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May 1, 2022

FORTRESS EXPANDS EMEA OPERATIONS AND MANUFACTURING CAPACITY

Fortress Technology Europe has more than tripled its manufacturing capacity, moving into a new purpose-built facility and EMEA headquarters in Banbury.

Having merged with British checkweighing and x-ray inspection specialist Sparc Systems three years ago, the 30,000 sq./ft (2,800 sq./m) facility, named Stealth House, marks the next milestone in the company’s ambitious growth strategy.

Bringing all the Fortress and Sparc inspection engineering prowess together under one roof, represents a significant investment by the Group’s Canadian parent company. President and founder of Fortress Technology Steve Gidman officially opened the EMEA HQ in May 2022.

Touring the new site with Managing Director Phil Brown, Gidman reflected on the Fortress journey and praised the resilience of the team of 68 during the challenges of the pandemic, citing their proactiveness, collaboration and service ethos as a critical market differentiator.

“Fortress is now unique in that we can offer X-Ray, Metal Detection and Checkweighing in every possible upstream and downstream inspection configuration, including conveyor, pipeline, gravity, multi-lane and combination machines. The innovation possibilities are limitless. Having all this engineering acumen and food safety market insight contained within a single facility paves the way for even greater machinery integrations at the best price to performance ratio on production and packaging lines,” exclaims Gidman.

No inspection company globally is now better placed to navigate the food supply and pricing challenges brought about by the pandemic and now the Ukraine crisis. Ongoing export investments and a steady stream of new agents in regions like Scandinavia, central Europe, including Germany and Spain, and the Arab Emirates, reflects the faith the global food sector and industry stakeholders has in the Fortress brand.

Having successfully navigated the Covid-19 setbacks within months of merging with Sparc Systems, the company’s threefold enlargement of its manufacturing footprint is a bold move. Yet it caters to rising demand for inspection equipment across its entire product portfolio.

Phil and commercial manager Jodie Curry have observed a significant shift towards reshoring. “The Made in Britain badge is highly regarded by our customers. Our close proximity to them has resulted in an uptick in live enquires from British and European food factories seeking a swift turnaround,” notes Phil.

The new facility supports this rapidly evolving inspection landscape, facilitating stronger in-person knowledge sharing and troubleshooting, faster machine builds and, most importantly for customers, shorter install lead times.

The carefully thought-out employee workspace is more conducive to collaboration and wellbeing, states Jodie. Additionally, the team spent months designing the modern production floor in the new facility before moving equipment, machinery and people in. The blank canvas meant they could factor in and optimise the process flow, component warehousing, R&D and machine testing.

Commenting on the final build, Jodie confirms: “Our new Banbury facility hugely increases our capacity to deliver in all areas of our business and supply our customers with the highest quality of machinery and ongoing service support.”