry suffering from a skills gap, Dave is one step ahead. “We identified quite early there was a huge skills shortage in our industry, and we needed to embark on new development plans.” Being awarded Best Training Provider by the Sunderland Echo is just the beginning for the North East team. With 30% of the current workforce being apprentices, trainees or graduates, Expert continues to employ and train young people in a wide array of disciplines, taking on graduate controls engineers and toolroom apprentices alike just in the past few months.
With the support of the Expert Group we are sure the Sunderland site will continue to go from strength to strength. With its extensive investment in people and facilities, we look forward to what 2016 will bring for Dave and his unstoppable team.
Please keep checking our careers page for up to date vacancies in Sunderland and Coventry.
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