£750,000 kit set to break the mould

Hush Digital     1st April 2015

More exciting times here at Nifco, read more about our fantastic Dynamometer below.

NORTH East plastics manufacturer Nifco UK Ltd has invested in a £750,000 machine that will allow it to produce cutting edge parts for its automotive clients.

The Eaglescliffe business, which produces parts that are used in the engines and interiors of cars made by Nissan, Ford, Toyota and Jaguar Land Rover among others, has invested in a dynamometer, a complex machine that will test the capabilities of the parts it produces.

The machine, which was officially unveiled at an event today [THURSDAY, MARCH 19], represents a significant investment for the business, which recently announced a £50million contract with Ford. It is hoped that the dynamometer will allow the business to work even more successfully with clients to help them make the efficiency gains needed to improve the performance of their vehicles.

Paul Chapman, general manager of research and development at Nifco, said the dynamometer would allow the company to develop even more advanced parts, testing products more rigorously and refining them to ensure optimum performance.

Mr Chapman said: “Nifco’s success has been in no small part down to the way in which we work with clients to anticipate their needs and produce parts that allow them to make improvements and efficiencies.

“The investment made in the dynamometer will allow us to take that a step further, and – as we grow our R&D division – create parts that, cumulatively, make a big difference for clients.”

The dynamometer allows Nifco to run a vehicle engine in laboratory conditions, using a powerful electric motor to provide the resistance normally provided by a car’s weight and drag. Nifco can use the machine to understand how its parts affect any aspect of the engine’s performance, allowing the R&D team to gain more insight and make design improvements.

Mike Matthews MBE, managing director of Nifco UK and European operations officer, said: “The investment in the dynamometer is a significant mark of intent for us at Nifco and will allow us to really understand how effective our parts are when they are put to the test under a range of conditions.

“Nifco has seen significant growth and that is down to a commitment to excellence in everything we do. Part of this commitment is investment in equipment – as well as facilities and training – that keeps us at the absolute forefront when it comes to producing new and innovative products for the automotive sector. The dynamometer is the latest in a long line of investments – and one that we are sure will generate a fantastic return – and for people considering a career in manufacturing and engineering, particularly in the R&D element of the sector, this investment presents significant opportunities.

‘We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our parent company Nifco Inc for its continued investment in Nifco UK and of course the Regional Growth Fund for again helping us with this venture that will help to create new jobs in Teesside. And we would like to thank the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Tees Valley Unlimited for their ongoing support.”

Nifco saw its Durham Lane facility added to with a Powertrain and R&D factory, which opened a year ago. The company has since added to its team with skilled engineers capable of developing new products to help grow sales. It is expected that Nifco will turnover £75million by 2016.

Joe Greenwell CBE, CEO of the Automotive Investment Organisation (AIO), said: ‘The UK has favourable conditions for a rapid supply chain growth with nearly 2.5 million engines manufactured in the UK annually, a newly established Advanced Propulsion Centre and £4billion supply chain demand currently unfulfilled by UK manufacturers.

‘We are glad to see such a forward thinking company as Nifco increase their competitiveness, seize business opportunities in the UK automotive market and contribute to further advancements in the UK’s powertrain development.’

Mr Greenwell attended the event at Nifco to mark the unveiling of the dynamometer. He was also taken for a tour of Nifco’s two factories, and had the chance to look at Nifco’s 3D printer, something that will be used for prototypes.

Paul Butler, chief executive of the North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA), a newly-formed cluster set up to spur on the development of the sector in the region, was one of the guests invited to see the new machine being unveiled.

He said: “Investment on this scale only serves to demonstrate just how confident Nifco UK – and its parent company Nifco Inc – is in the strength of the automotive sector in this part of the world. It’s a major vote of confidence in the company, and will being an added dimension to the work the business is able to undertake for the OEMs it has contracts to support.”