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Research and Development crucial to building a successful future – AG

Specialist building solutions firm increases spend by 80% in the past 12 months A Northern Ireland based producer of high-value specialist building products is increasing its investment in Research and Development as part of a business development strategy throughout the UK and Ireland. Fivemiletown headquartered, AG (formerly Acheson + Glover)

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BDC 319 : Aug 2024

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AG increases by up to 50% to help customers reduce product lead times in GB and Ireland

Leading paving and building manufacturer AG has ramped up its production capacity by  50% following increased demand for facing brick and paving products from throughout the UK and Ireland. The family-run business has been at the leading edge of hard landscaping and building solutions for more than 60 years, providing world class products and services to architects, specifiers, contractors and homeowners across the UK and Ireland. The past 12 months has seen unprecedent challenges hit the construction industry with firms across the sector facing supply chain interruptions, increased lead times and significant skills shortages. CEO, Stephen Acheson said: Covid-19’s impact on our business was instant, but innovation and resourcefulness – two key components of our corporate DNA – have enabled us to not only survive but thrive. By continuing to invest in research and development and harnessing technology we have been able to embrace these new challenges by adopting new processes and capabilities throughout the business.” The third-generation family business has also created a number of new jobs across its manufacturing plants in response to the heightened demand across the domestic and commercial sectors. Acheson said “AG employs more than 230 people across eight locations meaning we were well placed to react quickly when the pandemic caused a nationwide shortage of building products, subsequently increasing lead times to unprecedented levels. In response, we introduced additional shift patterns into our plants as well as adding even more talent to our fantastic team, enabling us to increase stocks of Country Cobble, Facing Brick and paving products. “The past year has seen us achieve some record-breaking sales in both the domestic and commercial sectors which is testament to the resilience and outstanding work of our team”. Acheson said that the company expects demand for building products to continue to grow in the coming months: “We predict this exceptional demand will continue to grow over the next 12 months, placing considerable pressure on building merchants. In response, we have introduced new processes enabling us to significantly increase production input and massively reducing our lead times. We have greater stock levels of some of our most popular products which can be easily called off at short notice and lead times on some made to order items is as little as four weeks, which will be satisfying news to our customers.” AG – which has built a solid reputation for innovation – launched its ground-breaking Enduur advanced concrete technology earlier this year, a factory-installed enhancement process that improves the environmental performance of its products. It also launched its new revolutionary Fiamma range – a reconstituted flagstone resembling flamed granite – that the firm regards as its most advanced product ever. Stephen Acheson commented “2021 has been a big year for us and as we look towards the new year, we remain committed to delivering the best products to our customers”.

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Research and Development crucial to building a successful future – AG

Specialist building solutions firm increases spend by 80% in the past 12 months A Northern Ireland based producer of high-value specialist building products is increasing its investment in Research and Development as part of a business development strategy throughout the UK and Ireland. Fivemiletown headquartered, AG (formerly Acheson + Glover) confirmed today that its spend on Research and Development had grown by 80% in the past 12 months. AG Chief Executive, Stephen Acheson, said he believed innovation and new product development were key sources of competitive advantage for the 60-year old firm. “From our earliest days AG has been synonymous with innovation and the pioneering of new technology within the concrete industry.  Now, more than ever, we see this as being of crucial strategic importance as we seek to strengthen partnerships across our customer base in the creation of walling, paving and facing brick solutions that truly add value for clients across the UK and Ireland. “Innovation is one of our core company values and within the past 12 months we’ve had great success from several new product launches including our Long Stone paving and Woodward facing brick solutions, both of which have already established themselves as amongst our best sellers. We have also received UK-wide recognition for our Anchor® Vertica® Machine Install Segmental Retaining Wall system which has won a number of prestigious awards for both innovation and health and safety.” As part of AG’s drive towards best-in-class innovation it has established a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Queens University Belfast. This has included the provision of a new Associate Engineer, Catherine Campbell, who is supported by a team of academics. As part of the increased focus on Research and Development AG has recently invested more than £0.5m in a new processing line at its Toome facility to produce surface protected flagstones. Stephen Acheson said that the factory-sealing process will improve its flagstones in number of ways. “The factory-sealing means our products will be of a higher quality and they will be easier to maintain once installed. This innovation, coupled with the plans we have for this year and beyond, will further reinforce our products as being amongst the best in Europe from both an aesthetic and performance perspective. “We expect 2021 to be a big year for us in terms of product development, with a number of significant enhancements and additions being made to our portfolio of walling, paving and brick solutions that have been created to make construction better, faster and safer.”

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