One of the Black Country’s fastest growing manufacturers opened the doors to its new design and Test Rig Centre this week.
Georg UK, which has grown 40% in 2015, held a VIP open day to showcase its impressive machine shop, electronics department and expert engineering team that has completed more than 50 bespoke test rigs for clients in the aerospace sector.
Backed by an innovative collaboration with a top University, the company is poised to take this knowledge and experience into the rail sector and expects this combined approach to bring in more than £1m of new sales over the next twelve months.
Delegates from Moog, Alstom, Rail Alliance and the EEF met members of staff and were given an insight into how the ‘rigs’ are putting safety critical components through their paces.
The Head of Manufacturing at Lloyds Bank and senior figures from Warwick Manufacturing Group were also on hand to see how the firm’s capabilities could help other customers to develop and launch new products.
“We’ve had a fantastic year and a lot of this growth has been down to our ability to design and manufacture bespoke test rigs,” explained Neil Wyke, Managing Director.
“To date, we’ve completed over 50 special purpose rigs, ranging from £200,000 to £2million depending on the complexity and the size. These have been used to test thousands of components on civil and military aircraft, including door opening systems, rudder actuators, thrust reversers and elevators…we now believe there’s a fantastic opportunity to apply this knowledge in rail.”
He went on to add: “It’s not often that a SME can attract such a prestigious VIP list and give them a personal insight into what we do and how we do it.
“This is all part of a big sales and marketing push to get us heading towards £7m turnover next year, which should involve the recruitment of at least another 3 members of staff.”
Established in 1987, Georg UK originally started life manufacturing machines for coil processing equipment but – reflecting on changes in that marketplace – decided to diversify its activity at the start of the 2000s.
The shift in focus has been supported by a £250,000 investment in the Test Rig Centre, which now features a fully equipped machining shop, electronic systems, hardware and 2D/3D design.
There is also now a dedicated demonstration area so customers can see their products being tested.
“A group of senior test rig design and manufacturing engineers at Georg have gathered together their thoughts, knowledge and expertise to write an expert guide to 12 of the biggest challenges facing component testing,” explained Neil.
“This asks some vitally important questions, such as ‘what’s the most cost effective way of building a test rig’, ‘Is there a role for collaborative expertise’, ‘Is a universal standard a reality and ‘What’s best, hydraulic or electronic solutions?’.”
Neil concluded: “We are hoping that this free guide will prove somewhat of an industry bible and individuals can download it from www.georguk.com/test-rig-guide.”
Lucy Prior, Rail Alliance Membership Development Manager, added her support: “Seeing the new Test Rig Centre has been a real eye-opener. The high calibre of their test engineers and in-house manufacturing capabilities means Georg’s extensive experience in Aerospace is giving them a distinct advantage in the rail sector.”
Stewart Cameron, Chief Engineer at Alstom – Midlands Traincare Centre, Wolverhampton, said: “I’m so glad I was invited. It was such a surprise to discover such an experienced pool of skilled engineers and facilities that can lend themselves well to the rail industry, right here on our own door step.”
Georg UK, which is being supported by Senior Marketing Advisor Carl Jarvis, is still actively involved in building coil strip processing machines and can also offer clients project management, installation, spares and after sales services.