Siemens in Leeds has announced an additional £1m investment, having almost doubled turnover in the six years since it relocated from Bradford to its current site.
According to Siemens Leeds, the injection will support a new service cell for rail fleet gearbox overhauls and will help bolster local investment in the supply chain, as well as create up to 15 jobs over the coming five years.
In the past two and a half years, Siemens has invested £2.5m across its Leeds factory and steadily grown its workforce to around 65 people. The award-winning site is currently recruiting for more service engineers to work on wind turbines and plans to take on three more people for the newly created rail service cell.
Since moving to its purpose-built site in Stourton in 2010, this Siemens assembly and servicing centre has become a flagship for UK manufacturing growth. Originally assembling and servicing large mechanical drive units (gear units, motors, couplings), the site quickly developed and expanded its focus to take on much more, particularly in the past two years.
Rail coupling and wind turbine servicing are the key areas at the heart of this growth in Leeds, with a completely new team being created for rail servicing in 2014.
The engineering team soon developed more efficient ways of working, reducing the number of service hours to rebuild a rail motor unit without compromising specification, and achieving 100% on-time in full delivery. The new gearbox service cell is hoped to further expand this area.
Several long-term rail industry service contracts have been established, expected to underpin and secure the future for the Leeds workforce for decades to come. Additionally, most UK onshore wind turbines currently in operation feature a mechanical gearbox, with around 50% Siemens gearboxes – all of which require periodic servicing.
Engineers have also been trained by Siemens in Leeds to service the growing number of offshore wind turbines. Other Leeds contracts for built units are for significant export orders in many different industry sectors, from mining to renewables.
Siemens Leeds general manager Simon Nadin explained: “We have a really committed team here at Leeds and their innovative ideas have helped us grow much faster, from more efficient ways of working to sending zero waste to landfill and one of the strongest safety cultures within this Siemens business unit.”
The Leeds factory is described as a leading example of best practice, with lean manufacturing techniques, a highly efficient workforce and tailor-made value added services for customers. Siemens Leeds is also on a drive to localise its supply chain even more over the next year; the unit already has long-term links with several bespoke suppliers in the West Yorkshire region.
Andy Tüscher, EEF region director for Yorkshire and the Humber, commented: “This is a great example of ongoing local commitment from a global manufacturer and is good news going forward for Leeds, Yorkshire and the UK. With the local university technical college [UTC] now established, homegrown engineering talent can be more easily sourced for the future.”