New £3.6m factory completed for specialist handling equipment manufacturer Tong Engineering
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Tong Engineering has announced the completion and operation of its new manufacturing facility in Spilsby.
The £3.6 million first phase building is part of a two-phase project on the seven-acre site and marks a new milestone in the company’s continuing growth and development programme.
“At the beginning of the year, we knew that 2020 was set to be a landmark year for Tong. Opening a new factory after 90 years of business and what seems like 90 extensions to our existing factory, was always going to be very exciting,” says Edward Tong, Managing Director at Tong Engineering. “However, we simply couldn’t have imagined how 2020 has actually unfolded. Whilst the last few months have been somewhat challenging, as we have adapted our working procedures to ensure a safe and sustainable manufacturing environment, we feel very fortunate that we have been able to continue our business operations and expansion plans throughout such unprecedented times. We are delighted that operation has commenced at our new factory, even if the grand opening we had planned has had to been postponed slightly!”
The new purpose-built first phase manufacturing facility, which stands at over 126 metres long, 24 metres wide and 11 metres high, boasts significantly more production capacity than both of the company’s existing factories. Amongst the new site’s state-of-the-art facilities are two 5-ton overhead cranes, new shot-blasting and powder coating chambers, and the most advanced stock control system with fully automated storage lift. The new factory also features expanded office space, a new staff canteen and flexible meeting space for internal and client meetings.
“Space has been at the highest premium within our production process for quite some time at our primary factory,” explains Edward. “As our business has grown, so too has the equipment that we manufacture. The new factory is dedicated to our assembly process, and with the significant increase in height, this has allowed us to dramatically advance our lifting capacity and assembly capabilities with the installation of the heavy duty overhead cranes,” says Edward. “They are already playing a vital part in creating very safe and streamlined production flow and are one of the most prominent and widely-popular assets at the new factory,” says Edward.
“Another new and very notable system which has transformed our stores department is our investment in a highly intelligent parts storage lift. The compact and clever design of the lift means that that we are really maximising the height of the factory; with a height of 9 metres and a footprint of only 4 metres by 3 metres, we can store over 55 square metres of stock items and parts. It is staggering to think of the storage space this has saved, whilst removing the need for access equipment and simplifying the parts picking process,” explains Edward. “At the touch of a screen, the storage system presents the correct ‘shelf’ to user level for quick and easy access to thousands of parts which can be stored by machine type or project, for very efficient retrieval of parts.”
The company is now able to increase production capacity further by adding shot blasting and powder coating processes at the new facility, ensuring increased flexibility as well as quick turnarounds and the highest quality finish on all Tong equipment.
“We are already enjoying the considerable advancements and efficiencies that our new facility is bringing to our production, assembly and quality control processes; it has transformed these aspects of our business and will ensure the continued development of our advanced and innovative range of vegetable handling equipment. The support of a £500,000 grant from the Greater Lincolnshire Growth Fund and East Lindsey District Council has been invaluable in making our growth ambitions a reality. As we continue with our expansion plans, we are looking forward to finalising the design of the second phase building, which is scheduled to follow soon,” confirmed Edward.