Manufacturer of power equipment, AAF Power & Industrial, has invested more than £1m in its Cramlington site as part of a five year development plan.
The AAF strategy aims to develop its product range and expand into new markets. The investment of over £1m will help to fund a new research and development centre at the North East site leading to the creation of new jobs and products.
The company, part of the Japanese-owned Daikin Industries since 2006, intends to refine its current range of air filtration, acoustic and pollution control products while extending its technology capabilities. These plans are designed to to support entry into emerging markets like Brazil where the company recently a new sales office. Increasing sales in the Middle East is also a strategic goal.
The recent construction and opening of the R&D centre has already created around eight new jobs and is set to result in a further 20 jobs over the next two to three years. This is in addition to AAF’s standard recruitment programme. The company employs around 230 people on site and a total 2600 worldwide spread across production facilities and sales offices in around 260 countries.
Bob Carling, general manager of AAF Power & Industrial at Cramlington, said: “The investment is not simply about R&D but the continued growth of the site and business. We are targeting growth of 20% plus per annum over the coming five years and new technology investment is key to realising these ambitions.”
Dr Tadashi Ohnishi, vice-president of R&D at AAF Power & Industrial, said: “Our focus will be on refining and upgrading high-end filtration equipment. In the future we will be strengthening a total package for our customers – from air filtration, through to acoustic housing and exhaust systems for gas turbines.”
Mr Ohnishi added: “R&D will allow the business to offer greater added value to customers and give us a stronger competitive position in the markets we operate.”
Colin Souter, HR manager Europe, said: “With new owners and a five-year-plan for growth it is important that we have systems that bring the staff along with us and ensure everyone understands the vision and has the skills to drive the business forward.”