June 16, 2024
Investment

Agriculture machinery firm to double production after major investment


A North Wiltshire-based manufacturer of agricultural drying and processing equipment is planning to double production after a major investment in robotic machinery.

Alvan Blanch, in Chelworth, makes large-scale equipment that is used post-harvest, including a machine that can dry grain, bananas, woodchip and seaweed.




The 70-year-old business secured nearly £700,000 funding for its new bending cell robot, which it said would speed up production and prevent backlogs as it is able to run overnight. The new acquisition is part of a broader strategy of investment in automation to improve productivity, the company said.

Andrew Blanch, managing director at Alvan Blanch, said: “Automation has been transformative to this business over recent years and despite how far we have come on this journey there is so much more yet for us to achieve.”

The company, which secured the funding as a loan through Lloyds Bank, has also invested in a new heat-insulated roof for the factory, with mounted solar panels, and air source heat pumps.

It has also planted a woodland strip with more than 1,000 trees to create a sheltered corridor for wildlife to pass by the production facility.

Amey Green, associate director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Across its seven decades, Alvan Blanch has never been a business to rest on its laurels. A consistently forward-looking attitude has helped to drive the firm to its position as a market leader and major exporter. This new investment will help them to drive new efficiencies and maintain its edge in what is a competitive marketplace.”

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