All systems go
Elmleigh Electrical Systems will look back on its first 12 months as a limited company with some pride, having been involved with many significant projects for recognised blue chip companies
Boasting a lineage that dates back over two decades, Elmleigh Electrical Systems was established in 1984 in recognition of a need for electrical system integration. The business became a limited company last year and continues specialising in electrical engineering systems, material handling and system integration. Its ability to oversee a project from concept to completion is a key strength and has been integral to securing contracts with high profile businesses in a variety of sectors, particularly within the food industry.
As well as working with such well-known names as the PepsiCo group, United Biscuits and Ishida Europe, its most recent project was carried out for Walkers Snack Foods – its most valued customer of almost 30 years. This project was one in which the Elmleigh employees were required to utilise a great deal of their significant skill-set and know-how, as company director, Simon Sliwinski, explains: “It involved the replacement of machinery within a working plant at a Walkers Crisps factory, which meant we were working within an environment with five production lines that were operational 24 hours a day.
“We went into the facility, removed machinery and then replaced it, all while working within tight time constraints and during production. What was important was that we ensured that all the machines were back up and running and ready for extended production when the customer required. It was quite challenging as we were operating lift and shift equipment at the same time the plant was still being used as a place of work. We also ensured that the machinery was delivered on time via our transport. In addition we also 38carried out mechanical modifications to existing steel structures within the factory during the shutdown period to allow the machinery to be installed.”
Challenging work indeed but, given the regularity with which the company’s personnel completes such projects, the company has become increasingly adept at completing on budget and on time. “We’re carrying out these types of tasks on a regular basis,” Simon states. “So we are used to working effectively in pressurised, production locations and dealing with demands such as ongoing assembly and customer specified deadlines. One of this company’s key attributes is its ability to deliver to a set date. When a client says they need us to start on a Friday morning at 6am and it has to be finished before they re-open on Monday morning at 6am, we always deliver – that is a very important factor when working in the industries we do.”
The fact that this latest contract has not been the first time Elmleigh has worked with Walkers Crisps adds weight to Simon’s words. In fact, this latest project follows on from a successful contract between the two just last year. “We produced a complete crisp production line for Walkers late last year that incorporated a process system, primary packaging system and multi packing system. It was their most up-to-date crisp production line to date and arguably one of the most technically advanced in the world, because they are at the forefront of technology. There really isn’t anybody in the market to our knowledge that invests in its production in quite the same way,” he comments.
While it may be true to say that a great deal of the company’s success has come from working with blue-chip customers from the food and beverage industry, Simon is keen to stress that Elmleigh also has proven credentials in other areas of business: “What we are is an electrical systems company, so we deal predominantly with electrical mechanical work and the majority of that is within the food industry. That has become the bulk of our work but we wouldn’t want to be pigeonholed into just that market. As a company we provide the full package for most industrial applications. As an example it is common for us to take a customers’ functional design specification and complete a design and build package. This commonly includes bespoke manufactured stainless steel IP65 control panel enclosures, complete with field mounted operator interface touch screen terminals, to which we have installed our own operating interface software. We also complement this service with mechanical, electrical & pneumatic installation of plant and machinery including low-pressure ZLP conveyor systems. We work actively with our customers, developing and installing new energy efficient systems to contribute to carbon footprint reduction. It’s more about ‘Control System Automation’ and we are always looking to diversify and attract new customers.”
Should those new customers be suitably enticed – and there seems no reason why that shouldn’t be the case – the business will be able to deal with their demands in the traditionally prompt fashion. This is because a new facility is being developed that will be suitably equipped to support the company’s ambitious expansion plans.
Detailing the developments, Simon says: “We’ve bought a new facility which we’re due to move to soon. We’re currently in an 8000sq ft facility and this will be 14,000 sq ft, which will not just offer us more room but also more manufacturing capacity. Furthermore, we are investing in new equipment to allow us more control and more flexibility over our manufacturing and resources, as well as our ability to continue to deliver a cost effective and prompt package to customers. The facility will allow us to carry out a significant amount of internal manufacturing and increased pre-building of customers’ plants and machinery. Ultimately, we will be free to take on bigger projects, benefit from the enlarged facilities and deliver more services to all our customers.”
The benefits don’t stop there, as aside from the clear advantages of the expansion, the move to the new location will allow Elmleigh to cut logistical and manufacturing costs. This in turn will have a positive impact on the environment – the importance of which cannot be overstated. “We’ll be able to resource most of our items under one roof as opposed to externally sourcing these products. There will be less driving around in our vehicles and fewer resources used externally to make the products, which will be significant improvements for us.
“Our mechanical manufacturing will also be greatly improved and we are going to be investing in fabrication machinery to complement the electrical element of the business. That’s not to say that we don’t want to continue with mechanical engineering at the moment because we certainly do. We’ll continue with all our present operations and more besides – the difference is that it will take place at our own facility as opposed to outsourcing all the time,” Simon comments.
With business opportunities looking positive, the new facility looks set to provide Elmleigh with the platform for a promising future, as Simon concludes: “We are particularly excited to be moving to the new facility in January 2009. With our flexible and committed workforce we’ll continue to be committed to providing quality as we always have, enhanced with this opportunity to really step the company up a gear.”
Accredited to ECA & ‘Safe Contractor’