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Automotive manufacturer TMD Friction secures over £2m of investment

Apr 24, 2023 | Business

Automotive manufacturer TMD Friction has secured over £2m of investment to upgrade three paint lines and technology for some of its grinding machines.

Bosses at the Hartlepool plant put forward a business case to upgrade the paint lines and were successful in securing over £1.3m investment.

UK Engineering Excellence Manager Michael Findlay said: “These new paint lines will make a big difference to our production outputs and will really bolster how efficient we are able to operate.

“Having the best machinery and equipment at our disposal is imperative to us meeting our production targets so this new investment really has come at a crucial time for the business.

“Two of the three paint lines were installed earlier this year, seamlessly moving into live production. They have provided the plant with a safe, compliant and more energy efficient process which is proving to be more reliable with a reduction in scrap waste already evident.”

The third paint line will be installed later this year, completing the Paint Line Modernisation Project.

In addition to the investment in the new paint lines, the Hartlepool plant was also awarded over £400,000 to replace grinding machines with updated technology.

The first phase of this project was installed in orange cell alongside one of the new paint lines, adding to the complexity of the project.

Finally, a new Comec machine will be installed in early 2024, meaning a total investment over the 18-month period of over £2m.

Michael added: ”This further investment has provided the factory with increased flexibility and agility through both its reliability and the simplification of the combined pad handling system, meaning it can encompass a wider range of the product portfolio.

“The project to date has been a huge success with the site already seeing the benefit of the initial upgrades. The project was run by the engineering team and was excellently supported by all onsite functions and external service providers.

“This money secured has provided a real boost to the Hartlepool site and demonstrates the support and backing it has from the wider business to ensure a long and sustainable future.

“The investment in modern, energy efficient machinery also highlights our commitment to the environment and to becoming a world class manufacturing site with a broad manufacturing capability.”

TMD Friction is based at Oakesway Trading Estate in Hartlepool and can produce 95 per cent of the European vehicle pad range for the independent after market and currently manufactures over 400,000 parts per week.

TMD Friction, which has its only UK production facility in Hartlepool with support sites in Warrington, Cleckheaton, Seaton Ross and Darlington, has been making parts for the passenger car aftermarket since 1974 and now employs 485 people at its Hartlepool factory.