Exciting expansion plans for award-winning Runcorn business

04 Oct, 2016

LPW Technology Ltd celebrates Queen’s Award for Enterprise by announcing jobs, investment and a 3D printing centre of excellence.

LPW Technology Ltd, a Runcorn-based company, which produces high quality metal powders for 3D printing, is celebrating its prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade by announcing plans to bring high quality jobs and substantial investment to the region.

LPW Technology formally accepted the award, the first Queen’s Award presented in the 3D metal printing industry, today Tuesday 4th October, at its Runcorn facility, and staff were congratulated by David Briggs MBE, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for Cheshire.

The award was given in recognition of the company’s exceptional overseas expansion, which has seen exports leap by over 300% during the last three years, accounting for 70% of total sales.

The company is aiming to build upon its existing success and is developing new technologies to take advantage of the rapidly-growing metal additive manufacturing, also known as metal 3D printing, industry. CEO and entrepreneur Dr Phil Carroll revealed ambitious plans to invest over £20M in new facilities in Halton by building a new facility dedicated to manufacturing metal powders for Additive Manufacturing. This facility will create more than 120 new high quality jobs by 2018 and is the largest single investment in metal Additive Manufacturing in the UK to date.

The company has come a long way since Dr Carroll, a metallurgist and engineer, began the business in 2007.

From small beginnings, the company grew and moved into Vanguard House at Sci-Tech Daresbury before setting up in its current Manor Park premises in 2014.

LPW Technology is now a global market leader with 70 highly skilled staff working from its head office in Runcorn, a separate R&D Facility at STFC Daresbury labs, a fast growing facility in Pittsburgh, USA, an office in Germany and a network of resellers around the world from Asia to Europe. In 2016 exports accounted for 80% of total sales of £11.5m

In addition to developing and supplying metal powders for Additive Manufacturing, LPW’s PowderLife products include powder handling and testing equipment, quality control software for industrial users of 3D printers, and application know-how to help customers develop new applications.

Its powders are used to create everything from aerospace turbine components, engine parts for Formula 1 cars, to implants such as artificial hips. The company invests significantly in research and development on site, and has ongoing links with universities.

LPW is keen to ensure that the local area benefits from its success and works closely with Riverside College to create apprenticeships for students which lead to real career opportunities. The company currently has six apprentices and will be employing more in line with its future expansion. In addition, LPW is also committed to wider community activity working a number of local organisations for the benefit of the region.

Dr Carroll said: “I am absolutely thrilled that LPW has received a Queen’s Award, the most prestigious corporate achievement that any UK business can attain, and am grateful to my exceptional team for all their hard work. Such a prestigious award reflects the skill and dedication of all our staff in growing a sustainable technical company working alongside aerospace and medical device industries where quality and traceability are paramount.

“We have been first to market in this developing industry. With our ambitious growth plans and the support of our amazing staff we now aim to be a truly engineering company. We will need the support of all the people in the Merseyside area to make this a success – without a skilled workforce we would be nothing. Our new facility will ensure the North West is at the forefront of materials for this new and exciting industry by exporting our products worldwide.”

Leader of Halton Borough Council, Cllr Rob Polhill, says: “This is fantastic news for Halton. Manufacturing growth is key to the region’s economic success and LPW is investing expertise in developing technologies to bring more business to the North West and create tremendous job opportunities in the growing and exciting field of 3D printing technology.

“We are proud that a globally respected company is based here in the borough, employing local residents and proving what an excellent advanced manufacturing sector we have here.”

Jayne Smith, Head of Skills and Enterprise at Riverside College says “We are proud to have supported LPW with the development of their apprenticeship programmes and collaborating with LPW to innovate our curriculum content in order to reflect the high level skills needs in additive manufacturing.

“One of the apprentices was recently shortlisted for Halton Apprentice of the Year, and all of our students who secured places on LPW’s apprenticeship programme have gained confidence and experience, as they learn new and valuable workplace skills with an outstanding global market leader based here in Halton.”

Paul Stowers, Deputy Director of the Department for International Trade in the North West says, “We are always delighted to celebrate export success, and the Queen’s Award is testament to LPW Technology’s outstanding international growth. Over the coming years prosperity in the North West will not stem from domestic markets alone, and companies such as LPW contribute significantly to increasing GDP and benefitting the region and the UK as a whole. We want to make sure that firms are not just trading abroad but thriving there, and the inspirational progress that LPW Technology has made in recent years makes it a worthy winner.”

LPW has this year claimed a place in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100, sitting at number 51, making it one of only eight companies in the Northwest to be included in the league.

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