ACDC, Barrowford

LIGHTING firm acdc leads the way in manufacturing new lighting products from its base in Barrowford.

Having been tasked to light up some of the world’s most iconic buildings the company is continuing to grow and develop new products.

Gareth Frankland, acdc CEO, said: “With more than a decade of LED lighting experience under our belt, acdc is a globally recognised LED manufacturer, leading the world in the design of technical LED products which are brighter, better and smaller than ever before, creating solutions never previously conceivable.

“Acdc’s in-house technical and product design team, led by highly respected lighting designer Dan Hodgson, is committed to understanding our clients’ needs and delivering ground breaking products which exceed them.

“Our design philosophy is to challenge what is expected and to push the boundaries of technologies and design. We are passionate about developing products which are not only well engineered, but also aesthetically brilliant.

“Our design approach to LED’s has always been to develop fittings around the light source itself rather than just fit them into existing products. Our continual new product development process see us undertake thorough research with some of the industry’s most respected lighting designers, from initial conceptual ideas through to fully functioning prototypes, prior to the launch of all new acdc products.”

The company’s turnover has more than doubled recently, from £4.43million in the year ending 2009, to £9.39million in the year ending 2011, and turnover is expected to grow to around £12million this year.

The number of people employed by acdc has also risen, from around 70 in 2009, to around 100 last year.

Mr Frankland said: “We employ a highly skilled workforce of over 100 individuals servicing all areas of the business. All acdc products are designed and manufactured at our global HQ in Barrowford, which is also Europe’s largest Cold Cathcode manufacturing facility.”

Merc Engineering, Barrowford

WITH 30 years’ experience in serving the power generation, defence, aerospace, rail and nuclear industries, Barrowford-based Merc Engineering is still growing.

Last month, the company announced the acquisition of Burnley firm Stanworth Engineering.

Buying Stanworth meant Merc had safeguarded 30 jobs, while taking over a firm with a sales turnover of £1.5million.

Stanworth is a leading manufacturer of high precision components and assemblies for the aerospace industry with a reputation established over more than 40 years.

Its customers include BAE Systems, Rolls Royce and Airbus and the firm has, in the past, supported projects such as the VC10, Tornado and Harrier aircrafts.

Following the deal, the Merc Group saw its employee numbers rise to 130, with group turnover now at £9million.

The Merc Group now consists of three companies, Merc Engineering, Stanworth, and Nelson-based precision engineering firm Bright Spark Engineering.

Merc took over Bright Spark, which has been supplying key players in the aerospace and motorsport markets for more than 20 years, in 2008.

The firm, which has 30 staff, also serves a wide range of other industry sectors, including defence, avionics, lighting, medical and scientific. It has a team of highly-skilled personnel .

The company has been responsible for producing components for a broad spectrum of aerospace applications.

WEC Group, Darwen

EVER-growing metal fabrication firm WEC has continued its expansion with contracts taking its products out as far as the Middle East.

The company, based at Junction Street in Darwen, now employs more than 400 people.

And its reach is wide, having secured a contract to provide CCTV camera poles to high-profile oil refineries in Kuwait, as well as various military sites in the Middle East and North Africa.

The company has also booked a stand at Intersec 2013, the largest security trade show in the Middle East, which takes place in Dubai in January.

This will be the first major security trade show attended by WEC.

WEC is on track to achieve its target turnover for the year of £40million to £42million.

Its growth this year has been aided by the acquisition of a 30,000sq ft unit at Walker Park in Blackburn.

The unit was bought for £1.5million, with a further £500,000 invested to buy overhead cranes and customise the building to WEC’s needs.

The new facility will house the relocating machining division, which comprises companies including Hi-Spec CNC and Nutter Aircrafts.

Marketing manager Jean-Yves Dziki said: “The £2million investment comes on top of another £600,000 that was invested earlier in 2012 to purchase additional machinery and another £800,000 has been committed to buy two new machines.

“Total investment for this year is expected to reach £3.5million.”

The firm has a renowned apprenticeship scheme and academy, taking on 10 apprentices from the town every year.

Mr Dziki said: “WEC has adopted the habit of accepting new projects from the local authorities every year free of charge so our apprentices can learn welding and fabrication while working on projects that beneift their town and bring pride to the local community.

“Since 2006, WEC has championed the benefits of apprenticeship.

“To support the local community and counter the ongoing concern about the shortage of skilled labour, WEC set up a welding and engineering training academy.”