Knight Warner is aiming to capitalise on its expertise and recent growth to take the business into new areas and expand its capabilities.
Major investments are planned in research and development, skills and services for customers.
The company, which invested £500,000 of its £4 million turnover in R&D last year, is launching a new research, development and training centre.
The centre will have the staff and facilities to enable the firm to rapidly turn new ideas into patentable prototypes.
It will also host training on its machines for clients and sessions where key suppliers can learn about its technologies and give the company the scope to take on more apprentices.
Following on from its Australian success, the company sees major opportunities for its dairy equipment in nearby New Zealand – where cows outnumber sheep – the US and China – where the potential market is enormous as the population begins to embrace milk products.
Knight Warner has already developed links with the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and plans to invite some of the AMRC Training Centre’s students to its facilities to learn about the practical application of automation, robotics.
Growth is most definitely in Knight Warner’s sites, but the company is conscious that it mustn’t overstretch itself.
“We are only a small company, 33 people, and we have to be careful. Six months ago we had no idea we would need an additional 10,000sq ft and now we have to make sure we have something to fill it when the Australian contract is complete,” Kevin adds.