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Investment will help future proof Salop Design

By James Pugh | Business | Published:

Shropshire pressings specialist Salop Design has pushed ahead with further investment in 2019, in a bid to secure its place as one of the leading manufacturers in the region.

The Shrewsbury-based firm has expanded its capability and is looking to new processes and sectors to make sure it future proofs the business.

It has recently taken the controlling share and taken over the day-to-day managing of its sister company, Salop Haulage Ltd.

It has also increased and updated its fleet of vehicles to 22, and has further ambitious investment and expansion plans for 2019.

The latest investment takes it into the laser cutting market, with the purchase of an Amada 6KW Ensis Fibre laser cutter with an automated materials tower, to enable lights out running.

The machine has the ability to cut up to 30mm material and is able to switch between low and high gauge rapidly, giving it the capability to design and manufacture low to high volume. This alongside the new shot blast unit allows it to be a complete one-stop shop.

Its investment this year has already topped the £1 million mark, and this has helped the new focus on four key areas – pressings, powder coating, fabrications and haulage.

On the back of this investment, and the way the business is moving forward, it is looking to expand its workforce and has roles within many areas, including:

• Haulage

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• Class 1 and 2 drivers

• Manufacturing

• Press setters

• Paint plant operators and sprayers

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• Quality engineers

• CMM engineers

• Power press operators

• Brake press setter/operators

• Fabrication production welders

• Logistics co-ordinator

• Tool makers

Salop Design is not just a one-stop shop, and it has positioned itself to become a supply solution.

Managing director, Richard Homden, said: “We are not just investing for today to keep up with our competition, we are investing in the future to get ahead and stay well ahead of them.

“We are looking to innovate, and plan for a future that will embrace electrification of vehicles, autonomous transport, and light weighting.

“We are looking to work with more recyclable materials, and finding solutions for our customers, that may involve many differing material types.

“We will need some new processes and new machines to do this but must also back this up with our talented people and continue to invest in them.

“We have further exciting plans for 2019 and will keep investing to make the most of the opportunities as they present themselves.”

Salop Design has also been working with Autodesk on its Future of British Manufacturing Initiative (FoBmi), that is looking to accelerate the understanding of connectivity and working with digital through all parts of a business.

Salop has taken a leading role in supporting Autodesk and is one of only a handful of SMEs’

that have been involved. Commercial director, Christopher Greenough, said: “We are committed to embracing the next Industrial Revolution and seeing a golden thread of digital through all the work we do.

“Automation does not have to mean a reduction in jobs, but the very reverse.

“The more competitive we can be, the more work we can win, and for this work we need skilled operatives, and this will help raise the GVA of the region.

“Shropshire is uniquely placed to make the most of the opportunities that are coming, with many well established, long standing companies, with fantastic people, and great products.”

Mr Homden added: “There have been fears that Brexit will cripple our manufacturing sector, and the slow down will affect jobs and businesses.

“But for smaller SME’s such as Salop design, with most of our sales coming from the UK market, there are great opportunities. We are nimble and proactive, and we can move quickly to follow new markets and opportunities, we are investing while others are not, and this will stand us in good stead for the future.”

Salop Design has had a long and successful history, and now with new investment and a continued enthusiasm from the whole team, it said it is looking to a future that is bright, digital and connected.

James Pugh

By James Pugh
@JamesP_Star

Shropshire Star Business and Farming Editor.

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