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Celebrating 50 years of British innovation at Control Techniques

31 January 2024

Reaching its 50th anniversary in 2023, Control Techniques has emerged as a real success story for UK manufacturing. In an exclusive Q&A, DPA’s Editor Sophia Bell sits down with the team at Control Techniques to learn more about the company's dedication to recruiting the next generation of British engineers, its resilience in the face of unexpected industry challenges, and what we can expect from the next 50 years of drives.

1) The UK seems to be lagging behind other G7 countries in terms of its manufacturing output. Can you discuss Control Techniques' perspective on reshoring, and how it aligns with your commitment to nurturing British talent, as the largest employer in Newtown, Wales?

John Stephens, European Operations Director:
As a proud British company, we are focused on retaining our Welsh roots here in Mid Wales, where the company started in 1973. We have embraced the reshoring of production and, in 2019, embarked on relocating products made in China back to our Wales facility, to serve our European markets. This project involved multimillion pound investments in our factory, with new PCB manufacturing equipment and, of course, the dedicated staff to support such activity. 

Situated in a sparsely populated rural area in Powys, we have a surprising amount of talent in the locality, resulting in a fantastic group of very dedicated employees. We are focused on encouraging staff to further their careers, with secondments to different areas within the business, and to broaden their knowledge through studying at local colleges.

Our apprenticeship scheme ensures that we have a continuous pipeline of young adults who are introduced to all areas of the workplace each year. The Manufacturing Engineering team are a notable example of how the business has nurtured local talent. They have a combined service of 817 years at Control Techniques, from a team of just over 50 people! 

2) In recent years, the manufacturing sector has been hit hard by a whole host of issues, from Covid to supply chain issues, through to the energy crisis. Yet, you seem to be not only staying afloat, but thriving. How do you deal with unexpected challenges, and balance long-term planning with the need to keep up with industry trends?

Read the full article in DPA's February issue

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