Cleckheaton firm marks first year with successful preparation…

Cleckheaton firm marks first year with successful preparation for Covid-19

A CLECKHEATON engineering firm celebrated its first anniversary by successfully navigating its way through the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

Advanced Mechanical Projects, which is based in Middleton Business Park on Cartwright Street, is the brainchild of two Bradford University engineering graduates, Malcolm Ibberson and Adrian Lowes.

Mr Ibberson, who previously worked at MJI Engineering, and Mr Lowes formerly of Barair Systems began working together in 2018 and finalised a merger of the two companies in 2020, forming Advanced Mechanical Projects.

With the onset of the pandemic, Mr Lowes, who is the technical director, said: “It couldn’t have been a worse time to merge a business, but we handled it very well.”

During their first year together, they faced the pandemic head on.

Their factory was classed as a key industry, as Advanced Mechanical Projects supplies food manufacturers with engineering components and consumable tooling.

“As is the case for many companies, 2020 was a challenging year,” said Mr Lowes. “Our priority was ensuring our staff members and their families were safe.

“We were fortunate enough to predict the potential of a pandemic in February 2020 and made necessary preparations early on. We could see what was happening in Wuhan and we started gathering PPE is January and February.

He said: “As a manufacturing facility, we do not have the option of staff working from home, therefore meticulous planning and personal protection were (and continue to be) paramount in protecting our workforce.”

Advanced Mechanical Projects’ core business is sealing and crimping jaws for food packaging machines.

Mr Ibberson, who is the manufacturing director, explained: “We have several original equipment manufacturers and end users on our client list, making Advanced Mechanical Projects the leading UK manufacturer of sealing jaws.”

The machine shop has the capacity to recreate any jaw that is required for a machine, whether it is a flow wrapper, vertical or horizontal bagger packaging machinery.

The company also supplies euro-punch, anvil sets and fin sealing wheels, which means that they can produce any precision tooling parts for any packaging machine.

Innovation is also a high priority for the company, with several contracted mechanical engineering projects completed in 2020, including machinery and production modifications and new production automation equipment.

The firm is now looking ahead as it prepares to navigate its way though 2021.

Mr Lowes added: “We’re looking forward to getting through this year and the end of the pandemic, like everyone else.”