The installation of a new 800 tonne press brake at Armstrong Works marks the first delivery in a series of investments that will ready Pearson Engineering and its subsidiary, Responsive Engineering, for future growth.

Responsive Engineering is a contract manufacturer that supplies to household names in the transport and renewables sectors, as well as to parent company, Pearson Engineering. Pearson Engineering, is a well-known brand across defence, providing lifesaving equipment to global armed forces that defeats explosives and moves earth and obstacles.

The investment in the press brake from Swiss company, Bystronic, is part of a £5m capital investment plan that will see Armstrong Works equipped with rare manufacturing capability, enabling both Pearson Engineering and Responsive Engineering to take on work of an even greater scale and complexity than it already does.

The press brake will allow for single spans of heavy armour plate to be bent to specific customer requirements, preserving the integrity of the blast and ballistic properties of the material. The press brake is involved in the manufacturing of mission modules that will keep soldiers safe when deployed with the British Army’s BOXER vehicle.

Currently, both companies are working to deliver equipment and components to all of the UK MoD’s major land vehicle programmes, including armour packs for AJAX infantry fighting vehicles and turret structures for the British Army’s main battle tank, CHALLENGER 3.

The investment comes as 15 apprentices take their roles at Responsive Engineering and 3 join Pearson Engineering as part of the company’s growth plans and commitment to supporting the next generation of engineers into critical industries.

“It is vital that we invest not only in the capability of our site to allow us to take on bolder and more ambitious projects across a wide range of industries, but that we pair that capability with the recruitment of people who will see the benefits and opportunity that it will bring to our region for year to come. Our work spans not only incredibly important projects in defence, but the customers we work with help all of us to live better lives; they’re leading the way in renewable energy and transport safety. These are such exciting opportunities for our people to contribute to, and it’s a source of great pride.”

Rachel Mansfield, Managing Director at Responsive Engineering.

“These investments will bring significant opportunities to both Pearson Engineering and Responsive Engineering. We are proud to be creating a wide range of skilled jobs, especially for people early in their careers, as well as having a clear focus on developing all of our staff. Our social value strategy has a key theme around prosperity in the North East, and we are especially proud that over 60% of our purchases are with local suppliers. We are very pleased to be making these major investments, enhancing our capabilities and bringing benefits for the wider region and future generations.”

Craig Priday, Managing Director at Pearson Engineering.