Darlington Borough Council leader unveils Cleveland Bridge UK’s latest safety-enhancing technology

29th September 2020

Cleveland Bridge UK has completed an investment in new technology to improve safety and efficiency, which was unveiled by the leader of Darlington Borough Council.

During a visit to Cleveland Bridge UK’s 22-acre facility in Darlington, council representatives including council leader Cllr Heather Scott, Assistant Director Dave Winstanley, and Managing Director Paul Wildsmith helped unveil its latest fully automated flange grinding preparation line investment.

With the safety and wellbeing of its workforce at the heart of its operations, the engineering firm has invested in further innovative technology to protect its employees and improve production efficiency.

Four Cleveland Bridge UK operators and two maintenance technicians have been upskilled to operate the new machine, with the engineering giant offering advanced training, and new opportunities to existing employees to progress in their roles.

The machine will assist in the preparation of plate girder flanges and the removal of dross, ensuring radiused edges are fully compliant with the requirements of quality standard BS EN 1090.

Prior to the installation of this additional piece of equipment, this operation was a largely manual process which involved hand grinding of the radiused edges. However, the introduction of the additional machine significantly reduces the need for manual grinding in the production process.

Paralleling with the increase in efficiencies for the factory, the equipment allows for increased health and safety protection. As the new technology behind the equipment fulfils much of the manual grinding needed for this operation, employees will see a significant reduction in exposure to potential hand vibration issues.

Chris Droogan, Managing Director, Cleveland Bridge UK, said: “We were really grateful to Cllr Scott and her colleagues for helping us launch our latest investment, which will continue to enhance our manufacturing capabilities.

“We are consistently looking at ways to improve the production process, which creates greater efficiencies for our business and our customers.

“This machine also demonstrates our commitment to maintaining a safe working environment for our workforce, while also generating opportunities for the development of new skills.”

Councillor Heather Scott, leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “Cleveland Bridge has always been a key part of Darlington’s proud engineering heritage and I was delighted to play a small part in helping them celebrate the arrival of the new advanced manufacturing equipment.

“It’s wonderful to see firms like Cleveland Bridge continue to invest in the future of their workforce. I’ve no doubt the company will continue to go from strength to strength.”

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