Yale celebrates 40 years at Craigavon

2021 sees Yale Europe Materials Handling celebrate Craigavon’s four decades of manufacturing excellence in Northern Ireland.

Since the plant opened in April 1981, thousands of lift trucks have been manufactured and exported annually to locations throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa. This has resulted in extensive growth for the plant’s operation line, becoming one of the largest volume forklift manufacturers in the UK.

“Over the last four decades, our people have worked together to conquer challenges, embrace new opportunities, and maintain forward momentum, and that is why our facility continues to succeed, evolve, and grow,” said Jim Downey, Plant Manager.

Thanks to the incredible dedication, perseverance, and loyalty from the Craigavon team, the site has achieved numerous accolades. Most notably, OHSAS 18001 accreditation for occupational health and safety, being awarded the Northern Ireland Quality Award in 2011 (EFQM) for areas such as Leadership, People, Strategy and Partnerships, winning the “Best Place to Work” at The Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards in 2013 and more recently, securing the Investors in People Gold Award for effective people management.

The facility maintains a reputation for being equipped with the most up to date manufacturing infrastructure and automated systems. Craigavon continues to build on this with a recent multi-million-pound investment focused specifically towards site development that will generate dozens of new jobs and apprenticeships.

Corporate Responsibility

During the site expansion, the plant has already attained several environmental achievements, with sustainability continuing to be a key driver for the company. The site has achieved ISO 14001 and 50001 certifications for continual commitments to the environment and energy efficiency. As part of the company’s Corporate Responsibility Objectives, the plant aims to reduce carbon emissions by 30% by 2026.

With targets set for reducing water consumption, waste, and landfill, the facility now recycles 97% of waste produced as well as incorporating waste reduction initiatives across the plant, right from the canteen kitchen through to the packaging on the assembly lines.

A commitment to biodiversity is also of key importance, with the site encouraging rare wildlife to flourish on its grounds. The latest plant extension incorporates a Sustainable Urban Drainage System, which mimics natural drainage and is more environmentally friendly to protect the surrounding ecosystem.

“Throughout its 40 years, the Craigavon facility has continued to innovate and prove its capability of being an agile and flexible facility, that is able to meet and exceed customer expectations through automation, people and processes. Now is as exciting a time as ever, as we adapt our assembly lines, connect with new technologies, and develop our product ranges, laying the foundations for future growth and many more decades of success,” Downey concludes.

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