The latest in our day in the life series, technical director Gary Day tells us about his daily to-do list, what he thinks about working at Sewtec and Yorkshire's role in the automation industry.
Engineering is an industry that never sits still. It’s a constantly evolving environment, and those that want to keep up with the pace need to embed innovation in all that they do.
Sewtec is a proud Yorkshire business which is a leader in bespoke robotics and automation systems. We design and manufacture cutting-edge solutions for some of the world’s most exciting blue-chip companies within the food, pharmaceutical, personal care and tobacco industries. These include Nestlé, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and Tata Global Beverages. Innovation is at the core of the business and our team has an outstanding reputation for tackling challenging, interesting and complex projects.
I joined the team in 1997 as a mechanical design engineer and today in my role as technical director I am responsible for leading the mechanical engineering function. It is my job to oversee technical innovation, drive the technical direction of the business and ensure that our team of designers create cutting-edge bespoke solutions that meet our customer expectations and deliver commercial advantage.
In a typical day I will be working closely with the design engineers and inputting into the design of our machines. It’s extremely important that each machine is designed in such a way that it meets the customer’s brief, as well as being compliant with current legislative requirements.
No one project is the same at Sewtec. Businesses approach us to create a bespoke solution to enhance their manufacturing process and increase efficiencies. It’s our job to find a way to solve a customer’s specific problem by creating a unique bespoke solution, tailored to them. This is what makes Sewtec stand out from the rest.
Another exciting part of my role is getting involved in developing new concept ideas. Like most engineers, most of my childhood was spent taking things apart to see how they work. This inquisitive thinking led me to an electrical apprenticeship with Brook Motors, where I went on to study engineering, gaining a first-class honours degree.
Now, it feels as I’ve gone full circle to an extent, from apprentice to master as I’m helping to develop the next generation of engineers. At Sewtec we’re continually working with young people from apprentices to graduates, people who have the ambition to drive the precision engineering industry forward. By creating an environment that allows them to take a hand-on approach, I believe we provide them with the best opportunity to develop, innovate and build, ultimately taking on the mantle from my peers and me.
In my 22 years working for Sewtec, I’ve seen how the engineering sector has grown and established itself as the industrial heart of the north. As the region continues to play a key role in powering the UK’s engineering and manufacturing success on not just a national, but global scale, it’s no surprise that Yorkshire is attracting some of the brightest talent to the booming sector.
I’m proud to say that I work alongside some of the most skilled engineers in the region. We have significantly grown the team over the years and today we have a workforce of more than 100 people and counting. Our team is high-performance and dynamic and our people strive for excellence. The job can be challenging, but this is something we thrive on.
Up and into the world
Yorkshire is a fantastic region for business and manufacturing. It has an excellent talent pool with a highly skilled workforce, as well as access a brilliant network of state-of-the-art facilities, for example the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre, which have established a knowledge sharing partnership with.
All of this creates a favourable environment that provides us with the platform to champion British manufacturing and exporting. It has enabled our business to build an excellent reputation abroad, which is fuelling international demand for our bespoke automation systems.
Exports account for 85 per cent of our sales, from over 17 markets across six continents, including the USA, Brazil, China, Germany, Russia and Australia. Sewtec is a company that takes great pride in its Yorkshire roots and we’re extremely proud to fly the flag of British business abroad.
A bright future
We have ambitious plans to double the size of our business to £32m by 2023, and we’re already on track to achieve this, with a record £25m order book during 2018.
However, it takes a brilliant and dynamic team to remain ahead of our competitors. As we gear up to move into a larger purpose-built site to achieve our growth plans, we will be on the look out for people who are passionate, have an inquiring mind and a proactive attitude, to join our team. Over the past 12 months we have recruited 20 new highly skilled employees across engineering, manufacturing and sales roles. These two new hires bring Sewtec’s headcount to more than 80 people, with plans to create an additional 40 jobs in the region within the next four years.
No two days are the same at Sewtec. Every day has a new challenge to overcome. It’s this variation of projects, and our ability to overcome challenges to creative competitive advantage for our clients that makes Sewtec such a fantastic place to work.
For more information on current vacancies at Sewtec, visit our Careers page.