Manufacturer TDK-Lambda has announced plans for £11.5million investment to redevelop its Ilfracombe factory.

How the new TDK-Lambda facilities in Ilfracombe will look after the site is redeveloped. Picture: TDKHow the new TDK-Lambda facilities in Ilfracombe will look after the site is redeveloped. Picture: TDK

The investment will be staged over the next three years and the company has said it will enable it to increase its production capacity by 50 per cent.

The power supply manufacturer sees its products used in critical medical and laboratory applications globally – orders for its products have increased six to tenfold since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The original factory on the site was built more than 50 years ago with more expansion in the mid-1980s.

The company said it had invested heavily in new equipment and building upgrades during this time, including the addition of a £1m EMC Centre in 2019, but said it was now time to redevelop the site.

The redevelopment will increase manufacturing space, expand the R&D facilities, and radically overhaul and automate the flow of materials.

The redevelopment at its Kingsley Avenue site will be split into four stages so production and services can continue.

The first stage will see the construction of new offices, including employees’ facilities and a health and fitness centre, on the north and west faces.

Upon completion, the south facing office will be extended to expand the research and development, product verification and test, and manufacturing engineering facilities.

The link area between the two factory buildings will then be infilled, and storage facilities and AGVs (automated guided vehicles ie robots) for material handling installed.

Finally, the manufacturing areas will be reconfigured with designated front end PCB (printed circuit board) assembly and back end (configuration and test) production areas.

Managing director Geoff Wilby said the investment demonstrated the company’s confidence in doing business in North Devon, ‘now and in the future’.

He said: “We are really excited about the investment in our Ilfracombe facilities, as it will enable us to develop many key aspects of our operation.

“From a manufacturing perspective, we will be better equipped to respond to future challenges regardless of where they arise from. This will make us more agile, enabling us to protect our operation and local jobs even better.

“The improvements in the research and development area for new products will give us a great platform to continue to move the company forward.

“The investment will also cover improved employee facilities, enabling us to provide a safer, more comfortable working environment, and helping us to continue to attract talented employees.”