Insights

Washington Metalworks Celebrate Their 35th Anniversary

17th February 2020

It’s already an exciting year for us at Washington Metalworks, because February marks our company’s 35th anniversary! As well as celebrating with plenty of cake, we’ll be taking part in industry exhibitions, investing in more state-of-the-art machinery and onboarding a new generation of sheet metalwork apprentices.

We’re proud of how far we’ve come. What began as a two-man team in a 520 square-foot workshop is now a multi-million-pound business, spanning a 130K square-foot factory and employing 220 people. We’re showing no signs of slowing down because, in 2019, we were recognised as one of the North East’s fastest-growing businesses.

Our commitment to investments is the secret to our ever-growing success. Always making sure we’re at the forefront of evolving technology, we’ve invested significantly in equipment and training over our 35 years of business. We’ve compiled one of the world’s most advanced collection of Trumpf sheet metal manufacturing machinery, built a £1m in-house paint plant and developed a talented, highly trained workforce that can facilitate large-scale projects for a vast range of industries.

The past few years have seen our biggest investments to date. We produced a £4m programme that welcomed our Trumpf Trubend Robotic Bending Cell (AKA Robbie the Robot), the world’s fastest bending cell and one of the only 4 in the UK. To unleash Robbie’s full potential, our team enrolled in an in-depth training course which took place at Trumpf’s training centre in Germany.  

“I believe our forward-thinking ethos has facilitated Washington Metalworks’ 35-year success. By investing in the latest technology and the best team, we’re committed to continually improving our performance across all aspects of the business. For us, our plant and people come together to provide an unrivalled service that’s never satisfied with substandard results,” says our Commercial Director, Paul McGowan. 

This year, we’re expanding our fleet of sheet metal manufacturing equipment even further. The addition of our robotic welder will automate our welding process so that projects are completed faster and more accurately than ever before. We’ll also be lifting the veil from our Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System, which will help to improve cost and time efficiencies throughout the business.

It’s not just machinery and technology that will be growing in 2020. We’ll be expanding our sheet metalwork team by recruiting a new wave of apprentices. Sharing our knowledge with new staff is how we’re able to build a strong, skilled team who are aligned to Washington Metalworks’ high standards and forward-thinking ethos. It’s how we’ve formed a passionate, highly experienced management team, as 60% began their careers with us working on the shop floor. In fact, Kieran Dixon, our Junior Contract Manager, earnt his promotion just one year after completing his apprenticeship. We can’t wait to welcome the new apprentices who will continue to drive the business forward in the future.

After successfully exhibiting at Railtex last year, we’ve added more industry events to our schedule in 2020. Coinciding with the official date of our 35th anniversary, we’ll be attending the Manufacturing and Electronics Exhibition in Farnborough. We’ll be discussing our machinery and services with fellow attendees, demonstrating Washington Metalworks’ ability to deliver robust sheet metal manufacturing projects to various industries. 

Our Commercial Manager, Graeme Wales, says: “With one eye firmly focused on the future, Washington Metalworks is a motivated team who refuse to be left behind in a fast-paced industry. As a manager who’s been part of the business for 12 years, I’m proud of how far we’ve come, and I can’t wait to see what the future brings. We’re always investing, always training and always tailoring our services to the demands of today. I’m honoured to be a part of such a progressive company like ours.”

To find out how our advanced machinery, skilled team and 35 years’ worth of experience can help your sheet metalwork project, contact us today.