Business Secretary Vince Cable visits fast-growing UK machine builder
PUBLISHED: 23 Apr 12
Dr Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, with Mark Gerard of Unison at the MACH exhibition
Unison hosted Dr Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, during a tour of the company's stand at the MACH exhibition in Birmingham. Dr Cable took part in Unison's demonstration of an innovative quick-change tooling system that allows tubular parts manufacturers to set up machines for new production batches in less than three minutes.
Unison is one of the UK's fastest growing machinery builders, manufacturing tube bending equipment at its factory in Scarborough.
During the visit, Dr Cable asked Unison's MD Alan Pickering about the restrictions he faced in expanding his business. Alan Pickering highlighted the difficulty in finding skilled mechanical and electrical engineers as one key factor currently limiting the company's rate of growth. They discussed Unison's own efforts in stimulating youngsters to consider careers in engineering: Scarborough Engineering Week which attracted over 1000 teenage visitors last year - an achievement that Dr Cable applauded.
Unison is a world leader in all-electric tube bending and is widely regarded as one of the industry's innovators. The company's extensive Breeze range of tube bending machines accommodates all types of tubing materials, from mild steel to exotic alloys. It serves users in many industrial sectors including aerospace manufacturing, shipbuilding, automotive production, and at many sub-contract suppliers who supply these industries.
UKTI, the UK government agency for trade and investment, is working with Unison to help the company increase its international business - which already accounts for over half of the company's output. Mark Robson, Regional Director of UKTI for Yorkshire and Humber said: "It's critical that we capitalise on our know-how before other countries can take markets away from us. Unison is a great example of a UK organisation with world-leading technology, and with the help of my worldwide UKTI colleagues we're providing advice to help Unison build international sales networks and export to even more territories."
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