Telford-based Protolabs is planning a £5 million expansion programme to meet the growing demand for rapid manufacturing.
The digital manufacturer of custom prototypes and low-volume production parts is building a bespoke 4,645m2
extension at its Halesfield facility to house at least 50 additional CNC machines and 20 injection moulding presses.
It works with thousands of product designers and engineers around Europe every year, and this investment will help it to meet the demand for ‘speed to market’ from clients in the automotive, aerospace, medical, electronics and heavy-industry sectors.
To support the expansion, the company will also create 60 new high-skill jobs over the course of the next two years.
Bjoern Klaas, Protolabs Europe managing director (www.protolabs.co.uk
), said: “The focus now is on speed and making sure that new products and components are either first to market or ready when the end customer needs them.
"We are ideally set up to meet this requirement, with the combination of our design and analysis team, bespoke production software and — once the expansion is complete — around 300 CNC milling, CNC turning and plastic injection moulding machines at our disposal. Then we have our ‘state of the art’ 3-D printing facility in Germany.
"We are confident that our recent growth will continue. The expansion of our factory gives us an extra 16% of capacity and — importantly — the level of technology that we need to help us reach our five-year target.
"At the moment, we employ over 440 people in Telford, and we expect to reach more than 500 employees between now and the end of 2021.
"We are actively seeking people with the right skills that fit the Protolabs culture.”