A seasoned automotive specialist has teamed up with a Shrewsbury manufacturer to guide the next stage of its expansion, which will include the creation of 20 new jobs.
SDE Technology, which supplies pressings and assemblies to various automakers and tier 1s, has named Robert Joyce as its first Non-Executive Director.
The supply chain specialist has held senior roles at Rover, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover and is expected to bring his impressive decision-making skills, book of contacts and industry knowledge to the fast-growing business.
He is known for quickly dealing with the problems and headwinds of change, making him an ideal leader to help SDE make the most of the multi-million dollar opportunities arising from electrification, weight reduction and new model launches.
“This is a fantastic move for us and gives us access to one of the best experts in the automotive industry,” explained Richard Homden, managing director of SDE Technology.
“Robert will help us achieve the ambitious growth targets we’ve set and accelerate our investment plans.
He continued: “It’s great to see both the vision he has for us, but also his enthusiasm for the business and the way he sees problems as mere tasks that must be overcome and that can actually help us reach our ultimate goal.
“We look forward to exciting times ahead and that includes a recruitment drive for twenty new roles between now and 2026.”
SDE Technology is one of the UK’s largest press and assembly manufacturers, employing over 100 people in its modern Brixton Way factory.
The company has weathered difficult business conditions, the pandemic, chip shortages and energy costs to secure several new opportunities in the automotive sector and is now planning to maximize its latest Hot Form Quench (HFQ®) process.
This is a revolutionary hot-forming process to produce high-strength aluminum parts for use in the automotive, aerospace and renewables industries, and gives designers the freedom to create parts that offer significant weight savings but still offer greater structural strength.
It also provides improved formability in six and seven mil series alloys that cannot be cold formed. In some cases, it can also reduce the parts count of multiple components to just one.
As HFQ lends itself to higher strength aluminium, it is ideal for the vehicle safety cell in the automotive sector and has also been used to develop a prototype aircraft armrest.
Richard concluded: ““HFQ® was developed by Impression Technologies (ITL), which industrialized research at the University of Birmingham and Imperial College London. This is a great example of British research being used by British manufacturing.”
He concluded: “You simply cannot shape this high-strength aluminum any other way unless you use a superplastic forming process. Even so, SPF produces a part every 15 to 20 minutes, while our technology’s cycle time is one part every 15 to 20 seconds. This is a design and manufacturing dream.”
Read more of our People and Skills articles here