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A North East precision engineering company is planning to add more than £1m to its order book thanks to a £100,000 investment from UK Steel Enterprise enabling it to install new machinery. 

The new machines, now up-and-running at Ronco Engineering in Stanley, County Durham, have given the company a fully automated process that has improved efficiency and brought immediate results.

The company numbers Caterpillar, JCB, and Calsonic Kansei amongst its growing list of local, national and international customers. With more than 20 years experience in precision component engineering, Ronco is known for its wide spectrum of engineering services covering design to production for high volume or small batches, prototypes and specialist items such as pivot pins.

The loan from UK Steel Enterprise, the business-support subsidiary of Tata Steel, has helped to create an additional six jobs to swell the current highly skilled workforce to nearly 40.

Managing Director David Steel said: “The investment from UK Steel Enterprise has taken us from a predominantly manual to a fully automatic production process to meet the growing demand from existing and new customers. The improvement in efficiency will help us maintain production of components at a lower cost and we will share this benefit with our customers. It makes us much more competitive which is highly significant when we are facing the challenge of competition from emerging economies such as India, China and the Eastern bloc countries.

“On the strength of this we have already won additional work from JCB and are also broadening our client base into a number of new sectors with many opportunities across the UK and Europe really coming to fruition now.

“It is absolutely crucial to have the right investor working alongside you and UK Steel Enterprise understands our business and its needs and has made the whole process simple. Our CEO has worked with UKSE previously and he had no hesitation in returning to them for this investment in Ronco.”

Peter Taylor, UK Steel Enterprise’s Business Development Manager, said: “Ronco Engineering is a strong company with an excellent management team and is poised to make significant growth. This investment in automated machinery is already paying dividends and we have every confidence in the company’s future. The fact that our parent company Tata Steel supplies Ronco with the raw material it needs is an additional welcome connection,” he added.

PICTURE CAPTION: Peter Taylor (centre) of UK Steel Enterprise at Ronco Engineering, where investment in new machinery is boosting growth, with CEO Alastair Waite (left) and David Steel, Managing Director.