The increased demand from manufacturers for improved productivity, reliability and safety is helping a Telford-based technology specialist press the button on a £3m investment.
Iconsys, which is one of the UK’s leading independent system integrators providing industrial automation, enterprise integration and sustaining services, has purchased a 17,500 sq ft site on Stafford Park to cope with its planned expansion and is in the process of fitting it out to be one of the region’s leading smart buildings.
Backed by a £150,000 grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Marches Building Investment Grant Scheme, the company will benefit from a substantial increase in available manufacturing floorspace compared to its current site once refurbishment is complete and this will create a technology demonstration/training area, an amphitheatre and an office of the future for agile working.
The move to new premises will create ten highly skilled jobs and is part of the firm’s 2020+ growth strategy, which aims to increase turnover to £20m in five years by encouraging industry to adopt automation and digital technology.
“Manufacturers in the UK are increasingly switching on to the benefits of automation to improve their performance and profitability and that is resulting in a number of exciting new opportunities for us,” explained Nick Darrall, managing director of Iconsys.
“In order to cope with demand, we decided now was the right time to create a world class facility that will give us the platform to meet our current and future needs. Our new headquarters will be a central business core, giving staff a truly smart building that offers hot desking, an inviting tech-enabled work café, agile working and a virtual reality area where we can showcase the latest in technology.
“We will be incorporating the latest collaborative cloud-based infrastructure software to create an advanced, suitable and well-connected workforce, whereby employees are able to work either in the office or remotely with equal efficacy.”
He added: “A lot of time and consideration has gone into creating a welcoming workspace that is conducive to a healthy work/life balance, is inclusive, accepting and that not only fosters collaboration and innovation, but also aids learning at all levels, enabling individuals to develop and grow.
“Outside the facility, solar panels will contribute to our energy requirements and there will be electric vehicle charging points to support sustainable transport. A large part of our 3.8 acre site is made up of mature woodland, which we will look to conserve and nurture to help offset carbon emissions and sustain wildlife.
“We’ve appointed Forster Tullett as the main contractor and are working with Base Architecture and workspace design agency iDEA to make our vision a reality. We expect to be in the building and fully operational by April 2021.”
Harry Reece, managing director of Base Architecture, who led the team designing the new building, said: “We are proud to support Iconsys with its plans for development. The new headquarters will be a pioneer for workplaces of the future and it has been exciting to develop a building that not only underpins the company’s growth, but also fulfils important environmental credentials that integrate into the building’s new smart technology systems.
“As architects, this is an exemplar project that we hope will set the tone for future commercial builds.”
Iconsys’s 50-strong workforce of software, electrical and manufacturing engineers provide a full project management service to blue-chip customers involved in a diverse range of industries, including metals, automotive, marine, paper, fast moving consumer goods, food and beverage and logistics.
The company works closely with each client to identify where automation and technology can help modernise an existing process through enterprise integration, industrial automation and sustainable services – the latter involving its experts continuing to provide support after the project has been completed.
What separates the Telford-based firm from its rivals is that it is completely independent and will deliver the best solution for the challenge, leveraging strong partnerships with ABB, Rockwell Automation, Siemens and Schneider in the process.