A Sunderland based manufacturing company has invested over £500,000 in new machinery and technology  after winning major new export contracts and is now recruiting up to an addition ten personnel to support this new business stream.

Argus Powerbend’s bulging order book includes work with customers across Europe, Brazil and India, together with global companies such as Caterpillar, JCB, Johnson Controls and John Deere.

Argus are a tube manipulation and fabrication company, end products include hydraulic pipelines, car seat components, medical equipment and structural parts for tractors, trucks and construction machines.

The company, through its customer Johnson Controls, supplies tubular components to the Nissan Car Plant in Sunderland and has been awarded contracts on new models due to commence production in August .

Through John Deere, Argus has won new contracts with Dura Automotive Systems in Germany, who manufacture joysticks and levers for forestry machinery , Argus are utilising their  laser-cutting expertise to produce the tubular sections required for these complex components.

Johan Swanepoel, quality engineering director at Argus Powerbend, says that 2013 has been a fantastic year for the company so far. “January and February were exceptionally good, and it has been even busier in March and April,we have secured  new orders from customers in addition to our existing contracts, this is excellent news and means that we are now looking to expand our current workforce to meet the increased demand.”

Established in 1978 as Dunlop Powerbend the company was purchased by an internal management team in 2005 changing its name to Argus Powerbend in 2008.

Sunderland City Council has advised and assisted the company for many years. Mr Swanepoel said: “The City Council Business Investment team has been very supportive. They’ve helped us with property and lease issues over the years, identifying possible new premises for us, and supported us in helping to bring new investment to the company. “

Councillor Paul Watson, Leader of Sunderland City Council said: “Argus is a great example of why this region leads the UK in exports. The company’s manufacturing expertise and its ability to win new contracts including Brazil and India has seen the Argus’ customer base grow. Argus is now working with world-leading companies and bringing new investment and jobs to Sunderland. We’re delighted to be able to support Argus in its plans for the future.”

Johan Swanepoel praised the remarkable workforce at Sunderland. He said: “The workforce here is incredible, during 2008 when we were all feeling the pain of recession, the workforce fully supported the management team contributing with a 3 day working week to protect core skills throughout the factory and offices.

We have grown year on year since then through a big export drive and winning customers such as Caterpillar Brazil, JCB and Nissan replacement models.

Mr Swanepoel said that Rob Bird the companies Managing Director  based at the company’s head office in Salisbury, has been fully supportive of the major investment in equipment at Sunderland.  “Rob Bird has actively taken our business drive forward, this positive approach has been invaluable”.

“We aspire to be the preferred supplier to our key customers and aim to do this by focusing on the customers needs through production efficiency, global sourcing, training and most importantly enjoying the job,” he said.

Further information from Christine Holland, Holland PR & Marketing Ltd. Tel 01670 790246 or 07711 698246.