Advanced manufacturing and engineering
Northern Ireland has a vibrant and highly sophisticated advanced manufacturing and engineering sector.
Our diverse advanced manufacturing and engineering sector has in recent years grown almost three times faster than the rest of the UK. Manufacturing accounts for 11% of employment and over 15% GVA making it a key sector in the Northern Ireland economy.
The region is home to a range of indigenous and international companies, engaged in the full range of activities from R&D through new product development to manufacturing. A strong focus on R&D investment and commitment to product & process and design & development ensure the sector continues to grow and experience success.
Areas of expertise
Our companies experience spans across a range of sectors including:
- Aerospace & defence
- Materials handling
- Consumer products
Within these sectors the region has a world-class reputation for its strengths in:
- Plastics and polymers
- Composites design and manufacturing
- Precision manufacturing
- Design and stress modelling
- Power generation
- Aircraft seating and interiors
- Specialist joinery and fit-out (including Marine)
- Off-site/Modular construction solutions and products
Access to world-class research centres of excellence
Northern Ireland is home to a number of centres of excellence undertaking industrially relevant research and channelling university expertise into the development of sophisticated products and processes to assist the growth of companies in our advanced manufacturing and engineering sector.
Northern Ireland for foreign direct investment
Northern Ireland is an attractive place for investment in the advanced manufacturing and engineering sector thanks to a combination of factors including skills availability, excellent infrastructure, cost-effectiveness and a supportive business environment
Bombardier's Belfast operation is the largest investor in Northern Ireland and the largest manufacturing company, with a total workforce of around 3,800. It specialises in the design and development of complex composite and metallic structures, including wings, engine nacelles and fuselages and has a comprehensive after-market support business.
Creagh Concrete Products Ltd provides offsite fabrication of 'bespoke' concrete products, extremely fasttrack build system when delivered 'just in time' to site (particularly for high rise residential developments), and alleviates (i) skills and labour shortages especially in major population centres, (ii) site access restrictions, and (iii) fire risks potentially associated with alternative non-concrete façade (cladding) systems which are now under significant scrutiny following the Grenfell disaster. Creagh’s products can be supplied with pre-installed insulation, external windows and doors, M&E conduits and balcony inserts, and with external and internal wall finishes completed.
Denroy offers an integrated design, tooling and manufacturing operation providing clients with a single-source solution from concept design to full volume production of thermoplastic aerospace parts and assemblies.
The company carries approvals for Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier and also works with many of the tier 1s in the aerospace industry
McMullen Facades, part of the JRL Group, is a leading specialist facade contractor providing full design, fabrication and installation of aluminium curtain wall and window systems for medium and large scale building projects. McMullen has a professional team that “Brings the Architects Designs to Life”. Specialising in fully integrated facade design, the company is able to offer its clients and customers a range of high quality, fully tested, facade products which give a “one stop, low risk” solution.
MJM Marine, employing over 600 people and 1,200 subcontractors, is a global provider specialising in new build, refurbishment, refit and fit out services to the marine, commercial and private sectors. MJM Marine offers full bespoke and turnkey solutions across a broad range of needs: accommodation, recreation and public areas, catering, residential and many more, working with a wide spectrum of materials.
Seagate is a global leader in data storage solutions. From its facility in Northern Ireland, the company develops and manufactures read-write heads for hard disk drives. This manufacturing operation is recognised as one of the UK’s most advanced nanotechnology manufacturing facilities.
Terex GB Ltd
Terex is a global manufacturer of lifting and material processing products and services. Terex products and solutions serve a broad range of industries, including construction, infrastructure, manufacturing, shipping, transportation, refining, energy, utilities, quarrying and mining.
Terex has a number of manufacturing units in Northern Ireland, employing over 1,000 people in the manufacture of mobile machinery for use in mining, quarrying, construction and waste materials processing. Northern Ireland products include mobile crushers, screeners, sand washing and waste processing equipment.
Thales is a global technology leader in the Aerospace, Transportation and Defence & Security markets. In 2018, the company generated revenues of €19 billion with 80,000 employees in 68 countries. Thales in the UK is a team of over 6,500 experts, located across 10 key sites. In 2018, Thales UK’s revenues were around £1.3 billion.