Ballymena Smiths Engineering Works gears up for exports


Ballymena-based Smiths Engineering Works (NI) Ltd has established a new export focused gear manufacturing and refurbishment division with support from Invest Northern Ireland.

As a result of its substantial investment, the family firm, established in 1962, has already secured its first export business to the Republic of Ireland and Scotland. It aims to create seven new jobs by 2014.

The company currently offers engine remanufacturing, specialist engineering and contract maintenance services. With its new division, Smiths is aiming to position itself as the preferred gearbox service centre for the industrial and heavy plant equipment markets associated with Great Britain and Ireland’s rail, marine, wind energy and oil and gas sectors.

Invest NI has offered Smiths a range of financial and advisory support to help the company boost its overall performance and ability to compete for new business outside Northern Ireland.

Gren Armstrong, Manager of Invest NI’s North Eastern Regional Office, said: “This is an important investment by Smiths which has enabled the company to adopt a new strategic direction and capitalise on emerging opportunities particularly within the renewables sector.

“Recruiting two senior managers and five additional skilled engineers will provide economic benefits to the local community and help the company to achieve its growth objectives.”

Darwin Smith is the company’s Managing Director having recently taken over from his father.

Mr Smith said: “During our fiftieth year in business, the decision to take a greater export focused approach in our business activities was driven by the changing needs of our customer base. Diversifying into gear servicing will be a complementary but distinct service offering for which we have identified substantial market demand.

“Invest NI’s support has helped us to accelerate our expansion plans and enhance our export marketing capabilities and awareness of export opportunities. We aim to utilise our extensive network of industry contacts to secure new business and build on our sales to date.”