Supply Chain Client boosting production with new equipment, website and software

Thanks to support from the Supply Chain North East, the team have been able to purchase an advanced dicing machine from DISCO which will allow the cutting of coated sapphire and quartz substrates within house, to boost productivity and efficiency.

Northumbria Optical Coatings are one of only a select few businesses across the country supplying a niche range of optical filters for the infrared region of the spectrum. The firm’s products are mainly used for gas detection in a range of industries including the aerospace, medical, defence, automotive and marine sectors.

Within the last year, the team have added nine new members of staff and are currently working on components to aid space exploration equipment in addition to components for medical devices.

Early next year, the firm are replacing and upgrading all existing IT systems and software in order to support the new ERP system which will be linked to a new integrated website to enable customers access to stock overruns and their purchase history.

The team have over 70 years combined experience in the IR Coating industry and their production facility allows them to manufacture both small and large volume quantities.

The business has a diverse range of Global Customers including Academia, Research and Development organisations as well as OEM businesses, of which, 75% of products are exported.

Commenting on the support from Supply Chain North East, Nick Gilland, Managing Director said:

“Our business has had a long-standing relationship with Jim Barr and Alan Whittaker, stretching back to their days with the Manufacturing Advisory Service, and they have supported the business in a variety of different ways.

"We pride ourselves on supplying a quality product with very few customer returns as our Final Inspection team ensure products are a very high standard prior to shipping.”

“We have found the process to be smooth and the support from Supply Chain North East was exceptional.”

Jim Barr, Management Consultant at RTC North said:

“It has been a pleasure working with Nick Gilland and his great team at NOC over the past 12 years and watching them significantly grow in that period as well. It was especially fantastic to see a huge piece of that plan come into place with the recent purchase of the Dicing Equipment which was long overdue. This process, which was previously sub-contracted out, has always posed an issue in respect to product quality and lead time, so its pleasing to see that they now have full process control."

Supply Chain North East brings together four key partners to work with over 800 businesses through to 2021, supporting them to identify opportunities in new and existing markets. An integral part of the North East Growth Hub, Supply Chain North East is delivered across the region by RTC North, Generator, North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) and North East Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC).

Supply Chain North East is a multimillion programme aimed at revolutionising the way SMEs diversify their offering and embrace new markets. The programme has received more than £3m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund, which is part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

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