Huge investment in technology and solar takes UK manufacturing to a new level

Founded in 1976 by Fernando Martello, Roscomac grew from a small factory, to occupying 19 units and now resides on a two-acre site in Worthing. With Fernando’s son, Joseph Martello being at the helm for the last 23 years, the business has strengthened its core activity in machining, producing complex components for blue chip clients world-wide in many key sectors including aerospace, defence, medical and transport.

Following a £4m+ investment over the past four years, Roscomac now produces over a million parts every year from aluminium, steel, brass, and many other materials and have established themselves as the ‘go to’ manufacturer for OEMs. 

More businesses are recognising the importance of the environmental impact of their products, making the selection of business partners not just about focusing on quality and price, but how ‘green’ they can be in the process of servicing their customers.

In 2018/19, Roscomac started its shift into serious automation and site upgrades to reduce its environmental footprint. A new roof with 700 solar panels were installed, lights were changed to LED, and 95% gas heating replaced with more efficient equipment, saving the business 12% of its power usage.

The second phase is about to begin with a further 700 solar panels being installed which will generate 25% of the businesses’ power usage while removing dependency on the national grid.

Planning or just good timing? The directors at Roscomac had the foresight to see the need to reduce both their energy footprint and reliance on ever-increasing energy costs. Almost every square metre of roof space is now being utilised.

The installation of EV chargers for both staff and visitors who have gone ‘green’ is another small example of the many changes Roscomac have made. Sustainability and environmental impact are no longer a tick box exercise, they are real and being addressed at Roscomac at every level and in every department.

During the pandemic, one of Roscomac’s key customers, BD who manufactures Alaris Infusion pumps used in hospitals world-wide, increased its demand fivefold. The challenge was getting these critical components manufactured so pumps were delivered where they were needed most during lockdown, essential to saving lives.

At the time, Roscomac had just started its investment for an aerospace customer. Almost overnight the aerospace demand was switched off and the focus was immediately switched to start using this new equipment to support the critical demands of the medical sector. 20 machines were replaced by ten new five-axis CNCs (computer numerical control) with the ability to run unmanned for up to 14 hours at a time using robots. Starting with just one machine in late 2018, by 2021 nine more followed.

A bonus was that the new machines achieved increased output whilst using less electricity and taking up a smaller footprint. A recent planning application to extend the building was no longer needed as Roscomac had freed up 25% of the existing floor space.

It has always been the directors’ philosophy to invest, recognising that by doing so they would also attract the best talent in the market and new customers who could appreciate advantages of the automation and investment. The pandemic accelerated what would likely have been a drawn-out period of trials taking many years resulting in the transition being completed in a fraction of the time.

As a critical manufacturer, having mitigated risk whilst still ensuring quality was not compromised, Roscomac was recognised in 2021 by the presentation of an award for its efforts by its main medical customer. Out of tens of thousands of suppliers around the globe, Roscomac was only one of a handful that was awarded. This was a testament not only to the technology employed but the Roscomac team’s accomplishment.

It has always been thought that banks would be there when you don’t need them, and can be shy when needed the most. Fortunately, the bold moves Roscomac took to steer the business, almost overnight, were supported by NatWest and other asset financiers. The savings, long-term opportunities and overall prospects, were predicted and have since been proven to be selffunding.

Roscomac continues to seek all opportunities to reduce its footprint and enhance sustainability as a business.

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