Metal finishing specialists Hard Anodising has opened a new factory on the same site that was ravaged by fire last year.
Last August the company’s site on the Firs Industrial Estate, Kidderminster was gutted by fire. The fire broke out soon after the first shift started work, spreading through the company’s second largest factory, resulting in £1.6m worth of damage.
More than 40 fire-fighters from across Worcestershire were called in to tackle the blaze that rose up to 100ft.
Phil Bayliss, managing director, was delighted to say that the company was ready to return to full production, saying, “We are now in a better position compared to where we were before.” He added: “The fire has given us the opportunity to lay out the factory in line with modern standards and practices, and we have spent a lot of money on fitting it out with brand new plant and equipment.”
The fire, believed to have started in the air extraction system, left the roof of the factory collapsed and most of the plant’s equipment either damaged or destroyed.
“We had just begun work that Monday morning when suddenly all hell broke loose and there were great plumes of black smoke everywhere,” recalled managing director Phil Bayliss. He continued, “The building was immediately evacuated and thankfully everybody got out OK.”
Local fire services commended the company’s on-site fire protection measures. A protective bund around the site prevented hazardous chemicals from overflowing into the local drainage system and the nearby Staffordshire and Worcestershire canals.
While the £1.6m in damage was covered by the company’s insurers, business interruption led to a loss of trade. Hard Anodising managed to avoid making staff reductions to its 40-strong workforce by moving them to its other factory on the site. All staff have now returned to the new factory.
After the fire Hard Anodising redesigned the layout of its production areas, boosting capacity. Mr Bayliss commented: “All this will improve our workflow, making us more productive and efficient, and make our already quick turnaround times even quicker. The new-look factory is also a much more attractive facility to show our customers.”