Midlands manufacturing outfit AV Birch have started 2017 with a boost from multiple sectors. As the Bank of England raises the growth forecast for the nation, AV Birch are seeing an increase in sales both at home and abroad.
In construction, the timber machinery division have been exporting new equipment to Europe to firms satisfying the appetite for new homes. The orders are coming from start-ups, as well as established businesses investing in new equipment to increase production capacity.
The Birch timber presses and joist systems are suited to both traditional construction methods as well as the modular buildings, which are attracting the attention of housing associations and private house builders at home and abroad.
Still in the construction sector, enquiries and orders for architectural steelwork, walkways and gantries has led to AV Birch to allocate dedicated resource looking specifically at maximising opportunities in this area. Working safely at height is a key driver for change and one which AV Birch have excelled in over the past 20 years.
The lifting and handling part of the business will continue to develop the special purpose lifting solutions already delivered in the medical machinery and glass manufacturing sectors. The innovative use of materials and builds that take place in confined spaces are some of the challenges that have been overcome by the AV Birch team.
In the Automotive sector, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) are forecasting that the UK will be producing 2m vehicles a year by 2020, and AV Birch have been supporting both major motor vehicle manufacturers and parts manufacturers with hydraulic presses and platforms to allow safe access to robot cells & conveyors for maintenance & breakdown. Located a short distance from i54 & the Jaguar Land Rover engine plant, AV Birch are well placed to provide systems and support to the Midlands Engine.
Introduced in 2015, the Automation & Robotics division have been busy developing test rigs and writing software to measure & report results for luxury vehicle parts as well as providing support for existing Robot Cell operators. 2017 will see the firm build on the prestigious partnership agreement with the world-renowned manufacturer of robot systems, Kawasaki.
Some of AV Birch’s biggest projects of 2017 will be in the Rail sector, an area where the company has a huge portfolio of successful projects for industry giants such as Bombardier, Hitachi and Alstom. The latest projects for 2017 include a series of access platforms, each up to 250m in length, to allow engineers to work safely at height on the roof and side of carriages during new train builds. The platforms are designed by the in-house CAD engineers who work closely with engineers ensuring projects are delivered as specified, on time.
Director Graham Clark is encouraged by the start to 2017: “Without doubt it’s the best start to a year we can remember. Where we are today is a reflection of the hard work and innovation of all our team, from the apprentices through to the management. We expect to grow our staff by around 15% again this year to help manage these new orders through to completion.”