Precision Micro opens refurbished facility following 2019 fire
Two years after a fire broke out at chemical etching manufacturer Precision Micro’s Birmingham site in Autumn 2019, the company has completed a GBP 5.1 million refurbishment – which has resulted in a 10% increase in capacity
Besides the addition 10% increase in the capacity, nine new process machines installed and a new Quality Centre of Excellence established. The completion of the refurbishment has also resulted in the possibility for a further expansion, according to a press release.
Worth mentioning is that, throughout this entire ordeal – from the time the fire broke to the completion of the refurbishment – Precision Micro has managed to maintain business continuity, even when the COVID-19 pandemic struck just months after the fire.
It was back in late November 2019 that a fire broke out as the result of an electrical fault. While the fire was contained to only two production areas, these were unfortunately at the heart of Precision Micro’s core process of photochemical etching.
Setting up continuity of supply following the incident was critical – the problem was that some specialist equipment had been damaged in the fire. Precision Micro started recovery efforts immediately, identifying what could be salvaged and devising a strategy to minimise disruption in deliveries to customers.
Key to this was – as the company states in the press release — the construction of two industrial annexes just weeks after the fire, into which machinery was relocated to keep the business moving.
“To be able to get back to some sort of normality so soon after the fire goes to show just how committed we are as a business to delivering the very best levels of service to our customers, no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in. By acting so quickly, we were able to maintain production which meant our customers could continue to rely on us, even in the most challenging of times,” says Mick Taylor, Commercial Director of Precision Micro, in the press release.
The actual, longer-term, site refurbishment started in 2020, as the company began the process of rebuilding damaged areas and also taking steps to future-proof the business. This entire project is the result of a GBP 5.1 million investment in which Precision Micro more or less reconfigured its processes. The company introduced more specialist machinery, increased space in the factory and build-in additional fire mitigation initiatives.
All of this has taken place against the backdrop of COVID-19, with the arrival of lockdown in March 2020, which of course delayed, but didn't halt, progress.
“Of course, we had to revise the timeline for our recovery programme, but we were determined not to let the pandemic affect our business when we had already made so many advances in the short space of time since the fire,” Mick Taylor explains in the press release.
Now, in early 2022, with the obstacles that followed the fire behind us – not counting the pandemic – the company is opening the doors to its updated and upgraded operations in Birmingham.