Re-investing for the future at EJOT UK with multi-million pound extension project

EJOT UK is entering an exciting new era with a major competitive advantage as a project to double the size of its site and extend its technical capabilities is now complete.

The business has invested more than £6m in the future of its UK manufacturing, R&D, technical support and customer service in a project to expand its administrative, production and logistical facilities at Sherburn-in-Elmet near the Yorkshire city of Leeds. The project brings to fruition Mr Hans Werner Kocherscheidt’s ambition two decades ago, when he purchased the site with the intention of one day creating a world-class facility in Britain that would enable it to grow and support EJOT’s next generation of young product designers, engineers and logistics specialists.

EJOT UK focuses on providing high-performing fastening solutions for the building industry, along with numerous other construction applications, as well as advanced engineering fasteners predominantly for the automotive industry. It is a business with a local focus but a global outlook, creating engineered product solutions for clients across the world that are highly respected given the heritage and reputation associated with German and British manufacturing and engineering.

EJOT UK’s R&D team has developed market-specific fastening solutions that have gained traction in markets across the world. These include the patented EJOT Opticore fastener, which has been widely used for installing membrane faced composite panels now for over a decade, and EJObar. This multi-purpose bridging system was developed in partnership with an OEM specifically for flat roofs waterproofed using single ply membrane.

These advanced products help make EJOT UK a key protagonist in supporting global manufacturing and supply. And it is not only for supply to EJOT Group companies – the UK operation serves customers directly and through appointed distributors in the Asia-Pacific and Australasian regions, for example.

But with an ever expanding customer base, it was only a matter of time before its Sherburn-in-Elmet site could no longer provide the capacity needed by the team to seize the market opportunities they had developed. So, back in 2016, with the full support of EJOT Group, the UK management team made the proposal, and ultimately the decision, to embark on a programme to increase the scale of the site and create a state-of-the-art facility tailored very much to the needs of its core customer bases, with class-leading support for customer innovation.

In addition to providing extensive new manufacturing space and a logistical control centre that will increase storage capacity by 40%, the expansion also includes a state-of-the-art upgrade to its Applitec centre – already unique in the construction industry.

Unlike any testing and R&D facility available in the UK, this ‘application technology’ facility will be three times the size of the existing centre, providing a resource for multi-dimensional fastener testing and new product development in conjunction with OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers). The testing resources available here will include two new environmental testing laboratories where the long-term performance of EJOT products can be reliably assessed.

Robert Hardstaff, Managing Director at EJOT UK said: “This investment in our UK site represents a major step forward for EJOT, giving us a unique position in our local market – and increasingly on a global level – in respect of the levels of technical, logistical and sales support we can offer, with a strengthening of our manufacturing base.

“The resulting facility is a testament to Mr Kocherscheidt Snr’s foresight, and the backing of the EJOT Group management team all the way.

“Our ethos of ‘converting customer problems into product solutions’, both reactively and often proactively to prevent problems manifesting in the first place, requires us to have the right technical resources and quality procedures in place to meet whatever challenges our customers face. Our new facilities will enable us to do this better than ever before.”

The EJOT UK investment programme commenced well ahead of the implementation of a post-Brexit agreement, as part of its long term vision to provide market-leading support to UK customers whilst creating an EJOT Group manufacturing centre of excellence for many of its key products in Yorkshire. Rubber-stamped by EJOT Group after the Brexit deal was reached, progress continued despite the impacts of the pandemic and subsequent repocushion on supply chains and access to certain raw materials.

The extended facility will also create the ideal platform to develop EJOT UK’s future workforce and give it an additional 4,500 sq. m of operational space. In addition to expanding the production of EJOT’s core range of fasteners for both the construction and engineering sectors, the extended site will include a new facility for manufacturing certain key components of the LIEBIG range of heavy duty anchors - a brand the EJOT Group acquired from Finnish company Sormat in 2017.

Robert continues, “The same quality management systems that we adopt across all EJOT production facilities globally will apply throughout our extended factory here, which is one of the reasons the EJOT brand maintains its position at the forefront of our markets.

“When the Group purchased our Sherburn-in-Elmet site back in 2003, it was done so with a long term vision for the UK in mind, which is why a large site was chosen. As they knew, with time, we’d need room to grow. It is tremendous to see this vision fulfilled, boosting what many of our customers, OEM partners and professional associations already regard as a go-to resource for industry-wide training and meetings.

“The investment programme, however, represents so much more than just a building extension. It supports EJOT’s family business approach that drives our global strategy to continuously re-invest profits into the business and futureproof our employment needs by providing youth career opportunities in highly skilled and technical roles.”

EJOT UK has long been a firm advocate of investment in youth and currently has 15% of its UK HQ workforce benefitting from an apprenticeship or higher education programme in various formats. These apply to different areas of the business and range from technical services and quality management, through to engineering and manufacturing. Qualification goals are both vocational and degree level where participants attend college or university on a day release basis.

Everyone in the EJOT UK team also benefits from mentoring – one of the cornerstones of the company’s success globally. This facilitates the sharing of knowledge, advice and guidance by a combination of tutors, senior management and often employees that have already graduated through the system to continuously improve skills and build. 

​​​​​​​You don’t build a business.
You build people, and people build the business!

​​​​​Watch the video to see the new building take shape, and to hear the thoughts of the UK management team as the dream became a reality.

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Watch the new building go up in the blink of an eye,
in our series of timelapse videos.

If you want more detail, watch it step by step...​​​​​​​
​​​​​​​Or watch it all in one go...

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Exterior design is consistent with the EJOT brand and Group buildings around the world, utlising the horizontal structure® façade from DOMICO in EJOT’s corporate colours .jpg

Re-investment by design

Exterior design is consistent with the EJOT brand and Group buildings worldwide, utlising the horizontal structure façade from DOMICO finished in EJOT’s corporate colours.

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​​​​​​​Re-investment for growth

The building extension has more than doubled the size of the existing site. This includes greatly expanded facilities for EJOT UK's Applitec centre - already unique to our markets.

More than 15% of EJOT UK's head office staff are part of Apprenticeship or higher career education schemes.jpg

​​​​​​​Re-investment for the future

More than 15% of EJOT UK's head office staff are part of Apprenticeship or advancing through higher career education schemes. The designers, engineers and technicians of tomorrow.

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Re-investment into logistics

Warehousing and storage capacity is now three times larger by height alone, allowing the former warehouse area to be developed as an engineering centre.