EDGE Innovate continue to expand and develop their manufacturing facility.
HUB-4 went along to meet the EDGE Innovate team and take a tour of their manufacturing facility located on Farlough Road, Dungannon
Located on a 15-acre site the company was established in 2008 and has experienced year on year growth. Currently EDGE Innovate are probably the largest family-owned manufacturing company in NI with a turnover in access to £20 million.
Since our last visit two years ago EDGE Innovate have continued to expand their machine portfolio at a phenomenal rate thanks to an aggressive product development programme which has led EDGE to offering one the largest products lines within the industry. EDGE Innovate believe no other UK manufacturing company can match their product offering which includes everything from material handling and tracked conveyors to slow-speed shredders. It’s this aggressive on-going product development that has retained their position at the forefront of the market.
With the ethos on in-house design the company are well equipped to design a solution based on customer requirements and provide them with a final bespoke product for their application.
Everything can be manufactured and built from scratch, from design, right through production and testing with a technical team of engineers ready to install and commission the machines as well as support the global distributor network.
To match this growth the workforce has increased by 33% in the last 12 months and today the company has a five-year plan which will see an 20% increase in turnover by 2023 with in excess of 200 personnel being employed on-site.
We talked with Adrian Donnelly-Marketing Manager, who outlined the plan and forthcoming expansion. “We have planned major changes to the site which have started with a new car park which will see the main entrance move further up Farlough Road. These changes also involve a new office block which will contain a ‘Welcome Centre’ and a new training facility.
“In our search for new markets we have appointed new territory distributor managers in Latin America, Scandinavia and the Middle East. We recently sold a trommel and a wheeled shredder to a city council in Rio de Janerio, Brazil which will serve as great reference point in that region.
“We are well established in the USA now and have a very good order book. When it comes to new markets to facilitate growth, it’s not always about looking at new geographical regions it can also be about identifying new industry. We started in the mines and quarries sector and then moved into recycling, wood waste, MSW skip waste etc. From that we are now experiencing tremendous growth in the organic recycling market with compost and mulch producers finding our product line the perfect fit for their needs. We are only one product away from covering all applications in this sector so hopefully we should have that tied up by next year.
“In Australia we have shifted the emphasis from quarrying to recycling after the market changed and are now experiencing sales in excess of the original levels. Companies need to be flexible to maintain and grow their market share.”
Investments in the production line:
Adrian continued, “We have a 5-year plan to increase sales by 20% and make significant changes to our operation. We have commenced work which will see our manufacturing facilities increase by almost 50%.
We are going to extend the facilities by moving the paint shop to the back of the site which will facilitate an increased in our covered manufacturing space increase from just under 89,000ft² to close to 141,000ft².
We have made big investments and recently installed two new XPR300 plasma cutters which are the first in N Ireland; they have made the cutting process much faster.”
These new plasma cutters are quite special – the XPR300® represents the most significant advance in mechanized plasma cutting technology, ever. This next generation system redefines what plasma can do by expanding its capabilities and opportunities in ways never before possible. With unmatched X-Definition™ cut quality on mild steel, stainless steel and aluminium, the new XPR300 increases cut speed, dramatically improves productivity and slashes operating costs. New ease-of-use features and engineered system optimization make the XPR300 easier to run with minimal operator intervention, while also ensuring optimal performance and unmatched reliability.
Adrian, commented, “As well as the plasma cutters we have also invested in two new press brakes, a six-metre machine and 2 – four-metre machines which have increased our production capacity. Also, two new saws and a totally computerised CNC ficep drill. Currently we are using 2 tons of weld wire every month and with all these benefits for production we have now put our paint shop on two shifts and doubled the staff in the last two years!
Adrian pointed out that there is a big difference between EDGE Innovate and other manufacturers. For example; EDGE shredders are entirely produced in-house from the chassis right through the actual shredding chamber. This gives greater control on quality and lead times. He also told us that there are plans to install a new quality control testing section within the new extension which will also house a designated R&D line, as currently when a new product comes through it can impact production and slow down parts of EDGE’s production lines, as new products tend to take longer to produce.
Adrian, added, “Our stores department carry up to £10 million of stock so we can react quickly and ensure lead times are adhered to. Our motto has always been to source locally if possible and ensure stocks of conveyor belt, engines, and rams etc are at the levels required to avoid long lead times. It’s all about projecting demand and making sure you are not susceptible to currency fluctuations and price increases. With the current level of sales our current lead time is approximately 12 weeks.
It’s an interesting fact that in a relatively short period of time; EDGE Innovate has transitioned from a sub-contract engineering firm to becoming a manufacturer of its own products in their own right. Which in turn has led to more inward customer and dealerships visits to the facility which has initiated the inclusion of a new ‘Welcome Centre’ and a new training facility within the new headquarter that will be built in the next few years.
It certainly is a bright future for EDGE Innovate as they achieve goal after goal, year on year.