JCB have today announced a £2 million investment in machine tools at its Wrexham plant.
JCB Transmissions was set up at a single factory on the Wrexham Industrial Estate in 1978 with less than a dozen employees and now employs more than 450 people at two plants one manufacturing gear boxes and the other axles.
JCB Director and General Manager Stuart Hughes said that the company would be investing more than £2 million in a new, fully-automated axle manufacturing unit capable of producing a maximum of 130 axles a day.
He said: “This is a massive vote of confidence in the Wrexham site by the JCB Group. This is one of the biggest single investments in new machine tools in JCB Transmissions’ history. It will not only help us keep pace with increased demand but also help improve productivity and ensure we remain competitive in the world market.”
The new fully automated axle beam manufacturing cell has been ordered from German company Heller and is capable of producing an axle every 11 minutes which JCB says will increase efficiency by 21 per cent compared to the existing unit.
Preparations for the installation of the new cell are set to get underway in ready for its commissioning in January 2013.
The Wrexham site is also home of International Transmissions Ltd (ITL), which sells transmissions, axles and engine components to third party customers around the world. In 2007 ITL won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise to mark a 134 per cent increase in overseas sales over three years .