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Building for the Future: the story of Sandon Global’s new HQ

June 2023

At Sandon Global, we believe in investing in the future. 

Since we were founded in 2004, we have focused on providing high quality anilox solutions to our customers, and on continually striving to improve through hard work, research and development, and re-investment. Through multiple Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) and acquisitions of cutting-edge technology, we’re now setting the standard for anilox engineering and bringing our brand to markets around the world. 

The most significant investment we have made, however, has been in our new headquarters and manufacturing facility. Formally opened by Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, earlier this year, our 14,500m2 site, featuring unique R&D facilities, new laser equipment, plasma coating booths, and a stylish suite of offices and meeting rooms, positions Sandon Global as a global leader in the industry – and marks the end of a long and challenging journey stretching over six years. 

Our vision for quality 

Back in 2017, we purchased a plot of land a stone’s throw from our old facility with the intention of building a brand-new, purpose-built headquarters. Our CEO John Millington wanted the design to not just be of its time, but to reflect the future of the business, evoking the advanced technology, high specification, and commitment to quality that form the foundational pillars of Sandon Global.  

Made from materials that pay tribute to the ones we use in our anilox, and boasting a suite of sustainability-enhancing features, the plan would be a testament to Sandon Global’s vision of a successful, sustainable international business that is globally recognised as the leading brand in our selected markets. 

In achieving this, we were incredibly fortunate to secure the help of architect Peter Fearon-Brown and 2M2 Studios, as well as Black Cat building consultancy and the expert Cumberbirch building team. Work quickly began at the site, and, in 2019 we publicly announced the development with plans to open the following year. 

However, these plans were quickly complicated by a period of intense international upheaval. The effects of Covid and social distancing slowed the building process to a crawl with limited tradespeople allowed to attend site. The market price for steel and other critical building materials spiked inflating costs beyond our initial projections. All of this at a time where our commercial team was having to come to terms with the effect of additional red-tape that had been created by Brexit. 

Since then, the war in Ukraine has disrupted international supply chains and sent the cost of energy and raw materials skyrocketing; our energy bills increased by 300%.  

Built for sustainability 

Thankfully, the design features we were incorporating went some way towards addressing these challenges. Our investment in rooftop solar panels has helped to relieve some of the burden on our bills, while providing the building with a source of clean, renewable power – something particularly important for an electricity-intensive manufacturing hub!  

In addition, the new building features integrated electric vehicle charging points and LED lighting throughout, further reducing both our carbon footprint and our energy bills. 

As a result of these investments, the facility has been granted an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ‘A’ rating – an outstanding achievement for a building of this kind and a solid step on our journey towards becoming a truly carbon neutral business. In fact, the new site is just short of being a carbon neutral facility. 

Commenting on this achievement, our Managing Director Richard Millington said: “Sustainability was an enormous feature of what we were looking to achieve with our new facility. The site is only four points off carbon neutrality, and we hope to invest further in the future to make that ambition a reality. 

“There is a lot to do for businesses to create more sustainable products, but we are proud to be so far along that journey already.” 

Investing for the future 

We also recognise that the new facility is only as good as the business that operates inside it. As a result, alongside the sustainability features, we have invested in a range of equipment that is propelling our engineering capability to new heights. These investments include: 

  • Two thermal plasma coating systems developed in a KTP alongside the University of Manchester; 
  • A thermal powder manufacturing line for making specialised coatings; 
  • Next generation lasers developed as part of the Innovate Project with Liverpool John Moores University; and 
  • A single deck Allstein print demo unit for testing our anilox in real-world conditions. 

Not content to rest on our laurels, we continue to invest heavily in research and development and have recently started our second KTP with the University of Manchester that will help us continue to raise the standard for anilox performance. 

Creating this new building has not been an easy journey. However, it has been a process that pushed our business to continue to re-invest, diversify, and grow, entering new markets with plans for exciting new product developments that will continue to drive us forward. With our new site now formally open for business, boasting strong sustainability credentials and hosting our world-class engineering and research – as well as our expert staff – Sandon Global continues to build not only for today, but also for the future. 

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