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Tong opens £3.6m factory expansion

Vegetable-grading machinery specialist unveils new site featuring a wide range of technological advances

Tong opens £3.6m factory expansion

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Vegetable-grading specialist Tong Engineering has unveiled its new manufacturing facility in Spilsby, Lincolnshire.

The £3.6 million first-phase building is part of a two-phase project on the seven-acre site. The facility is over 126m long, 24m wide and 11m high and boasts significantly more production capacity than both of the company’s existing factories, Tong explained.

Among the site’s facilities are two five-tonne overhead cranes, new shot-blasting and powder-coating chambers, and an advanced stock-control system with fully automated storage lift. The new factory also features expanded office space, a new staff canteen and flexible meeting space for internal and client meetings.

“At the beginning of the year, we knew that 2020 was set to be a landmark year for Tong," said managing director Edward Tong. "Opening a new factory after 90 years of business and what seems like 90 extensions to our existing factory was always going to be very exciting. However, we simply couldn’t have imagined how 2020 has actually unfolded.

"Whilst the last few months have been somewhat challenging, as we have adapted our working procedures to ensure a safe and sustainable manufacturing environment, we feel very fortunate that we have been able to continue our business operations and expansion plans throughout such unprecedented times. We are delighted that operation has commenced at our new factory, even if the grand opening we had planned has had to been postponed slightly!”

Tong explained that the new factory is dedicated to the company's assembly process, and the significant increase in height has allowed it to significantly advance its lifting capacity and assembly capabilities with the installation of heavy-duty overhead cranes.

“Another new and very notable system which has transformed our stores department is our investment in a highly intelligent parts storage lift," he continued. "The compact and clever design of the lift means that that we are really maximising the height of the factory; with a height of 9m and a footprint of only 4m x 3m, we can store over 55 sq m of stock items and parts."

The site was completed with the support of a £500,000 grant from the Greater Lincolnshire Growth Fund. The company is now focusing on the design of the second-phase building, which is expected to be revealed soon.

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