A TIMBER processing firm in Nairn is set to increase production and company turnover after installing new automated equipment for handling materials.
Gordon Timber (GT) has secured £95,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) towards the total project costs of £900,000.
The robotic arm and ancillary equipment such as conveyors and stacking turntables, will optimise the productive capacity of the existing production line while improving health and safety at the plant.
GT has been trading in the Highlands for more than 160 years. The company employees 80 people and is managed by Scott and Rod Gordon, who are the fourth generation of their family to lead the business.
It specialises in the supply of components for the fencing, construction and pallet and packaging industries and each year it processes around 150,000 tonnes of locally grown softwood trees.
Since 2016 the company has invested over £1m a year in the automation of the sawmill. This latest project will improve its global competitiveness while helping to reduce carbon.
It is expected to lead to an increase in the company’s three-year turnover of over £2,000,000.
Juan Paulo Rodriguez, business development manager with HIE’s Inner Moray Firth team, said:
“Timber and forestry are major contributors to our regional economy, and important rural employers. For many years, Gordon Timber has continued to be an important part of this bigger picture. The company has remained ambitious and shown steady growth.”
“This latest initiative will bring a range of benefits, including supporting jobs and increasing the company’s contribution to the region’s economy.
“We are very pleased to be able to provide support and look forward to seeing the benefits of the new automation.”
Scott Gordon, joint managing director at Gordon Timber, said:
“We are extremely excited about this latest investment and the harnessing of robotics technology to improve health and safety and boost productivity further. The R & D element of the project has been a challenge but through strong collaboration with our supply partners and the enthusiasm and dedication of our project team here at Gordon Timber, we are confident of a successful result.
“We also greatly appreciate HIE’s recognition of the timber industry’s importance to the Highland economy and their financial support for this project.”