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No wrench to move premises

Norbar Torque Tools has officially opened the doors to its 11,150 sq m facility on Wildmere Road in Banbury. John Brodey, son of founder Bill Brodey and Chairman of the holding company, led the celebration, alongside noteworthy individuals from the region. Andy Pye attended the opening and toured the new facility with Managing Director Neill Brodey


he new facility ismore than twice the size of the old premises in Beaumont Road, and comprises almost 2,000 sqmof office space andmore than 9,000 sqmfor the production facilities. Fromthe new site,

Norbar will continue to produce high-quality torque measurement products formarket sectors which include transport, petrochemical and energy generation. Home to nearly 300 people, the new premises is

designed and constructed to provide a positive working environment and benefits froma number of sustainable features. As such, the heating and cooling – designed tomaintain the entire factory at constant temperature – is provided by air source heat pumps; 10 per cent of the electricity consumed throughout the building is generated by solar photovoltaic panels on the roof. Natural light from the large skylights provides a bright working environment, and when artificial illumination is required, it is provided by LED panels controlled by lux andmotion sensors. Following a tour of the new facility, Conservative

MP for North Oxfordshire, Victoria Prentis, said: “It is wonderful to have seen the impressive outcome of significant investment by a localmanufacturer, and their continued sales success globally.” One crucial development within the new facility is

a larger calibration laboratory, which operates within strict climatic conditions. The laboratory has been approved for torquemeasurement between 0.005 and 108,500Nm; it is accredited by the United KingdomAccreditation Service (UKAS), to ensure competence and traceability ofmeasurement. Norbar claims to be the only torque equipment manufacturer able to offer accredited torque tool and instrument calibration services to the original factory standard across four continents via its

42 /// Environmental Engineering /// December 2016

 Editor Andy Pye seen touring the new Norbar plant, along with other visitors and dignitaries

similar laboratories in the USA, Singapore, India and China. Commenting on the new laboratory, Norbar

Torque ToolsManaging Director Neill Brodey said: “Everything that we do in the company relies on the knowledge that our torque standards are correct. The additional space and improved climate control will allow us to continue to develop our calibration capabilities and to further improve the support we provide to our customers.” Brodey says that 36 per cent of the company’s

current output goes to Europe,mainly Germany and Italy, and Norbar is fearful of the effect of a (say) 9 per cent tariff on its products if the UK should lose access to the singlemarket.He says that one way of turning this situation round is to the cost out of the product by increasing the level of automation in the UK factory, and is looking at collaborative robotics as a possible new initiative. In addition, some components which aremade in the Far Eastmay have to be brought in-house, if the value of the pound slides. EE

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