• • • EDITOR’S CHOICE • • •

Harwin opens £3.8m smart manufacturing facility to address increasing demand for Hi-Rel connectors


arwin has started production in its new manufacturing facilities at the Portsmouth headquarters in the South of England. Providing an additional

1,200m² of factory floor, the new facility is enabling the company to quickly and significantly scale up production of its award-winning high reliability (Hi-Rel) connectors to meet market requirements. The total investment into the new facility is £3.8m; £1m of this brings in state-of-

the-art equipment, with the last few machines arriving within the next 12 months. The new equipment uses advanced Industry 4.0 technology to maximise efficiency. “Harwin leads technological progression in Hi-Rel interconnect components and

the growth in customer demand means we have yet again exceeded our existing production capacity” said Paul McGuinness, Director of Operations at Harwin. “This investment has come at a crucial time, as the additional factory space and equipment enables us to ramp up production to meet high volume demands very quickly. The extra space also gives us over six month’s supply of raw materials held onsite, preparing us for unforeseen supply chain challenges relating to Brexit and avoiding any order delays to our customers.” The company has a policy of replacing production equipment every 5 years to keep up with the latest developments in machinery advancements, maintaining reliability and operational effectiveness. In 2016, a new build 3,000m² factory was opened, and an R&D Centre and Apprentice Training Hub was set up in 2019. This latest investment also includes a new training area to support staff with ongoing professional development, encouraging advances in skills and job flexibility as the company continues to grow.

eEnergy Group signs partnership with Venture Lighting Europe


Energy Group plc, an "Energy Efficiency-as-a-Service" (EEaaS) business in the UK and Ireland, is pleased to announce it has signed

an exclusive OEM partnership with Venture Lighting Europe Limited. From its manufacturing facility in Castle Donington, Venture Lighting

will provide eLight, the Group's Light-as-a-Service" (LaaS) business, with eLight-branded LED technology on exclusive terms. eLight project manages the switch to cheaper, more efficient LED lighting for schools and businesses in return for a fixed monthly service fee, thereby avoiding any costly upfront payments. The partnership will give eLight its own dedicated, vertically

integrated supply chain as well as technology which meets the specific requirements of the business. Chosen after a tender process which included some of Europe's leading OEM manufacturers, with a 35-year heritage, Venture Lighting is part of Advanced Lighting Technologies. This US-based group has 600 employees and an annual revenue of over $130 million. The Group believes that an integrated supply chain for eLight will

maximise operating efficiencies and is a significant market differentiator. Venture Lighting will hold dedicated stock lines for eLight, significantly reducing the time that it takes to complete installation projects. As well as providing eLight customers with an end to end solution, the improved economics will help the Group maintain or improve margins by enabling eLight to subsidise the cost of finance within its LaaS proposals. This is expected to increase the conversion rate of customers from proposal to signed contract. Furthermore, an integrated supply chain helps support the future roll

out of the eLight App. eLight has developed a bespoke audit app which allows a client proposal to be automatically generated directly from data capture. Developed to allow third-party electrical contractors the ability to offer the eLight LaaS solution to the SME market, the app will create a whole new market opportunity for the Group. These contractors will be able to quickly access the dedicated eLight stock held by Venture Lighting for their own client projects. One of the key reasons the Group selected Venture Lighting was because of its UK manufacturing and warehousing facility.


profit organisation established to provide the UK’s first strategic vaccine development and advanced manufacturing capability, VMIC has taken a leading role in advising Government teams on vaccines manufacturing in response to COVID-19. Based at Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire, the organisation’s new 7,400m2 specialist manufacturing centre will enable vaccine developers to refine their processes, prepare vaccines for clinical trials, and scale-up for mass production in the event of any future public health emergencies. This Government-funded project was already planned prior to the pandemic, with completion originally scheduled for 2022. The urgent need to


produce vaccines at scale to fight future pandemics has prompted the project handover to be moved forward by 12 months. A Government grant of £93million was awarded to VMIC in May 2020 to fast track the build and expand its manufacturing capacity. The highly

specialist facility will form a key element of the Government’s future pandemic response and, when completed, will be capable of producing 70 million pandemic vaccine doses in just 4-6 months. With more than 18 years’ experience of delivering complex pharmaceutical environments, BES will leverage the expertise of its multidisciplinary team

to provide design coordination and internal fit-out of pre-clinical development laboratories, vaccine manufacturing suites, cold storage and filling areas. Working collaboratively with principal contractor, Glencar Construction, BES will provide integrated process, architectural, mechanical and electrical services to meet the challenging programme and complete the state-of-the-art centre to the highest standards. Steve Marsh, managing director of BES commented: “Effective vaccines play an important role in public health, and the new VMIC facilities will

enable the UK to respond quickly to new health risks, including pandemics, by enabling large scale production of vaccines for both clinical use and emergency response.” Eddie McGillycuddy from Glencar Construction said: “Delivering this project will be a major milestone in achieving improved resilience to the

pandemic and to any future public health challenges. We are delighted that BES has joined our team and we look forward to rapid progress on site.” COO of VMIC, Chris Lucas, added: “Delivering the VMIC facility during a pandemic is challenging, and the need to fast-track the project by a year has resulted in a level of complexity unparalleled in construction. With their level of expertise, BES will form an important part of the collaborative group delivering this project of national importance.” ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING • OCTOBER 2020 45

ES, the specialist in design and construction of advanced environments for the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, has been appointed to fit out the new Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (VMIC), which is being fast-tracked for early completion in 2021 due to COVID-19. A not for

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