World leading microwave engineering company Flann Microwave is launching the latest phase in a major investment programme which is growing its workforce and enhancing its precision manufacturing capabilities.
The company has in the last year celebrated a series of milestone projects for customers including NASA and the Met Office as it continues to grow its business, workforce and global reputation for excellence.
A total of 11 new staff joined in 2018, at all levels of the business – from specialist microwave engineers to skilled machinists, operators and assemblers – and further recruitment is planned from apprentice through to senior roles.
Within its manufacturing facility, a new coordinate measuring machine (CMM) has been successfully brought fully on-stream, adding the capability for the highest level of precision measurement and inspection.
And the latest phase of investment is seeing Flann add new frequency analysis hardware, new milling machine, and a package of state-of-the-art upgrades to its Robodrill CNC Mill, allowing ultra-high-precision 5-axis machining within a highly temperature-controlled environment. Support for these investments has come through the Big 2 and Acceleration Through Innovation (ATI) programmes, both funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
With a 69-strong team based in Bodmin, Flann has a 60-year track record of continuous innovation and manufacturing expertise. It has seen the company secure a market-leading position in the design and manufacture of precision microwave communications equipment, for example in radar and to allow internet and mobile data links between land-based masts or satellites.
Angela Harvey, Head of Operations and Finance for Flann, said: “It has been an exciting year for Flann Microwave and one in which we have made considerable progress as part of our strategy to build on our global position and continue to grow the business.
“We’ve been successful in bringing some fantastic new people into the team and we’re delighted to be continuing to create employment opportunities. At the same time, with the help of our funding partners, the investment in new equipment is enhancing our capabilities across a range of products and markets, including growing opportunities in the space sector globally and as part of the Cornwall space cluster.”
Earlier this year the company revealed it had supplied vital components to US space agency NASA for a major spaceflight mission undertaking the first-ever global survey of Earth’s surface water.
Flann also supported the Met Office to improve the reliability of the UK weather radar network, supplying hardware and technical advice as part of a £10m upgrade. The project completed in February, just in time to track major snowfalls during the ‘Beast from the East’.
And Flann is currently leading a partnership of three Cornish companies on a project to create miniaturised components for the next generation of tiny communications satellites. The project working with Teddington Systems and Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd, together with Bristol-based Thales Alenia Space, follows an award of £148,000 from the West of England Aerospace Forum (WEAF) through a R&D grant funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by AeroSpace Cornwall.
Flann’s customer base includes telecoms, government, automotive, aerospace and research bodies and it exports more than 80% of its manufactured components around the world.
The company’s success has been driven by continued innovation combined with traditional precision manufacturing skills, enabling it to understand the specific requirements of customers and develop and manufacture the bespoke and robust solutions they need.