FUCHS Lubricants invests £10 million-plus in UK plants

The latest stage in FUCHS Lubricants’ multi-million pound UK investment has seen it put cash into all areas of the plant including manufacturing, R&D, technical processes and logistics.

FUCHS LUBRICANTS UK will house a new raw materials warehouse and benefit from a range of innovative manufacturing plant machinery as part of a cash injection of more than £10 million.

The investment comes less than a year after new state-of-the-art offices were built at the FUCHS UK headquarters in Stoke-on-Trent and coincides with ongoing enhancements to the R&D Technical Centre.

Richard Halhead, Managing Director of FUCHS Lubricants UK, said: “This is a hugely significant project which will have fantastic benefits for the business.

“It will elevate FUCHS Lubricants to a unique position as the only lubricant manufacturer in the UK with this type of facility, firmly placing us at the forefront in the R&D, manufacture and distribution of lubricants in the UK and maintains our pledge to continually build for the future.

“It all means we are perfectly placed to fulfil the future lubricant production needs of all our customers across a vast range of sectors.”

4,000 pallet locations

The construction of a new warehouse, holding 4,000 pallet locations, will allow FUCHS to significantly increase its capacity for raw materials, while allowing an existing building to become a specialist packaging warehouse.

Enhancements to the production process include the introduction of a FANUC M410/185iC 4 axis robot arm, which has the capacity to simultaneously palletise boxes from three independent filling lines, packing into 15 different box configurations.

Further improvements in efficiency will be seen through the introduction of a FEIGE automatic filling machine. Capable of filling 60L, 205Land IBC containers, the machine’s A.I determines the pack size to be filled and the automatic spout then fills to a required volume.

Building on the success and demand for the 20 litre Lube Cube, FUCHS’ innovative recyclable packaging solution, the original Lube Cube machine introduced several years ago, sees the planned introduction of a second automatic Lube Cube filling machine to support the increasing demand for the eco-friendly alternative to plastic.  The 20 litre Lube Cube success has been strengthened by the introduction of 4 litre Lube Cube and the latest 5 litre which will be launched mid-year.

Modula storage machines have been have been installed to assist with retained oil samples and to aid with product label stock levels using an automatic re-ordering notification system.

FUCHS UK have installed a bank of roof mounted solar panels, generating 14 per cent of electricity demand, implemented a state-of-the-art computerised maintenance management system, added energy efficient LED lighting across the plant and purchased a number of Linx 8940 batch printers to their production lines.

Logistical capability has also been enhanced with the investment in five new truck cabs and numerous technical support vehicles.

The investments are not only for the Hanley manufacturing plant, understanding the need to service a dedicated agricultural area in the UK, FUCHS has advanced and expanded its depot at Dereham in East Anglia.

The global group’s investment in the UK does not stop here with various other projects scheduled during 2018 including a second robot arm, driverless forklifts and numerous automation upgrades to our production lines.

Richard added: “Our ambitious aim is to produce the most modern lubricants blending plant in the UK and we feel this significant expenditure in our infrastructure will put us well on the road to achieving that.”