Barden Corporation announces redundancies

Posted on 16 Jan 2015 by The Manufacturer

A South West manufacturer is making 20 redundancies, but has stressed the firm is still highly profitable.

However, specialised bearing maker Plymouth-based The Barden Corporation (UK) Ltd said it regretfully had to make the job losses to keep costs in line with expected output.

A statement released also stressed the number of people being made redundant is only about 5% of a workforce of more than 400 at its Estover plant.

In a statement, the company, that has won multiple regional business awards, said: “It is with regret that The Barden Corporation has had to announce this month that we are entering into a redundancy process which will result in a small head count reduction. Approximately 5% of the workforce will be affected by this process.

“We must make it clear that this rationalisation of the workforce is necessary to bring the company’s costs in line with expectations of output.

“However, despite this regrettable situation the company is otherwise optimistic of a successful year ahead with a balanced order intake across our markets planned.”

The Barden Corporation produces super-precision bearing systems. Between 1998 and 2013 it saw steady growth with sales rising from £23m to nearly £46m. The Barden Corporation (UK) started life in 1947 as EMO Instrumentation.

Just over a year ago the firm celebrated production of its one millionth deep groove ceramic bearing, a product which goes into the pumps that create vacuums in sterile plants making technology such as semiconductors, solar panels and touch screens.

Designers at the Estover factory invented the bearing in 2002 when they were approached by a major manufacturer, with the eventual product earning the firm £8million a year in sales.

The vacuum pump bearing went on to represent 20% of Barden’s bearing output. The company also produces bearings for applications including aerospace, turbomolecular pumps, medical instruments, machine tools and motorsport which are found in cars, aircraft, the nuclear industry, missiles and satellites, for example.

Barden is part of the Germany-headquartered multi-national Schaeffler Group, who bought it in 2001. Schaeffler has 76,000 employees in about 180 locations in more than 50 countries, and a turnover in 2012 of €11.1bn.