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Spanwall invests in new specialist equipment as part of £1.5m development plan

Architectural facades manufacturer, Spanwall, has installed three mew major pieces of specialist equipment as part of a £1.5m investment aimed at meeting growing international demand for its products.

Spanwall says the new state of the art Bystronic CNC Press Brakes and Stud Welding machines will assist with reducing lead-times, improve quality, and significantly increase overall capacity from the company’s Belfast manufacturing facility.

Spanwall’s Managing Director, Keith Toner said the investment was being made in order to meet “unprecedented demand” for the company’s range of specialist architectural facades that have been used throughout the world.

Keith Toner, Managing Director, Spanwall + Some of the new equipment in which Belfast facades firm, Spanwall has invested. 

“Spanwall has provided specialist cladding solutions on many signature buildings from Belfast to Barbados, Dublin to Amsterdam and from South Africa to Saudi Arabia, specified by architects and designers working on behalf of brands including Google, Apple, Microsoft, Guinness, British Airways and Audi.  One of its most recognisable projects is the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast, which last month celebrated its 10th anniversary, where Spanwall’s fin-like facades were utilised.  In recent years, as our reputation has grown, so has demand for our products. We are committed to ensuring that our lead-times – that have been under pressure for some time now – are reduced as much as possible. This significant investment programme that includes capital expenditure, additional human resource and an overhaul of our entire manufacturing process, is aimed at addressing this.”

Keith Toner said the Bystronic machines – for folding and bending sheet metal – will be used to create complex architectural façade metalwork panels. Boasting the latest CNC controls and inputs, they will deliver repeat parts with a high level of accuracy and speed.

He added: “The CNC stud welder, which we believe is one of the largest of its kind in the UK and Ireland, will provide a means of invisibly joining metal panels. This new machine allows for the automatic placement of the welded studs around 10 times faster that the manual process that was previously used.

“With the support of our private equity investors, Cordovan Capital, we are committed to growing our footprint throughout the UK, Ireland and beyond. This initial investment package in leading edge technology, along with further capital investment plans, will enable us to respond to market demand for our facades in a timely manner and meet our strategic objective of doubling our turnover over the next three years.​”

Spanwall has been characterised by resilience over its 55-year history. Starting as an engineering company working within the agricultural sector, it has faced many challenges, pivoted several times, and now is the number one facades manufacturer in Ireland, operating from a 7,500 m2 factory on the outskirts of Belfast.

In a post-Grenfell era where facades and cladding must be capable of passing the most rigorous fire tests, Spanwall’s track record in quality speaks for itself. As well as holding ISO9001 Quality Management mark and the coveted CWCT certification, Spanwall is a past winner of the prestigious European Aluminium Awards. 

Spanwall is committed to minimising the environmental impact of its manufacturing processes and has its own robust sustainability policy. 

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