New Centre of Excellence
Industry leader Saint-Gobain Abrasives celebrates opening of brand-new headquarters and distribution centre
Saint-Gobain Abrasives (SGA) UK has celebrated the relocation of its head office and distribution centre with an informative and engaging open event for employees, local dignitaries, customers and press.
Previously based at the old Universal Grinding Wheel Co. Ltd site in Doxey, Staffordshire for over 100 years, the new state-of-the-art Saint-Gobain Abrasives building, named Unicorn House, is now located in Stafford on the Redhill Business Park.
The event began with an overview of the history of abrasives in the UK and a portfolio of products, sectors and industries that it works within, followed by an update on where Saint-Gobain Abrasives UK is as a company today.
Afterwards, delegates were shown around the new facilities at Unicorn House, including the company’s new Centre of Excellence, testing and training facilities, customer services department and the impressive new distribution centre.
The new Centre of Excellence and training facilities permit SGA to showcase its products and solutions and the value that they offer. It will also allow for the training of customers in a classroom-like environment, but more importantly the ability to conduct hands on product training, ultimately building confidence through demonstrating product benefits, specifying tailored solutions and of course promoting safe use.
Adrian Hough, country manager for Saint-Gobain Abrasives UK, comments: “We hosted this event to thank our employees and key stakeholders for all their hard work and support in making this relocation such a huge success.
“We also wanted to showcase our new customer training facilities, for which we received a great deal of positive feedback. In particular, our brand-new Centre of Excellence and training provision allows us to conduct hands-on product training in a workshop environment, demonstrating best practices and helping to improve awareness on how to use abrasives safely.
“Here at Saint-Gobain Abrasives we are more than aware of the environmental impact of such a big move and we are fully committed to our sustainability goals. During our move, we ensured zero items went to landfill, through a combination of recycling materials and donating items where possible to charity.
“The location of Unicorn House was chosen with improved efficiency in mind, with one of the key benefits being simplified transport routes, which enables commercial traffic to be moved away from the town centre to ease congestion and pollution.”
Today, in the UK & Ireland Saint-Gobain Abrasives represents a team of around 150 employees, across three sites. The manufacturing plant in Eccleshall, located on Raleigh Hall Industrial Estate, produces bonded abrasive products mainly serving the aerospace market.
The Staverton site near Cheltenham manufactures super abrasive products for applications where precision and performance are key, such as the medical, aerospace and automotive sectors.
Unicorn House in Stafford is at the heart of the UK business operations providing customer services, an extensive training area and the company’s main distribution centre that will hold UK stock, helping meet customer delivery expectations.
Abrasives in Stafford can be dated back to the nineteenth century, with rubber bonded wheels being manufactured at Castle Works since 1893. Shortly after, Universal Grinding Wheel Co. Ltd registered to sell vitrified wheels and manufacturing started at the Doxey site.
In the 1950s the Doxey Road factory was the largest of its kind in Europe, covering a 44-acre site. When Saint-Gobain acquired both Universal Grinding Wheel Co. Ltd and Unicorn Abrasives in the late nineties, a multi-million-pound investment was made to the Doxey factory, renovating building infrastructure and automating production processes. A decade later, production started at the Raleigh Hall site in Eccleshall. A significant investment ensured the site specialised in manufacturing excellence to support the UK aerospace market.
After these major investments, the final stage was to improve core operations in Stafford, which oversees an abrasives portfolio of highly recognisable brands and serves many markets, from aerospace and automotive, to DIY and construction.
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For further details please contact:
Saint-Gobain Abrasives UK
Tel: 01785 279553