Anthony Best Dynamics (ABD) plans to build a new £5.6m factory, which it hopes will be operational by the end of 2015. The facility will cover an area of 2,743m2 and will nearly triple the company’s manufacturing capacity. It’ll be almost entirely carbon neutral.
Reasons behind the investment include the desire to expand into new markets, such as large truck machines. Another benefit will be to reduce waiting times for customers. “At the moment we’ve a lead time of around 24 months for some products,” explained Tim Rogers, managing director at ABD. “The danger of that is they may go elsewhere, so we need to be able to fulfil those orders quicker. Going forward we will be more proactive.”
In order to the fund the ambitious project, ABD will be listed on AIM on the London Stock Exchange as of June 2013 to secure small private investors. Alternative sources of investment such as a trade sell or a management buyout were also considered.
The listing will also secure the future of the business, according to Rogers: “[Founder] Tony Best is looking to eventually step away from the business but remains actively involved for now, as executive chairman.”
In other news, ABD also participated in a recent project to evaluate the use of steering robots for winter testing. The project had a particular focus on path following on low-friction surfaces, and was held in collaboration with Luleå University of Technology in Sweden.
An SR30 steering robot from ABD was used to perform a variety of maneuvers on snow and ice, using a range of different winter tires. ABD states that reports from the event showed ‘path-following performance was excellent and allowed repeatable high-speeds tests such as slaloms and laps of a handling circuit.’