Electrified Automation welcomed Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Kwasi Kwarteng and Ian Liddell-Grainger MP to its Bridgwater factory to highlight how R&D in UK manufacturing needs more support to prevent its economic value being exported overseas.
Managing Director Jim Winchester explained how companies in the early stages of growth routinely end up being saddled with debt when they try to take their business to the next level, which makes them attractive to acquisition and often results in them losing ownership of their IP
Jim said: “The problem for UK manufacturing is that this creates a vacuum in the supply chain and we lose the economic opportunities associated with the scaling-up of new technologies to other countries.” He went on to talk about the skills shortage in the sector and said: “We also need more qualified engineers and technicians to support the expansion of EV technology in the UK.”
Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “It was great to be in Bridgwater this week to visit Electrified Automation alongside Ian Liddell-Grainger MP.
“Firms like Electrified Automation are at the heart of our plan to grow the economy and create good, high-skilled jobs. That is why we are continuing to back our nation of innovators, supporting them in their early stages of growth with innovation funding, and giving them the tools they need to create great British tech.”
Electrified Automation has experienced significant growth in its first year and has a strong order book for 2022. It helps businesses both in the UK and abroad to ramp-up manufacturing of electric motor products with its precision automated technology.
Support from BEIS funded Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) was critical in enabling Electrified Automation to accelerate the development of their technology.
Ian Constance, CEO, APC UK, also attended the visit. He said: “We’re incredibly proud to see what our APC funding has achieved and are looking forward to seeing how Electrified Automation continue to power forward.
“It is a great example of the benefits of investing in low-carbon innovation and strengthening the UK automotive supply chain. Their success is leading to growth and jobs while at the same time helping to decarbonise transport and lower harmful emissions.
“The electric vehicle transition is happening now, so we need to make sure we are supporting UK companies across the whole supply chain, to anchor manufacturing in the UK.”
Top photo from left to right:
* Lloyd Ash, Innovation Director, Electrified Automation * Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State BEIS * Jim Winchester, Managing Director, Electrified Automation * Ian Constance, CEO, APC * Ian Liddell-Grainger, Bridgwater MP
Meet James Wellens, Operations Coordinator here at Electrified Automation. His role is extremely varied as he has a significant contribution to all operational aspects of the business.
James is responsible for ensuring that the necessary parts and equipment arrive on site and on time. He also ensures that our facilities are of a good standard required for project completion.
Prior to joining Electrified, James completed a BEng (Hons) Motorsport Technology degree and managed a race team at a go-kart track.
James was attracted to the role at Electrified after hearing about how we were a new company dedicated to producing innovative technology and are helping the world move towards a greener future.
James is currently working on a wide range of projects from implementing a quality, robust and reliable supply chain, reorganising areas of the facility and introducing new Health and Safety practices.
Speaking about his time at Electrified, James said:
“Over the first year of operating here in Bridgwater, I’ve seen a great change not only in the facility but the business itself.
“I am extremely proud of how far we have come and how we have turned the old ex-plant workshop into a respectable facility, capable of showcasing our machines and our abilities as a business.”
James hopes to gain as much exposure as possible to all the operational facilities at Electrified, covering Quality, Supply Chain, Health and Safety and HR, before eventually progressing to Operations Manager.
Meet Chris Bailey, one of our Mechanical Design Engineers within Electrified’s Automation Department. This role involves creating a concept and following this through to a built and delivered machine.
Chris has been in design close to a decade with a mixed background. He has worked in aerospace, with castings and for automotive companies such as BMW & Ford. This has given him a broad range of experience for managing projects and building working relationships with customers.
Chris was attracted to working at Electrified Automation due to the youth of the company and the challenging projects. He enjoys the fact he can help shape the department and implement changes for the better due to the company not being resistant to change.
A typical day for Chris involves working on machine concepts & prototype tooling, once these projects clear the design gates this work transforms to detailed design work and commissioning activities. He finds great interest in the role due to the innovative solutions and complex problems and problem solving involved.
To carry out the different aspects of his role Chris uses creativity and innovation to the start a project. Once a project is underway different skills such as attention to detail and self-checking become more prevalent. This is supported throughout with good communications and teamwork.
There are three projects underway with Chris based as the lead engineer. Currently all three of them are in the concept stage. This enables him to complete work while prototype tooling is being manufactured, these are
“One of my proudest moments at EA was a customer sign off. You get invested in a concept and believe it is the best solution to the problem. It is very satisfying to a showcase the concept to the customer and overachieve on their expectations.”
Chris hopes to grow with the company and take on more responsibility as opportunities arise. He enjoys mentoring people and leading projects.
Somerset-based Electrified Automation has won a milestone contract with electric motor company Saietta, which will result in a significant increase in production capability and staffing at its site in Bridgwater.
Electrified Automation has developed new technology that transforms the way electric motors can be manufactured at high-volume.
Following a successful floatation on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange in July this year, Saietta Group plc is pursuing an accelerated growth strategy. The contract with Electrified Automation will provide Saietta with equipment and processes that will see them ramp-up production of their axial flux motors, initially for the Asian two and three wheel vehicle market.
Jim Winchester, Managing Director at Electrified Automation, said: “Winning the contract with Saietta within the first year of starting our business is a fantastic achievement for us.
“It will also deliver benefits for the local economy. We have already tripled our team in Bridgwater since the start of the year and we will be recruiting more specialist engineers and technicians as we continue to grow our business.”
Electrified Automation was started by Lloyd Ash in late 2020 after he sold his own successful electric motor business, Ashwoods Electric Motors.
The ambitious company has plans to capitalise on recent government investment to help the automotive, aerospace and off-highway industries transition towards zero emission vehicles.
Jim went on to say: “Government funding has helped provide a springboard for companies throughout the UK to develop new electrification technologies.
“The timing couldn’t be better for us, and we see a huge opportunity for Electrified Automation in supporting these businesses as they take their products to the mass market.”
Saietta’s CEO, Wicher Kist, said: “We have developed a powerful, efficient and compact electric motor for lightweight electric vehicles, but to move into large-scale production we need to automate the manufacturing process.
“The Electrified Automation team has an impressive track record in designing automated machinery, so we know their technology will provide the reliability we need to help us take our motor to a global market.
“Their industry experience will enable us to identify and manage the risks involved as we scale-up production, so we see this as a great partnership opportunity for both businesses.
“Moving to this next stage of our business growth also means we will be significantly increasing staffing at our facilities in the UK.”
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Electrified Automation Ltd
Unit 4 Beech Business Park
Bristol Road, Bridgwater