Unipart Opens New Manufacturing Site in Coventry

Mallory Mabe / 4th February 2014 / Comments (0)

Unipart has opened a new manufacturing facility in Coventry to meet the demand for
increasing volumes of its automotive fuel systems. It is the second new
manufacturing facility to be opened by Unipart Manufacturing Group in the Coventry
area.

Kautex Unipart Ltd (KUL), the joint venture between Unipart and its German partner
Kautex Textron Gmbh, currently produces around 640,000 fuel tanks annually for
leading automotive manufacturers such as Jaguar Land Rover, BMW and Honda.

A recent investment in new technology, which offers customers greater levels of
emission control, has enabled the company to increase production. As a result, KUL
has opened a new 7,500 sq. m. facility called KUL2 to carry out assembly and
sequencing operations. Around 45 of KUL’s 300 employees will be moving to new
leased premises, which are located nearby to the current site in Canley.

KUL Plant General Manager Dave Pound said that the expansion at KUL has been
driven by growth. “Our customer base has grown and the volumes of our major
customers have grown,” he said. “We’ve been able to increase our manufacturing
capability to meet the needs of our customers today and to be ready for future
growth, which could be as much as a million units by 2018.”

“To achieve that, we’ve invested some £6m. to integrate new blow mould technology
called a Next Generation Fuel System blow moulding machine. This will enable
components such as valves and fuel lines to be placed inside fuel tanks more
effectively, ultimately providing reduced vehicle static fuel emissions.”

KUL is part of Unipart Manufacturing Group which includes several manufacturing
companies across the Midlands. Unipart has developed from a strong engineering
heritage, much of which has been based on its manufacturing operations.

In 1997, Unipart adapted the techniques of operational excellence and continuous
improvement from its manufacturing sites into its distribution centres, offices and
even its restaurant. The result has been the development of The Unipart Way, a
proprietary business system that engages people at every level of the organisation in
continuous improvement.

According to Dave Pound, The Unipart Way has been at the heart of KUL’s strategy
for a smooth expansion into the new site. “When we began planning to develop
KUL2, we put together a focused team of people that are deeply knowledgeable and
skilled in The Unipart Way,” he said.

“The result has been a successful project that was delivered against very high
standards for safety, delivery, quality and cost and which now gives us a strong
opportunity for future growth.”

Kautex Unipart was among ten projects approved by the Coventry and Warwickshire
Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) to receive grants from round two of the
Growing Places initiative.

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