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UK gasket maker to open £2.8m hi-tech facility

UK gasket manufacturer J A Harrison will unveil new hi-tech production facilities this month, which are designed to earn it accreditation to work with the world’s most heavily regulated industries.

J A Harrison’s £2.8m benchmark installation houses advanced technology, machinery and manufacturing processes that are needed to assure defence, aerospace, automotive, rail, pharmaceutical and food processing companies that its specialised sealing products and supply chain meet their industries’ stringent safety and quality requirements. 

The new scientific facility in Middleton, Oldham, is due to open on 10 November. The 38,000 sqft design incorporates computerised industrial presses, lathes, ovens and cyber-safe security systems that will enable J A Harrison to work on the world’s most guarded defence, aerospace, rail and automotive projects. 

Enhanced handling, packaging, storage, cleaning, waste control and review processes will also ensure a supply of uncontaminated products to petrochemical, water treatment, pharmaceutical and food processing companies. The new facility also offers efficiencies that will cut lead times and down-time in industry and allow J A Harrison to compete on price with gasket manufacturers in China and India. 

The company, which already supplies bespoke and standard-dimension gaskets to energy and petrochemical businesses, has now begun application processes for AS9100D and AS9120B (2016) accreditations to work with international aerospace companies, space agencies and satellite manufacturers, and for IATF 16949 accreditation to supply the automotive sector. Its facility recently obtained ISO 9001-2015, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and Cyber Essentials Plus certifications.

Says J A Harrison managing director Keith Shepherd: “Safety of products, security of systems and contamination are big issues for customers in these industries. This facility addresses them all, and many more. We must be compliant with a wide range of industries so we can satisfy the tough auditing required of their suppliers. 

“Our sealing products have always been the highest quality available and we have a track record in creating innovative products, which many companies in these industries seek. But we needed to refine our processes and this facility has more than done that for us. It is a flagship facility for our industry and gives us the scope to produce gasket and seals for some of the most tightly controlled businesses around the world. We’re delighted it is now operational.”

The installation’s official opening is expected to be attended by the UK’s Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry as well as representatives of The Bank of England.

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