A NEW machine to improve safety and efficiency at a North-East engineering firm has been unveiled.

Darlington-based Cleveland Bridge UK has invested in the automated flange grinding preparation line with the aim of improving efficiency.

It was unveiled during a visit of the 22-acre site by Darlington Borough Council leader Heather Scott, assistant director Dave Winstanley and managing director Paul Wildsmith.

Four operators and two maintenance technicians have been trained to operate the machine, which will be used to prepare plate girder flanges and remove dross to comply with standards – previously a largely manual process.

Managing director Chris Droogan said: "We were really grateful to Cllr Scott and her colleagues for helping us launch our latest investment, which will continue to enhance our manufacturing capabilities. We are consistently looking at ways to improve the production process, which creates greater efficiencies for our business and our customers. This machine also demonstrates our commitment to maintaining a safe working environment for our workforce, while also generating opportunities for the development of new skills.”

Cllr Scott said: “Cleveland Bridge has always been a key part of Darlington’s proud engineering heritage and I was delighted to play a small part in helping them celebrate the arrival of the new advanced manufacturing equipment.

“It’s wonderful to see firms like Cleveland Bridge continue to invest in the future of their workforce. I’ve no doubt the company will continue to go from strength to strength.”