Manufacturer increases capacity and efficiency with £2m investment

Brighouse-based Siddall and Hilton Products says its new £2m specialist welding machine is now fully operational after an extensive three month-long commissioning programme.

The long established business, which makes welded mesh products, says the latest addition to its workshop runs over 40% faster than any of its existing machines and produces up to 70% less process scrap.

It will increase capacity and efficiency at the firm, which supplies welded steel mesh for high-security fencing, general fencing and industrial mesh panels.

In March 2021, the LGR102 welding machine was brought from Austria, having been manufactured by EVG in Graz.

Using the latest medium frequency welding technology, the machine will focus on the production of industrial mesh, freeing up capacity on the company’s other machines and enabling the business to increase through-put as it continues to grow.

This year, Siddall and Hilton Products has added a further nine trainee mesh operators, including two apprentices to its now 59-strong team. The 126-year-old company is currently seeking another three recruits.

Following an MBO in August 2019, the firm’s management team, led by chief executive Ian Thurley, has undertaken a programme of operational improvements and the company is seeing sustained growth.

The newest EVG machine marks Siddall and Hilton Products’ most significant investment for 12 years and was funded by the business’s primary lenders, ABN AMRO, supported by £100,000 of grant funding from Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP).

It was officially launched on 23 July with guests including Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin; Sir Roger Marsh, chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and NP11; and Andy Pascoe, relationship director at ABN AMRO Lease.

Thurley said: “The business is going from strength to strength and we’re proud of this, our biggest single achievement just two Covid-interrupted years since the MBO.

“This latest investment marks a major milestone in our world class journey as we continue to invest not only in the best machinery on the market, but also in building our workforce and developing our people to ensure we have the best skilled team for the future.

“Thanks to ABN AMRO’s continued belief in and commitment to our company, bolstered by the confidence shown by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership through investing £100,000 of taxpayers’ money in our latest development, I have been amazed  by the level of excitement, energy and enthusiasm it has injected into our business.

“There’s a real buzz on the shop floor and this energy will be equally as important as the productivity gains we make with the new machine in driving the business to further growth and success.”