Nissan has overcome a critical lack of space at its Sunderland plant by investing in a temporary building, which has allowed it to accommodate the production of its brand new electric LEAF.
The 1,966sqm building is being used to store finished axles for the company’s Juke and Qashqai models, as well as the LEAF, which started rolling off the production lines at the end of last month.
Last year the Sunderland factory, which is one of British manufacturing’s success stories, built more than 510,000 vehicles – a UK car industry record. Its success is the result of heavy investment in new production facilities which now means that space at the 750 acre plant, opened in 1986, is at a premium – which caused a problem when it came to accommodating the LEAF.
Darrell Stansfield, senior engineer at Nissan Sunderland plant, said: "Five years ago we extended the axle plant to accommodate Qashqai production but in order to increase production further we needed to find further space to install two new welding lines.
"We decided we would use the space currently used to store the axles, which meant we needed to find somewhere else to keep them in turn. We considered two options: an extension to the existing plant or storing the parts off-site, neither of which proved suitable."
Darrell was aware that some of Nissan’s contractors used temporary buildings at Sunderland and contacted their supplier, Spaciotempo, which makes and supplies the buildings at its Midlands headquarters.
He said: "I knew that it wouldn’t take long to erect and could prove to be a cost-effective option."
In both cases, Darryl was proved right and within weeks the aluminium-framed temporary building, which was installed on a specially made concrete base, was in place.
To ensure that it fitted in with Nissan’s development policy of dividing the plant’s floor-space into 18m span bays, the temporary building’s 1,944sqm framework was created in bespoke six metre sections, rather than Spaciotempo’s standard five metres.
Nissan is the latest car-maker to have invested in one of Spaciotempo’s temporary building, following Peugeot, Land Rover and Aston Martin.
Scott Jameson, director of sales at Spaciotempo, said: "Having already supplied a number of Nissan’s contractors, we are very pleased to have been able to provide Nissan with extra, tailor-made storage capacity.
"Expansion is excellent news for a company, but running out of room can be a real problem, because of the cost of building new facilities, re-locating or storing stock elsewhere.
"However, if the company has a spare patch of land, a temporary building can solve these problems at a fraction of the cost, with a minimum of disruption and within a matter of weeks."