Image by Parkway Photography
Pictured with Carol Keery, Invest NI, are (left) David Nicholl and (right) Robert Nicholl, NC Engineering.
NC Engineering in Hamiltownsbawn received R&D support from Invest Northern Ireland to develop an innovative product that has strengthened its position in key export markets.
The company is a leading manufacturer of farm machinery and other plant and equipment for customers in markets such as Great Britain, mainland Europe, Asia Pacific and North America. It used R&D support from Invest NI to design and manufacture a unique farm telehandler.
The project represented a £400,000 investment by the County Armagh machinery manufacturer. Invest NI offered R&D assistance of £141,000, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, towards the development of the new machine.
Carol Keery, Invest N’s Director of Research and Development, said: “Our support for R&D has enabled NC Engineering, one of our leading agri-machinery businesses, to exploit a gap it identified in specific markets, especially outside Northern Ireland, for a general purpose materials handling solution for use on small and medium sized farms.
“This investment in innovation has increased the company’s competitiveness and helped it to establish this progressive engineering business as the only manufacturer of Telescopic Wheeled Loaders on the island of Ireland.
“In addition, the development enhances our agri-machinery industry, a key sector in Northern Ireland’s hugely important agri-food business,” added Mrs Keery.
Mr Norman Nicholl, Managing Director of NC Engineering, said: “Invest NI’s R&D support was very helpful as it enabled us to develop a Telescopic Wheeled Loader with a unique market position, offering greater power and manoeuvrability with reduced noise. In addition, we’ve included a range of features which help livestock farmers to increase their efficiency and overall output at a time when farm incomes are under severe pressure.
“With Invest NI’s help we were able to bring the new machine to market faster than would have been possible if we had had to depend entirely on our own resources. It enables us to strengthen our own commitment to innovation as the route to faster growth, particularly in markets outside Northern Ireland.”
Formed in 1976 by Mr Nicholl and Sales Director Wilfred Carson, NC Engineering currently employs around 130 people in the manufacture of a wide range of agricultural and construction machinery including dump trailers, site-dumpers, low loaders, slurry pumps, tankers, and grain trailers.