Siemens is investing an additional £1 million in its Mechanical Drives factory at Leeds, to expand its capabilities in servicing rail components and in assembling a new range of geared motors.
The investment is an increase in Siemens’ commitment to UK manufacturing and servicing and comes not long after Siemens announced the new factory planned for Hull that will specialise in wind turbine assembly.
The Leeds investment will enable Siemens to service an increasing number of onshore and offshore wind turbines as well as rail motors, couplings, gearboxes and other components, and will in time mean an additional 50 personnel. A total of five people have already been recruited as part of the first investment phase, which focuses on rail motor servicing. The Leeds factory has service contracts of up to 30 years for rail component work, helping to secure the workforce’s future for many years to come.
The Leeds factory will also be the UK base for a new range of highly efficient geared motors called Simogear, which widens Siemens’ bandwidth in competing with other major European geared motor manufacturers. The site also recently achieved zero waste being sent to landfill, another milestone under general manager Simon Nadin and his team.
Simon Nadin commented: “This latest investment in Mechanical Drives underpins Siemens’ huge commitment to UK manufacturing, and is great news for the dedicated team we have. We are already planning for the growth by taking on experienced engineers plus a growing number of young apprentices and we support training programmes like the Leeds City Region’s Employment and Skills initiative, along with Leeds’ bid for a UTC – all of which should help create a bank of UK engineers for the future.”
Meanwhile, the Siemens Leeds factory has completed a five-month project to install an electrical test field as part of the rail motors service commitment, and as Siemens project manager Craig Beech confirmed, it’s all systems go: “We’ve moved lots of existing plant to make way for the new facility and it’s been an exciting challenge with a tight deadline. We’ve sourced locally wherever possible, too, so the acoustic enclosure has come from Wakefield, civil works were carried out by a Leeds company, electrical work by a Rochdale company, cranes and hoists were from Sheffield and air guards came from a company in the Pennines. This project went live in July.”
Helping the Siemens team celebrate the investment on 25 July were invited stakeholders and guests including Leeds Central MP Hilary Benn, who returned to the site after officially opening it in December 2011.