Pioneering Midlands manufacturer prepared for US distribution as production begins

Lontra’s production line in Birmingham

Lontra, the Warwickshire-headquartered advanced engineering technologies pioneer, has started production of its first product, the revolutionary LP2 Blade Compressor at its new assembly line in Tyseley, Birmingham.

The new line officially opened this week, and will create 15 new manufacturing roles in the local area to assemble the innovative industrial machines, ready for export to the US. The award-winning firm has established USA distribution and sales outlets in place to ensure Southam-based Lontra has a major market presence in North America.

This includes a significant distributor partnership with Industrial Air Centers in Jeffersonville, Indiana acting as its national distributor partner, and a sales representative agreement with RoCaam Corporation in Denver, Colorado.

RoCaam Corporation will be working closely with Blade Compressor USA LLC, (a division of Industrial Air Centers) to sell Lontra’s products and services to businesses across the country.

Steve Lindsey, CEO and founder of Lontra said: “Beginning production of our first machines for US export is a pivotal moment in Lontra’s growth, and a moment of clarity for UK manufacturing and engineering. Amidst political posturing over trade deals, UK manufacturers such as ourselves are knuckling down and delivering game-changing products that make financial sense in every market.”

Lontra’s LP2 machine

Earlier this month, Lontra received UL certification for the LP2 Blade Compressor machine, a vital step in securing sales in the United States. UL is a globally recognised US electrical safety certification body. This UL Listed status demonstrates that the LP2 Blade Compressor has been tested and complies with UL’s comprehensive standard UL-1450.

Lontra expects dozens more engineers to join its workforce over the next three years as the expansion highlights demand for the product in the USA and other markets. It is estimated that the global market opportunity is worth approximately $55bn dollars, with approximately 85,000 one bar compressor / blower units sold each year in the US alone.

Business and Industry Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “As we build back better from the coronavirus pandemic, it’s fantastic to see companies like Lontra striding forwards and continuing to innovate: developing products that are in demand both on UK soil and overseas.

“This new production line will play an important role in helping to fortify our economy – creating jobs in the West Midlands, manufacturing products to benefit industries from aerospace to pharmaceutical, and further unleashing our potential for global trade.”

Steve added: “It is fast growth manufacturing firms such as ours that reflect the sector’s strength in depth to thrive post pandemic. Manufacturing and exports create a strong bedrock for the economy, supporting local jobs and highlighting our world class skills that make us competitive on a global scale.

“Receiving UL certification is validation of the hard work of our entire engineering team and ensures that customers in the USA have the reassurance that our compressors meet stringent national safety legislation in the United States.”

Sales of the LP2 product are forecast to boost the value of Lontra to nearly £600 million by 2024. Following refinements to the original award-winning design, the compressor is now up to 34p er cent more efficient than the leading competitors, offering incredible energy savings along with significant improvements in reliability.

Lontra Commercial Director, Euan McCulloch said:  “This is a perfect blend of Lontra providing an innovative and reliable compressed air product and the compressed air marketing expertise and product support of Blade Compressors LLC / Industrial Air Centers and The RoCaam Corp. The partnerships will accelerate Lontra’s global footprint, allowing it to access a $55bn dollar global market.”