Around 180 Bradman Lake Group staff have moved into an impressive new multi-million pound Manufacturing Centre of Excellence in Norwich in the first stage of a concerted drive by the leading UK integrated packaging machinery manufacturer to treble turnover in the next three years.
Group marketing manager Dennis Juenger explained during a tour of the Oldhall Road facility the company will launch a major product offensive from early 2008 which will see it launch 89 new or revised machinery systems by 2010. The aim will be to exploit the experience gained since the Group’s formation in 2004 (with the amalgamation of the Bradman Lake, Autowrappers and Europack businesses) to “make every piece of equipment offer even greater value to customers”. In the process the group, which reportedly already supplies packaging machinery to 75% of the world’s top FMCG producers, aims to increase its turnover from its current £35m to £110m.
“Our new Manufacturing Centre of Excellence, four miles from the former Autowrappers site in Norwich’s Whiffler Road, will be at the heart of our ambitious growth initiative,” Juenger confirmed.
The new facility will undertake group-wide r&d, new product development and engineering design, co-ordinate servicing, and manufacture Autowrappers flowwrapping, feeding, distribution and storage equipment and Europack film, stretch and shrinkwrapping lines, tray erecting and case packing machinery. Bradman Lake cartoning machinery will continue being built in Bristol.
Juenger said: “In the next three years we will revise and update everything from feeding and storage systems to robotic and vision equipment. The additional space and facilities here provide the ideal environment for re-engineering, r&d, NPD, new equipment manufacture and renovation of older machines.”
The new building incorporates 50,000 sq feet of manufacturing space and 10,000 sq ft of office space; the latter is currently being fitted out with a visitor area where customers will not only be able to evaluate the suitability of particular machinery for their application with the help of AV and demonstration equipment, but also set up a virtual office. Juenger explains. “That way, rather than struggling with laptops in hotel rooms, they can visit us, discuss their requirements, see trials and, in the case of orders, complete the paperwork and organise commissioning and subsequent installation all in one hit”.
With sophisticated teleconferencing equipment the Group also intends using the facility as the nerve centre for communication between its UK and overseas sites (the main ones abroad are in Dietmannsried, Germany and Charlotte, North Carolina).
The new building already houses around 100 staff from the former Autowrappers site, 50 from the Europack site in Beccles, Suffolk (which will continue being used for spares and storage), and a further 30 new product development and engineering staff, mainly from other Group sites in the UK, Germany and America.
Bradman Lake Group plans holding an official opening soon. Juenger adds: “As part of our purchase of the site we agreed with the local authority to build a small number of additional industrial units opposite and have high hopes hoping the surrounding area can be developed into a new technology park.”
Bradman Lake Group
T: +44 (0)1603 274400
The impressive factory interior at Bradman Lake Groupâ€™s new Manufacturing Centre of Excellence in Norwich