Norbar Torque Tools is to move to a new 170,000 square feet production site, over three times larger than its existing factory. This is to expand manufacturing output and so deal with increased demand for its precision engineering products, 75% of which are exported worldwide to over 100 countries. The company is remaining in Banbury, Oxfordshire, where it has been established since its launch in the 1940s, demonstrating continuing commitment to the town and its workforce, most of whom live locally.
This expansion means employment opportunities, exemplifying a resurgence in the UK’s engineering sector. Norbar is a family run company and the world’s leading specialist in the design, development and production of torque tightening and measuring equipment. There are Norbar sales companies in Australia, China, India, New Zealand, Singapore and the USA, but manufacturing is carried out in Banbury, where Norbar produces products for applying torque and also for measuring torque. Completion on the purchase of the new site took place on 20th March 2012.
Managing Director Neill Brodey explained that Norbar is strongly committed to continuing to manufacture in the UK. “This is our fourth location within Banbury. Our last move was in 1984, which we managed over an Easter weekend! This time it will be a phased operation lasting until 2014, involving the relocation of large sophisticated machines and highly sensitive calibration equipment for our UKAS accredited torque laboratory.”
“This is an important stage in our growth plans because the size of our current premises is inhibiting development. We also see opportunities to reduce lead times by making a greater proportion of components under our own roof. The move is essential for us to meet increased demand and, while it has taken a long time to find the right premises, we are delighted that our determination to relocate locally has paid off.”
Norbar plans to increase its current 240-strong workforce by up to 30 new employees this year and further recruitment is planned as the changeover gathers pace. In June 2012, a quarter of Norbar’s workforce will move to the new factory in Wildmere Road, about 1.5 miles from its current premises, with torque wrench assembly being the first production team to relocate. This will create more space within the current factory for the installation of more machine tools used in the production of Norbar Pneutorque® and Handtorque™ torque multipliers.
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