On the 9 June, Guhring officially opened its new 60,000sq ft manufacturing facility at Birmingham's Advanced Manufacturing Hub. Dr Joerg Guehring, Chairman and CEO, Guhring Group, officially opened the new UK headquarters of the German-owned cutting tool manufacturer.
The official opening of the £12m facility was attended by over 200 guests that included major manufacturing and tool distribution companies; the newly elected mayor of the West Midlands Combined Authority, Andy Street; Councillor John Clancy; the leader of Birmingham Council, David Atkinson; the UK head of Manufacturing at the Lloyds Banking Group; Professor Carl Chinn from the University of Birmingham and Birmingham born actor David Harewood.
The event started with a poignant moment when the late Yvonne Clune, a member of Guhring management team, was remembered with a minute silence and a prayer from Reverend Philip Knott. Yvonne was instrumental in the development of the new facility, and she had located the 3.5-acre site for the new Guhring UK headquarters. Unfortunately Yvonne passed on 1 June, and didn't get the opportunity to enjoy the fruit of her labour.
During the speeches, Guhring managing director, Mike Dinsdale reflected on the hard work of everyone involved and said: "The UK was Guhring's first location for a subsidiary outside of Germany and now the group has over 50 similar production and service sites around the world. Guhring's new UK headquarters will allow the company to further expand its manufacturing, regrinding and R&D offering to its UK and global client base. I cannot thank our staff and the local authorities enough for their hard work and support in making this new site possible. Reflecting upon where we have come from and what we have all achieved, it is truly remarkable."
With regard to the local economy, the new facility will safeguard 75 existing jobs and create an additional 50 manufacturing jobs in the near future. These highly skilled jobs will enable Guhring to cement its reputation as one of Europe's leading aerospace and automotive cutting tool suppliers. When Guhring UK was established in 1973, it was a sales, stocking and distribution outlet for the German manufactured product range. Now, the company is one of the UK's largest manufacturers of solid carbide and PCD cutting tools.
The exponential growth that has resulted in the opening of the 60,000sq ft factory is credit to the extensive services that incorporate tool manufacture, coating, balancing, re-grinding and re-coating. This extends to in-house manufacture of special tools and projects, application and engineering services as well as complete tool management. Added to all this, the new facility stocks over £2.5m of standard products that are manufactured in Germany and available for next day UK delivery. This is complemented by an additional £1m of special tooling stock that is manufactured in Birmingham.
Discussing the new manufacturing site, Guhring UK sales manager, Dave Hudson said: "The UK team has worked tirelessly over the last four years to arrive at this point. From a customer perspective, we have the capacity to hold more standard and special stock than ever before. We have also opened a demonstration and training area that has been equipped with a Nakamura Tome AS200L turning centre and a Bridgeport XR760 machining centre. The collaboration between Guhring and Engineering Technology Group (ETG) will create a synergy whereby customers of both companies can attend the area to witness product demonstrations and also conduct trials, project run-offs as well as product training and support.
"From a growth perspective, we have already added to our plant list with £2m of new grinding machines, a second coating chamber and a new coolant system. The factory future proofs our business, as we have sufficient room for a lot more machine tools and production capacity. We also have an additional 20,000sq ft of land at the rear of our factory, should we ever need to expand beyond our existing space."
From a local perspective, Mayor Street added: "The West Midlands has an impressive legacy when it comes to advanced manufacturing. From JLR and Rover to Rolls Royce, the region has been, and still is, the home to globally renowned brands. Guhring is the latest manufacturing heavyweight to pick the West Midlands as the UK destination to grow its business and realise its full potential. The West Midlands has unique advantages in its location, its infrastructure and in its talent pool, making it a firm driver of the UK economy and a globally competitive investment destination of choice.”
The leader of Birmingham Council, Councillor John Clancy added: “Birmingham’s Advanced Manufacturing Hub is one of the city’s many economic zones, designed to capitalise on the region’s high value-adding sectors and drive inward investment that creates inclusive economic growth and jobs for all. With Greater Birmingham outperforming every UK region in attracting foreign investors, it is clear our strategy is working.
“Not only is Guhring’s investment testament to this. It highlights the strength of the region’s industrial legacy, the strength of the region’s talented workforce and the potential that exists in the region for growing companies with a bold, global vision.”