Unison celebrates 40 years and new factory

Four decades of business have been celebrated at a Scarborough machine manufacturer with the official opening of new double capacity premises.

Unison marked its 40th anniversary by inviting more than 120 customers and guests to tour its new manufacturing facility in Thornburgh Road.

Unison celebrates its 40th anniversary. From left Alan Pickering, Lord Stephen Green, Peter Wilkinson, Julian Kidger, and Terry Pickering

Unison celebrates its 40th anniversary. From left Alan Pickering, Lord Stephen Green, Peter Wilkinson, Julian Kidger, and Terry Pickering

Guest of honour was Minister of State for Trade and Investment Lord Green.

Unison, which was formed in 1973 by Terry Pickering, has enjoyed double-digit growth and is rapidly expanding in export markets thanks to its innovative approach to breaking the barriers associated with tube bending machines.

The firm, which employs around 60 people, made a name for itself when it created the world’s first all-electric machine for bending tubes. More recently it has just built the world’s largest all-electric tube bender, and is now starting to develop a machine with more than double the power of anything currently on the market.

Applauding Unison’s export success, Lord Green emphasised the critical need for the UK to increase its manufacturing output, and to increase its export ratio.

He said: “Unison makes specialist equipment that goes around the world. It’s a perfect example of the kind of manufacturing that this country excels at and that we need to do more of.”

The move from rented premises in Olympian Trading Estate to its own 2,200sq metre factory in Thornburgh Road has enabled machine building times to accelerate by around 15 per cent.

“The new facility has allowed us to expand every major department in Unison – we now have more software and hardware development engineers, and more manufacturing and sales staff,” said Alan Pickering, managing director of Unison. “Our investment positions us well to cope with the growth in demand that we have been experiencing, as well as our projected expansion into new markets that we are targeting in Brazil, Russia, India and China.

“We already have the reputation as the pioneer of all-electric tube bending, and we aim to make our new Scarborough facility the world centre for advancing this technology.”