Lincolnshire-based Tong Engineering
, a manufacturer of high quality vegetable handling equipment, has announced the completion and operation of a new manufacturing facility in Spilsby. The £3.6 million building is part of a two-phase project on the seven-acre site and marks a new milestone in the company’s continuing growth and development programme.
Edward Tong, Tong Engineering managing director, said: “At the beginning of the year, we knew that 2020 was set to be a landmark year for us. Opening a new factory after 90 years’ of business and what seems like 90 extensions to our existing factory, was always going to be very exciting.
“However, we simply couldn’t have imagined how 2020 has actually unfolded. While the last few months have been somewhat challenging, as we have adapted our working procedures to ensure a safe and sustainable manufacturing environment, we feel very fortunate that we have been able to continue our business operations and expansion plans.
“We are delighted that operation has commenced at our new factory, even if the grand opening we had planned has had to been postponed slightly.”
The new purpose-built first-phase manufacturing facility, which stands at over 126m long x 24m wide x 11m high, has significantly more production capacity than both of the company’s existing factories.
Among the new site’s ‘state of the art’ facilities are two 5-ton overhead cranes, new shot-blasting and powder coating chambers, and an advanced stock control system with fully automated storage lift. The new factory also features expanded office space, a new staff canteen and flexible meeting space for internal and client meetings.
Mr Tong added: “Space has been at the highest premium within our production process for quite some time at our primary factory. As our business has grown, so too has the equipment that we manufacture.
“The new factory is dedicated to our assembly process, and with the significant increase in height, this has allowed us to dramatically advance our lifting capacity and assembly capabilities with the installation of the heavy duty overhead cranes.”
“They are already playing a vital part in creating very safe and streamlined production flow and are one of the most prominent and widely-popular assets at the new factory.”
Mr Tong continued: “Another new and very notable system which has transformed our stores department is our investment in a highly intelligent parts storage lift. The compact and clever design of the lift means that that we are really maximising the height of the factory; with a height of 9m and a footprint of only 4m x 3m, we can store over 55m2
of stock items and parts.
Mr Tong explained: “It is staggering to think of the storage space this has saved, while removing the need for access equipment and simplifying the parts picking process. At the touch of a screen, the storage system presents the correct ‘shelf’ to user level for quick and easy access to thousands of parts which can be stored by machine type or project, for very efficient retrieval of parts.”
The company is now able to increase production capacity further as it has added the shot-blasting and powder coating processes at the new facility, ensuring increased flexibility as well as quick turnarounds and the highest quality finish on all Tong products.
He concluded: “We are already enjoying the considerable advancements and efficiencies that our new factory is bringing to our production, assembly and quality control processes; it has transformed these aspects of our business and will ensure the continued development of our advanced and innovative range of vegetable handling equipment.
“The support of a £500,000 grant from the Greater Lincolnshire Growth Fund and East Lindsey District Council has been invaluable in making our growth ambitions a reality. As we continue with our expansion plans, we are looking forward to finalising the design of the second-phase building, which is scheduled to follow soon.”