A NORTH Yorkshire firm that specialises in pulling different elements of technology together for businesses is celebrating its expansion – despite the global pandemic.

Stokesley-based Applied Integration has hired 16 additional engineers throughout lockdown, taking its employee count to 46, up from 30 – and is still looking for people to join its team.

The systems integrator grew in the four months leading up to its 15th anniversary on August 1, and hopes these "major milestones" will help achieve the company's vision of becoming a world leader in digital innovation and emerging technologies.

Garry Lofthouse, chief executive officer of Applied Integration, said: "Covid-19 has hit many industries hard and we are delighted to be able to significantly expand our engineering teams in such challenging times.

"I would like to credit our staff members for their efforts and helping the company grow to new heights.

“The new roles bring high calibre staff into the business helping us to grow further."

A range of positions have been filled across the technology firm, including both technical and non-technical roles in marketing and communications, sales and the panel shop, which creates panelling for defence and industrial markets.

Additional senior software engineers have also been brought on board, with Applied Integration planning to grow further and carry on recruiting – at a time where many businesses are making cuts.

These roles include additional software engineers at various levels, an office administrator and controls engineer.

Founded in 2005 by directors Roy Coleman, Garry Lofthouse, Lee Raywood, Graham King, who all graduated from Teesside University. the firm specialises in delivering the latest industry technologies with a focus on industry 4.0, digitalisation, Internet of Things (IoT), analytics, big data, cloud technologies, safety critical systems and robotics but throughout lockdown has been using its 3D printing technologies to make visors for the NHS and carers across the UK.

The firm has previously been praised for delivering cutting-edge automation and safety control systems to complex operations, including nuclear submarines such as HMS Agamemnon and HMS Ajax crafts, power stations and chemical plants.

In 2017, Applied Integration strengthened its market standing after helping the British Army with tank shell decommissioning.

Experience of automation and control systems, particularly around military systems, is said to give the company a competitive edge over rivals.

Mr Lofthouse, alongside his three counterparts who all graduated from Teesside University, has also, in the past, swapped his bed and slept rough to raise funds to fight homelessness and poverty.

He added: "AI has continued to work under these difficult circumstances and support our clients and suppliers.

"We are undertaking social distancing in the office and remote working for others, we’ve made these changes to ensure the safety of our staff and the general public."

The company designs, develops, manages and delivers solutions tailored to clients, helping reduce costs, improve safety and increase plant efficiencies.