The Expanded Metal Company is strengthened by major investment

The Expanded Metal Company is strengthened by major investment

The Expanded Metal Company is set to benefit from major investment totalling up to £1 million over 2018.

The investment programme will include the upgrading of buildings on our 25,000 sqm site in Hartlepool, refurbishing specialist manufacturing equipment, acquiring new machinery and replacing existing lighting with more energy-efficient LED lighting systems. The work is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The investment will support extensive refurbishments to the exterior of the company s facilities in Hartlepool and will help to reduce its carbon footprint by improving insulation throughout the site.

As part of the investment programme, our 75 machine which was commissioned in 1969 and is believed to be one of the widest expanded metal mesh presses in Europe recently underwent an extensive refurbishment.It is one of only a handful of such machines operating across the globe and is highly effective at producing expanded metal mesh for fencing, walkways and ramps, as well as specialist hard materials.

Further refurbishment is planned for the firm's Soenen and Bruck metal expanding presses, and its 4 high metal flattening machine.

The Expanded Metal Company was acquired by US-based private investment firm Empire Investment Holdings from Gibraltar Industries Inc. in 2016. It was previously part of the Expamet group of companies.

In the last two years we have introduced a number of new products to our expanded metal mesh ranges. These include high security gates rated to Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) Loss Prevention Standard (LPS) 1175 Security Rating (SR) 2 and 3, which have been designed to protect critical infrastructure, government buildings and other at-risk sites.

We have also launched a range of products for use in the construction industry, including brick reinforcement mesh, expanded metal laths, vent meshes and bolt boxes, and has developed Square Mesh, a lightweight demarcation and fencing solution.

In addition, we have bolstered our operational, engineering and business development teams and recently recruited a number of apprentices as part of our commitment to building engineering skills in the North East's workforce and developing the next generation of expanded metal mesh specialists.

Philip Astley (pictured), managing director at The Expanded Metal Company said:

"With this investment, Empire Holdings has again demonstrated its commitment to The Expanded Metal Company, Hartlepool and North East manufacturing.

In the last two years the company has made great strides forward in terms of penetrating new markets, providing additional services to current customers and developing our product range, using the vast specialist expertise of our highly committed workforce here in Hartlepool.

This investment programme will help to cement our position as a world-leading expanded metal mesh manufacturer, make our operations more energy efficient and further strengthen our manufacturing capabilities.

We also feel that it s highly important to constantly improve the working environment for our staff and the new investment will support us in doing this.

We're looking forward to seeing the fruits of this work as we move forward through 2018."