Welbilt brand Merrychef a is investing a seven-figure sum in the latest machine laser technology at its factory in Sheffield, after experiencing strong growth in the last quarter of 2020.
Alongside this, it is creating an additional 50 roles across all areas of the site, due to an increase in exports that is forecast to continue throughout 2021 and beyond.
Colin Lacey, Merrychef vice president and MD explained: “The last quarter of 2020 was our second highest on record, with Merrychef ovens being shipped to all four corners of the world. From South Korea to Chile, the USA to Australia and the Middle East, demand for Merrychef high-speed ovens has never been greater.
“This has been driven by a variety of factors, not least the significant number of operators turning to equipment with speed, to facilitate a move to takeaway and click-and-collect operations across the industry. Despite increased competition, Merrychef remains the preferred brand for foodservice operators who need queue busting speed, ease of use and unparalleled customer support.”
Lacey emphasised: “To be able to invest in the factory and create additional jobs in the local economy is particularly poignant right now, as we celebrate 70 years of the Merrychef brand. Last year was focused on ensuring the manufacturing plant was Covid-19 secure and ramping up production, but 2021 is about planning for the next 70 years and these investments are a big step on that journey.”
Michael Lee, Merrychef operations director, explained more about the latest laser machinery: “The new Amada EML AJ series laser is a combined cutting and punching machine which is 45% faster and 43% more energy efficient than previous machines. This will obviously help to significantly increase production at our Sheffield site and improve order wait times. We will have this installed and integrated into our existing automated metal handling stockyard.”