Engineering company lands funding for high-tech inspection machinery

Joe Needham

N&R Needham has been awarded £52,425 from the University of Derby to invest in new machinery to broaden measuring capacity and to be able to take on work that they couldn’t have inspected previously.

The engineering company, based in Clay Cross, has more than 40 years’ experience in precision machining of components. Prior to their funding application, N&R Needham used traditional manual measuring tools that restricted the scope of supply therefore reducing competitiveness.

N&R Needham acknowledged the technical gap they had which led them to make two applications to the Invest to Grow fund from the University.

The initial funding was used to purchase and install a CNC Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) that accurately measures components. The machine is essential during production as it can meet high-tech, complex measurement requirements that could not possibly be reached manually.

Subsequently, eight months later, N&R Needham received further Invest to Grow funding that was used to purchase and install a CNC Turning Centre Machine, and also provided training for current employees.

Joe Needham, Managing Director at N&R Needham, said: “We’ve been able to accept orders that we wouldn’t have been able to take previously. The results are that we have a growth in revenue and profitability that wouldn’t have been delivered without the funding”

The Invest to Grow funding has enabled the business to create three new jobs with the prospect of employing a further three as well as expanding its internal research and development activities.

Due to increased quality and complexity of work, the firm has opened up its products to new markets and sectors such as automotive, oil and gas.

Mark Wheddon, Head of Strategic Programmes at the University of Derby, said: “We are pleased to support N&R Needham with funding to purchase the machinery needed to improve the workforce and deliver quality products. The business has a lot of offer and we can expect great things from them in the upcoming months.”