A UK manufacturer, responsible for a step change in air compressor technology, has joined forces with a prominent British engineering group to launch a state-of-the-art digital manufacturing facility.
Lontra, the pioneering company behind the Blade Compressor – the first clean-sheet compressor design in nearly a century – has opened a purpose-built manufacturing centre in Napton, Warwickshire, in partnership with Shield Group Engineering.
Lontra said the new facility will support its existing research and development centre and marks the first phase in a planned expansion, in which the Napton-based firm hopes to increase its research, development and manufacturing capacity in London, the Midlands and the north of England.
Lontra also said the move will position the company well in its mission to corner the £69bn global compressed air market.
The company is working with Shield towards a UK Industry and Government investment proposal to fund the expansion, which it values at £70m.
In addition to opening several new assembly plants at ports around the UK, Lontra said it will provide for thousands of British jobs.
The Blade Compressor
Like Stephenson’s miner’s lamp and the Rocket locomotive, the Blade Compressor promises revolutionary benefits.
Heavy industry depends upon compressors to deliver power to manufacturing lines, drive furnaces and convey materials. Collectively such compressors account for 10% of the world’s industrial electricity consumption.
For 60 years, improvements in efficiency have been measured in single percentage figures, the Blade Compressor as the first clean-sheet design in 80 years, offers a 20% reduction in energy consumption.
“I’m delighted to be able to announce the opening of this state-of-the-art digital manufacturing facility here in the Midlands, taking advantage of the world class talent in the area, to power the next phase of growth,” said Lontra CEO and founder, Steve Lindsey.
“Lontra is now incredibly well-positioned to address the £69bn global market for compressed air solutions and we continue to develop high value and exportable technologies, products and services.”
Shield Group Engineering supply components to Caterpillar, Cummins, Aston Martin, Borg Warner, Ford and JCB.
By Rory Butler, Digital Journalist
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*Image courtesy of Lontra