TDK-Lambda announces £11.5m investment in UK manufacturing facility

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TDK has announced a £11.5m investment package to redevelop its TDK-Lambda manufacturing facility in Ilfracombe, UK. The investment, which will be staged over the next three and a half years, will enable the company to increase production capacity by 50%.

The original factory was built over 50 years ago and while there was additional expansion in the mid-1980s it was felt that it was time to redevelop the site, according to Geoff Wilby, Managing Director of TDK-Lambda UK.

The company has invested heavily in new equipment and building upgrades over the years, including the addition of a £1 million EMC Centre in 2019, but this new redevelopment will increase manufacturing space significantly, expand the R&D facilities, and radically overhaul and automate the end-to-end material flow.

According to market research company Omdia, the global power supply market is forecast to reach almost $26bn in 2024, driven by the rapidly expanding digitalisation of economies, increasing healthcare demands and renewable energy trends. Also, noting customers’ heightened awareness of the need for trusted, dependable suppliers due to recent events - such as the USA/China tariffs and COVID-19 pandemic - the planned expansion will provide further supply chain robustness within the TDK-Lambda manufacturing network, especially for the European market.

"TDK-Lambda healthcare power supplies are used in critical medical and laboratory applications globally, and since the COVID-19 outbreak, delivery quantities to healthcare and bio-diagnostic customers have increased by six to tenfold,” said Wilby.

The redevelopment programme will be split up into a four-stage process to ensure continuity of production and services. Stage one will be the construction of new offices, including employees’ facilities and a health and fitness centre. Upon completion, offices will be extended to expand the R&D, product verification & test, and manufacturing engineering facilities. The link area between the two factory buildings will then be infilled, and Smart, Lean storage facilities and AGVs for material handling installed. Finally, the manufacturing areas will be reconfigured with designated Front End (PCB assembly) and Back End (configuration & test) production areas.

Among the UK designed products are the 100W CUS100ME for portable ventilators, the 175W rated NV series for ventilators, the 300W EFE300M for virus detection, the 550W Vega modular power supply for COVID-19 swab testing and the QM5 700W modular power supply for mobile X-ray equipment.