The ongoing recruitment campaign is essential to underpin the company's position as the largest supplier of sliding-head (Cincom) and fixed-head (Miyano) bar-fed CNC lathes into the UK and Irish markets.
Citizen Machinery UK's managing director Edward James, said: "We have expanded our business dramatically over the past few years. It is essential we keep our headcount commensurate with the increasing level of business to ensure our long-term success.
"This is especially important for our UK operation, as we are also the distribution hub for Citizen machines going into France, Spain, Portugal, Scandinavia, the Middle East and Africa.
"We are continually looking for candidates to strengthen our departmental teams and fervently believe that investment in staff is a top and ongoing priority, both to sustain growth and for succession planning and promotion."
The level of success achieved by the UK operation enabled the management team to persuade the Japanese parent company to invest more than £3 million in a new turning centre of excellence in Brierley Hill, which opened in 2019 and concentrates on preparing deliveries to customers. It operates alongside the headquarters in Bushey, which has been made the centre for configuring and supplying bespoke manufacturing solutions.
The first new recruit, who joined as a service engineer towards the end of last year, is Gloucestershire-based Timothy Baldwin. He has a strong background in CNC turn-milling machine programming, setting and operation in the aerospace, motorsport and toolmaking sectors.
The newest member of Citizen Machinery UK's applications engineering team arrived shortly afterwards. Martin Gregory lives in Birmingham and is well located to serve customers in the Midlands and to support the Brierley Hill operation. He has several years’ directly relevant experience working in the machine tool industry and is a valuable addition to the team.
Mark Harris, whose first day with the company was during early November, has considerable experience as a field service technician as well as having extensive knowledge of machine tool technology. Living in Solihull, he has been recruited into the servicing and installation team.
Rebecca Hancock joined as another service technician. She completed her apprenticeship during a five-year term at a superabrasives company in Gloucestershire and has experience working in the aerospace, F1, nuclear, defence and petrochemical industries. During that time she learnt to program, set and operate various machine tools including twin-spindle CNC lathes. She recently relocated to Walthamstow in north London.
That three of the first four new arrivals were recruited to the CMSure service and maintenance side of the business is no surprise. Citizen Machinery UK is finding that, due to uncertainty caused by Covid-19, there is a nervousness in some manufacturing companies to invest in new plant. It has resulted in a corresponding increase in the popularity of keeping existing machines in the field in peak operational condition and demand for service and maintenance support has never been higher.
The fifth recruit was north London-based Aaron Lewis, who joined from a leading workholding equipment supplier where he was a design/project engineer. Prior to that he studied design engineering at university. He is now supporting the customised production solutions team in a systems role at Citizen Machinery UK's Bushey headquarters, working on integration projects and machine modifications.