Hartlepool-based expanded metal mesh pioneer the Expanded Metal Company has announced that it is to benefit from major investment totalling up to £1m over 2018.
The investment programme will include the upgrading of buildings on the company’s 25,000 sqm site in Hartlepool, refurbishing specialist manufacturing equipment, acquiring new machinery and replacing existing lighting with more energy-efficient LED lighting systems. The work is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
The Expanded Metal Company – which this month won the Manufacturer of the Year award in the Hartlepool Business Awards – has a rich industrial heritage dating back to 1889 and was founded by John French Golding, the inventor and patentee of expanded metal.
The firm’s site is a long established global centre for expanded metal expertise and the company has its own security range, ExMesh, which offers innovative fencing systems and security products which are designed to protect people, property and infrastructure from a broad array of threats.
The Expanded Metal Company also supplies high quality expanded metal mesh products for sectors including construction, filtration, engineering, transport, utilities, automotive, aerospace and architecture.
The investment will support extensive refurbishments to the exterior of the company’s facilities in Hartlepool and will help to reduce its carbon footprint by improving insulation throughout the site.
As part of the investment programme, the company’s 75 machine – which was commissioned in 1969 and is believed to be one of the widest expanded metal mesh presses in Europe – recently underwent an extensive refurbishment.
It is one of only a handful of such machines operating across the globe and is highly effective at producing expanded metal mesh for fencing, walkways and ramps, as well as specialist hard materials.
The Expanded Metal Company was acquired by US-based private investment firm Empire Investment Holdings from Gibraltar Industries Inc in 2016. It was previously part of the Expamet group of companies.
In the last two years the manufacturer has introduced a number of new products to its expanded metal mesh ranges.
The firm’s managing director Philip Astley (pictured above) said: “With this investment, Empire Holdings has again demonstrated its commitment to The Expanded Metal Company, Hartlepool and North East manufacturing.
“In the last two years the company has made great strides forward in terms of penetrating new markets, providing additional services to current customers and developing our product range, using the vast specialist expertise of our highly committed workforce here in Hartlepool.
“This investment programme will help to cement our position as a world-leading expanded metal mesh manufacturer, make our operations more energy efficient and further strengthen our manufacturing capabilities.
“We also feel that it’s highly important to constantly improve the working environment for our staff and the new investment will support us in doing this.
“We’re looking forward to seeing the fruits of this work as we move forward through 2018.”
The Expanded Metal Company has bolstered its operational, engineering and business development teams and recently recruited a number of apprentices as part of its commitment to building engineering skills in the North East’s workforce and developing the next generation of expanded metal mesh specialists.