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Telford-based Protolabs to create 60 jobs as part of £5m expansion

By James Pugh | Telford | Business | Published:

Digital manufacturer Protolabs is set to create 60 jobs as part of a £5 million expansion of its European headquarters in Telford.

Lee Ball, general manager at Protolabs in Telford

Protolabs, which manufacturers custom prototypes and low-volume production parts, is building a 50,000 sq ft extension to its Halesfield facility.

It will house at least 50 additional CNC machines and a further 20 additional injection moulding presses.

Watch drone footage of the new warehouse:

Aerial footage of Protolabs' £5m new expansion

This investment will help the company meet growing demand from clients across the automotive, aerospace, medical, electronics and heavy industry sectors.

Over the course of the next two years, it will also create 60 new high-skilled jobs in Shropshire.

Construction work has already begun with the foundations now in place, with the project set to be completed and the new space operational by early 2020.

Bjoern Klaas, vice president and managing director of Protolabs Europe, said: “The focus now, more than ever, is on speed and making sure new products and components are either first to market or ready when the end customer needs them.

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“We are ideally set-up to meet this requirement, with a combination of our design and analysis team, bespoke production software and, once the expansion is complete, around 300 CNC milling, CNC turning and plastic injection moulding sampling and production machines at our disposal.

“Then we have our state-of-the-art 3D printing facility in Germany – all of this gives us the capacity to turn jobs around in as fast as one day.

Development

“Despite uncertainty surrounding Brexit, we are confident that our recent growth will continue and the expansion of our factory gives us an additional 16 per cent capacity and, importantly, the level of technology we need to help us reach our five-year target.

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“At the moment, we employ over 440 people in Telford and we expect to reach more than 500 employees between now and the end of 2021. We are actively seeking people with the right skills that fit the Protolabs culture.”

Operating from manufacturing facilities across three continents, Protolabs works with customers to accelerate product development, reduce costs and optimise supply chains with technology-enabled 3D printing, CNC machining and injection moulding.

The company recently won the Queen’s Award for International Trade for the third time.

Lee Ball, general manager at Protolabs in Telford, added: “The expansion will give us the platform we need to deliver our ‘on-demand’ manufacturing offer to more customers, as well as providing improved welfare rooms for our employees as part of creating an even better working environment.

“It is the latest development in what has been a very busy 2019, with secondary services added to make sure we are keeping up with what the market requirements."

James Pugh

By James Pugh
@JamesP_Star

Shropshire Star Business and Farming Editor.

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