£1 million investment at Siemens in Leeds boosts local supply chain and jobs

Siemens in Leeds is celebrating an additional £1 million investment, having almost doubled turnover in the six years since it relocated to its current site.

The significant injection is to support a new service cell for rail fleet gearbox overhauls and will help Siemens bolster local investment in the supply chain as well as create up to 15 jobs over the next five years.

In the last two and a half years Siemens has invested £2.5 million across the Leeds factory and steadily grown its workforce to around 65 people.  The award-winning site is currently recruiting for more service engineers to work on wind turbines and plans to take on three more people for the newly created rail service cell.

Since moving to its purpose-built site in Stourton in 2010, this Siemens assembly and servicing centre has become a flagship for UK manufacturing growth.  Originally assembling and servicing large mechanical drive units (gear units, motors, couplings), the site quickly developed and expanded its focus to take on much more, particularly in the last two years.

Rail coupling and wind turbine servicing are the key areas at the centre of this growth in Leeds; a completely new team was created for rail servicing in 2014.

The engineering team soon developed more efficient ways of working, reducing the number of service hours to rebuild a rail motor unit without compromising specification, and achieving 100 per cent on-time in full delivery.  The new gearbox service cell will further expand this area.

Some rail industry long term service contracts have been established; underpinning and securing the future for the Leeds workforce for decades to come.  Additionally, most UK onshore wind turbines currently in operation feature a mechanical gearbox.  Around 50 per cent of these are Siemens gearboxes, all of which require periodic servicing.  Engineers have also been trained by Siemens in Leeds to service the growing number of offshore wind turbines.  Other Leeds contracts for built units are for significant export orders in many different industry sectors, from mining to renewables.

Siemens general manager Simon Nadin said “We have a really committed team here at Leeds and their innovative ideas have helped us grow much faster, from more efficient ways of working to sending zero waste to landfill and one of the strongest safety cultures within this Siemens business unit.”

The Leeds factory is a great example of best practice, with lean manufacturing techniques, a highly efficient workforce and tailor-made value added services for customers.  Siemens Leeds is also on a drive to localise its supply chain even more over the next year; the unit already has long-term links with several bespoke suppliers in the West Yorkshire region.

The site supports many local engineering apprentices, and technical seminars are held regularly at Stourton to enhance UK industry knowledge for customers and partners.

Andy Tüscher is EEF Region Director for Yorkshire and the Humber.  He said: “This is a great example of ongoing local commitment from a global manufacturer and is good news going forward for Leeds, Yorkshire and the UK.  With the local UTC now established, home-grown engineering talent can be more easily sourced for the future.“