Sewtec unveils new R&D centre

20th November 2013

Simon Reevell MP (right) with Sewtec Research and Development Manager, Gary Robinson

Automation solutions specialist Sewtec, which designs and installs bespoke production lines for the food and confectionery industries, has invested £500,000 in the establishment of a stand-alone Research & Development Centre, to support customer projects and enable the company to further develop its range of robotic solutions and grow its business.

The new facility, next to Sewtec’s existing manufacturing HQ in Ravensthorpe Industrial Estate, Dewsbury, was officially opened on Thursday November 14th by local MP Simon Reevell.  Also in attendance were representatives from Kirklees and Leeds City Council.

The 5,500 square foot building has already resulted in six new jobs, including two graduate designers and it is anticipated that a further four positions will become available early next year.  As well as its R&D function, a secure build area will also be created where confidential customer projects can be developed and constructed in complete privacy.

With the majority of projects requiring considerable capital investment from companies, the Sewtec facility will work alongside customer teams to assess the feasibility and costings for any proposed new system and create initial test rigs.  The stand-alone operation will ensure a high level of confidentiality for all new projects.

The R&D Centre will also offer some graduate training opportunities, enabling them to gain experience in all areas of design and automation.  It is anticipated that trainees will be able to move on to positions within Sewtec’s main manufacturing operation.

In addition, Sewtec is partnering with a number of universities, including Huddersfield University’s Engineering Department and the Keyworth Institute at Leeds University, in order to drive innovation and new product development in a number of specialist areas such as robotic systems, high speed continuous motion assembly systems, tamper-evident machines and track and trace technology.

“The continuing development of technology means both products and pack formats are becoming increasingly complex and this makes the design and installation of effective assembly and packing systems ever-more challenging,” explains Sewtec managing director Bernard Meehan.

“Our new R&D Centre will enable us to provide vital early support work for our customers which will help to ease the decision-making process for investment in new systems.  

It will also allow us to refine and further improve our design and technical expertise and so continue to expand our product offering and grow our business in both existing and new markets.”

Sewtec was established in 1867 as the design and development house for Singer, the sewing machine manufacturer.  In 1982, the company broke away from the sewing industry to become involved in special purpose applications for the worldwide automotive sector.  Since 1987 Sewtec has concentrated on FMCG industries.  Today the company employs nearly 100 people and turnover has quadrupled in the last five years.

With 80% of its business in export markets, Sewtec has installed systems for its blue-chip multinational customer base in a number of countries including Russia, Canada, Brazil, South Africa, Japan and Australia.





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