LPW Technology, a key contributor to the metal additive manufacturing (AM) revolution, has been selected for Sharing in Growth (SiG), the government-backed supply chain competitiveness programme, to help propel its phenomenal growth trajectory.
An initial, thorough 12-week business scrutiny established that LPW is an ideal manufacturing company to benefit from a £1.1M government-funded programme. Participation in SIG will deliver increased training and business support for sustainable growth. LPW is currently investing in a £20 M new manufacturing facility in Widnes to grow its metal powder products and services for AM. This SIG support will enable LPW to continue to expand its workforce and adopt new manufacturing technologies to service the safety-critical aerospace industry worldwide, underpinned with well-structured commercial and operations processes.
Growing from a one-man operation in 2007, Runcorn-based LPW currently has 74 highly skilled employees world-wide, has created 54 new positions over the last two years, and has a thriving apprenticeship programme. Recognising the requirements of traceability in critical industries LPW has developed PowderLife, a unique powder lifecycle management system. Later this year it will move to a £20 million purpose-built ‘factory of the future’ in Widnes to begin metal powder production specifically for AM and expects to recruit up to 120 new team members by mid-2019.
Said LPW founder and CEO Dr Phil Carroll: “The Sharing in Growth programme will allow us to advance our existing processes and deliver intensive training of an additional 120 staff to the levels demanded by the market sectors we serve, particularly aerospace. The last ten years have seen additive manufacturing growing from a technology producing mainly prototype modelling, to an industry on the cusp of full scale production of critical and intricate components. The SiG programme will support us to take advantage of the forecast $2 billion growth in the global metal 3D printing market by the year 2020.”
As well as developing employee skills, working with Sharing in Growth, LPW will focus on leadership and management training, operational excellence, particularly at its new state of the art world class manufacturing facility, the competitiveness of its supply chain, and meeting the aerospace sector’s stringent quality standards. The company already holds industry standards AS9120 and AS9100 for aerospace and ISO13485 for medical.
LPW entered The Sunday Times Lloyds SME Export Track 100 2017, debuting at No 29, and the Northern Tech 100 2017 league table at No 28. In 2016, the company was included in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 and was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade.
Through continuous customer-focused research and development investment, LPW has developed a comprehensive range of products and services, including the development of new metal powder alloys, and of PowderLife, an innovative suite of hardware and software systems that strictly controls risk in critical manufacturing processes for industries including aerospace, automotive, biomedical and energy.
Established in 2013, the SiG programme is endorsed by Airbus, BAE Systems, Boeing, Bombardier, GE, GKN, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin, MBDA, Rolls-Royce, Safran and Thales. To date suppliers on the SiG programme have secured around £2 billion in contracts and around 3,000 jobs.
The intense four-year SiG training and development programme is focused on leadership, culture and operational excellence delivered by SiG’s own 120 strong team of lean coaches as well as a bank of experts including The University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing, Deloitte, Industry Forum and the National Physical Laboratory.
Sharing in Growth CEO Andy Page said: “We are delighted to be working with LPW, a highly innovative and a rapidly growing company. We will assist them to exploit their technological advances to help them to compete globally and develop their team and new manufacturing centre to ensure sustainable growth.”
SiG is already working with 55 companies, so they can fulfil their world-class manufacturing and business ambitions and is currently recruiting companies with similar growth ambitions to LPW to fill remaining funded places. With SiG support, the first 43 companies on the programme have secured around £2 billion in contracts to date – almost 20% of which is for direct export. Consequently, SiG is well on target to hit its ultimate objective of safeguarding 10,000 UK jobs by 2022.
Companies interested in joining the SiG programme can complete an expression of interest form which is available at www.sig-uk.org/apply.