A FABRICATIONS firm has invested in new machinery, increased services and site expansion.

BTS Facades and Fabrications – based in Newton Aycliffe – manufactures metal rainscreen and fabrications for the construction industry.

The business's aim is to produce only the highest-quality facade and rainscreen products, suited to a breadth of budgets.

A spokesperson for the firm said they have an extensive range of design possibilities, coupled with industry-leading rainscreen and facade systems.

The firm made a multi-million-pound investment after working on projects including Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium and the Jaguar Land Rover Gaydon site.

BTS Facades and Fabrications has invested £2.1m over the past year in purchasing new automated equipment to speed up the manufacturing process, as well as renting additional premises.

Managing director Phil Atkinson said: “A few years ago, we started to look at automation, and we have recently taken delivery of the UK’s first Trumpf fully-automatic panel bender, which bends rainscreen panels, as well as ordering a fully-automated punching system.

“The lights out system means that we are able to set the machine away in the evening and return in the morning with the load completed, thus saving time and speeding up production.

“Some people believe that automation equals job losses, but it’s quite the contrary in our case – our head count increased from 40 to 55 over the past 12 months.

"For us, automation is not just about speed and efficiency, it’s also about quality.

"Using this new equipment, a typical rainscreen panel is bent to perfection in a third of the time of a traditional press brake, and then every panel after is exactly the same.

“We have seen exceptional growth over the past few years and now is the right time to invest to ensure we keep up the momentum.

“The automation we’ve invested in fits our key objectives of quality, speed, efficiency, and ensures we stay one step in front of our competition.”

The firm has also launched a new division, BTS Designs, after spotting a gap in the market in the region.

Mr Atkinson added: “The design services offered by other companies are often outsourced, whereas we do it under the same umbrella, meaning clients can come to us for a fuller end-to-end service.

"This strategy makes us unique in the industry, and has had a massive impact on our sales growth.”

Other developments for BTS include expansion into new premises and the launch of a new rainscreen product in the future.