Newton Aycliffe construction firm Raisco has invested a six-figure sum in new machinery which it says will boost output by more than a third and create new jobs.
Raisco has purchased a CNC saw and drill line which will increase efficiency and output at its Aycliffe Business Park premises.
The 24-metre automated in-feed facility will enable Raisco to cut 1,200mm-wide steel beams and effectively speed up the firm’s fabrication process.
Raisco reported in April an influx of new orders which should see it improve on its 2015-16 turnover of £5.4m.
Managing director Gary Raistrick (pictured) said he had already secured £4.3m-worth of orders for the new financial year beginning in April, and has since bagged a further £1m in sales, pushing his 2016-17 annual turnover to £5.3m already this year.
Raisco has now invested in the new saw and drill line to cope with the raft of new orders while enabling it to increase capacity for more work.
Raistrick said: “Due to a boost in sales and a forecasted increase during the forthcoming year, we made the decision to invest in this new saw and drill line ultimately to increase our capacity and improve efficiency.
“The line is substantially larger than your standard rollers in the UK. It will make us quicker in turning projects around and it will also make us more competitive in the market place.
“It’s part of our forward-planning for the business and we expect it to increase our input by 35%, so it’s a really significant investment and an important new tool for us.”
The new CNC line will also enable Raisco to take on more shop floor staff, while Raistrick is also in the process of taking on more management personnel and implementing a new board of directors.
“We’re looking to take on four-to-five staff on the shop floors and we’re actively looking for fabricators and welders,” said Raistrick.
“We’re also in the process of appointing some key people at management level which will be another major development for Raisco and we look to implement our long-term growth strategy.”
Raisco is currently working on a number of new contracts won earlier this year, including two orders from two new clients – a 160-tonne residential apartment block in Whitecraigs near Glasgow, for Scottish firm McTaggart Construction, which is expected to be on site in June.
The Aycliffe firm has also won a project to fabricate and erect 450 tonnes of steel for a new “store on stilts” Lidl store in South London, for Lancashire-based ISG Retail.
Raisco has been awarded three other repeat business contracts, including a 40-tonne extension in Stanley for STP Construction and two other Lidl stores – one in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, for Wright Morgan Construction, and one in Grangetown, Sunderland, for Tolent.
More recently Raisco has won three more orders totalling nearly £1m, with work due to start later in the year.
“Our order book is looking healthy at the moment and we have a lot of work in the pipeline,” added Raistrick.
“We’ve already won £5.3m-worth of contracts this financial year and we would expect to surpass our previous best annual turnover of £7.5m this current year.”
Since being formed eight years ago, Raisco has rapidly grown into one of the country’s leading construction and steel fabrication firms, diversifying from purely a structural steel company to having the ability to provide a full construction turnkey package.
It now works with clients up and down the country and has delivered a wide range of fabrication and secondary steelwork projects for many of the construction industry’s well-known main contractors as well as turnkey solutions for end-user clients.