With contracts worth £2.5m secured in the first quarter of 2017, CKF Systems Ltd, the Gloucester-based automation and robotic systems specialist, is embracing a change in attitude resulting from Brexit as manufacturers look within the UK for engineering expertise to support their investment projects.
The latest CKF successes follow over £2.1m worth of orders placed in November and December of last year.
CKF provides bespoke robotic picking, packing and palletising solutions to manufacturing industry, particularly within the food, pharmaceutical and automotive sectors. Its recent gains mirror industry reports that activity in the UK's manufacturing sector is at a two-and-a-half-year high.
"Last year we had several notable successes, including a major design and build project in India for a global food brand, but the referendum to leave Europe put many investment projects on hold,” explains Bryan Wheeler, managing director, CKF Systems.
“Thankfully, since then we have seen a clear desire on the part of many UK manufacturers to purchase from within the UK. There is also a growing realisation that elevated cost pressures from a weak currency, inflation and higher labour costs are here for the long haul. This is encouraging more businesses to invest in automation - including SMEs who had previously been resistant to change. They now recognise the value of robotics to protect their long-term futures.”
CKF is one of the UK's leading providers of integrated automated solutions and one of only five UK companies to receive Authorised Value Provider status from ABB. In preparation for business growth, the company purchased new premises on the outskirts of Gloucester in 2014 at a cost of £1.2m and subsequently invested a further £300,000 in the development and refurbishment of the buildings and grounds.
The 25,000 sq ft facility provides an ideal environment for the design and manufacture of robotic applications together with a comprehensive trialling and testing facility.