23 Jul 2024


Double acquisition creates `UK’s largest automation controls company`

Autotech Controls claims to have created the UK’s largest automation controls company by buying Igranic Control Systems and PSJ Fabrications to create a combined business called the Automated Technology Group (ATG) with a turnover of around £30m.

The group currently employs more than 200 people across four sites in Silsoe, Bedford and Birmingham and plans to recruit more engineers with the aim of raising its turnover to £50m within five years.

“This deal opens new markets for each of the three group companies,” says Andy Robinson, managing director of Autotech and CEO of the new group (above). It will “offer the potential for greater success through co-operation to increase market share and secure economies of scale.

“Using our combined strength,” he adds, “we are determined to grow our market share across the wide range of industries in which we are now active – including automotive, logistics, airports, food and beverage, metals, utilities, oil and gas, mining and aggregates, and power generation.”

Robinson is planning to expand the ATG workforce. “We need many more personnel,” he says, “so we are keen to hear from highly skilled and motivated people. We`re also planning to launch our own apprenticeship scheme – the Autotech Academy – with the aim of taking on some 20 apprentices before the end of the year.”

A key area of growth for ATG will be “virtual manufacturing” (above) which can be used to prove new or modified automated production systems before they are built and installed. ATG has invested more than £1m in dedicated software, hardware and simulation expertise.

“The ability to prove, say, a robotic workcell before it is delivered to the factory floor of a leading car-maker is absolutely invaluable because it reduces risk, improves production quality, eradicates costly design errors and accelerates time-to-market for new models,” Robinson explains. “Using our experience in the automotive industry, we will be looking to apply our virtual manufacturing expertise across our diverse client base.”

Robinson set up Bedfordshire-based Autotech in 1996. The company designs, installs, maintains and upgrades control systems for clients in a wide range of industries. It is an approved systems integrator for Schneider, Rockwell and Siemens, and its clients include BAE Systems, Bentley, Cadbury, Coca-Cola, Ford, Gate Gourmet, Jaguar Land Rover and Procter & Gamble. Last year, Autotech’s turnover was £16m.

Igranic, established in 1904, supplies motor control centres and medium- and high-voltage products. Based in Bedford, its turnover in 2011 was more than £7m. The company designs and supplies industrial control packages, and handles contracts from concept to completion. Igranic`s clients include British Sugar, Hanson Cement, Scottish Power, Tata Steel and Thames Water.

PSJ Fabrications, established in 1969, specialises in the manufacture of cabinets and other sheet-metal fabrications from its base in Bedford. Its turnover for 2011 was in more than £2m and its clients include the USAF, the Ministry of Defence and the Science Museum.