Welsh Economy Secretary opens £multi-million control panel plant

Electrical engineering specialist, LCA Group, has officially opened its new cutting-edge manufacturing facility in Hawarden, North Wales.

Control Panel - The newly installed £500,000 ‘UK-first’ 3D laser machining centre is reportedly one of only seven similar machines in the world – image courtesy of LCA Group.
The move will see the consolidation of two existing LCA Group sites – in Runcorn and Ewloe – under one roof – image courtesy of LCA Group.

According to LCA Group’s managing director, Alan Sheppard, the 35-year old electrical and engineering firm has earmarked 2018 as a critical year for the business.

The move will see the consolidation of two existing LCA Group sites – in Runcorn and Ewloe – under one roof, helping the company to achieve its goal of significantly expanding its service offer to customers around the globe.

The expansion is also expected to create several new roles across the business, particularly in the field of control panel wiring, with a recruitment drive expected to get underway in early 2018.

The facility has been named ‘Gibson House’ in tribute to the famous Dambusters pilot – Guy Gibson – and the thousands of Lancaster and Wellington bombers built close to the site, near Hawarden Airport, during World War II.

The launch event also offered LCA the chance to show off its newly installed £500,000 ‘UK-first’ 3D laser machining centre – reportedly one of only seven similar machines in the world.

The investment in the new Rittal Automation Systems 3D laser machining centre now housed in the Hawarden facility, aims to enable LCA Group to dramatically boost production of its stainless steel control panels.

Traditionally made by hand by experienced electrical engineers, who are all expected to be retained as part of the move to Hawarden, the manufacture of LCA’s leading control panels is essential in a range of industries including nuclear, food manufacturing, power generation, water and utilities, oil and gas, and pharmaceutical.

L to R: Alan Sheppard, David Williams, Ken Skates, Lord Barry Jones, Mark Tami MP cut the ribbon on the new Rittal machine.
L to R: Alan Sheppard, David Williams, Ken Skates, Lord Barry Jones, Mark Tami MP cut the ribbon on the new Rittal machine.

The investment in the new building will mean LCA Group can deliver more control panels, faster, better, more efficiently for customers across the world. It will also be able to service higher volume orders, or rapid turnaround of bulk orders – including next day delivery – from the new year.

Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport Ken Skates commented: “This really is a state-of-the-art facility and a magnificent place. They have cutting-edge technology and highly skilled, well-paid people and Gibson House is something we can all really be proud of.

“As we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution we need to make sure that we’re equipping people and businesses with what’s needed in order to thrive rather than just survive and I think that’s exactly what LCA Group is doing.”