In 2014, a top automotive company opened an Engine Manufacturing Centre in the West Midlands. It was built as part of an ambitious plan to expand the company’s operations in the UK. The centre is one of four British based manufacturing facilities for the company and thanks to its opening; the manufacturer has now become the UK’s biggest vehicle manufacturer, with its British production more than trebling since 2009.
The car manufacturer chose to work with Naco as we could offer a bespoke product to satisfy the needs of the centre, which required a natural ventilation system comprising of glass louvres that could be easily maintained from the outside of the building; it would cost the company thousands of pounds per minute to disrupt production for routine maintenance. Thus, a contingency plan was needed for this scenario. Vengen28 double glazed louvre windows have been installed in the roof of the centre to provide the plant with a solution to both its natural ventilation and external maintenance needs. Naco was able to manufacture and install the Vengen28 with its weather rated actuators to be fitted on the outside of the building – a bespoke design for this one application. This means that the actuators and glass can easily be accessed for maintenance and cleaning work, without disturbing production inside. The windows were seamlessly integrated into the roof of the building, fully adhering to the specified requirements.
Following the quick success of the plant, the automotive manufacturer decided to invest £450m into an expansion programme to double the manufacturing centre in size and services it can offer, with a 900,000 square foot new factory built next to the existing engine centre.
Naco was contacted again to supply and install its Vengen28 louvre windows and externally fitted actuators into the extended section of the centre to match the windows that had originally been installed on site, offering the same high level of ventilation to the newest built areas. In both installations, the windows were fitted with 24VDC linear actuators on the external parts of the windows to allow maintenance from the roof walkways.
Now, the site is able to offer full-scale manufacture, with more than 50,000 engines being produced at the site annually. The extended centre contains a customer handover lounge-style waiting area so customers can relax whilst waiting for their car to be brought to them.
The building has won several prestigious architecture prizes, including the RIBA West Midlands ‘Regional Award 2017’, the RIBA West Midlands ‘Sustainability Award 2017’ and the CIBSE Building Performance Award for ‘Project of the Year – Commercial/Industrial’. These awards recognise commercial and industrial buildings that most effectively demonstrate high levels of user satisfaction and comfort, whilst delivering outstanding measured building performance, energy efficiency and reduced carbon emissions. Naco is proud to have been involved in such a well received and recognised project.
The total investment in the site now stands at £1 billion, making it the most significant new automotive manufacturing facility to be built in the UK in the last decade.
The development of the site is a clear signal of the car manufacturer’s long-term commitment to the UK and British manufacturing, a commitment shared with Naco - the largest UK louvre manufacturer.