Sheffield firm engineers growth plans with support from Yorkshire Bank

Sheffield based Advanced Engineering Techniques (AET) is equipped for growth after acquiring state-of-the art automated machinery thanks to a £900,000 funding package from Yorkshire Bank.

AET, which is one of Yorkshire’s leading subcontract engineering providers, recently took delivery of a Bystronic laser-cutting system. The BySprint Fiber 4020 operates up to three times faster than the firm’s previous laser-cutter and uses 60% less energy. It can also operate unmanned during the night.

The firm invested in the equipment after obtaining a £900,000 funding package from Yorkshire’s Bank’s South Yorkshire Business and Private Banking Centre.

The deal was delivered by relationship manager, Nick Leatherland, who is based in the South Yorkshire centre and Sarah Gwynne, asset finance sales manager in Yorkshire Bank’s Working Capital Solutions team.

Founded in 1989, AET manufactures parts for the rail, construction, yellow goods and road transport sectors. It generated a turnover of £11.5 million in the last financial year and employs 170 staff.

The new equipment will help the company remain competitive and secure employment locally. AET estimates that it has spent £6 million on new equipment over the past five years, with the investment helping to create 70 new jobs at its Sheffield plant.

David Birch, managing director of AET, said: “With support from Yorkshire Bank, we have invested in new automated laser-cutting equipment that will enable us to scale up production and operate around the clock. At 16m long, it is a big piece of equipment and will be used to make parts for yellow goods, buses and coaches and the road transport industry.

“This investment will help us remain competitive against our rivals overseas and retain jobs in Yorkshire. Since 2010, we’ve created an extra 70 jobs and now have 170 staff. Investing in equipment will help us to continue growing. The more contracts we win, the more people we can employ.”

The machine was delivered to AET’s fabrication facility in July on four 40ft trailers. It has now been fully assembled and installed.

Kevin Elliott, head of Yorkshire Bank’s South Yorkshire Business and Private Banking Centre, said: “We are extremely proud to support AET, a strong, well-managed business with significant growth ambitions.

“David and his team represent all that is good and entrepreneurial about the Yorkshire economy by continuing to grow the business in a highly competitive marketplace.

“Our specialist knowledge of and focus on different sectors helps to bring a challenge to the market giving small and medium sized businesses the speed and flexibility they require to achieve their growth ambitions.”

Andrew Richards and Sarah Gwynne with AET's new equipment
Andrew Richards and Sarah Gwynne with AET’s new equipment

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