DIGGER giant JCB has embarked on an £8 million investment programme at its British manufacturing plants as it gears up for future growth in global markets.
The Rocester-based company is spending the money at JCB’s Midlands and Wales factories, including its Uttoxeter plants, on new machine tools which will further enhance component quality and production efficiency.
One of the biggest single investments is in £4 million worth of machine tools in the hydraulic business unit at the World Headquarters in Rocester.
The new equipment, which will be fully operational next month, includes CNC lathes, friction welders, robotic welding cells and an automated assembly cell.
The introduction of the new machinery will provide an additional 20 per cent production capacity for hydraulic rams – the company said the steel cylinders are integral to JCB’s products and which, through hydraulic power, act as the machine’s ‘muscles’ when lifting, loading and excavating.
Other investments at the World Headquarters include a new machining centre in the backhoe loader business unit and a new machining centre and robot welder in the loadall business unit.
At JCB Heavy Products, in Uttoxeter, more than £1 million has been invested in robot welding equipment which JCB said will increase capacity and enhance quality at the tracked and wheeled excavator factory.
At JCB Transmissions, in Wrexham, a new £2 million fully-automated axle manufacturing unit which is capable of producing a maximum of 130 axles a day, has just been commissioned.
JCB CEO Alan Blake said this is part of the multi-million company’s plans to grow its business by investing heavily in machinery.
He said: “JCB has ambitious plans to grow its business and investing heavily in our manufacturing capability to increase capacity and enhance quality is key to meeting our expansion goals.”
Earlier this month JCB revealed an order for more than 1,000 of its iconic backhoe loaders in a deal to transform the rural economy of Brazil.