By Karen Peattie

SCOTTISH robotics supplier PWR has taken space in Grovewood Business Centre at Bellshill as it scales up its head office function ahead of anticipated sales growth for its bespoke automated packaging technology solutions.

PWR, which designs and manufactures market-leading equipment for the global food industry, has experienced growing demand and plans to boost the 80-strong headcount at its manufacturing facility in the Netherlands by 25 per cent over the next 18 months.

In Scotland, the £30 million-turnover firm will recruit a further four employees to its team of eight in service, administration and finance roles.

Founded 25 years ago, PWR’s proprietary technology is designed to make production lines more efficient. The company has more than 2,000 robots in use worldwide, working with a diverse range of food businesses to automatically package products at high speeds with maximum efficiency.

PWR, which supplies manufacturers across the bakery, confectionery, snacks and pet food sectors, moved to Grovewood Business Centre, operated by Tata Steel-owned UKSE, last month. Its strongest market is the UK where its customers include Walkers Shortbread, Dean’s of Huntly, Finsbury Food Group, Lees of Scotland, Mars Petcare and the Walkers Crisps division of PepsiCo.

Peter Mellon, managing director of PWR, said that moving to bigger premises at Grovewood Business Centre – planned before the coronavirus pandemic – “is crucial to our ambitions to expand”.

He said: “We’re consolidating the UK and Dutch businesses into one company which means that all head office functions will be based at Bellshill while our premises in the Netherlands will continue to be a centre of excellence for design, writing software, manufacturing and assembling of our bespoke solutions.

“As essential workers we have been continuing to work hard to service our customers throughout the pandemic but following Covid-19 many want to accelerate their automation plans.

“They are experiencing increased demand from supermarkets, but production needs to take account of social distancing. Our robotic solutions enable them to maintain production levels while also protecting their workforces.”

Mr Mellon added: “We are an ambitious business. While Covid-19 has caused an interruption for us as it has many businesses, we see opportunities for growth – we have market-leading technology that blows people’s minds and never breaks down.

“Moving into bigger premises at Grovewood Business Centre is crucial to our ambitions to expand. We were also extremely impressed by the quality of the workspace available.”

Grovewood Business Centre recently underwent a major refurbishment and offers a range of office and workshop accommodation for small and medium-sized businesses.

Jackie Taylor, property administrator at UKSE, said: “PWR is a brilliant Scottish-owned business, designing and producing bespoke technology that is in demand by food producers all over the world. Helping innovative firms like PWR Pack is what UKSE is all about and we’re proud that Peter and his team have chosen Grovewood as their new UK base.”