His Royal Highness the Duke of York visited Swagelok Ltd on 17 October 2008 to celebrate the opening of a new 880m2 warehouse. The Duke of York, who is the United Kingdom's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment, unveiled a plaque in commemoration of the expansion, which will enable the streamlining of processes and help the company meet increased demand.
Swagelok Ltd is the Isle of Man operation of Swagelok Company, a provider of fluid system technologies. Its manufacturing helps to complete the company's piping and regulator product offering for the oil, gas and petrochemical industries. From the Isle of Man facility, Swagelok also serves local niche markets that require quick turnaround on high added-value and specialised products.
The Duke of York said: "Swagelok is a classic business in the sense that it has high technology, its employees have a high level of skill and it is globally focused. It is a great pleasure to come here and learn more about what you do and the markets in which you deploy your product."
HRH was accompanied by senior Swagelok associates on a tour of the facilities, where he had the opportunity to speak to employees about various aspects of the company's manufacturing operation. HRH then unveiled a plaque to commemorate the warehouse extension.
Thomas Freund, European Director of Operations at Swagelok Company, states: "We are privileged to have the opportunity to host HRH at our expanded premises. We work closely with the Department of Trade and Industry and other government departments to ensure the continued growth of manufacturing, which is the Isle of Man's second biggest sector. The growth of our presence here is key to ensuring Swagelok's continued success as an industry leader in fluid system technology and services."
Currently employing 180 people, Swagelok Ltd is now claimed to be one of the largest of the 52 manufacturing companies on the Isle of Man. Since the purchase of the facility in 2003, Swagelok has invested heavily in new machinery, recruiting and training additional associates, as well as investing in the refurbishment of the offices and information service upgrades. The warehouse expansion is the first phase of an expansion plan aimed at providing additional capacity.
In the past year, Swagelok's Isle of Man workforce has grown by 20 per cent and recruitment of highly skilled professionals such as manufacturing, process and maintenance engineers and computer numerical control (CNC) machine tool operators is continuing.
The company has introduced extensive training and personal development programmes and offers training schemes for those looking for a career change. These include a mature apprentice programme that involves on-the-job training in CNC and conventional machining, and night school and National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) support to enable associates to become qualified CNC machine operators. Supported by excellent technology, process and management tools, associates are challenged to maximise their potential.